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Banned EDL get marching orders.

Byline: JONNY GREATREX

A GROUP of anti-Islamic protestors who caused havoc in the Midlands have been told they must cancel a march over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Far right thugs from the English Defence League fought running battles with cops during a demonstration in Birmingham in September last year.

And they have repeatedly protested against the building of a new mosque in Dudley, in the Black Country, costing cops an estimated pounds 2 million in riot control operations.

Town traders have tried to ban the group, after widespread destruction.

The EDL marches, including protests in Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent, have been marred by violent clashes with police and anti-fascist groups.

The EDL had planned to hold what organinsers said would be "the big one" in Bradford, West Yorkshire, next weekend, with thousands of supporters turning out.

But Home Secretary Teresa May has now imposed a blanket ban on marching in the city over the three day period, effectively ending the EDL protest.

The decision by Bradford Council to seek a marching ban followed a formal request by West Yorkshire chief constable Sir Norman Bettison.

Race riots He said: "Having carefully considered the issues arising from any planned or unplanned march by protesters in Bradford, I decided to apply to Bradford Council for an order prohibiting the holding of a public procession on that day."

Organisers from the far right group say they are still going to hold a demo in the city, which was rocked by race riots back in 2001.

In March the Sunday Mercury reported how previous Home Secretary Alan Johnson admitted he was powerless to prevent the EDL from targeting Midland towns, and defended the rights of all groups to demonstrate.

He said: "I deplore any attempt to cause disruption and disharmony in communities.

"But just because I disagree with the views of the people demonstrating it doesn't mean I should stop them.

"There are rules about what they can say, about inciting racial hatred, laws that we have introduced, but there is not a law that says because we don't like their views we can ban their static demonstration."

Since their emergence in 2009 the EDL have also held protests in Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester.

jonny.greatrex@sundaymercury.net

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STOPPED: The EDL must cancel their march.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 22, 2010
Words:381
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