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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Plea to ignore West Yorkshire EDL demonstration (UK)

Residents in Dewsbury are being urged to ignore a planned demonstration by the controversial English Defence League (EDL) this Saturday.

Around 500 supporters of the group are expected to rally outside Dewsbury Town Hall from 2pm.

In the past, EDL demos, such as one held in Leeds in 2009 have flared into violence with clashes between the EDL and rival anti-racism campaigners who have turned out to protest.

Today, bosses at Kirklees Council urged residents to show the town’s multi-cultural communities could live in harmony.

A spokesman said: “The prime concern is the safety and well being of our local people and local communities.

“We are committed to ensuring that our residents can enjoy their public spaces.

“We of course recognise the right of all citizens to peaceful demonstration and will respond to the planned EDL demonstration to ensure that this right is protected in a way that also respects the needs and views of our residents.

“We would urge our communities to ignore the demonstrators and prove that Dewsbury is truly a place where different communities can thrive together without conflict.”

Officers from eight forces were drafted in to police the EDL demo in Leeds in October 2009, leaving taxpayers with a £345,000 bill.

West Yorkshire Police says it aims to contain the demo.

Chief Superintendent John Robinson said: “We will facilitate a peaceful protest. Between now and then we are preparing to make sure that the event goes peacefully.

“Clearly the message to the EDL is that we will treat you fairly but firmly to ensure it is a peaceful protest.”

Yorkshire Evening Post