Friday, 9 November 2012

EDL "hate merchants" not welcome in Norwich

A Norwich MP has attacked the English Defence League as “hate-merchants”, ahead of a march tomorrow which will bring parts of the city to a standstill.

From Norwich Evening News 24 by Tom Bristow:

MP: EDL “hate-merchants”
not welcome in Norwich
The EDL is holding its first protest in the city, while a counter demonstration organised by a group called We are Norwich, is also taking place, sparking a big police operation.

Castle Meadow, Bethel Street, Chantry Road and Theatre Street will all shut at various points in the afternoon.

Bethel Street, by the police station, and St Peters Street, outside City Hall, will close from 6am to 5pm, while Gaol Hill, Exchange Street and Bedford Street will shut from 1pm to 4pm.

The EDL is holding the march to protest at Norwich City Council banning a preacher from a stall at Hay Hill for promoting “hate- motivated” leaflets.

But its arrival has provoked strong opposition from trade unions and politicians.

Yesterday, Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, said:
I do not want to see the EDL on parade in our city. I believe the EDL to be disreputable, divisive, harmful, and violent.

Hate-merchants like these have no place in Norwich or anywhere in Britain.

I am proud of this country’s legal freedoms and rights to take part in peaceful protest, but do not want to see them abused, and Norwich dragged down, this weekend.
EDL supporters will gather at Castle Gardens at 12.45pm and start their march at 1pm.

They will head along Castle Meadow, down Opie Street, and Bedford Street, before turning left down Exchange Street to City Hall.

A message from EDL organisers sent to supporters called for no racially-motivated banners, face coverings, or racist chants.

Organisers also told supporters to not bring “weapons, smoke canisters, fireworks or marbles”.

Those in the counter demonstration will meet at 11am in Chapelfield Gardens for music and speeches.

They will head down Theatre Street, turn left at Debenhams and along Haymarket, before turning left at Starbucks towards City Hall.

Memorial Gardens and City Hall will be fenced off.

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