Call to ban EDL march through East End after Norway bomber alleged link

08:09 27 July 2011

Anti-fascist alliance in London

Anti-fascist alliance in London's East End

Archant

Anti fascism campaigners claiming the English Defence League had links with Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik have joined demands this week to ban their planned march through London’s East End.

The Searchlight campaign is supporting Tower Hamlets MPs, councillors, mayor and London Assembly figures calling on the Home Secretary to stop the EDL coming to Whitechapel on September 3.

The groundswell culminates in a public meeting on Friday at the London Muslim Centre, which is being addressed by the new Bishop of Stepney in his first public role.

Searchlight claims EDL members exchanged emails with the self-confessed Norwegian killer before he went off to prepare for last week’s bombing and shootings in which 76 people died.

“It’s clear the proposed march in Tower Hamlets cannot be allowed,” said Searchlight editor Nick Lowles.

“The Home Office must now formally classify the EDL as an extremist organisation and let police use the same resources to monitor their activity as with other extremist groups.”

The events in Norway have created an atmosphere in East London that Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick says makes a ban urgent.

The MP said: “The march will affect public order. It’s better if the EDL didn’t come to the East End—they should keep out.”

He joined Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali in discussions with Home Office minister James Brockenshire last Friday, before the events in Norway, and since written to Home Secretary Theresa May.

The new Bishop of Stepney, The Rt Rev Adrian Newman, addresses Friday evening’s meeting in Whitechapel in which he pledges to support a ban if there’s groundswell demand.

“I am with the people of the East End,” he told the Advertiser. “If the community says it doesn’t want the EDL to spread their message of hate, I stand with them and nail my colours to the mast.”

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has called for the EDL itself to be prescribed as a banned organisation in the light of events in Norway.

“If the Bishop of Stepney has come out against the EDL, we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with him,” the mayor said.

“The EDL has a history of advocating violence—enough to list them as a prescribed organisation.”

He wrote to the Mayor of Oslo yesterday (Tues) offering “the sympathies of the people of Tower Hamlets in Norway’s time of crisis.”

Tower Hamlets Labour group leader Joshua Peck and London Assembly’s budget chairman John Biggs have also urged the Home Secretary to stop the EDL march.

Cllr Peck said: “Their presence creates a ripple effect of fear and tension which will encourage people onto the streets. We don’t want running battles or the community being whipped up.”

But the EDL said yesterday (Tues) it was determined to go ahead with the march through Whitechapel.

Its spokesman Tommy Robinson insisted: “We are just using our democratic rights for a peaceful protest and free assembly.

“Those streets are English streets on English soil—we go where we want. Tower Hamlets is part of London, our capital.”

He denied any links with the Norwegian bomber and pointed out that Breivik’s 1,500-page ‘manifesto’ described the EDL as “naive fools” who believed in the democratic process.

Yet Breivik boasted of having 600 EDL members as Facebook friends.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
The capital saw a protest two weeks ago after the Tories were elected (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

As the Queen’s Speech marks the official formation of the Conservative government, anti-austerity protesters are planning to hold a demonstration in Trafalgar Square at 5pm this evening.

Monday, May 25, 2015
As TfL are taking over the London Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, it will now appear on the Tube map.

Train services from Shenfield to London Liverpool Street will be run by TfL from May 31.

Monday, May 18, 2015
Your future Mayor? [Image from YouTube]

Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, Ivan Massow, has transformed himself into a cartoon character in order to get the top job.

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Protestors are surrounded by police (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

All but one of 15 people arrested during a spontaneous anti-austerity protest against the new Tory government have been bailed, police said today.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Voters in Hampstead voted for Ronnie Carroll, who is dead (PA)

A total of 113 people voted for a parliamentary candidate who died four weeks before the election.

Friday, May 8, 2015
Ed Balls has lost his seat (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ed Balls became the highest-profile casualty of a disastrous General Election performance for Labour, losing his seat to the Conservatives in a shock result. Twitter reacted to his demise...

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

Read more
The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more