Leicester City Council have ridden roughshod over local residents to award Muslim group "As Salaam" the use of a former scout hut, situated on Nursery Road in Thurnby Lodge.
Locals told us that they themselves had applied for the lease so that they could start up a dedicated boxing club for the local youngsters, but Leicester City Council and the Mayor, Peter Soulsby, had blatantly ignored this request.
With the lease agreement being pushed through with little or no consultation, and a couple of cancelled councillors' surgeries, local constituents sprang into action and formed a protest group.
Protests have been held throughout the week but a mass one was organised for Friday evening, 10th August.
Concerned residents gathered outside the Community centre, their number amounting to at least 250, who massed on both sides of the road, and flanking the Centre driveway.
All behaved impeccably throughout the demonstration, some holding placards, including those inviting passing motorists support. And support they did, pipping their hooters, cheering and giving thumbs-up to the protesters; buses, taxis, cars, I have never seen such huge support for a local issue, it was wonderful to see.
The residents were supported by local members of the British National Party and the English Defence League.
BNP Chairman, Nick Griffin MEP motored from Wales to join the protest.
He was seen chatting informally to local people, and shaking hands with many who thanked him for coming, before giving a short speech, which was well received, stressing that this protest was directed at the Council for their shabby treatment of the people they were elected to serve.
This, he said was not about race at all, as evidenced by the diverse nature of both those attending and supporting the protest.
None of the local Councillors, nor the constituency MP, Keith Vaz has bothered to make an appearance throughout in order to support the residents.
The police were there in great numbers, more arriving as the evening wore on. They were happy to chat and joke with the crowd, obviously not fearing any trouble from these good-natured folk.
Muslims began arriving at the Centre about 8:30pm; no doubt the strong police presence was to protect them - and a futile attempt to intimidate protesters?
Cameras from BBC East Midland News were there, interviewing various people, although some of these had been edited out by the time it made the 10pm broadcast (I wonder why!).
A further development later was revealed in an email received this morning. It reads:
"At around 11pm, just as locals were drifting away, approximately fifty Muslim youths arrived en-masse in an attempt to goad our people.
They boasted of thirty pledges of £500 each being made to cover the lease. Meanwhile, in a clear attempt to intimidate, three cars containing more youths toured the area pointing at people as they made their way home.
Talking to people, I was pleased to meet two ladies from a nearby estate who told of a prayer room that opened there a couple of years ago; a planning application for domed roof has now been made, locals who have objected have been racially abused, with the women being called prostitutes by some of those using the prayer room.
Welcome to multicultural Leicester!"
An angry resident has contacted us to express their disgust:
Neither elected councillor, Robert Wann nor Luis Fonseca have had the courage, decency or common courtesy to address residents concerns and discuss a way forward.
Councillors are supposed be the servants of the constituents that elect them to office.
They should be responsible for standing up for the rights and requests of these people in their hour of need.
This is not the case it seems, if you vote Labour or indeed Conservative or Lib Dem.
It must be remembered that the anger of the protest group should be aimed at these “public servants” and not As Salaam. Noticeable by their absence and the absence of the MP for East Leicester, Keith Vaz, a number of residents called for attendance of Nick Griffin, Chairman of the British National Party.
Unlike the other self serving Politician’s, Nick answered their call and after travelling a great distance, attended Fridays demonstration where he was met with an enthusiastic reception.
Nick was asked to make a short speech of encouragement for the struggle that was ahead. The appreciation from the crowd was obvious by its reaction. After chatting with locals and obliging requests for photographs, Nick left to begin his long journey back up the motorway. It just goes to prove that not all Politicians’ are the same.
It has been brought to our attention that a councillor from an another electoral ward was in covert attendance at Friday’s demonstration, who is alleged to have“tweeted” from the Thurncourt Road community centre pleading to Leicester Unite Against Fascism thugs to converge on the protest site which could cause disruption which could potentially result in a breach of the peace. Please refer to the Leicester Unite Against Fascism website for verification.
Just who do these people think they are? Mayor, Peter Soulsby ( Labour ), also contacted protest organisers to express his “disgust” that Nick Griffin had dared to offer support to Thurnby Lodge and its residents.
In order to make sure that this protest remains non political and safe from attack by undemocratic thugs, the British National Party has decided to take a step back but will always remain available to offer advice and resources should they be needed.