Two opposing protests are underway in Grantham. Around 200 members of the English Defence League are demonstrating against plans to build an Islamic Cultural Centre in Grantham. They marched into town chanting various slogans and were quickly tunnelled by police to a cordoned off area.
Just metres away members of the Grantham Solidarity Network are saying extremist views are not welcome in their town. It is estimated around 250 police officers, some drafted in from other forces, are on duty. So far the protests are passing peacefully.
Around 200 police officers are on duty in Grantham today as two demonstrations take place in the town in the next hour . Members of the English Defence League will be staging a protest against plans to build an Islamic Cultural Centre.
At the same time a counter demonstration by the Grantham Solidarity Network is taking place a few metres away.
"We do not want extremism in our town. Planning issues need to be decided by local people."
– Councillor Charmaine Morgan, South Kesteven District Council
A campaign group behind last month's march against racism in Lincoln has expressed its support for a similar counter-protest which is to be held in Grantham later today.
"We are delighted to support today's counter-protest and we hope that some of our supporters will be taking part. Grantham Solidarity Netwok are making history today in organising against the far-right threat in their town."
– Nick Parker, Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism
Grantham Solidarity Network was set up in February 2014 by Grantham residents to oppose the EDL presence in the Lincolnshire town.