The English Defence League (EDL) are planning a protest march in Wellington on November 5th.
The EDL held a protest in Wellington in 2011 which passed without any real trouble. Shops were boarded up, a football match was cancelled and police were drafted in from round the country. The two sides were kept apart and apart from a drunk getting moved on from the train station and another abusing a police officer there was very little for the police to do.
If you look past the headlines and get the facts (they’re not published so you have to ask) both sides are equally responsible for violence and disorder at EDL marches. When EDL protesters and far left protesters are kept apart there is rarely trouble but when they’re allowed to get close to each other it’s mayhem.
We will not be taking sides over the EDL march. As far as we are concerned the EDL aren’t welcome in Telford but they have a right to peaceful protest. Equally, the far left are not welcome in Telford but they too have a right to peaceful protest. If they insist on protesting on the same day we can only hope that the police are successful in keeping the two sides separated and keep the peace so that both groups can make their point, jump back on their coaches and go home without anyone getting hurt or anything getting broken.
It has been suggested by the council that the march should be diverted to Telford Town Park rather than disrupt Wellington. Moving the march to the town park risks exposing children to inappropriate language and potentially violent conduct. It would be grossly irresponsible to send the EDL to the town park and it’s quite unbelievable that the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People who is promoting the idea.