Counter protest planned to EDL demonstration in Boston

Boston Borough Council area from The Stump.
Boston Borough Council area from The Stump.

A counter protest has been planned against the English Defence League demonstration set to take place on October 1.

A group calling themselves Boston Against Hate and Racism have announced their plans for a ‘static protest’ to take place on the same day - which also coincides with Lincolnshire Day.

News

News

The counter-event will be held in Boston Central Park and is timed in for 11.45am-12.50pm.

A statement on the group’s Facebook page says: “Boston is full of divides and segregation. But this page is hopefully a aid to help heal wounds. To progress fairly and respectfully. We all deserve more, so does our town.

“We definitely don’t need the far right English Defence League to stir the pot and claim they represent us.

“Whatever end of the political, social, or race spectrum you’re on if you wish to support a message of peaceful change, anti hate, and attempt to heal deep wounds please join us to counter demonstrate.

“Change shouldn’t be voiced by the EDL, it should be by us genuine fair Boston people.”

The EDL announced its plans for a protest earlier this month saying it was ‘against rising immigration and for the Government to evoke Article 50’.

It has since been revealed that the demonstration will start at the St George’s Road car park at 12noon.

Since the announcement, a number of residents have expressed their concerns over the actions of the far right group.

A statement from the UKIP party said: “Their spokesman, Paul Whiteside, alleges that there are rising tensions in the town, an assertion with which we fundamentally disagree. According to Andy Morris, the Community Policing Inspector for the Boston area, his Force has not seen any rise in violence or hate crime as a result of the Brexit vote.

“The planned demonstration by the EDL will do nothing to enhance community cohesion; it is more likely to do the opposite which is the reason why we would ask the leaders of the EDL Lincolnshire Branch to think again before proceeding with their plan.”

However, EDL lead for Lincolnshire Paul Whiteside has toldThe Standard that he will not tolerate ‘any trouble’ during the event.

He said: “It is planned as a peaceful demonstration.”

He added that he was very aware that he had organised it and it would ‘come back on me’ if there was any trouble.

Mr Whiteside said he had a good relationship with police and did not want anything to spoil that.

Earlier this year, Boston has voted ‘out’ in the European Union Referendum with the leave campaign taking more than 75.5 per cent of the vote.

Mr Whiteside said this was why Boston had been chosen as the place to demonstrate.

For more on the protests see next Wednesday’s Boston Standard.