More than a hundred people attended a public meeting to discuss how they will protest over a planned Norwich march by the English Defence League.

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The EDL is planning to hold its first march in Norwich this November, citing a decision to ban a Christian bookstall as a reason for the demonstration.

They say they want to march because Norwich City Council banned Reverend Alan Clifford, of the Norwich Reformed Church, from using a market stall on Hay Hill, following a complaint about allegedly anti-Islamic leaflets.

The league says that decision violated freedom of speech and they intend to march in the city on Saturday, November 10.

Although the EDL says it protests peacefully, its marches are often marred by violence and a group called We Are Norwich – a coalition of community groups, individuals, political groups and trade unionists – plans to hold a counter protest.

More than a hundred people attended a public meeting at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich to discuss how to tackle what We Are Norwich organisers described as “the unwelcome visit” of the English Defence League.

Among those at the meeting were members of the Labour and Green parties, the Norwich Pride Collective, Unite against Fascism, Chapelfield Mosque, former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson and a host of trade union branches from the region.

Last week, a group of church leaders in the city, including the Bishop of Norwich, released a joint statement with the We Are Norwich group.

They said: “The intention of the English Defence League to mount a demonstration in Norwich is entirely unwelcome. Norwich has a long history of welcoming strangers, often in considerable numbers.

“The integration of so many different groups into the life of this fine city is what gives Norwich such richness in its life today.”

Among those contributing at the We Are Norwich meeting was Hajj Uthman Morrison, from Chapelfield Mosque, Julie Bremner, a trade unionist and a member of the Norwich Pride Collective and Lesley Grahame, Green city councillor and a member of the Jewish community.

55 comments

  • Why are the objectors to this march so afraid? They obviously object to anyone expressing views which are so different to their own.The cure (League against Facsism) is as bad as the disease to decnt, middle of the road people.

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    broadsman

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • Yes, otherwise it could be a another fairy story put about tightfisted employers and other organisations that have made a packet load of cash of flooding the country with cheap and poor migrants...I like the truth..simples!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • They could change their name to the League of Great British Traditionalism.That way they could get everyone on side.Well,almost everyone...Okay,flippancy aside,just make sure that security measures are in place and let them have their little jaunt.It will be over in half an hour and everyone will forget about them immediately.Starting counter demonstrations though is counter productive,and potentially volatile.With social media sites no doubt rampant with this farce already,I dread to think what kind of people are going to turn up.There will be so many rent-a-mobs on both sides that any point either camp tries to make will be totally futile.

    Report this comment

    Nexus_6

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • How strange that the article doesn't actually say who organised the meeting, only that about a hundred turned up. Let's call them the "good guys" for now. This counter-demonstration by the good guys is ill-conceived. Why? Because it's ambiguous. The EDL is purportedly demonstrating in support of Norwich Reformed Church (to the great embarrassment of its members) and everybody's freedom of thought, speech and assembly. The EDL is only able to pull of this publicity stunt, because of the earlier failure of the good guys to get in first, by demonstrating in support of Norwich Reformed Church themselves, and everybody's freedoms, without inviting the EDL to come along. So, is this a noble, liberal counter-demonstration against the EDL I'd want to join myself? Or is it an illiberal demonstration that is even more wicked than the EDL's demonstrations usually are, that no true liberal would touch with a barge pole? How can it avoid being misunderstood as a demonstration against Norwich Reformed Church, and against the freedom of thought, speech assembly that little sect have been denied, which we should all treasure? The good guys left the moral high ground vacant, for scoundrels like the EDL to occupy it. They cannot do anything about that now, that won't make matters worse, except learn from their mistake. The EDL are using Norwich Reformed Church as a "human shield", so to speak. It is impossible to demonstrate against the EDL's unwanted and embarrassing "support" of Norwich Reformed Church, or its flag-of-convenience, new-found discovery of its love of freedom of thought, speech and assembly (what a joke!), without appearing be attacking that little church, and to be against the freedom of thought, speech and assembly that Norwich Reformed Church were denied. What a cock-up!

    Report this comment

    John Allman

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • The EDL is not an aggressive group. They might have connections with groups that are but that`s down to them. They are certainly not Nazi`s but get tarred with that brush because they stand against certain religious ideas. The world is a dangerous place to live in; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. – Albert Einstein, refugee from Nazi Germany

    Report this comment

    BigSean

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • its not just the Muslims its the eastern europeans too .

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    mobbsy

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nobody is afraid, just aghast at the cheek of the EDL to come here at all, at our expense. Why should the supporters of right wing terrorism get a free ride in this City of ours? Is it because he was a Freemason and has ended the life's of many young people who marched for peace in Palestine the day earlier?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • big sean, what about black christian bods?? I'm afraid if you're example of one these edl chaps thinking, this country is finished .

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • we had a vote on the march . Now lets have a vote on the leaflet alan clifford had on his stall . Is it free speech or not

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • Very much looking forward to the EDL march.The EDP vote says it all so let free speech be for all and not just the useless left wing trade unions and tree huggers! It is a shame that the chrches are empty but when you get one sided views from the local clergy its hardly surprising!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • has anyone noticed that not one single post from the we are norwich brigade has gone anywhere near the free speech argument . This is what the argument and march is all about

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Rog, It`s our human rights in this country to display protest as 1 or as a group. We do not want to live in a dictatorship do we? Freedom! Not muslim dictatorship

    Report this comment

    BigSean

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • March, go ahead. Have a flute band too, they're also nice people.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • DocOhNo, could you put a link up for your figures...or did you invent your points of view??

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • In other words a group of people who will turn the march into a violent one.Have your own march on another day,and allow the EDL to have theirs,

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Rog, let the idjits march, it won't be a BIG demonstration.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • BigSean it's your human right to demonstrate on behalf of bigoted religious nuts. It's my human right to think you're an idiot to do so.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • It's the counter demos that usually cause the problems, If people just left them to excercise their right to demonstrate then they would feel their point was made and would go away. Counter demo will just flare tempers and cause problems. If the counter demostrators weren't there they wouldn't have anybody to fight with would they!!!

    Report this comment

    Focus1

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

  • This counter-demonstration by We Are Norwich (WAN) is ill-conceived. Why? Because it's ambiguous. The EDL is purportedly demonstrating in support of Norwich Reformed Church's (to the great embarrassment of its members) and everybody else's freedom of thought, speech and assembly. The EDL is only able to pull off this publicity coup, because of the failure of the good guys such as WAN and the group of church leaders mentioned, to get in first, by demonstrating in support of Norwich Reformed Church themselves, and everybody's freedoms, without inviting the EDL to come along. So, is this a noble, liberal counter-demonstration against the EDL I'd want to join myself? Or is it an illiberal demonstration that is even more wicked than the EDL's demonstrations usually are, which no true liberal, or good guy, would touch with a barge pole? How can it avoid being misunderstood as a demonstration against Norwich Reformed Church, and against the freedoms of thought, speech assembly that that little sect have been denied, freedoms which we should all treasure? The good guys left the moral high ground vacant, for scoundrels like the EDL to occupy it, by not speaking out when the council attacked Norwich Reformed Church's freedoms, and thus everybody's. The good guys cannot do anything about that now that won't make matters worse, except to learn from their mistake. The EDL are using Norwich Reformed Church as a "human shield", so to speak. It is impossible to demonstrate against the EDL's unwanted and embarrassing "support" of Norwich Reformed Church, or its flag-of-convenience, new-found discovery of its love of freedoms of thought, speech and assembly, without appearing to be attacking that persecuted little church, and to be against the freedom of thought, speech and assembly that Norwich Reformed Church were denied, which EDL are pretending to support, and which need defending as a matter of urgency, for the sake of us all. What a cock-up!

    Report this comment

    John Allman

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

  • Looks like those who oppose this March has had their posts censored here. Which leads one to believe that the EDP is supporting the EDL, simples. You censor at your own peril.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • Billy, many of those fine Brits were jocks etc, Scotland like ourselves just turn out average players now...the hunger has gone.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nrg, do you REALLY need a link to choose between sad inadequates who blame others for their own failings and a foreigner who works hard?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Yes you are right Albert, if there is any trouble it is nearly always caused by the counter demonstrators, those who hide behind a religious cloak or belong to some other supposedly political correct group. They are the real bane of this country and not the EDL.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • The EDL has no been invited to Norwich, they are rentamob troublemakers who engaged with and supported mass murderer and right wing terrorist Anders Breivig, so what point could they possible make here?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • perhaps the unionists will think twice the next time they have a march inflicting their opinions on the rest of us

    Report this comment

    Phyllis Tyne

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • norwich city labour council have just violated a basic human right we all take for granted in this country called free speech

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Everyone should back the Reform Section 5 of the public order act- the feel free to insult me campaign. Sign petitions and offer support. If Section 5 had not existed then this nonsense of the City council denying one religion the right to slag off another religion-each as bad as one another- might never have happened.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • A local march for local people?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • I do not belong to any organisation of that kind, but have opposed fascism since I was 15 years old, why should I stop now because of these islamophobic supporters of hate speech and mass murder?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • i blame labour for opening the flood gates we are a small island we cant take anymore not enough jobs or social housing and we are paying for them !!!

    Report this comment

    mobbsy

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nice to see the "fluffy bunny" brigade are trying to stop freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Who the hell are this "we are Norwich" anyway, and since when has Chapelfield had a mosque ?.

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    "V"

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • As far as the march goes, let the numpties do it and see how many dozen turn up. It's their right, however pathetic they are. I look forward to seeing some splendid facial spiderwen tattlos.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nobody invited the EDL rentamob to Norwich and they are not welcome here. They had common actions and collaborative policies with the Norwegian right wing terrorist mass murder Anders Breivig and their alcohol fuelled demonstrations are getting less support these days. Good! I hope that all non violent demonstrators will be able to make their protests against the visiting EDL. I also hope that he police within their ranks, one should not think they infiltrate environmentalist protests alone, will be able to stop the excesses of the EDL, prevent crime and violence, but their brief might be to keep silent and run with the flow. One expect's the march to to be directed through the centre of Norwich, the traditional route here in Norwich for most protests, not past Asian shops along unusual routes, were a confrontation can be expected.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Most people have got much more to worry about than these two groups of mugs ie-crimbo shopping,NFC,MMGW and will they have a job on the following monday....ban 'em' both!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • why were these people allowed to use a hall if they do not beleive in free speech . The edl have been refused permission to use the pub again . These are the people who are complaining about the basic human right in this country called free speech and democracy. How can any one argue with that

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • True billy, but footballers then gained their skills playing in the street etc,nowadays our 'yoof' have far more things to do than kick a tennis ball about. Many of those fine skillful foreign players come from similar backgrounds that ours USED to....parents hard up and skint, football was an escape from factory,building site blah,blah...that hunger has gone from blighty.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nobody invited the EDL to come here. Their history is linked to right wing terrorist Anders Breivig who slaughtered over 70 teenagers, they had common actions and communicated with each other. Why is it not acceptable to oppose their fascist views?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • Broadsman, I don't see any sign of fear of the march, it must be in your imagination. I'm looking forward to it, I don't imagine I'll ever see such a collection of inbreds and inadequates in one place ever again. It'll be something to tell my grandchildren about.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

  • @xadet, you couldn`t be any further from the truth. Maybe you should do your homework about the EDL before commenting. They stand to execute human rights for all English people. Don`t confuse them with the likes of "the casuals" & "the national front". They are not the Nazi`s you think they are.

    Report this comment

    BigSean

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Rev. Clifford did not invite the EDL, they invited themselves, he said so. I agree marches cost us money on policing,, but so does the policing of hunts and any other large communal activity. A newspaper poll is not a good example of local expression as anyone can vote there and i did not, deliberately, polls say very little about the silent majority.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

  • Please can we stop these ridiculous demonstrations. Yes we are all entitled to freedom of speech, but what we arent allowed to do is intimidate other people. Large marchesprotests are not only primitive and caveman like they firstly dont get anywhere and secondly intimidate people. What these marches do is cost the taxpayer a small fortune in policing etc, so these people say they are trying to defend the country when actually they are helping to take us further into debt. Surely these people can take there ideas and put it forward to an MP like any other civilised people and if they dont like what they get back vote for someone else!

    Report this comment

    rog

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • helenofnorwich, your 30 years old Chapelfield Mosque must've been bang dead center of a chocolate vat...Rolo's with a prayer...I thought the workers disappeared to read the newspaper..looks like i was wrong.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nobody is afraid, just aghast at the cheek of the EDL to come here at all, at our expense. Why should the supporters of right wing terrorism get a free ride in this City of ours? Is it because he was a Freemason and killed young people who marched for peace in Palestine the day earlier?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • The EDL are overgrown children needing an excuse to have a pathetic playground fight. Their lives are a failed misery so they have to torment others to make their lives a misery too. A truly pathetic part of society.

    Report this comment

    xadet

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • mobbsy,agreed nuLabour are a lot to blame for the massive influx(3 million plus). However, the vast majority were not Muslims. The Tory boy and his band of twits are still letting equal amounts of foreign bods since they gained office, mainly due to former communist failed new EU bloc states and UN backed failed war refugees.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • nrg , football was at its best in the 70s before foreigners

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    billythebookie

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • i think the vote on the edp site proved that the edl should be given their democratic right to march through norwich . The vote was 75 per cent for . 24 per cent against

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    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • mobbsy...you ain't seen nothing yet; wait till all the former failed communist bloc states of Yugoslavia join in 2014...Albania and Kosovo both have over 50% unemployment and are also in line to join. Team GB will of course be their main place of new residency due our membership of the failed EU club.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • Nobody invited the EDL to come here. Their history is linked to right wing murderer Anders Breivig, they had common actions and communicated with each other. Why is it not acceptable to oppose their fascist views?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, October 29, 2012

  • people have died over the years fighting for their democratic right to free speech and democracy and here we have a labour council in the uk denying people their basic human right . People need reminding of this event next time an election comes around so you know what you are voting for

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • In answer to 'v' i think the mosque has been there about 30 years. Interestingly the religious group that was banned from the Haymarket is also the group that counter protests as Norwich pride each year.

    Report this comment

    helenofnorwich

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • billythebookie, if we was to kick out foreign footballers, we'd be left with very average highly paid Brit players running around like headless chickens...no thanks!!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • these people called we are norwich want their democratic right to free speech yet they are trying to deny it to others

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • It's a sad fact of life that if an immigrant comes into the country and is more clever and prepared to work harder than the work shy native he will get the job. Stop whingeing about Moslems and pass some exams.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, October 28, 2012

  • in the name of free speech and democracy lets see this leaflet what alan clfford had on his stall . This leaflet has been plastered all over the web for everyone to see so lets see it on the edp site so we can all make up our own minds. Once these people have seen this leaflet they will realise that this church and its leader have been persecuted by the local labour council who do not beleive in free speech and democracy

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Monday, October 29, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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