Home Secretary, Theresa May, has agreed to a ban on all marches in Tower Hamlets and other areas of London for thirty days from the 2nd of September. The ban is based on “credible intelligence” of the likelihood of violence in the area if the demonstration goes ahead.
The EDL has already announced that it will go ahead with a “static demonstration” which cannot be prevented under existing law. United Against Racism and Fascism have similarly said that they will be there on September 3rd.
The ban follows a campaign backed by a 25,000 petition to stop the English Defence League march planned for September 3rd (see below). The petition and campaign were backed by the Hope not Hate campaign
Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman said on Thursday: “I would like to thank the thousands of people who supported our efforts to get this march banned. I am grateful for the support I have received from residents across the borough, leaders across London and the country, local politicians, faith leaders, trade unionists, and business leaders
“Together, we will continue to reject any attempts to divide our community and will celebrate the diversity that makes our borough great.
” I would now ask that people from across the country who had planned to march in support of our cause to stand down. You have helped us achieve our aim and we no longer need a mass show of support.”
The chat on Twitter is very mixed. Sunny Hundal who blogs on Liberal Conspiracy tweets: “Not pleased that EDL march in Tower Hamlets had been banned (but you knew that already). Bad strategy”.
He said on his blog: “Civil liberties aren’t important just as a matter of principle – they impact ethnic minorities a lot. Remember how people forgot about them post 9/11?”
Unite Against Fascism have been very actively organising a counter-demonstration and they will not be heeding the call to “stand down”.
Joint National Secretary, Weyman Bennett told ELL: “The EDL will be allowed a static demonstration. They will still be coming to the borough.
“We believe its still very important for people to attend a counter protest to make it clear the EDL are not welcome. All people from all races should come together to say they won’t be intimidated by racists and fascists coming to our borough
“It would be a tragedy if the EDL came and nobody would be there to say they are not welcome.”
The Muslim Council of Britain, which has been backing the call for a demonstration to stop the EDL, have not yet decided what position they will take on the call to “stand down”.
We will be updating this story as we get more information.