Synagogue-goers told to avoid anti-fascist march through park

By Stephanie Brickman, February 18, 2010

A popular route to shul for Edinburgh Hebrew Congregation members will be off limits tomorrow because of an anti-Fascist march by Scotland United, organised in protest against a Scottish Defence League rally.

The park known as The Meadows is crossed by some members of the community on their way to and from shul.

Two Lothian and Borders police officers visited the shul on Shabbat to warn congregants to avoid The Meadows on February 20.

Inspector Ian Moffat and PC Reuben Merrick told them that when 20 members of the SDL met in Glasgow in November, over 1,000 people joined a counter demonstration.

There are concerns that the SDL will copy the English Defence League tactic of waving Israeli flags to antagonise some of the opposing marchers.

Lothian and Borders Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said police preparations "have been primarily based around facilitating peaceful protest and public safety.

"However, should any problems arise, we will respond in a robust manner to ensure that order is maintained."

Last updated: 6:00pm, February 18 2010