I don't think anybody has quite sussed this lot out yet. The extreme left have bracketed them as fascist right wing extremists and turn out en masse to confront them. This I assume is due to factions within the EDL being made up of mainly football supporters - their traditional enemies, where the most extreme fans were directly linked to Combat 18 and BNP. The EDL also has a Jewish wing, Muslim wing and Black members who purport their aims are solely to confront extremist Islamic groups who have been too long indulged in this country. I do wonder why these anti-fascist groups don't also go and demonstrate against Islam4UK whose views are very much fascist by definition.
It will I suspect boil down to Right versus Left with a 21st Century slant to it. Alot of today's football fans are quite happy to integrate with different cultures as long as those individuals can kiss the flag and see themselves as British. So this year we could well see anti-fascist groups confronting the EDL who are made up of some non white faces. Couldn't see too many black faces in the video below from the disturbances in Stoke though, but I can assure you some football firms have black members. It could just be an excuse for these football fans to indulge their tribal passion for fighting and lets be honest they are not particularly bothered who they have a go at including police. Personally I've always found them full of shite who only go on the rampage when numbers are stacked in their favour, but at least they don't whine when order is restored.
Who knows what the year holds for the EDL, but unless they fragment and become more overtly racist they might just become stronger and attract more popular support than the BNP. I don't think they are that smart and the Nazi salutes just show them up to be the same Nationalists who used to turn up countering the "Troops Out" of Ulster marches. The left meanwhile will quite happily take to the streets when the Tories regain power, so this year could actually be problematic.
I don't know how the new police "Hands off - We've Surrendered" public order tactics will fit into this, all I know is a boot from a Anti-fascist hurts as much as one from a Right winger.
Tactical Point - Shouldn't the exit doors be on the side away from the crowd?