English Defence League reveal Preston protest plans

Two rival groups gather to protest in Preston city centre about immigration

Two rival groups gather to protest in Preston city centre about immigration

30
Have your say

Police are negotiating with the English Defence League after the far right group submitted a request to stage a demonstration in Preston.

The EDL revealed on social networking site Facebook that it was planning a demonstration in the city on February 20.

The English Defence League poster

The English Defence League poster

The EDL describes Preston as ‘another creeping Sharia city’.

The group references claims in national newspapers that parts of Preston are ‘no-go’ area for non-Muslims. The claims were dismissed at the time as ludicrous by police and faith groups in the city.

Read our article about the claims here

A police spokesman said: “We are currently in negotiations with the English Defence League who have requested to hold a demonstration in Preston in February.

Let’s talk about it – talk about the reality of far right groups in Lancashire and about a serious strategy to deal with the far right element

Mohammed Ali Amla

“No firm decisions have been made at this stage and we are in the early stages of working closely with the organisers and with our partners and the community to ensure that any event passes off peacefully.”

Mohammed Ali Amla, founder of Christian Muslim Encounters and Muslims Against Daesh urged people not to stage counter demonstrations and said Preston was not a radicalised area.

He said: “This is the second far right demonstration in Preston in the last six months after the North West Infidels demonstrated in October.

“Let’s talk about it – talk about the reality of far right groups in Lancashire and about a serious strategy to deal with the far right element.

“Preston is a wonderful, diverse place to live.”

Preston city centre ward councillor Drew Gale says the EDL’s claims are nonsense.

“It is an absolutely farcical claim, Preston has a multi-cultural, cohesive society,” he said. “There is a football stadium and a shopping centre in the middle of Deepdale. Of course it is not a no-go area.

“The EDL will come, they will be ignored and people will get on with their lives.”

Preston North End host Sheffield Wednesday on the same date and Preston Council says it will work with the police if an event goes ahead.

Related stories

Claims of Muslim ‘no go’ areas in Preston ‘absolute tosh’ say police