English Defence League plans march in Bristol on same day as LGBT pride
The anti-Islamic and far-right English Defence League (EDL) will hold a march in Bristol on the same day as the city will hold its gay pride parade, it has been announced.
As a result, a high-scale security operation, which might cost £1 million, and 700 police officers is being organised, the BBC reports.
In a statement, local police have said that their aim is to make sure that both events are trouble free, and that the public, whichever march they might attend, remain protected.
The gay pride festival will be held at College Green, and EDL’s demonstration is announced to be at Castle Park, less than a mile away. Although members of the organising committee for both groups met with the police and the local council, neither wanted to move the date.
Meanwhile, a number of Bristol MPs and councillors have called on the EDL to stay away from the city, fearing a public disorder.
In a statement, the EDL has said that it only opposes ‘Islamic extremism’ and is not homophobic. It also claims to have several LGBT members, and that members of the gay community have nothing to be concerned about with regard to their march on July 14.