English Defence League march banned
Open letter to all Waltham Forest Residents
Following an application by the Metropolitan Police, the march planned by the English Defence League for Saturday 27 October has been BANNED by the Home Office.
The Police have also confirmed to us that the EDL will not be allowed to hold a gathering of any sort in the borough, and have told the EDL that if they want to hold a demonstration on Saturday they will be forced to do so outside the House of Commons.
The Police have also confirmed that any attempt by the EDL to show the film ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ as part of their demonstration outside the House of Commons will be met by immediate arrests.
Last weekend, 53 members of the EDL were arrested and as part of their bail conditions they are banned from entering London. A major policing operation this weekend will ensure that any remaining EDL supporters can only protest outside the House of Commons. This is where any remaining counter demonstrators should go.
Thousands of ordinary residents have contacted the Council in support of our fight to ban the EDL and keep violence off our streets. This has now been achieved and will allow our residents to go about their normal business.
This ban is a major victory for the residents of Waltham Forest, and I would like to thank everyone involved, particularly the Waltham Forest Guardian and its readers for the efforts they have made to support the campaign. Our event in the Town Square and Arcade site will continue on Saturday. This will be a family fun day and the area will be full of children and families. We will not allow any counter demonstrations or protests to take place in this area.
Please help us to ensure the safety of the borough’s residents and support the Police by asking everyone who had planned to demonstrate to stay away and allow our community to get back to normal.
Leader of Waltham Forest Council
Joint statement from Chris Robbins, Leader of the Council, Stella Creasy MP, John Cryer MP and Iain Duncan Smith MP
We thank the Home Office for banning the English Defence League (EDL) from marching in Waltham Forest and support the Police as they urge the public to stay away from counter demonstrations.
The Police are very clear that the ban applies to any group, not just the EDL, and our primary concern is the safety of ordinary residents who have been caught up in this ongoing nightmare.
We understand that the Metropolitan Police has told the EDL that they can only carry out a static protest outside the House of Commons on Saturday 27 October – ensuring that the far-right group does not enter Waltham Forest.
We call on everyone who had planned to demonstrate, especially those who have no connection to this borough, to stay away and allow the community to get back to normal.
Metropolitan Police Statement
The Metropolitan Police Service has today, Thursday 25 October, received the consent of the Home Secretary to prohibit marches in Waltham Forest and three other boroughs.
This is in light of the plans by the English Defence League (EDL) to carry out a march in Waltham Forest on Saturday 27 October.
In addition, the MPS has imposed condition under section 14 of the Public Order Act on the planned static demonstration in Waltham Forest by EDL and associated groups.
Those conditions are that the assembly must take place at Old Palace Yard outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, and that it can only be held between 13:00 and 14:00hrs.
Anyone organising or taking part in the demonstration who fails to comply with these conditions under section 14, or who incites others to do so will be committing an offence and may be liable to arrest.
The decision to apply for the section 14 conditions was made as we had reasons to believe that it could result in serious disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community could be caused by the presence of a demonstration in this area.
The prohibition under section 13 of the Public Order Act gives the Commissioner the power to prohibit marches with the consent of the Home Secretary in order to prevent serious public disorder. The prohibition does not apply to processions that are commonly or customarily held in the area or funeral processions [see note]
The decision to apply for a section 13 order was made based on specific intelligence and information which has led us to believe that serious public disorder, violence and damage could be caused by the presence of marches in these areas. Tactically we believe this is the best option to prevent this.
Chief Superintendent Peter Terry, Gold for the event on Saturday, said:"We have made this decision based on specific intelligence and information, and our message is clear, we do not want people coming into the areas to attend these events."
Our engagement work with local communities will continue to ensure that we, wherever possible, address any concerns and provide factual information about the role and legal powers of the police.
The boroughs affected are Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest and Islington.
Note: The order does not apply where the procession is one commonly or customarily held in the police area in which it is proposed to be held or is a funeral procession organised by a funeral director acting on the normal course of his business.
The Metropolitan Police has listened to the residents of Waltham Forest and applied to the Home Secretary to ban the far-right group - the English Defence League (EDL) - from marching through the borough’s streets for the second time in as many months.
Having collected well over 4,000 signatures in a matter of weeks a delegation from Waltham Forest delivered its petition to the Home Office on Tuesday 23 October. With the Met's announcement just minutes before the delegation set off, the community members' message turned to one of thanks while calling on the Home Secretary to support the Police’s application to ban the march.
Leader of the Council, Chris Robbins, and MP John Cryer hand petition over to Home Office representative.
Far-right group the English Defence League (EDL) is once again threatening to come to Waltham Forest.
Our borough is being outrageously targeted by this group, as just weeks after their march on 1 September they are already making plans to return to the borough on 27 October. This level of harassment and intimidation to a community where people from all sorts of backgrounds get on well together is not acceptable, and we are asking the Government to take action.
In a joint campaign with the local newspaper The Guardian, the Council is asking residents to ensure that their voices are heard by signing a petition to say the EDL are not welcome in Waltham Forest!
Waltham Forest is a fantastic community made up of residents from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. It’s these differences that make the borough the place it is today - we’re part of a thriving city that is united, strong and stands together.
Last time we called for the march to be banned but that did not happen and we asked residents to steer clear from the counter protests. This time we will be calling on our whole community to come out and celebrate everything that is great about the tolerant and diverse community who live here.
Waltham Forest will not become a battleground for any group of extremists and we will stand up to all those organisations who have no connection to this borough and whose main aim is to incite hatred and racism.
That is why we have written to the Home Secretary Theresa May, asking her to take steps to protect our community and to meet with the Council urgently to discuss this issue.
Keep checking this page for the latest news and information in our campaign to stop the EDL from coming to Waltham Forest.