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Scotland's politicians unite against SDL march
SNP, Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem politicians oppose extremist march through Glasgow
Megan Wells
Wednesday, 15 February, 2012 | 09:00
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Credit: David A. Selby

Plans to march in Glasgow by the far-right Scottish Defence League have been shelved following opposition from top politicians.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, along with the leaders of Scottish Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties – Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie respectively – all advised councillors to ban the moves of the far-right group, who applied to the council to hold a public procession on 25 February.

As a result, the group on 11 February withdrew their application to march, and now plan to stage a static demonstration in the city centre.

In an open letter to Glagow City Council, of which Sturgeon, Lamont and Davidson are among the 24 signatories, the plans to march by the SDL (a division of the English Defence League) have been described as “vile, toxic hate”.

The letter declares the “wish to send out a loud and clear message that racism is not welcome in our city.”

The letter, backed by several trade unions, the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, states that whilst they defend free speech, they do not believe discrimination should be given “free rein on our streets.” 

The letter also points to past actions of the SDL and EDL as having led to “mindless thugs (going) on the rampage”.

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