Last month we told the tragic story of Darren, a homeless soldier who was often seen on the city’s Waverley Steps, who died at the age of 47.
Yesterday, however, around 30 members of the SDL descended onto Bute House, sharing their extreme message to rally their far-right supporters and exploiting the memory of Darren Greenfield.
In messages promoting their protest, the SDL claimed the Scottish Government allowed Darren to die on the street in favour of housing refugees.
Members from other far-right groups have thought to have joined the SDL in their protest which sought to gain publicity off the back of the death of the veteran.
However, more than 100 protesters against the SDL also showed up to combat their messages of hate.
John McFadden, chairman of United Against Fascism Scotland, said: “It’s sickening that the SDL would seek to exploit the death of this vulnerable ex-soldier and dishonour his memory.
“I’m quite sure the family of this man would reject the SDL’s politics of hate. After all, it was through the efforts of the British forces that the scourge of Nazism was defeated in Europe.”
“The SDL had nothing that resembled a speech and could only shout racist abuse. The SDL, like the EDL, resemble a crumbling collection of thugs who are going nowhere fast.”
Cabinet Secretary for veterans Keith Brown told the Daily Record: “Exploiting issues of genuine concern for racist and extremist ends is utterly deplorable. This kind of attention-seeking behaviour and the SDL’s hateful activities will be firmly opposed by communities across the whole of Scotland.”
Unite Against Fascism said: “Edinburgh UAF ensured the fascist rump of the so-called Scottish Defence League went home with their tails between their legs.
“The fascists had called a demonstration in an attempt to instigate anti-refugee hate following the death of a homeless ex-serviceman.
“It failed – few but the hardcore of what’s left of their group came along for the farcical ‘event’.
Darren died just before Christmas and was a familiar face at Waverley Station with a sign saying: “Soldier in need, please help, thank you, God bless.”