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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Lord Sewel resigns from the House of Lords (Picture: PA Images)

Lord Sewel has quit the House of Lords after video footage emerged of him allegedly taking cocaine with two prostitutes in his London flat, even snorting a line off one woman’s breasts.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Commons Speaker John Bercow spent nearly £400 on a chauffeur-driven journey to speak about restoring reputation after the expenses scandal (Picture: PA Images)

Commons Speaker John Bercow took a chauffeur-driven car to a conference 0.7 miles from Parliament which cost the taxpayer a staggering £172.

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Fleet Primary School. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A counter-terrorism agency has intervened at a Hampstead primary school where a child was deemed at risk of being drawn into Islamic extremism.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
New late-night club licences will be harder to get under Hackney Council's plans (Picture: Dalston Superstore)

Plans by Hackney Council to curtail late night licences in the popular clubbing spots of Shoreditch and Dalston will threaten the area’s “star power”, according to campaigners fighting the proposals.

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more
Get up close and personal to this global phenomenon!

Following a sell-out 2014 run, the global phenomenon that is Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games is back in London, running at the Dominion Theatre in the heart of the West End until 5th September 2015.

Read more