Organisations have a right to free speech, but we were dismayed to see this reported

First published in Letters

WE noted your report of the demonstration of the English Defence League (EDL) in Evesham’s Port Street (League holds a ‘peaceful' protest, Journal, March 27).

While we recognise that, in a democracy, organisations have the right to free speech, we were dismayed that it was reported in the Journal with equanimity.

Port Street is where there is a concentration of residents of our town from other parts of Europe and beyond. They bring business to the community, pay taxes and work hard.

As a town, we are keen to encourage the development of enterprise and to reverse the trend of local economic decline.

As a nation we have, for over two millennia, been a country of immigrants: Romans, Saxons, Jutes, Normans right up to the present day when we routinely eat Jewish fish and chips, Italian pizza, South Asian curry and Middle Eastern kebabs.

In Evesham next year we will celebrate the 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s attempts to establish the first English Parliament.

De Montfort was a French nobleman whose movement began the process of the establishment of English self-identity, one of the many ways in which non-indigenous have contributed to the life of our nation, and continue to do so.

There is nothing we can do in a democratic nation to stop organisations such as the EDL coming to Evesham.

We do ask that it is not reported in the local press in such a way as to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community, and that investment from any ethnic provenance is welcome, and that we are a town open for business.

Revd Andrew Spurr, Vicar of Evesham

Revd Dr Edward Pillar, Minister Evesham Baptist Church

Stuart Brown, Evesham Baptist Church

Revd David Haslam, Evesham Methodist Church

Revd Brian Holliday, Evesham Methodist Church

Sarah Hewitt, Missioner, Asum Aroup of Anglican churches

Anthony Rowland, Chair, Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association (Vecta)

Alan Jones, The Best of Evesham/Vecta

Louise Bugg, Birdseye Sports/Vecta

Peter Scott, Parkinson Wright Estate Agents/Vecta

Comments (1)

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8:39pm Thu 10 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

Think the Journal is right and the signatories of this letter are way off in their judgment and assessment......unle
ss i've missed something the original piece in the Journal did nothing of the sort to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community........and perversely, by raising this issue now, when most people didn't pay too much attention to it in the first place, the signatories to this letter have breathed a bit of life into this controversy when in all probability it would have gone away quietly - in my opinion a serious error of judgment on the part of the local clergy and businessmen who put pen to paper........
Think the Journal is right and the signatories of this letter are way off in their judgment and assessment......unle ss i've missed something the original piece in the Journal did nothing of the sort to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community........and perversely, by raising this issue now, when most people didn't pay too much attention to it in the first place, the signatories to this letter have breathed a bit of life into this controversy when in all probability it would have gone away quietly - in my opinion a serious error of judgment on the part of the local clergy and businessmen who put pen to paper........ adc1960
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