Letter to Theresa May
The letter Waltham Forest Council has sent to Theresa May, Home Secretary, about EDL's planned march in the borough on 27 October.
15 September 2012
Rt Hon Theresa May
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Dear Mrs May
Waltham Forest’s diverse community is once again being outrageously targeted by the far-right English Defence League as they propose to march on the 27 October, just weeks after their previous demonstration in the area.
Whilst we agree that everyone has the right to protest, this latest stand by people with no connection to our borough is an abuse of this right. We feel very strongly that the EDL are harassing our community and that we need action from Government.
Following the public disorder that ensued on 1 September there is an overwhelming risk that a second march will erupt into violence. Knowingly putting our borough’s residents in harms way is not an option and I will do everything in my power to ensure that the EDL are not able to spout their words of hatred in this borough.
At a time when public sector spending is being reduced and frontline police officers are stretched, it is unimaginable that a second march should be allowed less than 60 days after the first.
Even more disturbing is the suggestion that the EDL may be planning a ‘flash mob’ type protest which would expose our residents to even greater risk. Our community is one where people from all sorts of backgrounds get on well with each other, and our residents are bewildered by this onslaught. We need to understand what the Government is doing to protect the ordinary tax paying residents of our borough.
We called for a ban on the last march, but also encouraged residents to stay away from any counter protest. We refuse to do this again and will instead be calling on our whole community to come out and show everything that is great about the tolerant and diverse community who live here.
The EDL marches in Telford, Tower Hamlets and Luton were banned and our residents deserve the same protection
I would like to meet with you urgently to discuss this issue and I will ask my office to contact yours in the coming days.
Leader of Waltham Forest Council
Download this letter as a 369KB PDF file.