Controversial far-right group the Scottish Defence League are planning another protest in the centre of Dundee. They aim to hold a rally outside the Overgate Centre a week on Saturday in defiance of a council warning that they do not have permission for a gathering.
Police are drawing up plans to deal with any unrest from the extreme political organisation’s arrival in the city on October 5. The potential for disorder has been heightened by plans by an anti-fascist alliance to hold a demonstration against the SDL’s visit on the day.
In this week’s East London Advertiser, Sabby Dhalu, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, and Padraig Reidy, senior writer at Index on Censorship, debate the limits of the right to protest and freedom of expression.
A controversial plan to open a mosque in Worcester Park is set to be rejected for the second time after almost 4,000 people signed petitions.
Plans to convert a disused bank building in Green Lane into a mosque are due to go before Sutton Council’s development control committee for a second time on Wednesday night. And, for a second time, the authority’s planning officers have recommended councillors on the committee refuse planning permission.
The original plan to convert the building into a place of worship for the local Muslim community was rejected in December last year on the grounds it would bring too much traffic to the area.
Supporters of the English Defence League charged police lines and hurled missiles when the right-wing group held a demonstration in Sheffield today.
Hundreds turned out for the rally at Sheffield Lane Top, which was sparked by now-abandoned proposals to turn The Pheasant pub on Barnsley Road into a mosque. A counter demonstration was also held by Unite Against Fascism and One Sheffield Many Cultures.
Police said around 400 EDL supporters attended, with 250 involved in the counter-protest, while four arrests were made – two for drunk and disorderly, one for criminal damage to a police vehicle and one for possession of cannabis.
A thug who repeatedly punched an anti-fascist protester in front of children during an EDL march in Hull city centre has walked free from court. John Claydon, 46, was caught on CCTV punching David Harding, who was part of a small group of men and women taking part in a counter-protest.
Yesterday, Recorder Michael Smith sentenced Claydon – who has convictions for violence from 1999, 2001 and 2007 – to an 18-month community order and 100 hours’ unpaid work. HGV driver Claydon, 46, of Dronfield, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Two friends obsessed with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik plotted a far-right hate campaign in Torbay, a court was told today. John Roddy, 20, and Tobias Ruth, 18, daubed racist graffiti on a mosque and spray painted Brixham police station. The pair styled themselves as Knights Templar in homage to Breivik and sent letters to Islamic centres telling worshippers to leave the country.
At Exeter Crown Court today Ruth, from Brixham, was sent to a Young Offenders Institution for two years and nine months. He had previously admitted conspiracy to cause criminal damage and to send malicious communications. Roddy, from Torquay, walked away from court with a suspended jail sentence. He admitted the conspiracy charges and possessing a terror manual on his computer.
Their arrests came in January after an area of Lymington Road in Torquay was sealed off by armed police who feared they may be dealing with a terrorist cell.
A rioter told police he wore a balaclava to imitate someone in a burkha during the trouble that broke out during a march in memory of murdered soldier Lee Rigby.
Craig Oakley, 41, joined a march the judge described as little more than a “pub crawl” for men aged between 18 and 35 – some of whom were members of the English Defence League. The march was organised in Kingswood via social-networking website Facebook following the death of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, London on May 22.
Members of a controversial Islam protest group have confirmed they are attracting support from Cornish people who do not want to see the county “ruined by mosques”.
Posters, stickers and graffiti in support of the English Defence League (EDL), a group dedicated to the eradication of extreme Islamic beliefs, have recently sprung up on the back of road signs in Truro, St Agnes, Scorrier, Towan Cross, Carnon Downs and Lanner.
A representative from EDL Cornwall Division refused to comment about the stickers but told the West Briton: “Indeed we do have representatives for the Cornwall area. I’m afraid Islam is starting to creep its way into our beautiful county.
Selfridges was facing a backlash today for giving a free lunch to English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson after a shop assistant refused to serve his friend.
Robinson – a convicted criminal who leads anti-Islam protests that often end in violence – was with a friend who wanted to buy jeans at the Oxford Street store on Monday. The assistant, Robinson claimed, asked the shopper if he was with the EDL leader, and then said: “F*** off, I am not serving you”.
Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – challenged the staff member, and said he assumed the worker was a Muslim “because he had Mo on his name tag”.
The EDL chief filmed part of the exchange on a mobile and put it online. In the footage, he says: “You won’t serve my friend because he’s friends with me … and I’m in the EDL.” The assistant replies: “You can put me on the camera all you want mate, but I’m not serving you,” and walks off.
Selfridges apologised to Robinson and treated him and his friend to a meal at its Hix restaurant, champagne and caviar bar. It suspended the worker but today confirmed the suspension had been lifted, and said the staff member had “an unblemished record for seven years”.
An anti-racism gig was cancelled after police advised that opponents could disrupt it and there was “potential for violence”.
The Love Music Hate Racism event, featuring over a dozen local acts, was due to take place at the Steamboat Tavern in Ipswich on Sunday but it was called-off at lunchtime. The organisers said the decision gave the “green light” to racists. Police said the decision to cancel the concert was made by the venue.
Lauren Bulaitis, 16, one of the gig organisers, said: “I completely understand why the pub pulled the event, but it’s still such a shame. We were completely let down by the police and racism was given a green light in Ipswich yesterday.”