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City seeks ban on right-wing rally

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A rally through the centre of Manchester planned by right-wing protesters should be banned, say council chiefs.

But because they are powerless to stop it themselves they have appealed to Home Secretary Alan Johnson to step in.

The request follows a similar rally in Birmingham on 5 September, when 90 people were arrested after members of the English Defence League (EDL) clashed with anti-fascist campaigners.

As frightened shoppers looked on, gangs of men and youths had hurled bottles at each other and pelted riot police with bricks.

Says Manchester deputy council leader Jim Battle: “Wherever the so-called English Defence League have gone, there has been violence and disruption to ordinary people who just want to go about their business.

“The city council isn’t a lone voice making this request. We are standing together with faith groups and city centre traders.

“Manchester does not want the EDL, and we stand united against their poisonous, disruptive and un-British outlook and actions.”

In Birmingham, the council had obtained a trespass order from the Home Secretary under section 14a of the Public Order Act that banned protesters from the Bull Ring area of the city.

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