Grantham Journal letter: Opposing the EDL rally was necessary

EDL Protest March. 1001D(b)
EDL Protest March. 1001D(b)

A number of commentators have expressed concern about the counter-demonstration held by the Grantham Solidarity Network to the EDL march and rally on Saturday, February 22.

They have made a number of remarks about the cost to the local taxpayer for the policing, the high risk of disorder and suggested that it was irresponsible for children to be present.

What they have been quiet about however, is the EDL and you have to assume that they think either: a) the EDL should have been given free rein without any opposition, or b) there should be no public demonstrations in Grantham at all. I am not clear where they sit on this and perhaps they should explain themselves on this point.

By the way, a police force can apply to the Home Office for support if the cost of policing events is too high. It is not clear whether Lincolnshire Police have needed to do this and, to my knowledge, no senior officer has made any statement to this effect.

It goes without saying, that in a democratic society the price of liberty is sometimes high. Organisations like the EDL work on the basis of trying to intimidate people from standing up in opposition to them. Having no organised opposition would have been a huge propaganda victory for the EDL, enabling the EDL to claim they have far more support than they actually do.

However, it is not all over. One of the reasons the EDL do this is to find new recruits and to get a base to plan future activities.

Do not think it is a one-0ff and if you care about freedom, peace and tolerance, get involved with the Grantham Solidarity Network, because when the next time comes we will need to be bigger and stronger.

Rob Shorrock

New Beacon Road, Grantham