More than 2,100 people have signed a petition asking the police to protect Liverpool’s Jewish community from a neo-Nazi rally in the city.
The White Man March, organised by far-right group National Action, is due to take place in the city centre on August 15, a Shabbat.
The previous White Man March, held four months ago in Newcastle, attracted around 100 extremists and saw the burning and shredding of Israeli flags.
Howard Winik, vice-chairman of Merseyside Jewish Representative Council (MJRC) – the group which started the petition – said: “This march is a major concern for us and we believe it is calculated to incite racial hatred and public disorder.
“We are calling urgently on the Chief Constable to exercise his powers to protect the local community and to send out a clear message that this kind of activity crosses a line and cannot be tolerated.”
However, Mark Gardner, director of communications at the Community Security Trust, said that since the rally will not be near any Jewish locations, there is little more the police could do.
“A previous White Man March in Newcastle featured vile antisemitism and neo-Nazism, so we discussed this latest demonstration with Merseyside Police as soon as it was proposed,” Mr Gardner said.
“It will disgust and offend the vast majority of people, but our understanding is that it will occur in the city centre and does not, therefore, directly impact upon synagogues on the Shabbat.”
Sue Hadden, an executive member of the MJRC council, confirmed that there would be a counter-demonstration on the day. She said: “It’s very important to have a presence opposing – a non-confrontational presence, but definitely a presence.
“It’s really important that we say no to Nazism and that we will not tolerate it in the UK, certainly not in Liverpool anyway.”
Earlier this month, a rally by neo-Nazis planned to take place in the London suburb of Golders Green, where a large Jewish community lives, was moved by police on public safety grounds.
Source: Jewish Chronicle