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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Police try to keep two protest groups apart on Weymouth Esplanade (UK)

The English Defence League (EDL) is a right-wing group that is against Islamic extremism and “radical Islam’s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims” as well as the introduction of Sharia law into Britain. They announced a march after BBC3 screened a film about a former Weymouth lad who converted to Islam and was radicalised.

A peaceful counter protest will be held at the same time, 1pm, organised by people behind the Facebook page, Keep The Racist EDL out of Dorset, who are rallying people to join them in opposition to the EDL “bringing its hatred and violence to a diverse, tolerant Dorset.”

Assembly points for both groups have been designated at either end of the Esplanade in Weymouth, with the EDL due to meet at the pier bandstand and counter-demonstrators opposite the Pavilion.

Chief Inspector Nick Maton is in charge of the policing operation. He said: “Our strategy is based simply around ensuring the two groups are indeed separate from each other.

“Dorset Police, like all national forces, is committed to facilitating peoples’ right to protest when conducted peacefully and lawfully.

“The police’s role is to work with all communities and groups involved, to reduce and prevent crime and disorder, and to deal with it robustly where it occurs.”

Dorset Police is also issuing a reassuring message to residents, traders and visitors to the town in advance of the demonstrations.

Read the full item at Weymouth People