January 10, 2011

Borough Council wants EDL march in Luton banned

Luton Borough Council has written to the home secretary asking her to ban a proposed march by the English Defence League (EDL) in the town next month. The EDL, which says it opposes Islamic extremism, wants to march through Luton on 5 February.

The council also wants Theresa May to extend the banning order to any proposed counter protests by groups such as Unite Against Fascism. In a statement the council said there was a real risk of disorder.

"We recognise that a banning order on the EDL and counter demonstrators would not prohibit them from holding a static demonstration," the statement said. "However a march is, in our opinion, provocative and not conducive to the public good at this time and would risk serious disorder."

The council said that any march proposed by the EDL would need to travel through residential areas from the railway station and other access points into the town.

"The presence of high numbers of demonstrators supporting rival and diametrically opposing views is not conducive to the wellbeing of our community and has the potential to spark tensions and community impacts which as a council we have worked so hard to avoid in recent years," the statement went on to say.

The EDL, Unite Against Fascism and the TUC demonstrated in Peterborough on 11 December. A 28-year-old was arrested and bailed in relation to those protest marches.


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