Edinburgh Council bans SDL marchers

By Marcus Dysch, September 1, 2011

The Scottish Defence League has been banned from marching through Edinburgh the day before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The off-shoot of the far-right anti-Islamic fundamentalism English Defence League had hoped to protest through the city centre on September 10.

But last Friday, Edinburgh City Council unanimously turned down the SDL's application, on public safety grounds.

A campaign to have the protest banned was led by an umbrella group called Scotland United.

Rebekah Gronowski, a member of Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community, was among the signatories of an objection letter organised by Scotland United, sent to the authority. Other signatories included politicians, community leaders and trades union officials.

Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Council general secretary, said the ban "sends out a clear message that racism and fascism has no place in Scotland's towns and cities".

A previous SDL protest in the city in February last year led to a massive police presence being deployed, with more than 700 officers separating demonstrators from a counter-protest led by Scotland United.

Last updated: 1:05pm, September 1 2011