Traders call for far right protest to be called off amid concerns for safety
Categories: Latest News
Friday July 12 2013
A group of traders in the Welsh resort town of Llandudno are calling for a planned protest by far-right groups next month to be banned amid concerns for security, the Daily Post reports.
The protest by the North Wales Alliance Gogledd Cymru (ANWGC) is expected to attract around 1,500 far right protestors including members of the English Defence League, Scottish Defence League and the North West Infidels when it takes place on August 10.
The ANWGC claims to be organising the protest after hearing reports of “Asian grooming” in the area.
But businesses in the town have already decided to close for the day fearing the presence of far right groups will affect their businesses.
Local county councillor, Margaret Lyon, told the paper that she has been contacted by many traders worried about the effect on their businesses.
She said: “A lot of businesses in the town are really worried about it, especially as we don’t seem to be able to get any assurances that there will be an extra police presence.
“Llandudno is a tourist town and this is planned for peak holiday time when the town will be thronged with visitors. Businesses can’t afford to close and lose revenue and it could have a knock on effect on tourism which would be terrible.
“There is no racism in the town, so why they have picked on Llandudno for this rally is a mystery.”
The local MP for Aberconwy, Guto Bebb, has written to the Chief Constable, Mark Polin, advising that businesses will be significantly affected unless safety can be guaranteed.
Plaid Cymru’s North Wales Assembly Member, Llyr Gruffydd, expressed his concerns regarding the protest saying “My instinct is to say that freedom of speech is vital and the political process should be allowed to take place, no matter how unsavoury the views held by some groups are.”
He added: “However many Llandudno residents and traders are understandably concerned about the damage this will do to the resort’s image and to trade that weekend. Why should shopkeepers have to close their stores and law-abiding citizens live in fear of a gang intent on spreading hatred in our area?”