Newsblog: August 27-September 2
The Metropolitan police force will have 3,000 extra officers on standby this Saturday in anticipation of an English Defense League (EDL) march, though it has been formally banned. The march was meant to take place in Tower Hamlets but fears of clashes between the EDL and anti-fascist demonstrators caused Home Secretary Theresa May to intervene. Recent riots in London also spread fears that this demonstration could prevent the city from moving back towards ‘normality’.
In a separate announcement by May this week, emergency legislation, which would allow the UK government to forcibly move terrorist suspects around the country, would not be abolished as previously promised. While the terrorism prevention and investigation measures bill in front of Parliament now seeks to rid the Home Secretary of this right, May has appealed for this power under ‘exceptional circumstances’.
More UK links to Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik emerged this week as police continue their investigation. Brevik has admitted to killing 77 people in a bomb blast and shooting at a youth political camp. Blogger Paul Ray, a UK resident, was questioned after it was suggested Ray was the mentor whom Breivik mentioned in his manifesto. Ray, who blogged under the name ‘Lionheart’, has denied any connection to Breivik.
David Cameron was present at the ‘Friends of Libya’ meeting held in Paris on Thursday. The group of sixty world leaders met to decide on how to best transition the country into democracy, and as one author stated, ‘jockey for oil contracts’. While French companies are already planning trade missions to Libya this month, the UK has declared no such intention until the full cessation of hostilities. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned that Libya still needs to be wary of Islamists.
University staff in the UK, including lecturers, chaplains and porters, are being asked to report suspicious students to the police. The new guidance meant to counter Islamist radicalisation urges staff to note isolated and depressed Muslim students to the police. Critics of this new move state that these actions infringe upon student’s rights and are discriminatory to Muslim students. This move is occurring as part of the UK’s recently released Prevent strategy, which Home Secretary Theresea May stated is about ‘stopping people drawn into terrorism.’