Community protests, led by United East End and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) against the English Defence League's (EDL) proposed march to Tower Hamlets, passed off peacefully on Saturday 7 September.

Residents from the community, faith groups, trade unions and politicians congregated at the historical Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel, east London, where they voiced their opposition to the EDL. Approximately 10,000 people came out onto the streets in Whitechapel and near the East London Mosque.

Working with partners like the Islamic Forum of Europe, UAF and the local authority, the East London Mosque mobilised over 800 stewards to help with crowd control and helping reduce tensions in the community. Dilowar Khan, Executive Director of the mosque, speaking at the demonstration said “our march is a peaceful one. We cherish our rich diversity and cohesion in the borough which the EDL seeks to destroy.”

The EDL were allowed to march and protest for 30 minutes at Aldgate, City of London, amid a very tight police presence to prevent serious disorder.

The community staged a victory march from Altab Ali Park to the East London Mosque, after the EDL threat had passed. Many non-Muslims took the opportunity to visit the East London Mosque, where there was an exhibition about Islam on display as well as refreshments for volunteers and visitors.

We would like to commend our stewards, youth workers, local authority and the police for helping to maintain the peace in the borough.