Far-right group the English Defence League are planning a march through Newcastle, sparking counter protests. The EDL, which claims to protest against Muslim extremism, will march from the city’s Central Station to the Bigg Market, on Saturday, May 29. Members of anti-fascist groups and trade unions are planning counter demonstrations for the same day. Some councillors have called for the EDL’s parade to be banned.
Coun Dipu Ahad, Labour member in Elswick, said: “Do we really want this kind of thing in our city? Relationships between communities in Newcastle are very good and harmonious and this can only stir up hatred. It’s all very well saying a demonstration will be peaceful, but it only takes a few individuals to cause trouble and you have a riot. Newcastle is billed as a City of Peace, so how can this march be allowed to threaten that? I’ve had many emails and phone calls from the Muslim community and they are extremely worried. This march can only serve to break up bonds built up and increase tension.”