Shopkeepers fear they may have to close as members of English Defence League plan a second gathering in Sheffield this weekend.
Tommy Robinson, leader of the far right group, has called the event which will take place from 1pm on Saturday involving a ‘peaceful walk’ into Barker’s Pool.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said he planned the second gathering after claiming to be ‘sickened’ when anti-fascist demonstrators disrupted a planned walk and wreath laying ‘in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby’ at the war memorial in Barker’s Pool last week.
Robinson claimed there were black Jihadi flags displayed by some of the counter-demonstrators last Saturday and said his members were ‘just normal people’ wanting to remember the murdered soldier.
Jill Winton, of Plantology, on Division Street, who said some demonstrators bought flowers from her shop last week, said: “We are playing it by ear about whether to close or not. We will shut up shop if there is trouble or we receive police advice to do so.”
Coun Bryan Lodge, a Sheffield Council cabinet member who runs The Sandwich Shop next door, added: “I am in two minds. If I don’t open, I am giving in to the EDL but if there is trouble in town, do I want to be around there. I will wait and see what advice comes from the police.
Unite Against Fascism and One Sheffield Many Cultures are planning a counter demonstration in Barker’s Pool from noon on Saturday.
In a statement, the campaign groups said: “We oppose the cynical attempts by the EDL and others to exploit the murder to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims and urge people to demonstrate against them.”