EDL in ‘Russell Brand’ meeting row

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Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Police were called to a book club meeting after members of the English Defence League disrupted the event believing Russell Brand was due to attend.

The book club, which meets regularly at Bar Loco, in Newcastle, was due to discuss comedian Brand’s new book Revolution.

It is believed that EDL members mistakenly thought Brand would be at the event in person.

Salvatore Pascale, the owner of Bar Loco, confirmed that a member of staff called police after EDL members disrupted the meeting by chanting and singing Islamophobic chants.

He said he believed police knew there might be a disturbance as officers had attended the bar earlier to ask about the event.

Mr Pascale, who was not at the bar at the time, said he had never had a problem with the book club before.

He said: “Those people have a meeting more or less every week but there’s never any trouble. Just a meeting and a discussion, never anything to worry about.”

In a reference to the incident, Bar Loco wrote a Facebook post which said: “Freedom of speech is important to the ethos of Bar Loco but disruption of events to achieve this is unacceptable.

“Please be considerate to all sides of an argument that is essentially not part of our policy.

“We are a performance/music and great food venue and do not favour one political view over another. Spread love, not war.”

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At 7.39pm on Wednesday January 7, police received a report of a disturbance at an organised event being held in the Bar Loco in Leazes Park Road, Newcastle.

“Officers attended and spoke to those at the event. No offences were committed and the event passed without incident.”

Published: Tuesday 13th January 2015 by The News Editor

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