Church leaders have united to deliver a clear message to the English Defence League that it will not be welcomed in Norwich if a planned protest march goes ahead in the city.

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The right-wing movement, which opposes what it considers to be the spread of militant Islamism, is planning its first-ever march through Norwich on Saturday, November 10.

It was organised in response to Norwich City Council’s decision to ban the Rev Alan Clifford of the Norwich Reformed Church from using a market stall on Hay Hill, where it was believed that anti-Islamic literature was being distributed.

But the EDL, whose marches are often marred by violence, believe the ban infringed freedom of speech and arranged the protest to demonstrate against it.

Now the leaders of all Christian denominations in Norwich have joined other community and religious groups in making it clear that any organisation exhibiting intolerance of any of the city’s diverse faiths would not be welcomed.

The following joint statement was issued: “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. This is a cause for celebration, and we must not allow this honourable tradition to be broken.”

The signatories were:

-Fr David Bagstaff, diocesan administrator of the Diocese of East Anglia (Roman Catholic)

-Major David Jackson, divisional commander of the Eastern Region, Salvation Army

-The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (Church of England)

-The Rev Richard Lewis, regional minister of the Eastern Baptist Association

-John Myhill, on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

-The Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich (Church of England)

-The Rev Graham Thompson, chairman of the East Anglian District of the Methodist Church

-Fr James Walsh, Dean of the Cathedral Church of John the Baptist (Roman Catholic)

-The Rev Paul Whittle, moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church

The Ven Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich, added: “We pride ourselves on being open and welcoming and that is a great tradition that we want to continue, so the idea that there might be a march from an organisation such as the EDL goes against everything that Norwich stands for. All the church leaders signed the statement immediately. They all agreed that they do not want anything that says people here are not welcoming to everybody. It is just not Norwich.”

Mr Whittle said the United Reformed Church, which he represents, had been mistaken for the similarly-named Norwich Reformed Church, which had sparked the controversy.

He said: “I am aware that there has been some confusion between the two, but the United Reformed Church is a completely distinct entity from the Norwich Reformed Church. We would want to work in partnership with all religious leaders and respect the faiths of others.

“We all really value the diversity that is found in Norwich. We would want to link with people of all faiths and we as church leaders would not be happy to support people who want to break that up; to suggest that people of different faiths are not welcome.”

The EDL said it wanted to exercise its right to protest at what it sees as the “unfair” treatment of the Norwich Reformed Church.

An EDL spokesman said: “The English Defence League will be showing their support for the church and protesting at Norwich City Council’s actions against the church and everyone else’s freedom of speech.”

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said the EDL had sent a formal notification that it intends to stage the protest on November 10. “There is a legal right to freedom of expression and assembly in this country so police will be working to facilitate any peaceful protests or assemblies on this day whilst also seeking to enable others to go about their lawful business,” he said.

“We understand there may be concerns and feelings of vulnerability within a number of communities and we will be looking to work closely with the organisers, our partners and community leaders to help address these.”

Local community organisation We Are Norwich, a coalition of faith groups, trade unions, political parties and activists, has said it will work with the police to hold a peaceful counter-demonstration which celebrates the city’s diverse cultures, should the march go ahead.

Meanwhile members of Norwich’s Muslim community say they are alarmed at the prospect of the EDL visiting their home city.

Jamal Sealey of Chaplefield Mosque said: “The Norwich Muslim Community has been a part of this city for over 30 years and welcome the opportunity to work with the other members of the We Are Norwich group to ensure this city remains safe for people of all backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities.”

93 comments

  • strange the men of the church think they speak for norwich , i think they should try and get people into there empty churches the church of rome gets a few in but the others dont they have no sway anymore let people march its there right ! and lets hope the church puts its own house in order before judging others

    Report this comment

    Jonathon Childs

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The council had every right to disallow Rev Clifford from using public funded facilities for distributing his controversial pamphlets. I disagree strongly with the EDL's political views which I personally find offensive. I urge them not to come to Norwich, and risk aggravating the religious and secular peace in this city.

    Report this comment

    Pobol Pobotrol

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I think its absolutely wrong that Rev alan clifford is trying to dictate to people his views.The E.D.L is attempting to make a valid statement and he will just have to accept it. As somebody pointed out there is such a thing as freedom of speech no matter what party they are.

    Report this comment

    wickobi

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • So the church now want to curtail freedom of speech and expression, no wonder their pews are empty week in week out !!!

    Report this comment

    nceuropean

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Andrew Ward..." I know a lot about facism too"..best you learn to spell it right first.Fascism was of course directed at Mussolini and his band of cowardly followers...Hitler and his Nazi thugs was based on the ideology of National Socialism. The Muslim Brotherhood which fort alongside the Nazi's against the Brits during the North African Campaign...Tis a funny old world and everything is not as clear as should be.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • There is a certain irony here. The EDL claim to support the rights of the LGBT community. Yet the man that they are visiting Norwich to support is quite notably NOT a fan of said community, or their rights. Another example of the right wing EDL hijacking a cause to garner support for their shrinking fan base.

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The comments by Sarah Bailey and Andrew Ward show how little these ignorant people actually no about the EDL.Like everybody else they have the right to demonstrate peacefully and out there point across. Has everybody forgotten the damage and violence that was caused by students in London,or the violent protest by certain groups in Luton against our troops.....The churches today are empty and will remain so as long as those listed above continue to preach ignorance about the EDL!

    Report this comment

    dave123

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I welcome our church elders proffering their active participation on the day, it will be refreshing to see them bearing witness to whatever may happen in Norwich. Nobody has invited the EDL to Norwich and I'm surprised that nobody here used the term 'rentamob' cause that's what they are. They are also aligned to the right wing terrorist murderer Anders Breivig., as well as to other EU right wing groups. They demand to march up Magdalen Street should is confrontational, what support could there possibly be gained from Asian shops there? The march should be diverted past the Norwich courts, to show these visitors were they going end up if they don't behave. bring your mobiles, charged and ready.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I do not support the EDL BUT, but, I have noticed that when they demonstrate they are always met by Muslims swearing at them, shaking fists etc. Now, I have also noticed that some really extreme Muslims are allowed to protestdemonstrate on our streets and they are protected by our police. I feel strongly that the issue of political correctness has moved too far in the direction of always giving way to Muslim demands & not permitting the same freedoms for non-Muslims. As one other example, I have learned that Muslim women can and do demand to have Muslim doctors and get them, they are also allowed to go into a doctor's office in large family groups but Christians cannot do this. At the most, a husband or wifepartner is permitted in some surgeries. I was refused although my partner wanted me present. Why this discrimination in favour of one ethnic group? I would also be much more comfortable with a doctor who understands my Faith. That is natural. But I am not allowed to request this. In the interests of free speech for all, the march should go ahead. I will be praying that the EDL will resist every provocation against them. I have noticed that they usually allow themselves to be lowered to the standards of the provokers, swearing etc. That is plain stupid. If any EDL person reads this, please take my comment back to base. Otherwise, there will always be a question mark against your sincerity. Christ did not raise his fists nor did He swear at His detractors.

    Report this comment

    elizabeth

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The English Defence League are intending to hold a demonstration in Norwich to protest at Norwich City Council’s unfair treatment to the Norwich Reformed Church regarding ‘equality issues’. A complaint was made by one member of the public to the Police, who took no action against Dr Clifford, but the Council decided to adopt their own politically correct appeasement to this one member of the public. Where in this statement does it say the EDL are demonstrating against any ethnic minorityfaithreligion? they are demonstrating against Norwich City Council, the only people making an issue of this demo are 'we are norwich' falsly reporting through pre-conceptions as to why the EDL are there. As you celebrate the citys diversity should you yourselves not be asking the council why they are dealing with cases in such a way?

    Report this comment

    East Anglian

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • ....and as the recent Rotherham EDL bun fight cost that town at least a six figure number, I was wondering if Dave & co. will be contributing to the amount?

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    Sarah Bailey

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • What DOES the Rev. Clifford have to do with the EDL's mission statement? If the EDL (brandishing Crusader & Templar iconography by the bucket load) are so wholeheartedly Christian, why do they threaten blasphemy & violence at every turn, whilst quite notably not adhering to a Christian way of life. Why does the EDL page which promotes their forthcoming Norwich beano feature a church (alongside it's claim to support Alan Clifford) which has nothing to do with the Reformed Church in Norwich. In fact, has nothing to do with either Norwich OR Norfolk? Again, another example of the EDL attempting to bolster it's failing hierarchy with lies and hypocrisy.

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Maybe the EDL are not welcome by unwashed violent UAF scum in Norwich but we have a democratic RIGHT to speak our truth against the denial of a Christian preacher to speak and go about his rightful business in the city he lives in and has preached in for 18yrs!

    Report this comment

    East Anglian

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Ethered, like my vote, probably. Oy Vey Maria.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Make's me laugh they are all to quick to judge the EDL.Here's a thought tho have they contacted the East Anglian EDL To speak with them? The EDL Will be in Norwich on the 10th November NOT Against the local Muslim community but against the City councils over reaction to the Rev Alan Clifford and the unfair treatment he has recieved.

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    East Anglian

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • so far this year there have been arrests of edl members at marches in Bristol, Chelmsford, Rochdale, Sunderland, Walsall, Manchester, Luton (edl now banned from town centre), Denmark, Heywood, Blackburn, Hyde, Leicester, Whitechapel .. pretty damning evidence, and demonstrates their interest in riot and assault

    Report this comment

    Tim Will

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The EDL should go away...and take the UAF with them!

    Report this comment

    Rons

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • erm, it's a percentage. It will keep changing as more people vote until the poll is closed.

    Report this comment

    Stephen Grundy

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Rowan Atkinson and Stephen Fry as well as bodies such as the National Secular Society are at the forefront of a campaign to repeal Section 5 of the Public Order Act-the act which saw the prosecution of a 16 year old for holding a placard which read Scientology is a cult. Everyone who values free speech should read the Repeal Section 5 website and write to their MP and sign any e petition going. Because under the act, a scholar pointing out in public that spreading Islam by conquest is "written in" to the faith and was from the start, could be prosecuted for inciting a breach of the peace if someone found his words insulting enough to provoke them to respond. I suppose the same could apply if someone used less than temperate words in public to accuse the evangelical Christian movement of not doing enough to prevent acts of cruelty against children in the name of exorcism and a church induced fear of witchcraft. Calling that sort of person all the insulting names under the sun would be justified by sane people-but not PC lawyers and policiticans.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • @East Anglian. I attempted to engage in dialogue with members of the East Anglian EDL via an FB page, however I was removed without explanation or reasoning. Free speech?! Oh my!

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The EDL are most welcome there support continues to grow unlike the Church!

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    dave123

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • let the edl come i say, and voted same. then the people of Norwich can see what a bunch of mindless, unthinking morons they are. at least an official march can be policed and these educationally-subnormal folk can then be arrested and locked away, where their backward ideas deserve to be. freedom of speech is not the same as freedom to vent and abuse or threaten, but that goes over the heads of edl supporters

    Report this comment

    Tim Will

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • @Dave123 ~ I await a response to my question. What exactly about my comments is either ignorant or in error. As for the poll results; many, many people disagree with the EDL, but would give their last breath to allow them to have their say. Freedom of speech is a democratic right that we all must treasure. Unfortunately, should you venture onto one of the EDL's many social networking pages, you'll find that this right has not yet been acknowledged. It is also interesting to note that a link to this page can be found on most of said pages. Which might have something to do with the poll results..... @pubmandave ~ I have attempted to engage various members of the EDL hierarachy via their online pages, but have been banned and blocked from every one. I am not prone to swearing, threatening or insulting, but have received all three in response to my polite and considered questions. It is apparent that many members of the EDL like to focus on high profile muslim paedophile gangs....without a nod to statistics which show that over 90% of convicted child abusers are white males. Concentrating on the ethnicity of an abuser (in order to verify & support a point of view or, in this case, a street movement) is the most heinious of acts. And completely negates any claim you have to want to 'protect our children'. I would further like to ask quite how the EDL are fighting for us? Please, enlighten me as to what you do, practically, to promote racial & ethnic harmony within these shores? Because marching, willy nilly, threatening, mouthing insults and costing the taxpayers thousands is NOT in any way helping any cause, in my point of view. As for that old 'my grandfather fought at' chestnut. I think you'll find that most peoples' grandfathers fought in world wars My grandfather spent his war in Changhi, my great-great-uncle died in Mauthausen, my great uncle barely got out of Dunkirk & my great grandfather was a POW in WW1 so please don't use the sympathy vote to 'shame' us into thinking that only the EDL stand for the memory of our forebears. Now, could you possibly address some of the points I've raised, rather than coughing up the same old generalised, ill considered and tedious rhetoric .

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • The EDL might have a bad name, but behind closed doors and away from the PC brigade, they have a hell of a lot of support in this country.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • @andrew ward where on twitter has this been said? proof please,Because its not come from the offical East Anglian EDL one...

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    East Anglian

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • what these small minority of church leaders and trade unionists dont understand is that free speech is there for the whole of the uk , Not just for a group called we are norwich and the labour council

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    milecross

    Sunday, October 21, 2012

  • I think it's very arrogant that these "church leaders" believe that they speak for the citizens of Norwich - they certainly don't have the authority to speak for me.

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Whether you agree with the views of the EDL or not the fact that their marches always seem to involve getting drunk and then violent should be reason enough to ban the march.

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    Stephen Grundy

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Has anyone forgotten that we supposedly have the right to free speech and the right to protest. The EDL whatever anyone thinks of them also have this right. These so called church leaders do not speak for everyone in Norwich and I believe the EDL have valid points to make although some of them may not be as revelant to Norwich as they are in other parts of the country.

    Report this comment

    clive hill

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Dave, you say you say they have a right to demonstrate and I agree to a certain extent, however you added "demonstrate *peacefully*" when was the last time this actually happened? As for most welcome, can't agree 100% on that, not everyone will share that viewpoint

    Report this comment

    NorthCity

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • I totally agree with Dave 123, church attendance has diminished in recent years and people are now becoming more aware to the threats to our society in general caused by ethic minorities and extrememists, the EDL make more people aware of this, which the church do not want us to believe no matter how true it is, surely 7705 told us this.

    Report this comment

    clive hill

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Agreed Clive with what you say,We know theres not the problems in Norwich like other parts of the UK.And we are NOT coming to Norwich to stand against The local Muslim Community but the City Councills over reaction and treatment of Rev Clifford,To which i may add that the leaflet in question was sent to police and they found nothing racist or any hatred in it,But the council still went ahead with its decision to ban them from there market bookstall that they had for the last 17yrs.

    Report this comment

    East Anglian

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Love us or hate us, we have a democratic right to protest. We're not welcome in most places we go, but again, it is our right and we will be there

    Report this comment

    nottm99

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • What a shame. I am a Catholic and proud supported of the EDL. I certainly would like to have a word with this priest!

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    Emanuele Ciriachi

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • It's interesting to note that NONE of the people who signed that letter & claim to represent the views of Norwich citizens have commented here. I think that a tiny minority of the people they arrogantly claim to represent attend their churches.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The council had every right to disallow Rev Clifford from using public funded facilities for distributing his controversial pamphlets. I disagree strongly with the EDL's political views which I personally find offensive. I urge them not to come to Norwich, and risk aggravating the religious and secular peace in this city.

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    Pobol Pobotrol

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • @Tim Wills EDL have never been in Luton town centre. If the original grouping had been allowed into the town centre to protest against poppies being burnt in the first place, the EDL wouldn't exist today. It's sad to see church leaders protesting against the EDL when it was an Anglican priest in Walthamstow who acted as a front to lend a veneer of respectability to "we are Walthamstow". What followed was sheer violence and intimidation on the part of anti-EDL protesters.

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    Joe Daniels

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The difference is that every Nowich pride has passed completly peacefully, with minium police presence, In officers marched in support. The EDL on the other hand always get drunk and cause violence, even when they can't fight with the locals of a city or the police, they fight with each other.

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    Andrew Ward

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I shouldn't be too concerned Mr. Ward , neither Madeline street or Angila Sq. is in Norwich to my certain knowledge.Asain store? what's one of those?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • It seems strange that the only way the "Yes" vote is going is down yet the "No" vote is going up. I always thougth that when you reached a total of 100% from the YesNo that was the vote complete. I seems the EEN have other ideas of being Impartial (see if this gets posted unlike the last comment)

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    turnover

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • freedom of speech ? some people should instead exercise their freedom to think and keep their hate to themselves

    Report this comment

    Tim Will

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Let these individuals have their say in the same way others are allowed to have theirs. What the anti EDL brigade seem to not realise, is that unlike most other parades, demonstrations etc. This one is getting a lot more publicity than it deserves, not because of the EDL, but because the anti EDL brigade are giving it to them. This demonstration would pass with nothing more than a sad wimper, but for those who want it stopped.

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    el84

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I think that from the overwhelming vote of 82%. The EDL is most welcome in Norwich.

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    turnover

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Calls me ignorant, Can't spell "Know", but okay. I know a lot about the EDL, I keep track of what is said on twitter and have debates. I know a lot about facism too, the term it uses and the double meanings, as A few years back I got sucked into a Far rightNazi group, and talked to other "Patroits" and "Nationalists" and was even East Angila regional leader. Thankfully I realised these wheren't my veiws,got sick of the hate and quickly realised what really mattered,it wasn't non-whites etc causing the issues. But that's for another day. Quickly, As for students smashing up stores, UK Uncut where peaceful, the anarchist used Direct action, thats what happens when stores like Vodaphone, Topshop and more recently, Starbucks.(who also exploit coffee growers) If you knew HALF of what these companies and globalisation do, you may get angry and smash windows.EDL care about English Culture, but doesn't see the threat globalisation poses to all cultures Smashing up stores is not violent, smashing heads of protesters is, so is shooting unarmed black people and Brazilian plumbers.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Ward

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • @ East anglian As of yet the EDL has not clarified their route. And it is Magdalen Street Notice the full stop between Route and And, meaning that i agree with you it is not Magdalen street where you are going. And that some people on here should learn to spell Magdalen. I dispair sometimes, Organisations that bang on about keeping britain british, can't even understand their own language.

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    Tess Tickles

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • @blister.He claims "The EDL are not a racist group".Preposterous! When will anyone from the EDL condemn islamophobia?I suggest to Blister he just refers to them as fascist thugs.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • ethered......

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    NorthCity

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • EDL Demonstration, Walsall, bunch of thugs. http:www.youtube.comwatch?v=Hiuf2_M2hqw

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    Sandy Shore

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Free Speesh has always been shouted down by the left,if its a cause the left don,t agree with !

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Begging your pardon, Dave 123, but could you tell me exactly what I've said which is in any way in error, or wrong? I'm at a loss to see quite what you would define as ignorant in my comment. (Oh the irony of that word, after reading what you have written!) Are you actually claiming that my comments are in any way causing the decline in church attendance? Rather than a general drop which has been witnessed for over 150 years? The protests in Luton during the home-coming parade happened three years ago. I'm well aware of this because I happen to be the wife of a serving soldier. Who cringes in embarrassment that people have looked at this country in the past, glorious year of Jubilee & Olympic celebrations and in any way think that the EDL represent me or mine.

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • I'll be in the bell pmpl at both of these groups.

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    nrg

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Good on the church! I can't speak for all Norwich atheists, but I think the EDL are not just "not welcome", but openly rejected for being hate filled violent racist thugs. They are an embarrassment to this country.

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    Pobol Pobotrol

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I don't agree with any demonstration which leads to violence, no matter WHO is marching, for whatever cause they claim to support. We don't want our city damaged by thugs, and our residents afraid to visit that day, which is what will happen if this goes ahead. The City Council were right to stop the distribution of literature it considers offensive. Pity they don't do it a bit more often. Seems to me that this group have jumped on the bandwagon just for an excuse to come here and cause trouble. And for the record, the church leaders have as much right as every other citizen to state their objections! I don't agree with lots of people's views on various subjects, but I don't have a problem with them HAVING views, as long as they don't create fear and trouble for others. And has nobody picked up on the fact that they have planned this march for the weekend of Remembrance Sunday??? Disrespect or what? The servicemen and women who fought for our freedom of speech will turn in their graves as this blatent misuse of that privilege.

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Ladies and Gents,look at the votes!!! Free speech for all, this includes the EDL who simply say what many people think!

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    dave123

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • Although I wouldn't like to see or be part of this march I believe that everyone has a right to put across thier personal views no matter how uncivilized or unpolitical or radical they may be . Muslim communities also have the right to put their own views across and can and do take part in marches . I just hope this march progresses with no unrest or violence and quickly so that I can feel happy to walk through Norwich without retaliation for My colour even though I was born and bred in England

    Report this comment

    Naomi Day

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • its strange these men of god speak out as they do , there churches are empty maybe a few in the church of rome so why should we listen to them let anyone march that is freedom the voice of the church has no power anymore

    Report this comment

    Jonathon Childs

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Damn god-botherers! In this country we have a little thing called freedom of speech, if they want to come and have their say, welcome them. We have to put up with bible bashers in the city banging on about their religion 247, so its only fair!

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    markt74

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • church leaders have no right to tell the EDL that they are not welcome, I am happy for them to march in the city, they are not a racist group, as usual the liberal left leaning church is getting involved in politics, no wonder hardly anybody bothers going to church

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    blister

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • @tess tickles We ARE NOT going to Magdalen Street, As We ARE NOT coming to Norwich Against the Local Muslim Community. And as for route for our march It will be released soon as Things are confirmed at my next meeting with the police Liaison team. Also May i add NO BUSSINESS Will be closed As i have worked along with the police to ensure that no trade will be affected by our march.

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    East Anglian

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The very same rights the EDL and their Nazi buddies at North West Inferdels would deny to Muslims and anyone else they may have a gripe with? Also, people have been voting on this poll who are not from Norwich due to sharing this page on other social networks, it's been hijacked by one group, and not readers.

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    Andrew Ward

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • As of yet the EDL has not clarified their route. And it is Magdalen Street And you are correct in one thing Walsall EDL shut businesses, and started fighting themselves, the same in Rotherham the same in Walthamstow, In fact it could be said the same for every place they have held a demo.

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    Tess Tickles

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • this has all come about by the labour council persecuting a local church because they dared to use their democratic right to free speech

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    milecross

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • the not welcome message should be given to those who do not believe in free speech and democracy

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    milecross

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • I would ask why a group which was created to demonstrate against islamic extremism feels the need to visit Norwich, of all places.....

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The EDL do indeed have a point to make. Here's their leader, Stephen Lennon, making a point, not sure quite what it is but it seems to be about how funny the Oslo Massacre was. http:tinypic.complayer.php?v=24vnzug&s=5 Makes you proud doesn't it? Not as proud as the long string of convictions for thuggery that EDL supporters have though. http:edlnews.co.ukindex.phpfeatured-storiesedl-criminals Can they not be allowed to make drunken fools of themselves as usual in accordance with the freedom of speech they dislike so much (as any polite critic on their pages soon finds out), and be unwelcome at the same time? No. They must be welcome, because they put the word out to come and say so on this page. Never mind the thuggery and the Breivik licking. At least they don't hang out with nazis like the NF. Except for when they do of course, but that's detail.

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    Steven Durrant

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • What DOES the Rev. Clifford have to do with the EDL's mission statement? If the EDL (brandishing Crusader & Templar iconography by the bucket load) are so wholeheartedly Christian, why do they threaten blasphemy & violence at every turn, whilst quite notably not adhering to a Christian way of life. Why does the EDL page which promotes their forthcoming Norwich beano feature a church (alongside it's claim to support Alan Clifford) which has nothing to do with the Reformed Church in Norwich. In fact, has nothing to do with either Norwich OR Norfolk? Again, another example of the EDL attempting to bolster it's failing hierarchy with lies and hypocrisy.

    Report this comment

    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The council may have had a right as the land owners to stop the distribution of the leaflets but they had no reason to do so. The police said that the content did not break the law. But the council decided that free speech could not be allowed. When ordinary people see that they are prevented from airing their views on any religion or politics then organisations such as the EDL can feed off the dissatisfaction such restrictions cause. Look at the current assault on free speech on Google to see how some would like everyone to be silent. I suspect that even members of the churches on the above list would be more than happy to see greater restrictions on free speech eg the notion of blasphemy means nothing outside of a faith, but to be able to criticise a religion without inciting hatred in any way should be a fundamental right-one which the Christian church deprived us of for hundreds of years. As long as the religious feel they have a right to attempt to modify society to their model the rest of us should have a right to say no thank you. Non violent marches as an expression of opinion should always be allowed. As should wearing slogans on T shirts -as long as they do not advocate acts of violence- without the fear of being imprisoned for nasty bad taste.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • I find it bizarre that the EDL have chosen the Reformed Church in Norwich to support. Why, we might ask, does this church hold such appeal for the so-called English Defence League? (unless you happen to be an English Muslim, of course....) Could it be that the church's spokesperson, Pastor Alan Clifford claims that Islam (not, you might note, Radical Islam) is an " evil religion with a barbaric ethos." So, contrary to the outburst of chest thumping zeal which accompany proclamations that the EDL are NOT visiting Norwich to offend it's Muslim inhabitants, we can surmise that the complete opposite is true. As for equality; (please pardon my near hysterical giggle) don't the EDL claim that they are completely against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. So much so that they have a LGBT section within their eschelons? Yet they are supporting a man who states that homosexuality "remains an abomination in the sight of God, besides being held in abhorrence by most human beings." And has been quoted within the online pages of Stormfront for holding such a view. Hypocritical? Just a little....

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    Sarah Bailey

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I`d feel better if my contributions were allowed rather than censored by the Little Englanders of Archant.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • No one from the ‘We are Norwich’ group has tried to contact us to investigate the reasons behind our demonstration in Norwich, but instead have decided to hold a counter demonstration without any real knowledge or understanding as to why we will be attending, all this does is to cause unnecessary alarm to the public.

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    East Anglian

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • The church are merely exercising their right to free speech, they dont curtail the acitivites of the ELl, they just say they don't wlecome them. ..... ipso facto free speech reigns supreme.

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    expat

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • nrg.- fort? surely you mean fought? pot kettle - kettle pot.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • I see the issue as being the failure of the major political parties to control immigration or provide adequate housing and jobs. It is always about the economy - if people have jobs and enough bedrooms then they will be reasonably content. Look at Greece and the Golden Dawn. I don't think anyone can argue that Communism has failed and that Socialism was killed off under Blair. For decades working class neighbourhoods have been destroyed by successive government policies and media chav attacks. The EDL are a logical and reasonable alternative if your children can't move out of the family home or get a job.

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    oldowl

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • I would ask why a group which was created to demonstrate against islamic extremism feels the need to visit Norwich, of all places.....

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    Sarah Bailey

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I don't know what all the fuss is about. I've been on several EDL demonstrations and found that members of the EDL are a nice bunch of people from all walks of life, age, colour and creed. Just because some of them have shaved heads and tatoos, does not make them thugs !! The problem is with those groups that are against the EDL having thier right to freedom speech and demonstrating. The police will keep the two demonstrating parties away from each other and everything will run smoothly. The EDL are not coming to Norwich to cause problems and if your free on the 10th November, come and have a chat and join in. You will then see what and who the EDL are.

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    Glyn D Thomas

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Ooh dear Sarah Bailey! Look at the vote??? Time for you and your one sided views to get back in the box! The people want this visit so enjoy the day!

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    dave123

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • @Tess Tickle i know the EDL has not clarified their route. Because im one of them talking to the police about the demo full details will be put out nearer the date.

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    East Anglian

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • http:www.youtube.comwatch?v=PL1jDcAHkc8 what more do you need to see?

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    tabby

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • As is the Rev Alan Clifford ! If the City Council shown some common sense this situtation would never arisen !

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The City Council were quite right to disallow Rev Clifford's bigoted literature from a public funded location. He has every right to distribute it himself, as long is it doesn't encourage racial and religious hatred (which from what I've seen it probably does). The EDL are not just "not welcome" here, they should be actively discouraged from marching in this city. Their thuggish, racist and aggressive attitudes are an embarrassment to all that is decent in this country.

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    Pobol Pobotrol

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Has anyone forgotten that we supposedly have the right to free speech and the right to protest. The EDL whatever anyone thinks of them also have this right. These so called church leaders do not speak for everyone in Norwich and I believe the EDL have valid points to make although some of them may not be as revelant to Norwich as they are in other parts of the country.

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    clive hill

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • You silly sausage you, this is what the real EDL are like. What the #EDL have to say about a fourteen year old girl who stood up to the Taliban. For real. - v http:twitpic.comb4fe03

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    Tess Tickles

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The truth about how the EDL really feel about Christianity can be found by sticking four words in your search engine and viewing the images. The four words are 'EDL urinate on churches'. Not in our fine city please!

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    Rons

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • The English Defence League are intending to hold a demonstration in Norwich to protest at Norwich City Council’s unfair treatment to the Norwich Reformed Church regarding ‘equality issues’ The heinous crime that the Church committed was about a leaflet entitled ‘Why Not Islam’, written by the church’s pastor, Dr Alan Clifford some ten years ago. The Council claimed that the leaflet was “hate motivated”. Norwich City Council have now banned the Church from holding their weekly bookstall outreach at Hay Hill over this leaflet moreover they have also ordered Eaton park Community Centre to no longer take bookings from the Church which has held worship services there for 18 years. A complaint was made by one, yes you are reading this correct, one member of the Public to the Police who took no action against Dr Clifford but the Council decided that was not good enough for them and adopted their own politically correct appeasement to this one member of the Public. Therefore on the 10th November 2012 the English Defence League will be showing their support for the Church and protesting at Norwich City Council’s actions against the Church and everyone else’s Freedom of Speech East Anglian EDL

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    East Anglian

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • the uk is always lecturing the rest of the world on the democratic right to free speech and here we have it in norwich .Free speech has been taken away from a local church by the ruling labour council .Shame on you norwich labour council

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    milecross

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • If anyone thinks the polls on this site are in any way representative of the true opinions of readers then think again, they are, with a little know-how, incredibly easy to "ballot stuff". As I am sure some members of the EDL and their anti-hate group opposition well know. I expect it will run at about 5050 until it gets removed.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Makes you laugh TBH. Screwed up country we live in. Too many people burying their heads in the sand, too many people scared to be open and honest and to expose issues as they might offend others or be wrongly accused of being racist. At one EDL protest, it was peaceful until the police were given orders to attack anyone for no good reason.

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    Christopher Parkes

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • The EDL on twitter have expressed an interest in going to Madeline street and Angila square, where there are Asain stores and an ethnic community, and what do you think will happen? The fact is, these people are coming from all over the UK to protest and get drunk over a local issue! It's not like the EDL members in Norwich have come out on a demo...

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    Andrew Ward

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Shouldn't the City's MPs be showing leadership in this matter?So far the silence of Simon Wright and Chloe Smith has been deafening.

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    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

  • why did norwich labour council persecute a local church for using their democratic right to free speech

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    milecross

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • Always looking forward to seeing the EDL, at least they are honest about there values,unlike the church and local government.

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    dave123

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

  • I agree with Elizabeth,Christopher and East Anglian

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    turnover

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • It's rather bizarre. The UK is being overrun by muslims who are changing the nation and the ones that are trying to defend the UK are ostracized, demeaned and denigrated.

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    pacific_waters

    Friday, October 19, 2012

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

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