Members of the EDL – which claims to be a human rights organisation protesting about Islamic extremism but whose marches are characterised by racism, violence, death threats and arrests – plan to march through Stevenage on Saturday, June 7.
The group’s page on social networking site Facebook says the march is “to protest at grooming incidents”. More than 250 people have so far confirmed through the site that they will be taking part in the march, which is set to start at 1pm.
Herts police’s Richard Harbon, the chief inspector for Stevenage, said: “We are aware of the intended march in Stevenage by the EDL on Saturday, June 7, and we have been in contact with the organisers so that we can facilitate a safe and lawful event.
“People are allowed to hold a peaceful march within the confines of the law and we hope this will be the case. Extra police resources will be on duty at this time and in the event that any unlawful activity occurs it will be dealt with appropriately.”
A police spokesman said the march is thought to be starting in Lytton Way in Stevenage, but this is yet to be confirmed.
An EDL member on the organisation’s Facebook site wrote: “Bus fair is a bit too steep for me, but I wish you all well my dear patriots, xxxx take care.”
Comet reader Trevor Palmer said: “I would not advocate attempting to ban such an event, but I would advocate that all like-minded people will join in a counter-protest against the vile policies and half-truths propogated. I am not suggesting a confrontation, but an alternate voice to the dangerous ideas propogated by this organisation needs to be voiced in Stevenage.”
Judging by the publicity for the protest (see above) the EDL think women who wear the niqab are responsible for “grooming incidents”.
Update: See “Stevenage pub withdraws from hosting EDL members before march”, Islamophobia Watch, 6 June 2014