EDL protest rally ‘not wanted’

live wire gazette aug 11: Peter Billington, secretary LATUC - lancashire Association of Trade Union Councils
live wire gazette aug 11: Peter Billington, secretary LATUC - lancashire Association of Trade Union Councils
0
Have your say

A CONTROVERSIAL Bank Holiday weekend rally will take place on the headland at South Pier, it has been revealed.

Police today confirmed the location of the event organised by the English Defence League after fears were raised it would disrupt town centre trading.

The news comes as trade union bosses slammed the rally, which is calling for justice for missing schoolgirl Charlene Downes, due to be held on Saturday May 28.

Peter Billington, secretary of the Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils (LATUC), said the EDL were not welcome.

Members of LATUC are now calling on the Home Office to ban this demonstration because of its potential for violence.

He said: “This conference opposes plans by the EDL and they are not wanted in Blackpool.

“At the April EDL demonstration in Blackburn, members of the group fought among themselves in brawls.

“Ten of them were arrested for offences including assaulting a police officer, breach of the peace, and affray.

“The march cost £500,000 according to Lancashire Police Authority.”

The march is in response to the police inquiry into missing teenager Charlene. Two men were charged with murder and disposing of her body but later acquitted.

But Mr Billington said the EDL were in no position to make judgements on a criminal inquiry.

He added: “The protest is supposed to be about teenage girls in Blackpool who are victims of grooming or sexual abuse.

“We say the EDL is in no position to sit in judgement on anyone.”

EDL supporters say they will bring thousands of supporters to the rally.

But police say they are confident of a peaceful rally.