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Luton Against Islamophobia and Free Speech
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Luton was flooded with 1,500 police as tensions mounted that the right wing organisation's supporters might clash with a counter demonstration by a group from Unite Against Fascism.
Bottles, fireworks and smoke bombs were set off as 1,500 officers tried to contain thousands of English Defence League supporters holding a protest march in Luton today.The town centre was flooded with police as tensions mounted that the right wing organisation's members might clash with a counter demonstration by a 1,000-strong group from Unite Against Fascism at the same time in the usually busy shopping area.Two people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences, police said.
Bedfordshire Police said the day of action had concluded peacefully, despite ‘isolated incidents’ of disorder including smoke flares being set off and bottles being thrown towards police officers.The cost of the police operation is put at between £600,000 and £1million and for the council £600,000.
Bedfordshire Police and Luton council tried to send out the message that Luton was open as normal and encouraged shops in the Mall to remain open.But many shoppers chose to ignore the advice, instead deciding to stay away amid fears violence might erupt.A police spokeswoman said a group of people from the counter protest, which formed under the 'We Are Luton' banner, had attempted to break away from the main march but were pushed back by officers.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer said: ‘Overall the policing of these protests has been a resounding success and is testament to everyone involved including the community themselves and our partners.‘It is disappointing that we saw disorder from some members of Unite Against Fascism, who were part of the 'We Are Luton' march, who attempted to break out of the agreed protest route. This shows policing of these events is justified as there is such a large area to protect.‘The policing operation has been in the planning for weeks and the professionalism of the officers was borne out today. We were assisted by 20 forces and it's a great example of how forces can work together in difficult circumstances.‘I'd like to thank everyone involved in the planning and execution of the operation, all our partner agencies and in particular the community mediators who volunteered to help us communicate.
'Their involvement really made a difference. I am confident the town is now back to normal and disruption has been minimised.’Police said the two people arrested remained in police custody. A spokeswoman said one was an EDL supporter and the other from the 'We Are Luton' group.Councillor Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Borough Council, said: ‘I'd like to thank Bedfordshire Police, all the staff at the council and everyone in the community for coming together and again facilitating a peaceful day in Luton.‘I was very disappointed that the EDL chose to come to Luton again today so soon after their previous protest in February last year which caused large scale disruption to the people of the town and loss of trade for its businesses.‘I would like to stress that what happened in town today does not represent the real Luton. The Luton I know is a town where people get along well together, celebrate our diversity and work together to overcome challenges.’
Police were on duty to make sure EDL demonstrators did not enter the Bury Park area of Luton, where most of the town's 30,000 Muslim population live.They also were there to prevent any Muslims attacking the EDL.The EDL has held demonstrations across the country since it was formed in Luton in March 2009 as a response to Muslim radicals, who disrupted a home-coming parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment.In February, last year, their demonstration in St George's Square in Luton cost businesses £1 million as the shopping centre was closed.
Posted on May 2, 2012, in EDL News
The threat of Islamic terrorism remains the greatest challenge faced by our security services.
We know that there are Islamic extremists in Britain and abroad.
And we know that they are actively plotting to commit more terrorist atrocities.
We know that not all terrorists are Muslims, but we also know that attacks by Islamic militants far outnumber attacks by any other group, either religious or political.
We know that the Muslim community has specific a problem with so-called ‘honour-violence’, that British Muslim men account for the majority of child-grooming offences and that numerous British mosques teach separatism, supremacism or even outright hatred of non-Muslims.
From all of this we have come to one simple conclusion: Islam needs reform.
Not all British Muslims are extremists – far from it. But most extremists turn out to be Muslims, so clearly there is an underlying problem.
It’s not easy to determine exactly what is wrong and exactly what needs to change, but surely there shouldn’t be any stigma attached to simply recognising the need for reform?
But, sadly, there is. Often we find that even the slightest criticism of Islam is portrayed as if it were a vicious attack on all Muslims.
In the Channel 4 programme ‘Proud and Prejudiced’ the filmmakers followed EDL Leader Tommy Robinson around his home town of Luton.
Tommy was (and still is) concerned that Luton remains a breeding ground for terrorism. He said, quite simply, that there will be more terrorists from Luton:
For this he was portrayed by some commentators and politicians as a scaremonger, as someone out to divide communities or to wreck the harmony that Luton’s citizens usually enjoy.
Rarely was he portrayed honestly, as a decent person worried about the spread of extremism and not afraid to speak the truth as he sees it, however unfortunate or unpleasant it may be.
But, of course, he was right. Luton is not ‘in harmony’, as much as he wishes it were.
Earlier this week, exactly as Tommy predicted, four Luton men were charged with terrorism offences, including the collecting and supplying of funds for terrorist purposes overseas.
Is this really what we want our country to be known for exporting!?
The BBC didn’t think the men’s religion was worth mentioning in their article, but then no one was going to leap to the conclusion that these with Sikh or Buddhist extremists.
The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph all managed to use the word ‘Jihad’ when reporting about the case, but only because they were quoting the title of one of the pieces of extremist literature that the men are accused of possessing.
None of them actually mentioned the word ‘Islam’ or the word ‘Muslim’, even though it is abundantly clear that the perpetrators were Muslims, inspired by al-Qaeda and the Islamic concept of Jihad.
Perhaps this was simply too obvious to be worth mentioning. But compare how these major media outlets whitewashed all mention of religion from their articles with how Bedfordshire Police announced the arrests:
“In the planning of these search warrants, full consideration has been given to treating those arrested, and especially their families, with appropriate respect for cultural and religious identity as far as is possible.”
These are terrorist suspects, not petty thieves. Of course that doesn’t mean that the police should go around ram-raiding mosques and searching under burkhas (unless absolutely necessary!), but as far as we know, they don’t. Should they really need to announce to the Muslim community that in the process of arresting yet more Muslim extremists they’ve been sure not to upset anyone?
What does “appropriate respect for cultural and religious identity” even mean? We’d expect the police to always treat people with appropriate respect, so why do they appear so concerned with cultural and religious sensitivities?
Our guess is simple: they recognise just how sensitive the Muslim community in Britain is to the slightest criticism or imagined insult.
Why else would major newspapers avoid mentioning Muslims or Islam in connection to acts of terrorism, whilst the police make a point of ensuring that no one’s ‘sensitivities’ are provoked?
This sensitivity is not something that we should be encouraging, because it prevents the Muslim community from being receptive to criticism. And without accepting fair-minded criticism, how can the Muslim community ever support the reforms necessary to defeat extremism?
We don’t want to insult Muslims, to divide communities, to spread hatred, or whatever else we are sometimes accused of. We simply want Islamic extremism to stop. We want an end to terrorist attacks, an end to honour-violence and an end to all other forms of extremism that are in some way connected with Islam.
It might not be an easy task, but it’s an important one.
Surely we should expect the Muslim community, the government and the media to be doing all they can to educate the next generation of British Muslims so that they may avoid the appeal of extremism?
Unfortunately, we don’t believe they’re doing anything like enough. Further arrests in places like Luton make this abundantly clear.
FOUR men arrested by counter terror police in a series of raids in Luton last week have been charged with terrorism offences.
WHILE a handful of businesses were left counting the cost of Saturday’s English Defence League demonstration, footfall in Luton town centre was more than double that of February 5 last year when the EDL held its last protest.
Pubs and shops that opened in Park Street – the scene of the EDL march – where business owners were full of praise for the police and delighted at the good behaviour of the EDL supporters.
Paulette Brown, landlady at The Chequers in Park Street, said: “Everyone that came in was very polite, we had security and didn’t need it. We didn’t see any trouble at all down here and took more money than usual. I was very impressed by the police organisation, it was great.”
Another business owner, who stayed open on Saturday morning and who we agreed not to name, said: “There was no trouble at all and the police handled it brilliantly.
Police have confirmed that they have received notification that Commies and UAF smelly brigade are once again attempting to incite a riot by circulating unfounded rumours. The latest attempt see's unfounded rumours of EDL’s intention to march in Bury Park.
I can confirm without doubt that EDL or any other patriotic group including Casuals United have no intention of going anywhere near Bury Park and this is simply another attempt by the lefty dhimmiwits to throw a vermin ridden, flea infested smelly cat amongst the pigeons !!.. Must try harder !!
A suspected terrorist plot to drive a toy car loaded with explosives under the gates of a Territorial Army base and blow it up has been smashed by police. Detectives believe the device was to have ...
The demonstration location has been chosen specifically because it is where a number of Luton’s notorious extremists are known to congregate; amongst them members of the now-banned al-Muhajiroun organisation.