UK

Russell Brand Book Event Stormed By EDL Supporters Chanting Anti-Taliban Slogans

13/01/2015 11:27 GMT | Updated 13/01/2015 13:59 GMT

A group of English Defence League (EDL) supporters stormed a Russell Brand book event to chant "no surrender to the Taliban" - only to find out he wasn't there.

The 15 or so EDL-ers were actually disrupting a book club's meeting to discuss Brand's book 'Revolution' in Newcastle.

A video published by the local paper shows them shout from the back of the room: "No surrender to the Taliban. Scum, scum, scum."

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When they finish this chant, there is a brief silence as bewildered book club members are unsure how to react.

After being called fascist, one EDL member shouted back: "Where do you get fascist from? Go to France and look at them in Paris and call them fascist."

The video shows a woman approach the person filming and a man can be heard saying: "Don't even think about it. Don't even touch me... I'm not going anywhere. You need to get a copper to tell me to leave."

Later in the three-minute video, a man says: "He's not coming, is he?" Someone else notes the size of the room could probably not accommodate the sort of crowd Brand would attract.

Someone then makes a half-hearted attempt to chant: "Keep me St George in my heart, keep me English."

When asked why they came to the event, one of the EDL says he wanted to "hear what he's got to say".

The appearance of three police officers prompts one to ask: "How many coppers does it take to change a lightbulb?"

edl russell brand

Footage of the disturbance, as apparently filmed by one of the EDL members

They then leave to chants of "North East EDL".

Event organiser Dan Jenkins told The Newcastle Chronicle: “It was an open book club to discuss Russell Brand’s new book.

"But the guys from EDL clearly thought he was going to turn up himself so had gathered a group together from all over the North East to come and disturb the meeting.

“I got there a bit late so I was sitting among them at the back and I could hear them talkng about it and asking when he was coming and then 20 minutes in they realised that he wasn’t coming so they decided to be disruptive.”

He added: "When they were heading out one of them just shouted defiantly: 'and now we're going for a curry' and they had just been singing these songs about the Taliban. It was bizarre."

Brand himself learned about what happened and tried to bait the EDL with a tweet about an upcoming book signing.