Waltham Forest Police say they have no intelligence to suggest an EDL march in Walthamstow will result in violence.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Anti-EDL campaigners outside the town hall meeting yesterday. Anti-EDL campaigners outside the town hall meeting yesterday.

POLICE have told the Guardian they have no intelligence to suggest that a controversial march by the far right English Defence League (EDL) this weekend will be violent or disrupt the community.

The extremist group, which describes itself as a movement against Islamic extremism but which critics say is racist, is set to protest in Walthamstow this Saturday (September 1) despite widespread opposition from residents.
 

A meeting of councillors, community leaders and police was held on Tuesday evening (August 28) to discuss the possibility of banning the march, but the Met has declined to apply to the government for such a move and the protest is still due to go ahead.


The route of the march has been revealed, with it scheduled to start near Blackhorse Road Tube station at 1.30pm.

It will then go along Forest Road to the Magistrates Court for a rally.


Meanwhile campaigners from the We Are Waltham Forest group say they have had a huge response and are expecting a large turnout for their alternative event celebrating the borough's diversity.


It is due to take place on Saturday at 11am on the Arcade Site on the corner of Hoe Street and Walthamstow High Street.


A Met spokesman said: “We are mindful of the passionate response that can be stirred when those with conflicting views come together in the same area to protest in this way.


“Our policing operation is designed to meet all the obligations we have.


“At the current time there is no intelligence that leads us to believe that this protest going ahead would result in serious public disorder, violence, damage or disruption to the life of the community.”
 

But in a statement, the council said it remained concerned.


A spokesman said: “While the council supports freedom to protest in a peaceful way, it has continued to express concern due to the timing and the potential for violence.


“Residents are advised to stay away from the march and any counter demonstrations”.

Cabinet member for community cohesion Cllr Liaquat Ali added: “The EDL is targeting our community because of its diversity, but we are standing together”.

Irfan Akhtar, of We Are Waltham Forest and the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, said: "We defend free speech and encourage dialogue, especially with those who may have questions against Islam, but the requirement is respectful interaction on both sides.

"We feel it is an injustice to allow a group with a violent past and attitude towards protesting to be allowed to intimidate any community.

"It is for that reason we stand united with the all residents of Waltham Forest against this injustice."

An EDL protest in Tower Hamlets was banned by the government last year after police said they received intelligence that there might be violence.


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Comments (20)

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12:50pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Walthamster says...

A comment by Liaquat Ali? Is he a real person?

He's our local councillor, but I've never seen him at a meeting or even his own surgery, and he's never answered a query or responded to a request for help.

I see endless photos of him in the council paper WFN. But I thought he might be a cardboard cut-out. Of course, that would be quite useful for "standing together" -- it could be propped up at every street corner in Walthamstow.
A comment by Liaquat Ali? Is he a real person? He's our local councillor, but I've never seen him at a meeting or even his own surgery, and he's never answered a query or responded to a request for help. I see endless photos of him in the council paper WFN. But I thought he might be a cardboard cut-out. Of course, that would be quite useful for "standing together" -- it could be propped up at every street corner in Walthamstow. Walthamster

3:48pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Chappo says...

Afraid of violent disorder!!! they are having a laugh! .... We all know what happens to peaceful protesters in Islamist countries don`t we?
As for Liaquat Ali ...... what a waste of space "he" is..... Likes to take his councillors money though.
Afraid of violent disorder!!! they are having a laugh! .... We all know what happens to peaceful protesters in Islamist countries don`t we? As for Liaquat Ali ...... what a waste of space "he" is..... Likes to take his councillors money though. Chappo

5:53pm Wed 29 Aug 12

lightsout says...

Would just like to ask Mr Liaquat Ali and Irfan Akhtar Of we are Waltham Forest, where were you both last year when Choudry marched through the area with his now proscribed group muslims against crusades.Several i believe who are now in prison on terrorist charges awaiting trial.Seems your silence and your inactivity then,says a lot about yourselves and your group we are Waltham Forest.
Would just like to ask Mr Liaquat Ali and Irfan Akhtar Of we are Waltham Forest, where were you both last year when Choudry marched through the area with his now proscribed group muslims against crusades.Several i believe who are now in prison on terrorist charges awaiting trial.Seems your silence and your inactivity then,says a lot about yourselves and your group we are Waltham Forest. lightsout

8:07pm Wed 29 Aug 12

tillytrotter says...

So if we who are true Anglo English (this country in history used to be ANGLOLAND which translates to ENGLAND) say the Muslim people should not march and have freedom of speech are we racist ? ? ?
So if we who are true Anglo English (this country in history used to be ANGLOLAND which translates to ENGLAND) say the Muslim people should not march and have freedom of speech are we racist ? ? ? tillytrotter

8:09pm Wed 29 Aug 12

tillytrotter says...

and is Waltham Forest an eclectic diverse EQUAL opportunity borough ?
it says so on the LBWF website.
and is Waltham Forest an eclectic diverse EQUAL opportunity borough ? it says so on the LBWF website. tillytrotter

12:55am Thu 30 Aug 12

Cal Johnson says...

I put it to the Police that they may be wrong...

Exhibit A: http://twitpic.com/a
k5sn8

Exhibit B: http://twitpic.com/a
os2r0

And not forgetting: http://twitpic.com/a
ozsx9
I put it to the Police that they may be wrong... Exhibit A: http://twitpic.com/a k5sn8 Exhibit B: http://twitpic.com/a os2r0 And not forgetting: http://twitpic.com/a ozsx9 Cal Johnson

12:34pm Thu 30 Aug 12

wooddragon9 says...

You must never forget the warning recorded for posterity by Martin Niemoeller, the Lutheran minister who lived in Hitler's Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. His words echo down to us over succeeding decades:

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

THE EDL ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!!
You must never forget the warning recorded for posterity by Martin Niemoeller, the Lutheran minister who lived in Hitler's Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. His words echo down to us over succeeding decades: "In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." THE EDL ARE NOT WELCOME HERE!! wooddragon9

12:38pm Thu 30 Aug 12

wooddragon9 says...

Thanks Cal for your post.

The police may need to view this too: http://www. hopenothate.org.uk/ blog/ insider.

Aren't the EDL a peace loving bunch!!! I think NOT!!
Thanks Cal for your post. The police may need to view this too: http://www. hopenothate.org.uk/ blog/ insider. Aren't the EDL a peace loving bunch!!! I think NOT!! wooddragon9

12:54pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Techno3 says...

With some grown-up behaviour and provided the police can keep the two groups apart and the various groups' speakers don't inflame matters by using the rhetoric of provocation, violence and division, there is no reason why Saturday need not be peaceful.
With some grown-up behaviour and provided the police can keep the two groups apart and the various groups' speakers don't inflame matters by using the rhetoric of provocation, violence and division, there is no reason why Saturday need not be peaceful. Techno3

1:07pm Thu 30 Aug 12

vix101 says...

"Irfan Akhtar, of We Are Waltham Forest and the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, said: "We defend free speech and encourage dialogue, especially with those who may have questions against Islam, but the requirement is respectful interaction on both sides.

"We feel it is an injustice to allow a group with a violent past and attitude towards protesting to be allowed to intimidate any community."

please do me a favour - what about the groups that we have seen in the past from Muslims that preach hatred against everyone else... is he saying this ok!!! what about the ones that burned the poppies last year - what is this ok!!!

Again it cant be 1 rule for 1 and 1 for another.
"Irfan Akhtar, of We Are Waltham Forest and the Waltham Forest Council of Mosques, said: "We defend free speech and encourage dialogue, especially with those who may have questions against Islam, but the requirement is respectful interaction on both sides. "We feel it is an injustice to allow a group with a violent past and attitude towards protesting to be allowed to intimidate any community." please do me a favour - what about the groups that we have seen in the past from Muslims that preach hatred against everyone else... is he saying this ok!!! what about the ones that burned the poppies last year - what is this ok!!! Again it cant be 1 rule for 1 and 1 for another. vix101

1:10pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Jeremy_Griffiths says...

I remember the MAC march well - they didn't seem too keen on me photographing them and telling them to bugger off as their extremism wasn't welcome. Nor is the EDL's extremism. And unfortunately the EDL march promises to be much bigger than the 100-strong MAC march. Also, EDL marches have a nasty and regular tendancy to escalate into drink-fuelled violence.

Trying to keep the EDL and We Are Waltham Forest (a group I will proudly stand with) apart is a good idea but it only takes the EDL to do a right turn down Hoe Street as they march to the Town Hall . . and we have a lot of hot-heads in E17 who would probably be prepared to take part in a ruck with the EDL.

I hope it passes peacefully. I believe that since MAC were allowed to march then the EDL must also be. I wish neither had to be honest - I despite ignorant extremism from whatever end of the spectrum.
I remember the MAC march well - they didn't seem too keen on me photographing them and telling them to bugger off as their extremism wasn't welcome. Nor is the EDL's extremism. And unfortunately the EDL march promises to be much bigger than the 100-strong MAC march. Also, EDL marches have a nasty and regular tendancy to escalate into drink-fuelled violence. Trying to keep the EDL and We Are Waltham Forest (a group I will proudly stand with) apart is a good idea but it only takes the EDL to do a right turn down Hoe Street as they march to the Town Hall . . and we have a lot of hot-heads in E17 who would probably be prepared to take part in a ruck with the EDL. I hope it passes peacefully. I believe that since MAC were allowed to march then the EDL must also be. I wish neither had to be honest - I despite ignorant extremism from whatever end of the spectrum. Jeremy_Griffiths

9:01pm Thu 30 Aug 12

Cornbeefur says...

We are in the UK. Free speech rules unless you are PC by all accounts?
We are in the UK. Free speech rules unless you are PC by all accounts? Cornbeefur

8:02am Fri 31 Aug 12

Gerry Queen says...

The EDL is not interested in free speech.It is wants to assert its racist and authoritarian political agenda through violence as did its hero Adolf. Hitler. An EDL supporter was quoted in the Sun this week praising Norwegian fascist Brevik for his massacre of left-wing teenagers. The EDL does not only threaten Muslims but has also attacked the Unite union offices in Liverpool and a May day march in Swansea. Anyone who defends the EDL's right to march on grounds of defending free speech is naive in the extreme. I wonder what the survivors of Auschwitz would say about the Nazis' right to free speech?
The EDL is not interested in free speech.It is wants to assert its racist and authoritarian political agenda through violence as did its hero Adolf. Hitler. An EDL supporter was quoted in the Sun this week praising Norwegian fascist Brevik for his massacre of left-wing teenagers. The EDL does not only threaten Muslims but has also attacked the Unite union offices in Liverpool and a May day march in Swansea. Anyone who defends the EDL's right to march on grounds of defending free speech is naive in the extreme. I wonder what the survivors of Auschwitz would say about the Nazis' right to free speech? Gerry Queen

2:59pm Fri 31 Aug 12

I.Ride says...

Political correctness is only there because some people are ashamed to be called what they are! You cant tell tell the EDL to go home cause England is their home you fools! You go home, your not welcome.
Political correctness is only there because some people are ashamed to be called what they are! You cant tell tell the EDL to go home cause England is their home you fools! You go home, your not welcome. I.Ride

5:43pm Fri 31 Aug 12

Nairn says...

I.Ride wrote:
Political correctness is only there because some people are ashamed to be called what they are! You cant tell tell the EDL to go home cause England is their home you fools! You go home, your not welcome.
How do you know that any comment made here about political correctness is not being made by someone whose home is also England?
[quote][p][bold]I.Ride[/bold] wrote: Political correctness is only there because some people are ashamed to be called what they are! You cant tell tell the EDL to go home cause England is their home you fools! You go home, your not welcome.[/p][/quote]How do you know that any comment made here about political correctness is not being made by someone whose home is also England? Nairn

4:05am Sat 1 Sep 12

abuusamah says...

Hi all, please check out the following video by local Islamic activist, Abu Imran: http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=k_SzDDLNt
xQ
Hi all, please check out the following video by local Islamic activist, Abu Imran: http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=k_SzDDLNt xQ abuusamah

11:27am Sat 1 Sep 12

Walthamster says...

abuusamah wrote:
Hi all, please check out the following video by local Islamic activist, Abu Imran: http://www.youtube.c

om/watch?v=k_SzDDLNt

xQ
Your gang has caused enough trouble already, Abu Usamah, hanging around in the streets shouting insults at women:

http://tinyurl.com/c
2j4eas

You give the EDL a reason for existing. You bring your own community into disrepute. You have nothing to offer Walthamstow except abuse and aggression.
[quote][p][bold]abuusamah[/bold] wrote: Hi all, please check out the following video by local Islamic activist, Abu Imran: http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=k_SzDDLNt xQ[/p][/quote]Your gang has caused enough trouble already, Abu Usamah, hanging around in the streets shouting insults at women: http://tinyurl.com/c 2j4eas You give the EDL a reason for existing. You bring your own community into disrepute. You have nothing to offer Walthamstow except abuse and aggression. Walthamster

1:06pm Sat 1 Sep 12

KWyatt-Lown says...

For those of you who may not read Waltham Forest News, they recently posted the Members Allowances for financial year 2011/2012. I note that Cllr Liaquat Ali picked up £31,251 in total allowance payments plus expenses of £3,944.

Surely we must assume he is doing something for his community to pocket £35,195 of taxpayers money?
For those of you who may not read Waltham Forest News, they recently posted the Members Allowances for financial year 2011/2012. I note that Cllr Liaquat Ali picked up £31,251 in total allowance payments plus expenses of £3,944. Surely we must assume he is doing something for his community to pocket £35,195 of taxpayers money? KWyatt-Lown

12:02am Sun 2 Sep 12

Walthamster says...

KWyatt-Lown wrote:
For those of you who may not read Waltham Forest News, they recently posted the Members Allowances for financial year 2011/2012. I note that Cllr Liaquat Ali picked up £31,251 in total allowance payments plus expenses of £3,944.

Surely we must assume he is doing something for his community to pocket £35,195 of taxpayers money?
Liaquat Ali, Abu Usamah, the EDL ... what has Walthamstow done to deserve them?
[quote][p][bold]KWyatt-Lown[/bold] wrote: For those of you who may not read Waltham Forest News, they recently posted the Members Allowances for financial year 2011/2012. I note that Cllr Liaquat Ali picked up £31,251 in total allowance payments plus expenses of £3,944. Surely we must assume he is doing something for his community to pocket £35,195 of taxpayers money?[/p][/quote]Liaquat Ali, Abu Usamah, the EDL ... what has Walthamstow done to deserve them? Walthamster

1:49am Sun 2 Sep 12

lee331 says...

The lefties advocate freedom of speech.......but only if follows along the lines of their socialist/marxist beliefs! if your not down with the lefties your a racist!!. pathetic bunch of people, the damage you have done in britan is irreversable (sp)....
The lefties advocate freedom of speech.......but only if follows along the lines of their socialist/marxist beliefs! if your not down with the lefties your a racist!!. pathetic bunch of people, the damage you have done in britan is irreversable (sp).... lee331

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