Saturday, 31 October 2009

EDL protest - Leeds, October 31st

uaf scum

Hundreds of anti-fascism protesters gathered in a city centre today to demonstrate against a planned protest by a far right-wing group.

Minor scuffles broke out between police and protesters as around 400 Unite Against Fascism activists descended on Leeds to challenge a march by the English Defence League.

The English Defence League was protesting about a number of other marches organised by British Islamic extremists.

As the two sides gathered in Leeds hundreds of officers, including a mounted section, were drafted in to keep them apart.

A police helicopter circled above while activists from Unite Against Fascism shouted slogans.

Demonstrators carried placards and banners and shouted 'Fascist scum off our streets'.

Scuffles broke out as police officers linked arms and moved rival groups of protesters away from each other.

There were minor flashpoints throughout the afternoon as the respective groups tried to break out from their restricted areas and confront each other, as early Christmas shoppers looked on.

At one point a missile was thrown (by uaf) and supporters spat at each other as they managed to get within a relatively short distance of each other.

A red flare (uaf again) lit by one of the protesters was grabbed by a police officer who managed to put it out.

One protester was grabbed by officers and dragged towards a nearby police van.

Several streets in the city were closed as the demonstrations took place.

Five people (uaf) were arrested for public order offences.

Later, in nearby City Square around 300 supporters from the English Defence League gathered amid a large police presence.

Activists sang England songs and God Save The Queen in the Square which was cordoned off by barriers and police officers.

Meanwhile in London, a planned march organised by radical Islamic extremists calling for sharia law to be imposed in the UK was called off amid security fears.

Anjem Choudary, leader of the radical Islamic sect Al Muhajiroun, said organisers Islam4UK had been forced to cancel the planned march from the Houses of Parliament to Trafalgar Square because of security concerns.

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