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Community leaders in Bradford call for a day of ‘dignified celebrations’ 24 hours before EDL gathering
Religious groups, community organisations and trade unions have joined forces to hold a day of celebrations this Friday for all Bradfordians.
The event is being held by the banner group Bradford Together, which incorporates all those above, and is supported by Bradford Council. It comes 24 hours before the English Defence League (EDL) plan to demonstrate in the city centre.
It has been confirmed that the EDL has given formal notice of its intention to hold a protest in the city centre on Saturday.
On the Friday, at the Bradford Together event, entertainment in the form of jugglers, street magicians and face painters will be on offer. The day starts at 1pm and finishes by 6pm. Bradford Women for Peace will be in and around Centenary Square from 1pm, offering green ribbons to those who want to wear them, to promote peace.
The Bishop of Bradford will lead a prayer with Imams from local mosques and other religious leaders at the Friday event.
Councillor David Green, leader of Bradford Council, said: “The thinking behind the day is wherever the EDL go anywhere, and Bradford in particular, a lot of people are coming from outside the district with no understanding of the district.
“They come here to cause trouble and intimidate people and disrupt lives.
“What we want to show on Friday is despite the challenges and problems Bradford has got, the people here can solve them themselves in a peaceful, dignified and cohesive way. We don’t need people coming from outside to cause trouble and trying to provoke violence.”
Postcards given out all week to Bradfordians, traders and students at Bradford University and College will be put onto a Wall of Hope, unveiled on Friday in the square. The postcards have the title #We Are The Many with room for comments on the back. The postcards also say: “Let’s Stand Together for Bradford.”
Bradford Together’s organiser Paul Meszaros said: “This is the chance for Bradfordians of all backgrounds to come and celebrate and show the rest of the world that we can have a dignified and peaceful response to whatever provocation.”