Town centre braced for a weekend of protests

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By CarlyBaldwin | Friday, September 28, 2012, 10:15

Walsall town centre will be placed in the national spotlight this weekend, thanks to controversial protests planned for tomorrow.

The English Defence League (EDL) will stage a static demonstration likely to attract attention from across the country, while groups opposing the EDL will also stage their own, simultaneous protests.

Earlier in the week, police confirmed that, while they have no power to stop the protests, they will be staging a 'large-scale operation' to ensure that members of the public are kept safe on what is likely to be a tense day.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, who will be in chage of the police operation, said: "Officers will be deployed throughout the town to provide a visible reassurance to retailers, shoppers and all those visiting Walsall.

"Any criminal or public order offences will be robustly dealt with."

He continued: "People should go about their normal business and not allow the protest to affect them or undermine Walsall's reputation as a harmonious town with many different cultures living alongside each other in peace. The policing operation will strive to ensure it remains that way."

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