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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

EDL march casts shadow on Leicester (UK)

Leicester City Council and city police have told people they can have their say on the demonstration which is scheduled for October 9 through a provided email address.

The extremist EDL which claims to be against “militant Islam” has been slammed by critics who say the league is consistent in resorting to violence and provocative chanting in its marches.

In the latest instance of such rallies, last month some 700 far-right EDL supporters staged a static demonstration in Bradford attacking both security forces and a nearby gathering of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) activists with stone, bottles and other missiles.

Leicester authorities have already started discussions to determine what measures they should put in place to handle an estimated 3,000 EDL fanatics who will descend on the city next month.

Reports say police have made sure at least 1,000 officers, some of them from 10 other forces, are on the streets to provide security to the public during the rally.

Chief executive of the city council Sheila Lock said "to ensure that we capture the views of as many people as possible, we have set up an e-mail address and would encourage people to use it".

She said the council will examine the views emailed to them while holding joint meetings with the senior police officials and community leaders to get help on how to deal with the trouble.

The city council and police have already indicated that they can follow Bradford's example and ask the Home Office for a ban on the EDL march due to threats to public order, though any such restriction will not prevent the right wing group to launch static demonstrations.

Meanwhile, two community groups in Leicester are keeping a close eye on the EDL's upcoming rally.

One of them which calls itself the Muslim Defense League has asked people's help to counter the EDL's march saying the group has been formed to “defend all races and religion” against EDL extremists.

"We are not a group that actively looks to engage the EDL in physical confrontation. If needs be we will defend Muslims and non-Muslims alike" the Muslim Defense League said on its website.

Also the Federation of Muslim Organizations, which is yet to decide whether to stage an anti-EDL rally, said it will “support any counter-demonstrations provided they are peaceful”.

Press Tv