Sunday, 11 October 2009

EDL March Manchester 10 Oct 09

TEN people were injured and 44 people arrested in the English Defence League protest in Manchester city centre.

Police imposed a lockdown around Piccadilly Gardens as EDL demonstrators faced off against Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

The two factions stood on opposite sides separated by a police line with officers on horseback and in riot gear.

EDL supporters, who oppose “radical Islam” and Sharia law made Nazi salutes and sang patriotic songs, while UAF protesters maintained a non-stop anti-fascist chant. Sticks and railing were thrown.

EDL protest in Manchester as it happened

Both sides traded insults and there were regular surges against the police line. There were several hundred EDL protesters and more than 1,000 from the UAF. Pockets of trouble broke out but were quickly stopped by police.

The stand-off continued for about four and a half hours on Saturday afternoon. Shops were closed around the Piccadilly area.

Around 4.30pm some UAF protesters began to disperse. Shortly before 5pm police moved the EDL supporters off Piccadilly Gardens and escorted them to bus and train stations.

Ten people were hurt, one seriously. They were taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and North Manchester General. Three people were suffering from dog bites.

Greater Manchester Police arrested 44 men. Twenty-nine were arrested on suspicion of public order offences, four were arrested for affray, three for possession of an offensive weapon – one of whom was also arrested for possession of drugs. Three men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. Five were arrested for on suspicion of breach of the peace.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “I would like to thank all those people who came to Manchester today and protested peacefully for their patience and understanding.


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