It is now less than a week until the rally planned by the English Defence League in Luton for the 5th February 2011.
I’ve been blogging about this unwelcome event, which is causing anxiety within Luton’s communities and significant public expense, because I feel it is important that correct information about what is happening is distributed as widely as possible. The Bedfordshire Police have now issued a statement about what is being arranged for Saturday so I thought I would follow up with a second update.
The English Defence League will be meeting in High Town, at the junction of Midland Road and High Town Road from about 10am on Saturday morning. At around 1pm they will then walk to St George’s Square for a rally.
The campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) are coordinating a counter demonstration and are encouraging activists from across the country to attend. This demonstration is to be held in Park Square from 12.00pm onwards.
They are unhappy that they haven’t been allocated St George’s Square, but seem to have accepted Park Square as an alternative.
Disruption to Luton residents
While many business and services in Luton town centre will be trying to open as normal, there is no doubt that these events will be very disruptive for Luton people going about their usual routines. Both groups of protesters will be travelling to and from the town centre, there will be a very large police presence, and some roads will be closed.
People shouldn’t be put off coming in the town centre if you have things you need to do. But, be prepared for disruption, and if you decide to make alternative plans for Saturday I think that would be understandable.
Obviously, the police have had a difficult job negotiating with the different groups. I know many will be unhappy that the EDL have been allowed to use St George’s Square. However, it looks like the idea that the EDL would march down from Farley has been, happily, shelved.
- Full details from Bedfordshire Police can be found on their website.
A further public meeting for residents will be held on Wednesday, February 2, at Bury Park Community Centre, from 6pm.
I’ve been told that Luton Central Library will be closed on the day.
As reported in the local press the police authority have issued a statement giving their backing to the way the Bedfordshire Police are handling the event.
Text messsage service
Finally, here are details of a new text message service from Bedfordshire Police which should keep you up-to-date with news and information relating to the EDL protest:
“Simply text the word POLICE to 88020 and we’ll send you details of road closures and community information as well as regular news updates leading up to and on the day.”
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.