Dozens arrested as anti-Muslim English Defence League protestors battle rivals

UAF supporters Bolton 10

UAF supporters Bolton 10

 TIMESONLINE… Riot police battled to control thousands of rival demonstrators taking part in an ill-tempered city centre protest organised by a controversial right-wing group.

Hundreds of officers, some horse-mounted and armed with batons, separated supporters of the English Defence League (EDL) and members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

Two officers were injured following ugly clashes: one fractured a finger, the other was bitten by a police dog. A police helicopter was also dispatched to assist the officers on the ground. There was a total of 67 arrests, 55 of which were UAF supporters and the remaining 12 EDL, police said.

The EDL organised the rally in Bolton, Lancashire, to protest against “radical Muslims” and Sharia law. At its height there were some 2,000 EDL and a further 1,500 UAF protestors.

The main protest took place in front of the town hall, which was boarded up to prevent any damage. Many local pubs and shops closed and taxi firms pulled their drivers off the roads.

Council leaders had met with Home Secretary Alan Johnson earlier this week in a bid to ban the demonstration, but were told there was no power to do so unless it took place on private property.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, who is leading the operation for Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: “Today in Bolton we have seen groups of people, predominantly associated with the UAF, engaging in violent confrontation.

“It is clear to me that a large number have attended with the sole intention of committing disorder and their actions have been wholly unacceptable. Turning their anger onto police officers they acted with, at times, extreme violence and their actions led to injuries to police officers, protesters and members of the public.

“The police are not and should not be the target of such violence and anger and this protest and the actions of some of the protesters is roundly condemned by GMP and by Bolton Council.

“Were it not for the professionalism and bravery of police officers many others would have been seriously injured.”

By late afternoon protestors from both groups had been led away from the main town square. Officers frogmarched EDL demonstrators back towards the railway and bus stations, while they continued to chant: “We want our country back.”

UAF members left, chanting: “Whose streets? Our streets.”

Police will now review CCTV of the incident to identify people involved in inciting or committing disorder.

EDL protester Stuart Rogers, 31, from Bolton, draped in the English flag, said he was there “to support England, against the Taliban bombers”, adding: “All my family are in the Army – my dad, and my brother, who has just done 11 months in Afghanistan. Why are our troops out there when they should be at home?”

Among those arrested were UAF joint secretary Weymann Bennett, who organised the protest, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder, and Martin Smith, who runs the Love Music Hate Racism campaign.

Second World War veteran Bertie Lois, 89, who protested with the UAF, said: “I fought the Second World War against these Nazis. What did I fight for if we let them? The EDL are the enemy. I would say to them ’you are the guys we fought for, what are you doing?’”

Simon Marsden, 37, also supported the UAF. He said: “Something has got to be done about these fascists who come into our town where there is no problem on the streets.

“They have come in trying to cause conflict. There is no room for them in this day and age.”

Louis Kang-Mascarenhis, a 19-year-old student, added: “I was very surprised by the number of EDL. They need to educate themselves. They are trying to stir up hatred by coming into a town with a large Asian population.”

Two UAF demonstrators were taken to hospital, one with a minor head injury and the other with a minor ear injury, police said. A 19-year-old man received treatment for an ongoing health problem and a 16-year-old girl was treated after suffering a panic attack.

The EDL describes itself as a peaceful, non-political group campaigning against “militant Islam”, but a previous rally in Manchester last year turned violent, resulting in 44 arrests and 10 injuries.

8 Replies to “Dozens arrested as anti-Muslim English Defence League protestors battle rivals”

  1. Second World War veteran Bertie Lois, 89, who protested with the UAF, said: “I fought the Second World War against these Nazis. What did I fight for if we let them? The EDL are the enemy. I would say to them ’you are the guys we fought for, what are you doing?’”

    Yeah… Opposition to sharia law and 1400-year-old racism from Arabia, plus defense of gay rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech, equality before the law for all (with no “superior” status being awarded as a “divine” right to mahoundian males) and religious freedom are seen as “fascism/nazism” these days by those too blind to see the truth.

    By the same token, to “Unite Against Fascism” is supposed to mean to unite in favor of sharia law, female genital mutilation, inbreeding, racism against black people, forced marriages, death penalty for those abandoning mahoundianism or “convicted of homosexuality”, stonings, beheadings, anti-blasphemy laws, (dis)honor killings, superior legal status for mahoundians (especially penis-possessing ones), plus bringing to an end all those blasphemous and pbuh-prophet-insulting arts and sciences; after all, the latter could be used to prove that mahound, UAF’s favorite deity, the one which (not who) invented allah as its (not his) imaginary alter-ego, never existed; the former, on the other hand, as seen in the mahound cartoons, can be used to mock and ridicule inbred bedouin savagery from Arabia, and therefore hurt those precious mahoundian feelings, so shielded from criticism in today’s stiflingly and suicidal PC MC world.

    Somebody ought to give that ignorant WWII veteran a copy of Mein Qurampf, plus a Sira… Let’s see how his support for the UAF sharia fascists will hold up next time they gather to commit vandalism and attack those fighting against the islamization/opensewerization of the UK.

  2. If some veterans think they fought in the Great Wars to defend the existence of sharia in Britain they are mad hatters. Others who marched along with the UAF need a good head shake unless of course sharia is what they want for their children and grand-kids. Simon Marsden is correct when he says “They have come in trying to cause conflict. There is no room for them in this day and age”. Those who understand the motives of the UAF understand that this quote should be attributed to them, not the other way ’round.

  3. Like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, the EDL is battling for the preservation of western values. There are even Sikh and Hindu members of the league, which should tell you something about what they represent.

    At an early rally, EDL members were flying an Israeli flag in support of Israel’s efforts to maintain a foothold for democracy and modernity in the Middle East.

    You would think that the British people would also supprot Israel and espceially the EDL, but too many citizens beleive that the EDL is a pseudo-fascist organization that wants to eliminate minorities.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It is the Muslim minority in the UK that seeks to eliminate British, Welsh, Scots and Irish values in favour of sharia law. All who oppose Muslim demands are branded as “Islamophobes” and treated as criminals.

    Islam is a criminal organization that has had over 1,300 years of expansion and expertise in waging war against the rest of the world.

    How much longer will we tolerate such a backwards and evil cult?

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