West Midlands: Birmingham city centre will be locked down by more than 1,000 police officers in a huge operation to stop major disorder breaking out at a rally by the EDL.
Community leaders today appealed for calm, with tensions high following two bomb attacks on mosques, and cops have been drafted in from around the country.
The far right English Defence League supporters are expected to flock to Centenary Square for a static demonstration about Islamic extremism on Saturday, a week after the Kanz-ul-Iman Muslim Welfare Association Central Jamia Mosque in Tipton was attacked in a nail bomb blast.
Three weeks ago a pipe bomb was discovered at the Aisha Mosque in Walsall.
Campaigners from the Birmingham Unite Against Fascism project, will carry out their own protest in nearby Chamberlain Square.
West Midland Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe, who is in overall command of the major policing operation, said: “We do appreciate that our communities are feeling vulnerable, especially in light of what happened at the weekend at Tipton mosque.
We are very mindful of that and we are working with communities to make sure they feel safe.
“We have plenty of officers to deal with any trouble that takes place and we can deal with anything that happens on our streets.
“Anyone who comes to our city with the aim of committing violence will be dealt with swiftly and robustly by our officers.”