Feb. 23: Demonstrators supporting Mohammad Haque and Emdadur Choudhury protest as they arrive at Belmarsh Magistrates Court in south-east London. The trial of two men accused of burning poppies on the anniversary of Armistice Day started on Wednesday. Mohammad Haque, 30, and Emdadur Choudhury, 26, were arrested during a demonstration by Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades in Kensington, west London, on November 11.AFP
LONDON -- A militant Muslim group has sought police permission to demonstrate on the day of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with the stated aim of disrupting the event, The (London) Times reported Tuesday.
Scotland Yard said that it had also received indications from the far-right English Defense League that, if Muslims Against Crusades held a protest, it would mount a counter-demonstration.
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Police will not allow either group to protest inside the security zone, which covers Westminster Abbey and the processional route. But they have no powers to ban a stationary protest elsewhere in central London.
The Muslim group, an offshoot of the banned al Muhajiroun organization, says that it is planning a "forceful demonstration." Its website carries a picture of a burning Union Jack and pictures of William and other members of the royal family captioned "enemies to Allah."
Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has ordered tough action to stamp out disorder on the day of the wedding.
Lynne Owens, an assistant commissioner, said, "If anybody comes to London on the day of the royal wedding intending to commit criminal acts, we will act quickly, robustly and decisively."
The Metropolitan Police will have 5,000 officers on wedding duty. In addition to the threat from extremist demonstrators, Scotland Yard is also making plans to cope with potential public order issues from anarchist groups, the protection of 80 visiting VIPs and any threat from individuals stalking the royal family.
William and Kate will tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on April 29 in a ceremony to be broadcast live around the world.