Police today revealed that next weekend’s EDL march in South Shields will be allowed to go ahead – but it WILL NOT go near Ocean Road.
Right-wing groups the North East Infidels (NEI) and English Defence League (EDL) are holding a march and demonstration in South Shields on Saturday, August 31. There is also a planned counter-protest by anti-fascist groups South Tyneside Unites and Newcastle Unites.
Ocean Road is at the heart of the borough’s Muslim community, and people living in the street have appealed for the authorities to ban the protest.
At least one pub, Annie McCarthys in Albermarle Street, will not open during part of the day, in a bid to avoid any potential clashes between the EDL and its opponents.
Northumbria Police today revealed that the march will be allowed to go ahead – but those involved will be kept away from Ocean Road. Following discussions between police and organisers, a route and event plan has been confirmed.
South Shields will be open for business, with shops and pubs operating as usual. There may be some minor disruption around rolling road closures needed to facilitate the march.
The NEI and EDL will march from Mile End Road along Fowler Street onto Beach Road leading to Sea Road, with a short demonstration at Pier Parade. Protesters will then be led back through the route, and will disperse at Mile End Road. The roads will only be closed on a rolling basis as the procession marches.
South Tyneside Unites and Newcastle Unites will hold a static protest at Pier Parade.
Only two days ago the North East EDL announced on their Facebook page that they had “withdrawn from talks and will not be liasing whatsoever with the police”, while their supporters endorsed this stand by posting comments such as “FUCK THE PIGS they not english anymore fk then and fk all muslums”.
Update: See “South Shields right-wing march rerouted from Ocean Road”, Shields Gazette, 24 August 2013