Six men held at EDL march
Six men were arrested for offences including racially aggravated public disorder, indecent exposure and breach of the peace during an EDL march in Halifax. Up to 150 members marched through Halifax town centre on Saturday to “highlight child grooming gangs that are on the rise in Yorkshire”.
During the rally which started at the Old Post Office pub and finished outside Northgate House - where speeches were made - EDL ( English Defence League) members chanted “Muslim paedos off our streets” and “E-E-EDL”.
There was a large police presence - mainly neighbourhood team officers - at the event, as well as Calderdale Council staff. Support was also provided throughout the operation by British Transport Police.
Calderdale District Commander Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead said: “Together with our partners, we have well-rehearsed plans in place for dealing with these kind of events and the planning that had gone in to the demonstration has ensured that it has passed off with no significant issues.
“This has been helped no end by the co-operation and support of local residents and businesses.”
Police have not confirmed whether those people arrested have been charged with any offence.
During the speeches, an EDL member read a poem dedicated to Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered by Islamic militants in May 2013.
Speaking after the event, an EDL spokesperson thanked the public of Halifax for its support.
Holly Lynch, Labour MP for Halifax, said: “I spoke to the local police before the event and I would like to thank them for their hard work, liaising with both organisers and the local community to ensure that the march took place without incident and with the minimum disruption to the town centre.
“Halifax has a proud multicultural heritage and whilst EDL members have the right to protest, they have a responsibility to ensure that this happens in a peaceful manner. I want to reassure Halifax that working across the community towards a zero tolerance approach to child sexual exploitation will be a key focus for me in the coming weeks and months.”