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Are EDL protests "appropriate" asks MP for Hyde

Are EDL protests "appropriate" asks MP for Hyde

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday March 13 2013

Local paper, the Tameside Reporter, reports on a point of consideration raised in Parliament by the MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, following an English Defence League demonstration last month, asking whether such protests, which cause disruption, require significant policing resources, and which attempt to destabilize race relations “are really appropriate.”

Jonathan Reynolds MP, whose constituency was the site of an EDL demonstration, raised the point in Parliament stating:

“Too often in the past, demonstrations by the EDL in other parts of the country have left behind them a trail of violence and destruction. And I would clearly have preferred it if it had been possible to block the EDL’s plans for any protest through the streets of Hyde.

“Of course I strongly believe in the right to protest. But in this case there were clear indications that the EDL had targeted Hyde in a bid to ignite racial tensions. And I do not believe that should ever be acceptable.

“The council, the police and members of the Hyde community played an active role in making sure the demonstration passed largely without incident.

“Together we have shown that we are a strong community that will not be divided by the messages of hate from far right groups.

“But there remain questions to be asked about whether such protests – which caused inevitable disruption for shoppers and prompting a significant policing operation – are really appropriate.”

Local councils have previously sought bans on protests by the English Defence League, such as Waltham Forest and Bristol. The most significant intervention in recent years came from MPs, local councillors, police chiefs and the local communities in Tower Hamlets who applied to the Home Secretary for a 30 day ban on any protests in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring east London boroughs.


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