Thursday, 30 May 2013


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
EDL in Leicester to pay their own tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby
Members of the English Defence League say they are to gather in the city centre on Saturday as part of an event to pay their respects to murdered soldier Lee Rigby.
The EDL Leicester Division said it had asked supporters to meet in High Street, before heading to the Clock Tower, along Gallowtree Gate, Granby Street, London Road and into Victoria Park.
They plan to lay wreaths and flowers at the park's war memorial and hold a minute's silence for Drummer Rigby, who was killed last week in the street near Woolwich Barracks, in south-east London.
Although the police say they expect the gathering to be small and "peaceful and respectful", previous EDL events in Leicester city centre have sparked confrontations between its members and supporters of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and local youths.
The Leicester UAF, on its website, has urged its followers to gather at the same time and place as the planned EDL event in what it describes as "a peaceful show of unity".
Leicestershire Police has appealed for people to respond reasonably to the event, which is likely to be one of many the EDL are planning this weekend in the wake of Drummer Rigby's death.
A police spokeswoman said: "We are aware the EDL intends to hold a small event to pay their respects to Drummer Lee Rigby in Leicester on Saturday, June 1.
"We ask for people to be reasonable in their response to this event which we expect to be peaceful and respectful."
The EDL's Leicester Division's Facebook page has asked participants not to drink, chant, sing or wear political or group colours during Saturday's gathering.
The UAF claim the EDL is using the soldier's death to stir up trouble and Islamophopia.
The police have not yet said if they will increase the number of officers in the city centre.

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