PUBS bosses are weighing up the implications of a right-wing rally in South Shields with one labelling it a “recipe for trouble”.
The English Defence League (EDL) has announced plans to gather in Ocean Road – the heart of the Muslim community – on Saturday, August 31.
Members of the Muslim community have expressed their alarm at the plan – which appeared on the North East EDL’s Facebook page – and have called for the march to be banned.
And today, pub landlords also expressed their reservations amid fears of potential trouble between the EDL and factions opposing the march.
Meanwhile, at least one pub will be closed for part of the day. The move has been taken at Annie McCarthys in Albermarle Street, from 11am to 4pm, after consulting police.
Stephen Sullivan, bar manager at Trocaderos in Price Georg Square, said he was approached by the EDL to provide a venue for members to eat and drink, but he refused.
Other pubs, which will be open on the day, include the Ship and Royal, The Pier and The Scotia.
Scotia spokesman Glenn Falconer said: “I’m against all forms of extremism but I won’t stop anyone coming in, as long as they behave themselves.
“What I’d question is why they are marching into a Muslim community. Are they trying to antagonise them?
“It’s a recipe for trouble.”
South Tyneside Chief Supt Ian Dawes said: “Northumbria Police will have appropriate plans in place.
“We want to reassure the community that we are in contact with the organisers and working with them to ensure it passes peacefully.
“If people choose to act unlawfully, it will not be tolerated.”
The protest is said to be a reaction to a court case involving three ex-South Tyneside College students accused of raping two 14-year-old girls.