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Police and Council leader ask people to ignore demonstrations
Police and community leaders are urging the public to turn their backs on the English Defence League in Bradford tomorrow.
Leader of Bradford Council David Green urged people not to be provoked by the EDL demonstration in the city centre, or the counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism.
He said: “Adrenalin can make people do things that they would not normally do and would regret later.
“The vast majority of people don’t want the EDL here and many people also don’t want Unite Against Fascism here.
“People need to be careful not to get embroiled and provoked by either of these groups.
“Police have a duty to police the whole of the centre without bias and therefore if people get on the wrong side of the law they will be arrested.
“That has implications for the rest of their lives. I don’t want anybody from Bradford on either side of the debate to get into trouble with the police on Saturday.”
Chief Superintendent Simon Atkin, divisional commander of Bradford South Police, said the Bradford community had worked tirelessly over the last four weeks with the Council and key members of the community to look at how they dealt with the challenge of having the EDL protest in Bradford three years after the last one.
“It is clear from 2010 that Bradford residents behaved appropriately,” he said.
“The protest took place and people left and Bradford continued to move forward on the back of it.
“Everything we are doing at this moment in time is to urge everybody from all different communities to show the same restraint to allow the police to get on with dealing with the protest.
“We will look to get the centre of Bradford back to normality as quickly as possible.
“I would suggest that on Saturday if people have plans to come shopping or use public spaces they should continue to do so. There will be a significant policing presence in the centre of Bradford.
“I would say to people let the police get on with it and please do not get dragged into any protests.”
There will be updates throughout the day on the Council and West Yorkshire Police Twitter feeds at #demobradford.
Bridge Street, Vicar Lane, Hall Ings, Market Street and Sunbridge Road will be closed to traffic from midnight tonight. There will be no vehicle or pedestrian access to and from Bradford Interchange at Bridge Street tomorrow.