The right to march

FREEDOM of speech and freedom of religion should be the cornerstone of any civilised society. In today s enlightened day and age, peaceful parades and demonstrations should be allowed to proceed without damnation. The Luton and Bedford Browning Club and A

FREEDOM of speech and freedom of religion should be the cornerstone of any civilised society.

In today's enlightened day and age, peaceful parades and demonstrations should be allowed to proceed without damnation.

The Luton and Bedford Browning Club and Apprentice Boys of Derry plan to hold a march in Stotfold in December to celebrate what will be the 320th anniversary of the shutting of the gates of Derry in 1688 which started a three-month siege of the city.

This will be the third successive year the parade will be held in Stotfold and, while town councillor Jane Hyde admitted "there has never been any trouble in the past", residents are "unhappy" and "upset" it is taking place.


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Cllr Hyde also said "neither us nor the police can do anything to prevent it going ahead".

It's true, violence and rioting by Nationalist youths has broken out at parades in Derry in the past, but such behaviour has never occurred in Stotfold and I therefore think participants have the right to continue their annual demonstration without others remonstrating and complaining that it cannot be stopped.

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Why should it be stopped? You cannot stop it simply because there has been trouble at other parades elsewhere - and actually the demonstrations in Derry have been largely trouble free in recent years. Nor can you stop it because you don't agree with the opinions or values behind it, which is probably the real reason people don't want it to take place.

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