British police say they are working hard to ensure the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton will go smoothly on April 29.
From Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, the route of the procession has been already searched inch by inch by London police and their sniffer dogs. Drains, bins and lamp posts have all been in the checklist.
A police helicopter with special cameras capable of recognising faces among the crowds will fly above the route, while snipers from rooftops will keep an eye on proceedings.
According to Superintendent Elaine Van-Orden, responsible for the security for part of the route, police will be ready to act.
“We would very quickly take decisive and quick action. We have a very robust policing plan. There will be no messing around. This is a celebratory event, people want to see the royal couple on the balcony, they do not want to see people demonstrating.”
Authorities have banned Muslims Against Crusades (MAC), a group that includes some of Britain’s best-known Muslim extremists among its members, from demonstrating outside the church.
The English Defence League (EDL), a right-wing anti-Islamist group, whose protests in the past have been marred by violence, have applied to protest should the MAC eventually get a permit.
MAC has said on its website “we promise that should they refuse, then the day which the nation has been dreaming of for so long will become a nightmare.”
The EDL’s leader, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who goes by the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, told a newspaper on Tuesday that his group will protect the wedding with a “ring of steel.” He has said that 50 to 100 members of the EDL would be at each train station near Westminster Abbey to prevent extremist Muslims from reaching the ceremony.
“Muslims Against Crusades will be carrying black flags and will be in uniform so we will know who they are. As soon as they come out of any station there’s going to be chaos.” He said ordinary Muslims will have nothing to fear.
By Ali Sheikholeslami