The English Defence League are holding events up and down the country, 10 days after the Woolwich murder that resulted in a major Islamophobic backlash on the Muslim community.
Demonstrations are being held in up to a dozen towns and cities in England including Leicester, Birmingham and Manchester following the killing of British soldier Lee Rigby.
Leader of the EDL, Tommy Robinson tweeted that this Saturday’s events is “a march in silence”. He has called on supporters to lay wreaths at memorials and instructed them not to carry banners or drink alcohol while marching.
Anti-fascist activists have also gathered across the country to counter the EDL.
Political activist, Abu Alamgir from Birmingham said: “A small contingent of EDL supporters brought their children along to lay a wreath at Birmingham’s war memorial. We organised an anti-fascist demo which was attended by over 100 people but the Police kettled around 30 core activists including myself.”
Matthew Collins of anti-fascist group Hope not Hate said: “The decision to localize the demonstration was part of a plan to draw attention away from a simultaneous march planned in London by the British National Party, with whom the EDL leadership has clashed in the past.”
“Tommy Robinson has got off his political deathbed. The EDL was as good as dead last week. Lennon had lost all respect from what was left of his gang.”
An Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) spokesman said: “Police forces across the country will be working closely with local communities as always to ensure these pass off with minimum disruption. While we will do all we can to facilitate peaceful protest, those taking part should be clear that the police will uphold the law.”
West Yorkshire Police said it was not aware of a large-scale planned action by either the EDL or its opponents but have action plans in place if it occurs.