Police officers keep EDL marchers away from a rival UAF protest in Bradford in 2010 PIC: Reuters
English Defence League supporters are set to march in Bradford in defiance of founder Tommy Robinson's call for them to stay away.
Up to 1,000 EDL activists plan to gather in the centre of the Yorkshire city, which has a large Muslim population, to protest against child grooming sex gangs on Saturday.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon, appealed for supporters not to go to Bradford when he stood down from his own group at a dramatic press conference this week.
During the conference, Robinson told followers not to mount a "pointless" street march, adding: "I realised on EDL protests that what we are doing is giving moderate Muslims something to ally with extremists with."
Robinson said he wanted a "revolution against Islamism, not Muslims".
Far-left group Unite Against Fascism is planning a counter-demonstration through the streets of Bradford to oppose the EDL march - creating the potential for clashes in a city which was the scene of race riots in 2001.
The last time the EDL and UAF clashed in Bradford there were ugly scenes of violence as hundreds of police officers tried to keep the rival groups apart.
This weekend's event in Bradford is being put together by a regional organiser and has been promoted on the local division's Facebook page. With Robinson and deputy leader Kevin Carroll no longer at the helm of the EDL, their influence on what members do is seriously diminished.
An English Defence League spokesman told IBTimes UK the march was definitely on: "Nobody has said they are not coming because Tommy is not here any more. This is a national demonstration."
Steve Hart, chairman of the UAF, expressed equal determination, saying: "The leadership of the EDL may have quit the organisation, but the EDL still intends to take to the streets of Bradford this Saturday. The UAF will be supporting the We Are Bradford mobilisation."
A Yorkshire police spokesman said enquiries were under way to assess how the departure of Robinson and Carroll may impact the EDL protest.
"There will be a sufficient police presence," he said. "We are working to assess the implication of these events. Plans have been put together for months now. At this stage we have not received any information to support the claim the demonstration has been cancelled.
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