SDL vows bigger demo in Edinburgh

The Scottish Defence League has sworn to return to Edinburgh for a demonstration twice as large as this year’s – with the support of ultra-far right groups.

In September, the SDL staged a static demo at Waterloo Place, which attracted a counter demonstration by United Against Fascism.

And on May 28 next year, the SDL – who describe themselves as standing against the rise of Islamic extremism – plan to stage a march and say they will be supported by radical groups, the North West Infidels and North East Infidels.

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Ahead of September’s demo in the city, the North West Infidels threatened to tear their opponents “limb from limb”, prompting a heightened police presence.

A post on the North West Infidel’s Cumbria Facebook page read: “Britain is ours to fight for. Stand proud if your white & British, if your UAF or an ethnic type, get away to f***, you ain’t welcome on these shores!!!” The North West Infidels are thought to be a splinter group from the English Defence League, and its members were reportedly involved in violence in April when they clashed with EDL members during a protest in Blackburn, Lancashire.

The three groups have put up a united front with a new page of the website called the Nei/Nwi/Sdl Coalition.

It states: “The north has come as one to destroy militant islam we will be protesting all over great britain and will be protesting our way not the police or goverments way keep the faith keep it casual and NO SURRENDER.”

The SDL staged a static demo after the city council refused them permission for a march amid fears it would create a “flashpoint” of violence.

James Smith, an SDL council member, from Edinburgh, said: “We are expecting twice as many members. We will be getting support from the North West Infidels and the North East Infidels.

“We are a single issue pressure group and we want to pressurise the government into taking the appropriate action against terrorism.”

Mr Smith added that the static demo in September had passed without incident. SDL East Coast regional organiser, Graham Walker, said: “We are looking to go for the full-scale march next year. Talks are ongoing with the police and the council.

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“The SDL is not against normal Muslims – it’s extremist Islamic people who are the people who hold up offensive placards and burn poppies on Armistice day. We are branded racist, but we are not – extremists are not a race.”

An council spokesperson said: “The council has been notified of an intended procession and this will be considered in due course, working with the police and other organisations as appropriate.”