A Labour councillor has urged the Muslim community in Bristol not to confront a march by the English Defence League (EDL) in the city next month.
Bristol24-7 broke the story of the EDL’s planned march in May, revealing that Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy had written to police and the council urging them to scrap plans to allow the march by the right-wing extremists to go ahead on the same day as the city’s Pride march.
Her call was backed by the councillor for Bedminster, Mark Bradshaw, who said that for the marches to happen on the same made “a mockery of the celebration of diversity and inclusion that is Pride”.
The EDL initially said they would change the date of their march to avoid Pride, but their official spokesman was overruled by the rest of the organisation less than 24 hours later.
Despite their calls, the two marches will go ahead on the same day, with police and Home Office advice suggesting a controlled march by the EDL was preferable to a ban.
Last night, Easton councillor Faruk Choudhury urged the Muslim community to show restraint in the face of the EDL.
“Community leaders are asking Muslim families especially young people not to get involved in any kind of counter EDL demonstration on the day,” he said.
“We appreciate that it is hard for local Muslim residents to hear the message of hate from the EDL demonstrators. But we are urging everyone to take responsible action.
“The police and the council constantly assure us that they are taking every step to ensure public safety.”