Archive for September 1st, 2011

I warned yesterday about the bleak prospects for peace in Tower Hamlets on Saturday as both the EDL and Unite Against Fascism bus supporters from across the country to Whitechapel.

One reader of this blog pointed out that both “protests” are due to be staged next to Sainsbury’s and Whitechapel Market on the busiest shopping day of the week. The probability of mayhem and major disruption for ordinary people wanting to carry out their chores is growing.

While Respect’s Fozol Miah is helping to organise the counter-demo, the Labour party in Tower Hamlets, including Josh Peck, Rushanara Ali and John Biggs, is taking a different and wiser line. They have just issue the below press release:

       Labour calls for calm                                                                                        

After leading the campaign to ban the EDL marching through Tower Hamlets, the East End’s Labour politicians have now called for counter demonstrations to be called off

The Home Secretary banned the EDL from marching in Tower Hamlets after a successful local campaign, led by Labour, including delivering a 25,000 strong petition to the Metropolitan Police and Cllr Joshua Peck, Rushanara Ali and Jim Fitzpatrick MP’s and John Biggs AM writing to her to personally to ask for an intervention.

The EDL have vowed to come to Tower Hamlets on Saturday regardless and hold a static demonstration.  Campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have indicated they will gather to oppose the EDL’s visit.

Additional police will be drafted in to help deal with any potential incidents.

Joshua Peck, Labour Group Leader said:

‘It is important that residents stay at home and let the police deal with any visit by the EDL and they should be reassured that extra officers will be in place to help this weekend pass without incident. I would ask that anyone planning to hold or attend a counter demonstration reconsiders – the safest thing for everyone is to remain calm and let the police do their job’

John Biggs AM said:

‘I know how strongly many people feel about this event. It is important that we react with dignity and restraint and trust the police to tightly manage the demonstration. I have confidence that they are able and prepared to do so. What will destabilise this will be any outbreak of disorder.’

Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said:

‘I urge people to remain calm and level-headed. I don’t want the EDL in my constituency in any form, but the best answer is to turn our backs on these people and let the police deal with them.’

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