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Home Secretary asked to ban EDL march in Bradford

Home Secretary asked to ban EDL march in Bradford

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday August 18 2010

The Home Secretary has been asked to consider a ban on the planned march in Bradford by the English Defence League over the August bank holiday weekend.

Static demonstrations in the UK cannot be prevented – assured as a fundamental right of freedom of association in any democracy – but the Home Secretary can be asked to intervene and ban a moving demonstration if there exists just cause to do so.

Interventions have been sought in the past concerning demonstrations organized by the EDL, particularly since these have manifested in the worst forms of anti-Muslim racism, with placards brandished bearing the words ‘No More Mosques’ and chants including ‘If you build your f*cking Mosque we’ll burn it down’. Past protests have occasioned much concern among local communities determined to keep the fascists at bay, and to prevent violent disorder in their towns and the stirring of racist and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Bradford, a city with a considerable Muslim population, experienced serious race riots in 2001 and the city has worked hard over the years to implement recommendations contained in Lord Herman Ouseley’s report ‘Community pride not prejudice – making diversity work in Bradford’ .

Sir Norman Bettison
, chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, has written to Bradford Council’s chief executive seeking a ban on the proposed EDL march. In a statement Sir Norman said:

“Having carefully considered all the issues arising from any planned or unplanned march by protesters in Bradford on August 28, including the understandable concerns of the community, I have decided to apply to Bradford Council for an order prohibiting the holding of a public procession in Bradford on that day.

“We must, however, be clear in the distinction between the application for a ban to march, and the fundamental right to hold a static protest.

“If the Home Secretary agrees to a ban, it does not prevent static, visible, demonstrations taking place. But I believe that this would be less disruptive to residents of Bradford, and would enable the force to better manage the operation.

“We will continue to try to talk to all those who plan to demonstrate in Bradford and advise anyone intent on causing trouble to stay away.”

With government interventions on banning Muslim scholars from entering the UK and taking action to ban Muslim fringe groups that have behaved in much the same disruptive and divisive way as the EDL, we eagerly await the Home Secretary’s decision on banning the EDL march in Bradford.

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