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Council chief fears East End anti-fascist demo could mean unrest

PUBLISHED: 19:46 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:10 05 October 2010

LOCAL authority leaders in London’s East End are worried that an anti-fascist demo planned on Sunday could attract outsiders bent on trouble. It follows incidents in Whitechapel last night involving 50 youths outside a pub and a crowd of 700 outside a mosque

By Mike Brooke

LOCAL authority leaders in London’s East End are worried that an anti-fascist demo planned on Sunday could attract outsiders bent on trouble.

It follows incidents in Whitechapel last night when police had to escort alleged supporters of the English Defence League out of the district after being confronted by 50 youths and later had to deal with a crowd of 700 outside the East London Mosque.

Sunday’s demo is going ahead at Stepney Green Park, despite the EDL dropping plans to march on the Troxy venue in Stepney after a scheduled Islamic conference was cancelled.

Tower Hamlets Council Leader Helal Abbas said tonight: “We still believe it would have been better not to hold Sunday’s demonstration as it could provide a focus for those who want to cause unrest.

“But given recent events, I will attend the demo to provide reassurance that we will do everything we can to prevent outside elements causing unrest.”

A council statement said “alleged members of the EDL appeared in Whitechapel with the intention of causing disruption to intimidate local people.”

The statement added: “Tension and anxiety remains high. But we urge residents to exercise restraint in the face of provocation.”

Police chiefs this morning called for calm after last night’s incidents. One youth was arrested for possessing a hammer.


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