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Just ignore the hateful EDL protest
As the hate-mongers of the English Defence League head into Bradford tomorrow, there is one clear message that needs to be spread throughout the city: if we react, they win.
All right-thinking Bradford folk should turn their back and refuse to acknowledge the presence of this Right-wing group – a group so extreme even their own leaders have walked out on them – denying them the reaction they crave.
No-one likes the fact that this group can cause so much disruption to the thousands of people who want to do nothing more than go about their business and there will be many who ask why should we put up with it and the financial cost to the community of containing it?
Why? Because the alternative is potentially violent confrontation, damage to property, even bloodshed, and the possibility of a life-changing criminal record for anyone who is dragged down to the EDL’s gutter level. And, if that happens, have no doubt they will be looking on with smug satisfaction at a job well done.
It is not, as some would have you believe, appeasement. The EDL demonstration will be contained and while it will cause a significant amount of disruption in the city, the law of the land allows them to do this. The Council and the police have worked together to limit the potential impact, both literally and symbolically, refusing to countenance them going anywhere near City Park.
If the people of Bradford now turn their back on them, simply ignoring them, we will give a dignified, peaceful, and articulate response – a response that will frustrate those who want to sow discontent in our community.
So let’s join the Celebration of Peace today in City Park and make that a joyous spectacle showing our united community. And please don’t fall into the EDL trap of rising to their provocation tomorrow. Without the response they desperately seek, all that they can offer is empty rhetoric and meaningless noise.