Extra police for march in Sheffield

Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death in Woolwich

Drummer Lee Rigby was hacked to death in Woolwich

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A ‘celebration of multi-cultural Sheffield’ is to be held in opposition to plans by the English Defence League to stage a march in the city.

Supporters of the far-right party are planning a ‘peaceful’ walk tomorrow in memory of soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered in London.

They will lay flowers at the war memorial in Barker’s Pool in the city centre before holding a minute’s silence.

Similar events by the EDL are planned across the UK, including in Rotherham and Doncaster.

Police have said extra resources will be available to deal with ‘any eventualities’ on the day.

In response, Sheffield campaigners One City Many Cultures and Sheffield Unite Against Fascism are to host events in Barker’s Pool from midday.

Gareth Nicholas, secretary, said many people feared the EDL event would end in violence or ‘divide communities’.

He added: “Ours will be a peaceful celebration of our multi-cultural city.

“It’s about us all coming together and showing that we support everyone in Sheffield and we don’t want anybody coming in from outside to stop that.

“We don’t want the English Defence League to come here and divide our communities.”

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said the force was aware of EDL’s plans to remember Lee Rigby but said no applications for a march by the party had been received.

The spokesman added: “The key messages from the organisers are that these events will be peaceful and respectful.

“A number of rumours and comments that have been made on social media have been assumed to be fact by many people and they are having a disproportionately negative impact on the community.

“The force’s advice to all our communities is very much business as usual. Extra police resources will be available and on patrol to deal with any eventualities.”

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