Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

'You're not welcome here': Bishop of Manchester in warning to far-right group set for city centre protest

'You're not welcome here': Bishop of Manchester in warning to far-right group set for city centre protest

| By Andrew Greaves

The Bishop of Manchester has urged people of the city to stand together against hatred, ahead of a demonstration by the far-right group White Pride today.

The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, has also said that any counter-demonstration should be done peacefully.

The White Pride group has previously held a rally in Manchester in March and last week were due to take part in a demonstration in Liverpool, only to be met with fierce opposition at the city’s Lime Street Station.

Some of the group were forced to hide in a left luggage facility.

The Revd Dr Walker said: “We are a city that celebrates our common heritage of peaceful protest in the name of social progress and justice, gaining strength from the diversity of communities across Greater Manchester.

“But we must stand together in the true spirit of hope not hate. This is my message to those who intend to whip up intolerance, violence and hatred. They are not welcome in our city which has built its foundations upon respect and tolerance.

“Whilst I urge people to turn their backs on these people, I recognise those who wish to express their opposition to hatred and intolerance by counter-demonstrating and I urge that this is done peacefully.”

Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester and the region’s police and crime commissioner, said the views of the group ‘flew in the face’ of what Manchester and its citizens stood for.

He said: “I urge all Mancunians to turn their backs and ignore this small minority who try to divide us when we are determined to stand together. Those who choose to demonstrate against them, we ask them to conduct themselves within the law and peacefully, in the best traditions of Greater Manchester.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they were aware of the protest and that a policing operation would be in place this afternoon.

They made two arrests in March during the last demonstration.

Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said: “We respect everyone's right to lawfully protest and officers will be working with Manchester City Council to ensure it passes peacefully and safely.

“Everyone has the right to free speech, but with this comes a high degree of personal responsibility and we will take positive action against anybody who abuses such an important privilege.”

The Bishop of Manchester has urged people of the city to stand together against hatred, ahead of a demonstration by the far-right group White Pride today.

The Rt Revd Dr David Walker, has also said that any counter-demonstration should be done peacefully.

The White Pride group has previously held a rally in Manchester in March and last week were due to take part in a demonstration in Liverpool, only to be met with fierce opposition at the city’s Lime Street Station.

Some of the group were forced to hide in a left luggage facility.

The Revd Dr Walker said: “We are a city that celebrates our common heritage of peaceful protest in the name of social progress and justice, gaining strength from the diversity of communities across Greater Manchester.

“But we must stand together in the true spirit of hope not hate. This is my message to those who intend to whip up intolerance, violence and hatred. They are not welcome in our city which has built its foundations upon respect and tolerance.

“Whilst I urge people to turn their backs on these people, I recognise those who wish to express their opposition to hatred and intolerance by counter-demonstrating and I urge that this is done peacefully.”

Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester and the region’s police and crime commissioner, said the views of the group ‘flew in the face’ of what Manchester and its citizens stood for.

He said: “I urge all Mancunians to turn their backs and ignore this small minority who try to divide us when we are determined to stand together. Those who choose to demonstrate against them, we ask them to conduct themselves within the law and peacefully, in the best traditions of Greater Manchester.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they were aware of the protest and that a policing operation would be in place this afternoon.

Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said:  “We respect everyone's right to lawfully protest and officers will be working with Manchester City Council to ensure it passes peacefully and safely.

“Everyone has the right to free speech, but with this comes a high degree of personal responsibility and we will take positive action against anybody who abuses such an important privilege.”

Image courtesy of Charles Veitch via YouTube, with thanks.