Neo-Nazi protest in central London

Published: Saturday 4th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Jewish security officials said they are “covering all eventualities” today as a neo-Nazi demonstration takes place in central London.

The police have moved the ‘anti-Shomrim’ demonstration away from the strongly-Jewish community of Golders Green, north west London, where it was originally due to be held. They have now confined it to a static demonstration that will last for an hour in Whitehall, central London.

The Shomrim is a Jewish neighbourhood watch group, which is strictly orthodox.

Dave Rich, of the Community Security Trust, a charity which protects British Jews from anti-semitism and related threats, said: “The demonstration has been moved which we are very pleased about. We will still be having a security presence in Golders Green just in case anybody does turn up.

“We are not aware of any plans to do so but we are covering all eventualities.”

Protesters are to hold a counter demonstration to the neo-Nazi event in the same street – Richmond Terrace in Whitehall – at the same time.

Scotland Yard said: “Police have been engaging with the organisers of all the events, and where appropriate, conditions have been explained to them.”

They noted that “an appropriate policing plan is in place for these events” and they have also spoken to businesses in the West End about all the events which are planned.

The Metropolitan Police decided to impose conditions under the Public Order Act 1986, including moving the original demonstration, saying “the presence of this protest group, and resultant counter-protests by opposition groups in the same area at the same time, is likely to result in serious disorder, serious disruption to the life of the community and the intimidation of others”.

They stated that the police do not have the legal power to ban a static protest, have a duty to safeguard the right to protest and cannot impose unreasonable restrictions upon that right.

The outrage sparked by the plans for the original neo-Nazi demonstration quickly led to a campaign dubbed Golders Green Together (GGT).

It was set up by the London Jewish Forum and Hope Not Hate after the neo-Nazis announced their intention to hold a rally in the north-west London suburb to protest against its “jewification”.

Over recent weeks it has leafleted the area, lobbied MPs and the police, and urged local shops to drape their properties with gold and green banners and ribbons as a symbol of defiance.

Mr Rich said: “For neo-Nazis to hold an explicitly anti-Jewish demonstration in Golders Green in the heart of the Jewish community on a Saturday, the Sabbath when Jewish people would be going to and from the synagogue would obviously be intimidatory and cause offence – which is probably what it was intended to do.

“The neo-Nazis can still have their demonstration.”

Published: Saturday 4th July 2015 by The News Editor

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