The English Defence League (EDL) has notified the police of its intention to hold a demonstration in High Wycombe town centre from 1.00pm until around 4.00pm on Saturday 9th April 2016.
Members of the EDL are expected to walk through the town centre before assembling for speeches.
The authorities have said that groups protesting against the EDL are also likely to try to attend the demonstration and possibly stand along the proposed route of the demonstration however at the moment this has not been confirmed to the police.
The police and council are preparing for the demonstrations and what actions will need to be taken on the day of the event to ensure it passes off peacefully.
A policing operation is expected on the day of the demonstration and the police operation is likely to continue into the evening.
A similar event occurred in Aylesbury on Saturday 10th October 2015. The march in Aylesbury attracted around 200 protesters and passed off peacefully with only two arrests – one man was arrested for suspicion of carrying an offensive weapon but was later released with no further police action and another man was arrested on suspicion of affray.
Organisers of the march in High Wycombe have said : ‘The English Defence League is non-violent and High Wycombe businesses can remain open and operating normally on 9 April. In Aylesbury last year we walked beside market stalls and past open shops; shoppers paused to wave us encouragement, shop staff came out to photograph us from doorways: curious and interested, but not anxious in any way.‘
The English Defence League held eight national demonstrations in 2015. The High Wycombe demonstration will be the second of 2016 following a march in Preston last month.
In a statement released ahead of the march The English Defence League cited examples of ‘links to Islamic terrorism‘ which have involved citizens of High Wycombe including, in 2006, the arrests of eight men for a terrorist plot to blow up transatlantic passenger jets which resulted in a restriction on the amount of liquids that airline passengers can take onto aircraft.
In the statement it was announced that the High Wycombe march is taking place to highlight issues including :
- ‘How the English Home Counties are now home to Islamic terrorism.’
- ‘To raise awareness of the increasing threats from Islamification in Britain.‘
- ‘Building more mosques, Islamic centres and madrasas in England.‘
- ‘Halal certification of food, financial services and other consumer products without proper labeling.‘