A group of 40 English Defence League supporters descended on Blackburn to protest about a fast food restaurant’s decision to sell Halal chicken.
Police said the group staged the demonstration outside KFC, in Haslingden Road, Blackburn, around noon on Saturday. Although no arrests were made, officers dispersed the protesters around 4pm and carried out a “reassurance operation” throughout the town. And officers maintained a high-visibility presence around the store yesterday after intelligence revealed that the right-wing group planned to hold further protests at the store this week.
The EDL protest is aimed at pressurising KFC to end its Halal food trial. KFC is trialling Halal chicken in a number of stores across the country. In East Lancashire, they include Blackburn and Burnley.
A spokesperson for KFC said: “Police advised us of these planned protests, which are the actions of a very small minority. While we acknowledge the right to peaceful demonstration, we do not tolerate any anti-social behaviour at our stores.
“Our Haslingden Road restaurant is taking part in our Halal trial due to demand from our customers, and the overall response has been positive. Our Halal chicken is still stunned before slaughter, however we have made sure that there is a non-Halal restaurant nearby to give customers a choice.”
Inspector Andy Winters said: “The protesters dispersed around 4pm, but we maintained a police presence for reassurance through the night.”
Update: See “Police act over Blackburn KFC Halal demos”,Lancashire Telegraph, 5 October 2010