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Prevent the English Defence League from demonstrating in Derby

This petition had 15,970 supporters

The far-right extremist group the English Defence League is intending to hold a march in Derby on the 8th of April. Many people in the area believe that allowing this march to take place is an endorsement of Islamophobic hate speech, and risks the safety and well-being of innocent local residents.

Although it could be said that preventing the march would infringe upon freedom of speech, a crude neoliberal approach ignores the fact that freedom of speech does not include hate speech. Personal liberty ends when it infringes upon the rights of others, and local residents’ freedom from persecution on the grounds of religion or ethnicity take precedent over the EDL’s ability to spread their message.

Hate speech encourages hate crimes, and facilitating this directly threatens the lives of the thousands of Muslims living in Derby. Although they deny any racist or Islamophobic links, the prevalence of underground extremist groups such as the EDL has grown in line with an increase in racially and religiously-motivated attacks, particularly since the EU referendum. The EDL has, on many occasions, been shown to become aggressive and violent towards local residents and police; the use of slurs and Nazi salutes has been observed.

We call for Derby City Council to take any action necessary to prevent the EDL from demonstrating. Those signing this petition aim to spread the message that there is no place for far-right extremism in Derby, and that we are proud of our acceptance and diversity. Additionally, they acknowledge the distinctions between different types of political expression, and do not endorse suppression of those which do not pose a threat to others (such as vigils, or protests against inequality).

This petition expires at 11:59 on 26/03/17

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