On Saturday, November 10th, SPEAK Norwich joined forces with an assortment of faith groups, political parties, trade Unions, and community groups to counter demonstrate against an English Defense League led protest.
Instigated by the barring of Norwich Reform Church from operating on City Council premises, the EDL gathered en mass to march the streets of Norwich. They claimed to be championing the rights of the church and 'defending freedom of speech'. However, the protest to preserve 'free speech' seemed a thinly veiled suggestion that there should be license for the kind of cultural and religious intolerance embedded in the values of the EDL. Their demonstration was met with a 1500 strong opposition of individuals and groups from a variety of political, faith and non-faith based backgrounds, whose counterpunch was the encouragement of a freedom of expression compatible with grace and tolerance. Alaine Mukene represented SPEAK Norwich on the march:
"I am really proud that we are all here together today; so many faiths and no faiths and different groups. We are the people who make up Norwich and we stand together peacefully and with dignity against the EDL" Alaine Mukene, from Norwich SPEAK (http://www.networknorwich.co.uk/Articles)
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