ENGLISH Defence League members are organising a silent march to “get their point across” about the murder of a British soldier.
The far-right organisation is holding walks across the country on Saturday in response to the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, who was brutally killed in a London street.
Craig Owens, from the West View area of town, is helping to arrange Hartlepool’s march, which will see people set off from the Lloyds Bar, in Church Square, at 12.30pm and stop at Hartlepool’s war memorial in Victory Square.
The unemployed 28-year-old is adamant that Hartlepool’s event will be peaceful and alcohol free – despite EDL protests elsewhere in the country turning violent.
Craig, who is inviting non-EDL members to join the march, said: “We just want to get our point across and for people to listen and to stand up to what has gone on.
“It’s outrageous to have one of our troops brutally murdered in broad daylight. It shouldn’t happen here.
“Hopefully, there will be quite a few people turning out.”
The EDL, which was set up in 2009, describes itself as “an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism”, but has often been linked with hooliganism and racism.
It has seen its popularity rise online since Drummer Rigby was killed in Woolwich on May 22.
A recent EDL march saw 1,000 protesters marching on Downing Street chanting ‘Muslim killers off our streets’, during which 14 people were held by police.
Craig said there has been “a lot more interest” in the organisation locally since Drummer Rigby’s death.
He added: “In the past, people have been frightened that they will be called racists, but they don’t care now, they just want this to stop.
“We want people to be sent back to their own countries.”
Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, London, has been charged with the murder of Drummer Rigby and possessing a firearm.
A second man, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains under arrest at a London hospital and is said to be in a stable condition.
A post-mortem examination found Drummer Rigby, 25, died of “multiple incised wounds” after the attack.
Police have arrested eight other people so far.
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