• Fundraising for cancer-stricken girl used as excuse for protest
  • EDL told to stay out of Tower Hamlets or be arrested
  • Arrest took place five minutes’ walk from East London Mosque

The leaders of the EDL invoked the plight of a child with cancer at least 25 times in their attempts to avoid arrest on Saturday. Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were detained after ignoring warnings from police that the route of their march —  right past the East London Mosque — would occasion a breach of the peace.

The pair pleaded:

“We’ve been arrested for trying to do a charity walk for a dying child on armed forces day”

And despite the claimed non-political nature of the “charity walk”, Robinson then told officers:

“You’re enforcing sharia law!”

The EDL circulated the video to claim that they were somehow treated unfairly by the police. But a letter to Robinson from the Met (longer excerpts below) shows that he had ignored

“your presence in Tower Hamlets and in particular the East London Mosque, would prove to be so provocative as to tend to result in violent opposition and a Breach of the Peace”

“I am requesting you not to enter the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the 29th June 2013. Should you not comply with this request [you may become] liable to arrest to prevent an imminent Breach of the Peace”

As the map below shows, Robinson and Carroll were arrested just yards into Tower Hamlets.

Tower Hamlets EDL arrest

More: Relevant bits from the Met’s letter to Robinson:

“We are keen to work with you to ensure your event goes as smoothly as possible and that there are no untoward incidents. To that end we suggest that the routes on the maps enclosed would enable you to achieve your objectives.”

“In your meeting with me you stated that the walk you propose is not a protest and is purely aimed at raising money for charity. Over the years you have been forthright in your views on the Islamic faith. Some sections of society have found you views to be grossly offensive and have protested against both you personally and the English Defence League which you lead … In light of recent events it is my belief that your presence in Tower Hamlets and in particular the East London Mosque, would prove to be so provocative as tot tend to result in violent opposition and a Breach of the Peace.”

“I genuinely believe that the route proposed by you, or your very presence at the East London Mosque, will provoke and immediate violent reaction. To fulfil my duty to preserve the peace I am requesting you not to enter the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the 29th June 2013. Should you not comply with this request, and the circumstances develop as feared, it may prove necessary for steps to be taken to avoid disorder and these may include you becoming liable to arrest to prevent and imminent Breach of the Peace and/or obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duties”

  1. Let me get this straight –
    British men and women want to walk along British streets. Other Britons living in the area through which the walk is planned may get annoyed and become violent. Therefore, if that eventuality arises, the people who are peacefully walking will be arrested.

    THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PEACEFULLY WALKING ALONG STREETS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY WILL BE ARRESTED, not protected from those who may become violent towards them.

    It is those from whom the violence is anticipated who should be warned. It is they who should be told: “Some members of a national organisation will be walking for charity through this area on (whenever it might be). If you try to prevent them, or become violent towards them, or in any way cause a breach of the peace, you are liable to be arrested”.

    Instead we have the travesty of proper policing outlined above.

  2. Andrew: There’s a difference between walking down a street and MARCHING down a street, especially when we’re talking about the EDL who have displayed pretty obvious racist behaviour in the past.

    Now, I know you’re not actually here to have a reasoned discussion about the issues so I’m probably wasting my time, but I thought I’d just point that out.

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