Community celebration planned in response to far-right National Front march in Wakefield

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A multi-cultural celebration is planned on the same day as a march by the far-right National Front in Wakefield city centre.

Community group We are Wakefield is organising an event to celebrate cultural diversity in the city on Saturday, July 25.

It is being organised after the National Front announced it would hold its national “Stop Immigration” march in Wakefield on the same day.

West Yorkshire Police said it was in talks with both groups about their planned events.

We are Wakefield, which is made up of faiths groups, trade unionists and anti-fascist campaigners, first held a celebration event in the city in November 2013 in response to a protest by the far-right English Defence League (EDL).

Stuart Boothman, a member of the community group, said: “We have brought We are Wakefield back together and are planning a big city centre celebration of the whole community.

“Every part of the community will be represented. It will be a party atmosphere with music and food.

“The message we are trying to get across is that organisations like the National Front are spreading hate and division. We are saying they can’t divide us.”

We are Wakefield will also hold a public meeting at Lightwaves Leisure Centre at 7pm Thursday, July 23.

Mark Milsom, assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We have been approached by two organisations seeking to hold a demonstration in Wakefield on Saturday, July 25, We are Wakefield and the National Front.

“The police have a legal responsibility under the Human Rights Act to facilitate peaceful protest and we are in positive negotiations with both organisations to enable them to do so, whilst also allowing retailers and shoppers in the city centre to go about their business as usual.”