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Saturday, 20 March 2010

EDL rally in Bolton ‘may lead to something positive’ (UK)

THE boss of Bolton’s Faith Leader’s Forum says he is hoping something good will come out of today’s English Defence League rally.

Ahead of today’s controversial event and a counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism, the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Rev Chris Edmondson said he hoped it would bring Bolton’s diverse communities closer together.

Civic and faith leaders last week launched the One Bolton pledge, to promote community cohesion.

The Rt Rev Edmondson said: “I hope something good will come out of this because Bolton has a very good track record when it comes to community cohesion.

“Thousands of people have signed up to the One Bolton pledge and this is an ongoing thing. Everyone has a right to free speech, but the track record suggests these kind of events bring violence and disorder. We would urge people not to get involved in counter demonstrations.”

Leaders from all political parties and denominations have signed up to the pledge, as have the Bolton Wanderers squad and The Bolton News.

The pledge says: “We celebrate the diversity of Bolton and unite to create One Bolton, recognising differences, celebrating communities and commit to encouraging harmony.”

Yesterday, preparations ahead of the rally continued, with further fencing put up in the town centre.

A police spokesman assured people there would be a strong presence in the town with a number of officers on horseback, while many businesses were expected to have their windows boarded up.

The EDL rally and the Unite Against Fascism protest are expected to draw thousands of people to the town centre.

l The One Bolton pledge can be signed online, where residents can learn all about the pledge and its supporters and donate money to the BBF. Residents can also pick up a postcard to sign up to the pledge, which will be available at libraries and community centres across the borough.

Alternatively, people can show their support by texting PLEDGE to 70007 — texts cost £3, plus the cost of a standard message, and £2.55 will be donated directly to the BBF.

The Bolton News