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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Derby music festival clashes with plan for English Defence League march (UK)

A Derby music promoter is planning a multiculturalism music festival on the same day as an English Defence League (EDL) march in the city.

The Love Music Hate Racism festival will feature music at seven different venues in the city on the same day as it aims to celebrate different cultures. The festival website describes the aim of the event as "living testimony to the fact that cultures can and do mix. " before adding that music "unites us and gives us strength, and offers a vibrant celebration of our multicultural and multiracial society. Racism seeks only to divide and weaken us. Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was set up in 2002 in response to rising levels of racism and electoral successes for the Nazi British National Party (BNP)."

Approximately 300 people have already indicated on the EDL's Facebook page that they will attend the Derby march on 9 July.

A Derbyshire Police spokesman said it was aware of the march but had not been officially contacted by the EDL.

Supt Gary Parkin told the BBC: "We will continue to look at the intelligence arrangements and make sure we have an appropriate policing response to make sure the policing of Derby is as safe as possible.

"We will facilitate lawful protest - but I would be very unhappy if I had to put a policing response and put a lot of police on the streets."

While the EDL, has for now refused to comment further on the subject, the festival spokesman Baby J said he hoped the police would step in and control the demonstration because the EDL "do not represent the city".

"We live in a very multicultural city and we get along very well and work alongside people or all different faiths and colour - and this is something we want to celebrate."