The Waltham Forest Guardian reported last Friday that the leader of the council, Chris Robbins, has written to the Home Secretary seeking a ban on an English Defence League march planned for October 27th. The paper, which has joined the campaign Waltham Forest – United. Strong.
Together, notes that it is the second time in as many months that the EDL is returning to the area.
From the WF Guardian:
“Today your Guardian teams up with Waltham Forest Council to stop the English Defence League (EDL) peddling its hatred and prejudice in our borough for the second time in two months.
“Our joint campaign ‘Waltham Forest – United. Strong. Together.’ calls on the government to step in and ban the EDL from going ahead with its planned march through Walthamstow on October 27.
“The move follows hot on the heels of the EDL’s last parade through the town on September 1, when its route was blocked by opponents who outnumbered the marchers by 10 to one.
“Waltham Forest Council leader Chris Robbins has written to Home Secretary Theresa May to demand a meeting on the subject of banning the EDL from its planned return.
The letter from Waltham Forest Council to the Home Secretary argues that “Whilst we agree that everyone has the right to protest, this latest stand by people with no connection to our borough is an abuse of this right. We feel very strongly that the EDL are harassing our community and that we need action from Government.
“Following the public disorder that ensued on 1 September there is an overwhelming risk that a second march will erupt into violence. Knowingly putting our borough’s residents in harms way is not an option and I will do everything in my power to ensure that the EDL are not able to spout their words of hatred in this borough.
“We called for a ban on the last march, but also encouraged residents to stay away from any counter protest. We refuse to do this again and will instead be calling on our whole community to come out and show everything that is great about the tolerant and diverse community who live here.”
The Waltham Forest Council website is hosting a petition ‘to stop the English Defence League marching in Waltham Forest’.
The government last year banned the EDL from marching in Tower Hamlets as well as four neighbouring east London boroughs following requests from the Metropolitan Police. However, EDL protests have often gone ahead despite reservations from local communities. An EDL march in Bristol got the go-ahead in July despite a 2,000 signature petition calling for the march to be banned. The EDL will also be demonstrating in Walsall this coming Saturday the 29th September, where the police have stated that they have “no power to ban a static protest”.
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