A letter calling for the home secretary to ban far right group the English Defence League from marching through Tower Hamlets has been circulated to trade unions, faith and community groups. The borough’s mayor, Lutfur Rahman, is calling on interested parties to sign the letter to Theresa May to stop the EDL from going ahead with a planned demonstration on September 7.
Mr Rahman expresses fears that the group intends to bring a “message of hate” to Tower Hamlets in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May. “Their protests invariably result in violence against property, the police, or local communities,” Mayor Rahman wrote. “We have real fears that the EDL presence will act as a catalyst for further violence, disorder and destruction of property. There must be no place for hatred in our communities. The home secretary must act, and act now, to ensure the EDL is not able to bring its tour of hate to the streets of east London on September 7,” the letter concludes.
The EDL announced plans in May to march in Tower Hamlets as part of a tour of several UK cities this summer. No decision on whether the Home Office and police will step in to ban the march will be made until closer to its scheduled date.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson was banned from entering Tower Hamlets under bail conditions imposed after he was arrested in Aldgate in June on suspicion of obstructing officers during a “charity walk”. He was bailed to return to an east London police station in August. But he recently used social networking site Twitter to pledge to head for the East London Mosque once his bail conditions expire. He tweeted: “I can’t wait till my bail conditions are gone so I can enter Tower Hamlets! I’m going straight to the East London Mosque #fact.”