Far right groups to protest in Manchester and Newcastle
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday February 17 2015
There are reports of two major demonstrations by far right groups in Manchester and Newcastle in the papers today.
The Chronicle Live covers the planned protest by the UK branch of German far right group Pegida, on 28 February.
Local MP for Newcastle Central, Chi Onwurah, has written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, regarding the impending protest to seek a ban on anyone travelling to the UK for the event on grounds of their presence not being ‘conducive to the public good’. US-based Islamophobes Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were banned from entering the UK in 2013 after the English Defence League invited them to address a rally commemorating Fusilier Lee Rigby.
Onwurah, seeking a similar intervention, wrote to the Home Secretary stating:
“Could I ask you to set out in principle whether inciting Islamaphobia is considered ‘conducive to the public good’, what factors you would take into account before making such a decision and whether Pegida is recognised as an organisation inciting Islamaphobia?
“I am therefore writing to ask you whether the Home Office has made an assessment of Pegida and the impact of its presence in the UK.
“For example has the Home Office a view on the extent to which its extreme Islamaphobic stance represents incitement to racial hatred?”
Pegida’s UK leader, Matthew Pope, has been revealed to hold disturbing views about Islam and Muslims with revelations published last week byInternational Business Times uncovering some of his more outlandish claims. Pope is said to have called for Islam to be banned in the UK saying “As it is impossible for Muslims to re-adapt Islam to the 21st century, we only have one choice….. Make Islam illegal.”
Pope is also shown to keep the company of other noted anti-Muslim far right activists with his Facebook likes including “Paul Golding, leader of far-right Britain First party; Britain First; the British National Party (BNP); the English Defence League (EDL); and Anti-Islam (England Division).”
The Chronicle Live also notes the depressing number of Facebook likes on the Pegida-UK page; 12,000.
The Daily Mirror meanwhile reports on the return of the English Defence League to Manchester for a protest in the city centre next month.
The demonstration has been advertised on the far right group’s Facebook page and around 500 supporters have signed up to attend.
The paper notes the most recent outing by the far right group in the north west with a protest held in Oldham last weekend during which police made five arrests. “Two of the arrests were for breach of the peace, two for racially aggravated public order offences and one for anti-social behaviour,” according to the paper.
The EDL held demonstrations in Manchester in 2013 and again in 2009. Two years ago the far right group’s protest attracted some 700 supporters and cost Greater Manchester Police £50,000 and resulted in 15 arrests.
In 2009, the far right group’s protest saw 40 arrests and cost the police around £800,000.
The Government has resisted efforts to ban the protests by far right groups despite support for such a move by local politicians and police chiefs. Last year, the chief constable of South Yorkshire Police, David Crompton, spoke in favour of a change in the law to make it harder for the English Defence League and other far right groups to cause havoc in towns and cities which police forces were forced to finance at a time of budget cuts.