The controversial anti-Islam group Pegida has urged extreme right-wing groups planning to join its first British demonstration, in Newcastle, to keep protests peaceful.
It has admitted the 11am start on Saturday, February 28, was a “pain” for supporters travelling from elsewhere, but accepted police and the local council had “a lot to contend with” as there was a Premier League fixture in the city that afternoon.
There will also be a counter-demo which left-wing comedian Russell Brand and Respect MP George Galloway were understood to be joining.
Pegida UK is an offshoot of the group which started in Germany and whose name translates as Patriots of Europe against the Islamisation of the West.
On Facebook, it said it was aware extreme right-wing groups were planning to join them in Newcastle, and insisted the rally in the Bigg Market must remain non-violent.
It said: “Pegida is an organisation that believes in freedom of expression and speech. We welcome everybody. No matter of political nor religious background…
“All we ask is that people acknowledge our agenda of peaceful protest and unite under the Pegida flag for the day….. In a perfect world we would love the extreme right-wing element to leave us to it… but this isn’t an ideal world… as long as everyone behaves themselves, this should go without incident.
“The subject about Islam’s influence of our culture is a very sensitive issue… and it is a topic that lays heavy on our hearts… it is true this stirs emotions and sometimes anger… but we are not angry at the Muslim community, but the Governments that have allowed such acts to take place.
“Pegida asks that all aggression and ill conduct to be ruled out completely. This is a public and political awareness campaign… The only awareness a violent attitude will bring, is the awareness that we are out of control thugs that have no agenda except cause destruction.”
In a separate message addressed “Dear loyal and proud patriots” the group said it was too late to alter the February 28 date.
That afternoon a crowd of around 50,000 is expected to watch Newcastle United play Aston Villa at St James’s Park.
Pegida said Northumbria Police and Newcastle City Council “have a lot to contend with on the 28th, our hands are tied”.
> Well, you could just stay away…
The statement continued: “It is a pain for us all we can appreciate this. Newcastle will be the first of many demonstrations held. The next will be planned better with city events and logistics sorted out prior.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 Feb 2015
More than £4.6 million has been paid out to thousands of people working for less than the national minimum wage, including staff at a Premier League football club, figures have shown.
HM Revenue and Customs said it had held more than 1,400 investigations in the past year which led to arrears being paid to 22,000 workers.
Around 650 financial penalties were issued, worth £815,000, recovering an average of £205 per person.
Business minister Jenny Willott said: “Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal and, as HMRC’s record shows, if employers break the law they will face tough consequences.
“We want to issue a clear warning to employers who fail to pay the minimum wage – under the Government’s new rules you will be named and shamed and face a stiff financial penalty.”
The unnamed football club was ordered to pay arrears of more than £27,500 to 3,000 workers after it made deductions for uniforms and travelling time for staff working in hospitality.
Other cases included a social care provider found to have not paid its staff for travelling time and a recruitment agency ordered to pay more than £167,000 to workers, including some it had classified as unpaid interns.
Jennie Granger, director of enforcement and compliance at HMRC, said: “Paying the national minimum wage is not a choice – it’s the law. HMRC will continue to ensure that workers get at least the wage to which they are legally entitled.
“Where an employer ignores these rules, we will ensure that any arrears are paid out in full and the employer is fined. Rogue employers be warned – we will find you and you will pay.”
> So Workfare – working for benefits only – an amount below the national minimum wage ? Will the HMRC find Iain Duncan Smith and make him pay?
Source – Northern Echo, 05 June 2014