The African & Caribbean Community calls for Action to Postpone the EDL Protest in Birmingham as concerns are expressed for the safety of 2000 African & Caribbean Young People Attending Symphony Hall on Saturday
Members of Birmingham African & Caribbean Community are publicly expressing their concerns with regard to the planned EDL protest in Centenary Square this Saturday 20th July 2013 and would strongly suggest that Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police and The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner take action and cancel or at least postpone this protest.
Whilst we acknowledge the right of any group to protest we are seriously concerned regarding the planned City Centre protest of the EDL in Centenary Square this Saturday.
This is because there will be some 2000 African & Caribbean and other young people, attending a spiritual Christian event for the uplifting of young people ‘Midnight Oil’ which is seeking to represent hope and a positive inspiration for the City of Birmingham at Symphony Hall on Saturday 20th July which is a pre-arranged 3 day event commencing on Thursday 18th July and ends on the Saturday Night, for which the organisors had booked Symphony Hall and The Birmingham Conservatoire months in advance.
We are concerned for the safety of these youngsters, which could be subject to racial abuse and indeed possible attacks, as the EDL protests do cause concern with regard to public disorder. We do believe that the EDL’s protest are against people of colour and indeed the senseless murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich does not just have implications for the Muslim Community as the accused men are of African /Caribbean descent.
It needs to be pointed out that the safety of the public and these 2000 African & Caribbean and other young people is paramount and all steps should be taken to ensure their safety.
We also have concerns that the extra Police Officers are from forces outside of the West Midlands and how they will interact especially with the African & Caribbean youngsters.
This does demonstrate the need for legislation to be available in order to ban these types of protests; where there is a clear danger to the public namely the 2000 African & Caribbean and other young people that will be attending Symphony Hall.
This is about the safety of young people and the Community at large. The people of Birmingham will hold the authorities to account for the safety, should events get out of hand.
Having met with West Midlands Police this afternoon, it has been confirmed that they are actively working with the organisors ‘Midnight Oil’, furthermore all external officers will be led by an officer from West Midlands Police.
We are very concerned about this whole matter and do have very serious reservations for the safety of our Young People.
Notes to Editors:
The following are available for Press & Radio Interviews
Desmond Jaddoo – Birmingham Empowerment Forum 07946374577
Carver Anderson - Chair Strategic Alliance 07988-121039
Maxi Hayles – BARAC Birmingham (Black Activists Fighting Against the Cuts) 07956 - 141554