Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

City on Alert for Unrest as English Defence League Plans Huge Demo ; Hundreds Pledge to Attend Far-Right Rally 'No Place for Racist Thuggery' Says Councillor

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

City on Alert for Unrest as English Defence League Plans Huge Demo ; Hundreds Pledge to Attend Far-Right Rally 'No Place for Racist Thuggery' Says Councillor

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER is braced for another mass demonstration by the far- right English Defence League.

The group has announced it plans a huge rally in the city centre from 1pm on March 2. Already more than 500 people have vowed to attend the march.

Manchester was brought to a standstill last time the EDL visited the city in 2009, with a counter-protest by United Against Fascism.

The two sides were involved in a five-hour face-off and separated by riot police. Some 48 people were arrested during the day.

Estimates suggested the security operation cost the city Pounds 800,000.

Since then the EDL - led by Tommy Robinson - has held a number of other demonstrations, the last in Hyde last year. The Hyde protests led to calls from cash-strapped leaders of Tameside Council and police bosses for the EDL to pay something towards the huge security operation and clean-up.

The EDL announced its 'national demo' on its Facebook page on Christmas Eve.

More than 500 people from all over the country immediately vowed to attend and more than a hundred others said they may join. …

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