Call for EDL to be banned from marching in Waltham Forest

EDL Walthamstow September 2012

English Defence League thugs marching through Walthamstow on 1 September

An emergency motion has been passed to call for the English Defence League (EDL) to be banned from holding a march in the streets of Waltham Forest. The group is planning a march in the borough on Saturday, October 27, just weeks after it last held a demonstration in the area.

Last night Waltham Forest’s 60 councillors unanimouosly voted in favour of an emergency motion calling for the group to be banned from holding the march, with the motion saying the council would “take every appropriate legal action to prevent the EDL from marching here on October 27”.

Cllr Chris Robbins, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “This is not about the right to protest peacefully, this is about the EDL targeting our community less than 60 days after they last marched here.”

The motion calls on the Metropolitan Police and the Home Secretary to take action to prevent the EDL marching on October 27, citing public disorder, serious damage to property and serious disruption to the lives of residents and businesses in Walthamstow as reasons.

It says: “This council notes with outrage that the EDL is once again planning to march in Waltham Forest on Saturday 27th October. We believe that it is clear from current the evidence that the march planned for October 27 will be a much larger and more confrontational event.”

The council has been collecting signitures on a petition calling for the ban, and is planning to take a lobby to Parliament on Tuesday to present the petition to the Home Secretary.

Cllr Robbins said: “We’ve got a fantastic sense of community here, where people from all different backgrounds get along well. This has been a fantastic year for Waltham Forest, and being part of London 2012 brought us closer together than ever as a community.”

As part of its Waltham Forest – United Strong Together Campaign the council will be hosting an event to celebrate all that is great about Waltham Forest on October 27.

The campaign has also led to a meeting with MP Iain Duncan Smith and Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowling, where Cllr Robbins raised residents’ concerns.

For more information or to sign the petition follow this link.

London24, 19 October 2012