Take action over rally, May tells the police


The Home Secretary has called on the head of the Metropolitan Police to use every legal tool at his disposal in restricting a planned demonstration by extremists "against Jewish privilege".

Theresa May wrote to Sir Bernard Hogan Howe about the protest, due to be held in Golders Green on July 4, which grassroots group Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) has predicted will be a "neo-Nazi demonstration".

The static protest, which follows a similar rally against "Jewification" in Stamford Hill and will take place on Shabbat, has been promoted by the extreme far-right New Dawn Party.

Mike Penning, the minister for policing and crime, said that though banning a stationary protest is impossible, authorities still have many options available to them.

"Police have a range of powers to deal with static demonstrations, including imposing restrictions on where they can be held, the length of time they can last and the number of people who can take part.

"The Home Secretary is writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to urge him to use these powers and ensure that anyone who commits a criminal offence or demonstrates antisemitic hostility faces the full force of the law."

The CAA has signed up more than 1,600 activists to take part in its counter-protest. On its Facebook page, the group said that "the law has failed here", adding that it would be focusing on "pushing for on-the-spot arrests of anyone committing criminal acts, including criminal hate speech, on the day".

Superintendent Steven Wallace, acting commander of Barnet, the borough where the rally is taking place, said the police understood the racist nature of the protest and welcomed the community's reaction.

"We understand that the rally has antisemitic motives. We've had a really good response from the community.

"We had our first operational meeting about the rally on Wednesday. We are seeking legal advice in relation to placing restrictions on the rally. We are actively seeking to do something about this."

He also said that the police are investigating a virulently antisemitic website called Endzog, which is also promoting the demonstration.

Cllr Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said: "I'm surprised people would want to make this demonstration here and I call on it to stop. There is no place for this type of protest on our streets."

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