Norwich Hoping for Peaceful March as EDL Plans Demonstration Through City
By Ewan Palmer | November 10, 2012 6:13 AM EST
Police are hoping a march by the far-right English Defence League (EDL) in Norwich this weekend will pass without serious incident but admit they are "planning for many eventualities".
The controversial EDL have chosen to demonstrate in Norwich because of a decision by the city council to ban preacher Reverend Alan Clifford of the Norwich Reformed Church from a market stall in Hay Hill, for allegedly promoting "hate motivated" leaflets.
The EDL believe the decision by Norwich City Counci violates freedom of speech. A campaign group formed by politicians and trade unionists called We are Norwich says it will hold a counter demonstration on the same day as the EDL protest.
Both groups have been given separate routes to take through the city for their demonstrations amid fears the opposing protestors will clash.
Dealing with fears the protests could descend into violence, Norwich District Commander, Supt Paul Sanford, said: "Norfolk Constabulary is continuing to liaise with both groups of protesters, businesses and the community ahead of the weekend.
"Our primary aims remain to facilitate peaceful, legal protests; to support business as usual for those not involved with the demonstrations; and to ensure the safety of everyone in Norwich city centre.
"The organisers of both protests have been sharing their plans with us so we can provide an appropriate level of policing on the day, and address any concerns raised to us by the community. Both groups have insisted they want to stage a peaceful event and have actively encouraged their members not to be provoked into criminal action.
"We will have an increased, visible policing presence in the city centre on Saturday to offer information and reassurance and deal with any incidents of disorder or anti-social behaviour should they occur."
The EDL will gather at Castle Gardens at 12:45pm, while the counter protesters will meet at Chapelfield Gardens at 11am, before heading to City Hall and dispersing.
Supt Sandford added: "While there is no indication that these will be anything other than peaceful protests, we are aware of and understand the concerns that a small number of people within the local community have raised around these protests.
"We are very aware that these protests have resulted in disorder elsewhere. The police have been working with organisers for both protests.
"Our position at the outset will be to support peaceful protest, but we will have the capability to change that policing style.
"The police are planning for many eventualities."
Marches by the EDL through London have recently been banned amid fears of a serious public disorder.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Jeremy Meeks Death Hoax: Handsome Felon's Fake Death after Release from Jail Goes Viral
- Another Aviation Disaster: Taiwan Plane Crashes, Passengers Aboard Feared Dead [PHOTO]
- 'Dronies' to Become Latest Trend as Tourism New Zealand Buys Drone to Record Tourists' Videos
- Former Destiny’s Child Star Farrah Franklin Arrested
- MH370 Search Efforts Not Affected by MH17 Recovery; Australia Still Committed to Solving Mystery
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales
- Sony Xperia M2 vs. Moto G – Specifications, Features and Price Showdown