Sometimes, they put sausages on Mustard.
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:26 PM on 15th June 2010
A group of extremist Muslims prompted violent clashes at a homecoming parade for British troops today after they heckled soldiers and called them ‘murderers.’
Members of the Muslim Against the Crusade group clashed with far right protesters as they shouted ‘murderers, murderers, murderers’ and ‘British troops go to hell’ as members of the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment paraded down the streets of Barking, Essex.
The chants were drowned out by a large mob on the opposite side of the street who retaliated with jeers of ‘Traitors’ to the Muslim protesters.
The hour-long parade had been delayed due to growing tensions between the two sides, with anti-Mac protestors singing God Save the Queen and drinkers at a nearby pub hurling frozen pork sausages at the Muslims.
Moments after the soldiers passed through tensions reached boiling point and the anti-Mac campaigners broke through the barricades, charged across the road and traded punches with the Muslim throng.
Police quickly separated the mob, with one man wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and led away while the police made a ring surrounding the Muslim group.
They then had to hold back the anti-Muslim group as the Mac protesters made their way to a tube station.
Two men were arrested after the violence, for public order offences.
Local woman Dee McEvoy, 50, stood in front of the Muslims protesters, waving her two union Jack flags as the soldiers passed.
She said: ‘I’m here for the army and the British forces. The protesters are entitled to their opinion but they are taking it out on the wrong people. They should be taking it out on the Government.
‘This is not the reception these boys and girls deserve. But it is democracy in action.’ Earlier the Muslim group was attacked by a barrage of eggs.
One member of the Mac group used a megaphone to shout: ‘This is a protest against parading in a Muslim area. We love death the way you love life.’
He branded British soldiers as ‘butchers’ and ‘despots’.
The Muslim protesters chanted ‘Democracy’ as they had an uneasy stand-off against a mob, some waving St George’s Crosses, Union flags and an English Defence League flag.
Anti-Mac protesters sang ‘I’ll be English ’till my dying day,’ and jeered ‘We pay your benefits’.
Further down the street onlookers, who had arrived simply to pay their respects to the soldiers, were disgusted by the scenes.
The girlfriend of a Royal Anglian soldier killed in Afghanistan said the extremists should have been banned from attending the parade.
Lance Corporal Scott Hardy, 26, from Chelmsford in Essex, was killed in an explosion near Musa Qala on Tuesday March 16, just weeks before he was due to return home.
Lance Corporal Hardy’s partner Charlene Byrne, 24, said: ‘It’s absolutely disgusting. I know this kind of thing has happened before in Luton but I don’t understand how it has been allowed to happened again.
‘It’s terrible that this group has got away with it. Obviously not everyone supports what’s happening in Afghanistan, there are people who are very angry about it, but they shouldn’t take it out on the soldiers.’
Emily Penson-Clark, who took the day off work to support the soldiers with her young daughter and parents said: ‘I think the protesters are filth. I’m here to support our troops. They put their lives on the line for us. I’ve got three words: Help for Heroes.’
The soldiers remained undaunted by the abuse, and marched through the town centre with fixed bayonets, accompanied by the Minden Band, a Colour Party and two guards of 70 officers and non-commisioned officers.
The Freedom parade stopped briefly in Barking Town Square where the Mayor, Councillor Nirmal Singh Gill, General Sir John McColl and the Queen’s deputy Lieutenant Major Anthony O’Hagan took a salute and inspected the troops.