The Council remains neutral and neither endorses nor condemns the proposed demonstration or the community event, based on advice from the Police...The Council does not support and is not involved in planning or organising either the event or demonstration/counter demonstration. The Council does not have the authority to ban a demonstration from taking place. Only the Police can do this. Under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights Act there is an obligation placed on the Police to facilitate peaceful protest and North Wales Police will therefore facilitate the demonstration/festival and the collective rights of the participants.
So the EDL have the right to free speech and the right to assemble under Articles 10 and 11 of European Convention on Human Rights. But rights under these 2 articles are not 'absolute rights' they can be restricted in certain circumstances and those are:
* in the interest of national security or public security;
* or to prevent crime or disorder;
* or to protect health or morals;
* or when to protect the rights or freedoms of others;
GLJohn's Blog gives a very useful summary of how the law in the UK has been influenced by the ECHR:
There are a few notable restrictions that have been applied to the right to expression in the UK in respect to racial and religious crime.
In Norwood the defendant was prosecuted under s.5 of the Public Order Act 1986, for ‘causing alarm or distress’ by displaying a poster from his window with the slogan ‘ISLAM OUT OF BRITAIN’. It was held that Article 10 could be curtailed in order to protect the rights and freedoms of others. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 has amended the Public Order Act so that under Part 3A, incitement to Religious Hatred has become a criminal offence in its own right. However, s.29(j) seeks to protect freedom of expression by excluding from the scope of Part 3A: mere discussion, criticism, dislike or ridicule of a particular religion or belief.
The behaviour of the EDL outside Wetherspoons in Wrecsam on Saturday constituted of both inciting religious and racial hatred and as such their Article 10 and 11 rights could have been restricted had the Police had the will to do so.