Six MPs back anti-EDL Manchester protest

By Will Astbury

SIX Greater Manchester MPs have have signed statements condemning the English Defence League protest.

The English Defence League (EDL) is an organisation that is against Islamic extremism in Britain and claims to reject fascism, the British National Party (BNP), and that it welcomes any race or faith into the organisation.

EDL say it is planning a peaceful demonstration in Manchester city centre on Saturday 10 October.

This news has caused a huge reaction from many anti-racism and anti-fascist organisations. Former Labour Cabinet minister and Bolton MP Ruth Kelly has signed the a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) petition condemning the EDL, along with Liberal Democrat MPs John Leech (Manchester Withington) and Paul Rowen (Rochdale), and Labour MPs Graham Stringer (Manchester Blackley), Dr Brian Iddon (Bolton South East) and Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish).

Tony Lloyd (Labour, Manchester Central) has signed the Hope Not Hate petition.

Manchester City Council have also called for a ban on the EDL rally after the EDL’s earlier protests in Luton and Birmingham resulted in serious public disorder and dozens of arrests by police.

At the Birmingham event more than 90 arrests were made. It is not clear whether the violence was started by the EDL or by individuals or organisations that oppose it.

Greater Manchester Unite Against Fascism (GMUAF) is organising a counter protest to the EDL’s rally in Manchester on the same day at Piccadilly Gardens at 12 noon.

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