Neo-Nazis banned from Golders Green!

Community Security Trust (CST) just confirmed on their blog that the proposed July 4th neo-Nazi demonstration has been relocated by police from Golders Green to central London.  CST wrote the following.

This [change] will allow Jewish residents of Golders Green and the surrounding area to observe their Shabbat with integrity and dignity; and sends a strong message of support for British Jews at a time when fears of antisemitism remain high.

The neo-Nazis had sought to protest in Golders Green, as they have previously done in Stamford Hill, and as they plan to do in other areas with notable Jewish communities. We will not sit idly by when antisemitic neo-Nazis choose to spend their Saturday afternoons agitating against Jews in various areas of North London.

The decision to relocate the neo-Nazi demonstration follows weeks of intense conversations with Barnet Police, Scotland Yard, Barnet Council, the Home Office, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, in which CST was joined by our colleagues and friends in the London Jewish Forum, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.

Many politicians, including the Prime Minister, had expressed their sincere concerns about the demonstration. CST wishes to especially thank Mike Freer MP (Conservative), and Andrew Dismore AM (Labour), for having done everything in their respective power to assist the Jewish community and help stop neo-Nazis demonstrating in Golders Green.

CST will also continue to play its role in supporting the ‘Golders Green Together’ campaign which has been led by anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate, the London Jewish Forum and the Board of Deputies. This utilises Hope not Hate’s extensive experience in opposing hateful far right protests, by counter-actions showing the unity and cohesion of local areas in rejection of external racist forces.

CST will also keep working with Barnet Police and Barnet Council to ensure that there is a strong policing and security presence in Golders Green over 3, 4 and 5 July. We are aware that various antisemitic elements have been very excited by the publicity surrounding the proposed demonstration, including one provocateur who is now remanded in custody after CST brought his social media postings to Police attention. So, the need for stringent security remains.

There will, no doubt, be those who argue that the Nazi demonstration should have been allowed to occur in the physical and symbolic heart of British Jewry. CST understands this position, as freedom of speech and assembly are fundamental human rights. It is, nevertheless, surely correct that hate speech and racism are legislated against: and, if those principles are to apply anywhere, then it must surely include when neo-Nazis try to demonstrate in Golders Green.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism UK published a message on their Facebook page noting that their counter-demo has now been called off.  

Finally, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) released the following statement:

The MPS has been engaging with protest organisers and communities with regards to a planned static anti-Shomrim protest on 4th July at Golders Green, within the London Borough of Barnet.

After carefully considering all the facts surrounding this protest and counter protest activity, including the impact on the Jewish and wider community of Golders Green, it is the assessment of the MPS that the presence of these groups in the same area at the same time is likely to result in serious disorder, serious disruption to the life of the community and intimidation of others. As a result, conditions have been imposed on the anti-Shomrim protest group under Section 14 Public Order Act 1986.

Those conditions are that anti-Shomrim protestors must assemble (hold a rally) at Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London, SW1 in a static assembly for 60 minutes from 1pm to 2pm. The assembly point will be positioned on the east footway of Whitehall opposite Downing Street.

By imposing these conditions, the MPS is attempting to strike a balance between the right to peaceful assembly and peaceful protest and our duty to prevent crime & disorder and protect the communities of Golders Green.

The MPS will continue to work with residents, the business community and protest organisers to publicise these conditions and ensure that everyone is aware of the conditions and how it may affect them.

Saturday will see a significant policing operation around this protest and any counter protest activity. It is essential that faith and community leaders work closely with the local community and police in preventing disorder and other criminality

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