Public should ‘ignore’ EDL demonstrators

An EDL demonstration in Dewsbury last year
An EDL demonstration in Dewsbury last year

Police have urged people to ignore a demonstration by a far right group in Bradford tomorrow (Saturday).

Supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) will gather for a protest in Bridge Street and counter-demonstrators will be at Bradford Urban Garden.

The gathering will be a ‘static demonstration’, between St George’s Hall and the Hilton Hotel. It will be closed to the general public throughout the day and is expected to re-open later in the afternoon.

There will be some road closures and disruption in the city from midnight tonight.

A police spokesman said: “People have a right to come and protest but we don’t want people coming into the city and confronting protesters.”

British Transport Police have also said it’s “business as usual”, as the demo site is close to Bradford’s two train stations.

Supt Eddie Wylie said: “We are committed to ensuring the safety of all rail users and staff and will be deploying a significant number of officers at Bradford Interchange and Foster Square stations and on the surrounding rail routes.

“Our aim is to keep the station and trains running smoothly and to ensure the environment remains safe for all rail staff and rail users including those attending the demonstration. We will deal swiftly, professionally and robustly with anyone who behaves unlawfully or who acts in an anti-social manner.

“We are used to dealing with large numbers of people moving through the rail network and we will be supported by our partners to ensure this event is policed in a highly professional manner”.

The EDL are regular visitors to West Yorkshire, visitng Bradford in 2012 and Keighley in 2012.

They have gathered in Dewsbury twice before - the first time, in June 2011, saw around 450 EDL demonstrators gathered in the car park at Dewsbury train station where a metal enclosure was set up.

The second, in Dewsbury town centre in June 2012, was the target of a would-be bomb plot.