August 20, 2010

EDF marches in Bradford banned

by Sara Levy

A planned march by the English Defence League (EDF) through Bradford this weekend has been banned by the government.

A planned opposition march by Unite Against Fascism (UFA) has also been banned.

The EDF, which claims to be anti-Islamist but it seen by many to be anti-Muslim, had planned to march through the town, which has a 30% Muslim population.

The plans caused uproar among residents, and a 10,000 signature petition was handed in.

West Yorkshire Police also acted to contact Bradford City Council to recommend against the march, and Bradford City Council then applied to the government to stop it. Theresa May at the Home Office officially sanctioned the ban earlier today.

While both the EDF and UAF are banned from marching through the streets of Bradford, they are still allowed to gather in protest in separate areas, in a move seen as an attempt to balance the right to demonstrate against the potential for public disturbance if the marches had both gone ahead as planned.

The EDF has become a controversial organisation, formed after the 9/11 attacks in the US, it claims to demonstrate against extremism in Islam. However, to many the EDF is simply seen as a nationalist front against Muslims in general.

Previous marches by the EDF elsewhere in the UK have led to clashes.

While the marches are banned for the weekend, the EDF have suggested they may re-reschedule their plans.

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