Protesters try to block planned fascist parade


By Kevin Duguid

ANTI-FASCIST groups could mount a demonstration against right-wing extremists at a planned rally in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) is in talks with police chiefs about making a return to the city this September.

Eighteen months ago a stand-off in the Royal Mile saw five men arrested as tensions rose between opposition groups.

No formal application has been made for the SDL rally, but previous bids have been approved.

And Scottish anti-fascist and racial equality groups have said the SDL would not be tolerated in Edinburgh and have not ruled out demonstrating in the city at the same time.

In February 2010 around 50 SDL members took to the streets, hanging banners and flags as thousands marched through Edinburgh as part of an anti-fascist protest.

A spokesman for Unite Against Fascism (UAF) said:

“The UAF Scotland would, as it did last time with other organisations, always oppose any attempt by the Nazis to be on the streets of Scotland.’

Foysol Choudhury, chairman of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, said his organisation

“could not rule out’ joining UAF Scotland in mounting a counter demonstration in Edinburgh.

A joint statement from Edinburgh City Council and Lothian and Borders Police confirmed the SDL had made contact about the

“possibility of a march and rally’ in Edinburgh.

‘Whilst there has been initial contact with SDL, no formal application seeking permission has been submitted,’ it said.

‘The police and the council will continue to monitor the situation, liaise with other organisations as appropriate and deal with any application should one be submitted.’