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Local opposition to Lincoln mosque protest

Local residents are opposing a planned protest against the mosque set to be built in Lincoln on the former site of the Boultham dairy, along with a supermarket and housing development.

As previously reported, the demo is organised via Facebook by a group called East Anglian Patriots, possibly an off-shoot of the English Defence League (EDL).

The event is planned for 1pm on June 8 at the site of the former Boultham Dairy, where the new mosque and a supermarket were approved back in November 2012.

Jean Flannery, Chair of the Boultham Residents’ Association, said: “I wish to urge everyone who opposes the views and ideology of the East Anglian Patriots to stay away.

“Please starve them of the audience they crave and any opportunity for confrontation. Let them stand alone, with only the police presence to posture to.

“Some of you may feel that you must demonstrate against the self-styled ‘patriots,’ or just find yourselves on the marching route as they pass.

“What we would then ask is that you silently turn your backs on the group in a peaceful, but we believe powerful, show of rejection. Ignore whatever they say or do.”

Dr Tanweer Ahmed from the Islamic Association of Lincoln said the protest could cause tension between communities and urged local Muslims to stay away from the protest.

Counter-demonstration

A demonstration calling for “unity against racism” will also take place on June 8 from midday near the War Memorial on Lincoln High Street.

It is organised by Lincoln & District TUC. Secretary Nick Parker said: “We oppose racist division and terror because things like these ruin the lives of working-class people.

“We call for working-class people to stick together and fight cuts and austerity policies which fuel the far-right, and not fight each other.

“Come out and let’s have a show of strength on Saturday that we reject racism and division, and are united in demanding decent jobs, homes and public services,” Nick Parker added.

Police on stand-by

As previously reported, Lincolnshire Police have warned against inciting racial and religious hatred or violence at the planned protest march against the mosque.

The force said they have engaged with the organisers to establish possible numbers and the intentions of those attending: “Should a protest event take place, ample resources will be in place to ensure public safety.”

“Any public disorder, or offences related to inciting racial and religious hatred or violence at such an event, will be met with a robust policing response.”

Police also encouraged responsible use of social media in the run-up to the planned event: “Any communications reported to us that breach law may be monitored, captured and robust police action will be considered.”