EDL had a large rally in Bolton today. You all know how I feel about EDL, you can see previous posts.
Sorry I have nothing to link to but was just listening to BBC Radio and their report on the clashes that took place today between EDL and UAF in Bolton. A number of people have been arrested (will post other links below). The BBC correspondent was clear to point out that the police force made a point of saying UAF's behaviour was atrocious - and that they were causing tremendous amounts of problems (violence). This is completely in line with the pathetic displays of 'protest' I saw from the UAF a few weeks ago. UAF supporters were standing around chanting "f*ck the police" and telling those who had been arrested to "unite and fight." Yet once again today the UAF is described in headlines as "anti-fascist protesters," while the EDL is described by the press as "anti-Muslim militants." I am not waving the EDL flag but this double standard is ridiculous.
The Telegraph (bold added by SMW):
The controversial Right-wing group The English Defence League (EDL) organised the rally.
A counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) was held, and hundreds of police officers are battled to keep control of the rival groups.
Around 4,000 protesters descended on the town, with roughly equal numbers in both camps.
The two factions were meant to stay within two designated areas in the square, separated by steel barriers.
But a large number of protesters "intent on causing disorder" broke away from the protest site, police said.
Two members of the public were injured by protesters and taken to a nearby shop for treatment, police said.
Police said they had made 67 arrests.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, from Greater Manchester Police, who is leading the policing operation, said: "There have been unwarranted attacks on police lines that have resulted in injuries.
I am determined to identify the offenders by whatever means and bring them to justice."
Riot police and mounted officers armed with batons confronted the crowds in front of the town hall.
Weyman Bennett, the UAF joint secretary who organised the protest, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder, police said.
Two UAF demonstrators have been taken to hospital, one with a minor head injury and the other with a minor ear injury, police said.
Second World War veteran Bertie Lois, 89, who lives in Farnworth, Bolton, protested with the UAF.
He 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?'
"I am also here because I am against the war in Afghanistan."
The EDL describes itself as a peaceful, non-political group campaigning against "militant Islam".
But ugly scenes also marked one of their protests in Manchester last year, with 44 arrests and 10 injuries.
EDL protester Stuart Rogers, 31, from Bolton, draped in the English flag, said he was there "to support England, against the Taliban bombers".
He added: "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?"
Two GMP officers were injured during the protest, police said.
One fractured his finger, and another was bitten by a police dog.