Opponents of the controversial planned English Defence League march through Tower Hamlets in September are to stage a rally in Whitechapel on Friday.
The EDL march, planned for September 3 into what the far-right organisation describe as “the heart of militant Islam”, is likely become even more contentious in the wake of the organisation’s alleged links with Andres Breivik, the man responsible for last week’s massacre in Norway.
The rally at the London Muslim Centre has been organised by a number of local inter-faith organisations, trade unions and political parties. Among those expected to speak will be the new Bishop of Stepney, the Right Reverend Adrian Newman, who was only consecrated last week.
Organisers hope the rally will encourage public and police opposition to the march.
United East End co-ordinator Glyn Robbins told the East London Advertiser: “This is not the first time racists have planned to march in the East End after similar threats last year which were stopped. The threat has prompted the community again to come together to show that the EDL is not welcome here.”
The rally comes after a petition to Tower Hamlets council earlier this month, supported by councillors from all parties, calling for all far right demonstrations to be banned in the borough, which prides itself on its multiculturalism.
The EDL have rejected any formal links with Breivik, who claimed he had 600 EDL members on his Facebook page.