Labour unite against EDL protest in Tower Hamlets


Councillors, Assembly Member and MPs call for Police to ban the EDL demo

Labour politicians across the borough have come together today to condemn the English Defence League’s plans to march on Tower Hamlets later this year.

Details of the EDL demo planned for the 24th August were released on Facebook yesterday afternoon. The announcement comes after similar demos were banned by the police in 2011 after strong campaing from Labour and Hope Not Hate who were concerned about the potential for violent clashes as a result of the march.

Labour are again urging the police to intervene and to ban this latest demo arguing that it is intentionally divisive and has no place in Tower Hamlets. The councillors called on the independent Mayor and other political parties to join with them in to condemn the EDL and call for a ban.

Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sirajul Islam, said:

“The people of Tower Hamlets are clear, the divisive EDL are not welcome in our community. Tower Hamlets is proud of the diversity which makes up our resilient community those who preach hate and segregation have no place here, that is why the police must now step in and ban this demonstration.

“We hope that the Mayor and other political parties will join us in our call for this event to be banned.”

Labour Candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets and current London Assembly Member, John Biggs, said:

“The EDL only want to come to our Borough to cause disorder and to try to provoke division. Free speech is important but we have spent many many years challenging division and building a strong community, based on respect and a belief that the richness of diversity is a great strength of the East End. They have no place here.”

Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali MP, said:

“In 2011 we successfully campaigned with local people in the borough and across London in coalition with Hope not Hate, to secure a ban on the EDL to march through Tower Hamlets – that was the right thing to do because the EDL have no place in our community.

“We will seek a ban once again.”

Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, said:

“All the EDL want to do is start trouble and divide a community which is built upon tolerance and respect for each other.

“We’ll show them once again that their brand of hate has no place in a borough which is united and not divided. I’ll be doing all I can in the coming months to ensure this march doesn’t go ahead.”

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