The leader of the Bristol branch of the English Defence League (EDL) has claimed he is getting death threats over plans to march in the city.
Micky Bayliss said he had received “numerous threats” and had also had a concrete slab thrown through his car windscreen while out campaigning. “I’ve also been actively tearing down various stickers and posters put onto my car,” he said.
Avon and Somerset Police said it was helping Mr Bayliss with the matter.
“I have a tracking device on me so that the police know where I am,” Mr Bayliss said. “There have been credible threats made against me and my family which have been backed up by other people, so they think there is a real threat towards me.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: “Any threat brought to our attention will be carefully considered and dealt with appropriately, as and when issues arise.”
The EDL plans to hold its march at Castle Park on Saturday 14 July, the same day as the city’s annual Pride festival is held in College Green. About 700 police officers have been drafted in to Bristol for the march, at an estimated cost of up to £1m.
It is of course possible that Bayliss has received threats. If anyone is targeting him in this way they should stop. It doesn’t prevent the EDL functioning and only helps them attract sympathy by portraying themselves as the victims rather than perpetrators of threats and violence. However, this wouldn’t be the first time that an EDL leader has tried to win publicity for one of their anti-Muslim demonstrations by claiming to have been attacked.