Alton said in 2013 that they had achieved that goal, though a Google search in 2017 sees them on the second page of results. Nonetheless, their counter-protest tactic was devastatingly effective. Instead of engaging with the racists on their termsfighting anger with more anger and making their threat seem realthe disco lovers ignored them, had a great time, and made the potentially scary fascists look ridiculous.

And so an afternoon that had begun with the worst elements of Englishness (loutishness, racism, and soccer hooliganism) was transformed into a scything display of irreverent, Python-esque humor. By overwhelming the English Defence League in numbers, the English Disco Lovers had found a middle ground between the neutering physical presence and biting satire that Woody Allen’s characters were arguing over.

I walked away with a spring in my step and The Pointer Sisters in my ears.

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