Hundreds of Muslim youths could be trained as stewards after success of anti EDL protest
Hundreds of Muslim youths could be trained to steward volatile events following the good work of a peace-keeping team deployed on Saturday.
About 300 volunteers – most of them aged 18 to 25 – patrolled the streets around Whitechapel dispersing large groups of youths to prevent trouble breaking out over the English Defence League demonstration at Aldgate.
Volunteers and youth workers played a “vital role” in keeping young people calm, police said.
A Met spokeswoman added: “The stewards who worked on Saturday were well trained and effective.”
Wearing high visibility jackets, the stewards were joined by an extra 500 informal volunteers, meaning their numbers were not far from rivalling the 1,000 or so far right activists being held on the borders of Tower Hamlets by police.
You may also want to watch:
While there were scuffles and arrests in the EDL camp, little trouble was reported in the areas around Aldgate East where a 1,500-strong crowd had gathered for a counter protest.
The London Muslim Centre and Islamic Forum of Europe, which jointly trained the volunteers, now wants to build up a bigger taskforce.
- 1 'Stop building more towers,' MP at protest after New Providence Wharf fire
- 2 Racist vandalism keyed on cars parked in street on Isle of Dogs
- 3 Leyton Orient have announced their retained list as they begin rebuild
- 4 Tower Hamlets votes to keep directly-elected mayoral post
- 5 'Halt to development draining services' after win for neighbourhood plan
- 6 Masks scrapped 'as early as next month' and over 35s jabs 'soon'
- 7 Blaze at Canary Wharf tower block with cladding issue
- 8 Unmesh Desai on his priorities after winning City and East election
- 9 MP's fury at four-year delay removing Grenfell-type cladding from block
- 10 Isle of Dogs The Space theatre to open up after lockdown
Dilowar Khan, LMC’s executive director, said: “We need to continue to strengthen our unity because the EDL issue is not going to go away.We need more trained stewards - the more we have the better.”
Stewards even stepped in and helped a female EDL member who fell out of the rogue coach that made its way through Whitechapel.
The woman was assaulted by a passerby after scuffles broke out close to the East London Mosque.
Azad Ali, IFE’s head of community engagement, said: “The volunteers escorted her back to where her coach was. They clearly have ideological differences but these Muslims were willing to protect EDL members from harm.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman said: “If they weren’t there working with police things could have erupted.”
The teams met several times in the run-up to the static demonstrations and agreed tactics with officers.
Stewards are not a new thing at the mosque and LMC.
Many were provided in the anti war demonstrations against the Iraq conflict in 2003.