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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Peterborough shopkeepers on EDL route fear for march (UK)

Frank Smith, the operations manager at Rivergate, will meet with police and council chiefs ahead of the meeting today (17 November).

He said: “I am going into the meeting with an open mind and we have not decided on any policy.

“We will decide what action to take, if any, after the meeting.”

Ada Lidzuite, a Lithuanian immigrant, who works at Phone Plus in the Rivergate Centre, said: “I don’t know if we are going to even be open but I don’t want to be here if they are outside.

“It seems like a scary group and I will not be coming into town on the day they are here.

“Since I came to Peterborough people have treated me well but it is not nice to hear this group is coming.”

The EDL is a protest group that is campaigning against a perceived rise in Islamic extremism.

It claims to want a peaceful march but previous protests have descended into violence and multiple arrests.

Leaders of the Peterborough Trade Union Council (TUC) have announced they will have a counter-protest on the same day, but have not confirmed how it will take place.

Traders have been invited to meet with both organisations in the Town Hall tomorrow (Thursday) to be fully briefed.

Superintendant Paul Fullwood said: “We understand that for businesses in the Rivergate area there will be an impact during the protest.

“We are working with those business owners, alongside the council, to minimise this and look at alternative ways of drawing in business over the weekend.

“We have been speaking to and are working closely with the local communities and will do all we can to reassure them.

“We would warn any individuals seeking to exploit the demonstration by behaving in a criminal or anti-social manner that such behaviour will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and robustly.”

Police also announced that they are still in negotiations with the Peterborough Trade Union Council (TUC) about a planned counter march on the same day.

Supt Fullwood said: “Negotiations with representatives from Peterborough TUC are underway.

“We are still in the planning stages and at this point have not confirmed a location for the protest in Peterborough.”

Nobody from the Peterborough TUC was available for comment.

Peterborough Today