Mobile phone footage of EDL 'march'Manchester protest Twitter updates
"A wooden plank spins up from the EDL and towards the police line. Narrowly misses."
"Some EDL "sieg heil", others wave Israeli flags. <- Illogical alliances" "On the corner of Miller St by Victoria Station, a teenage bystander was just hit by a coin apparently thrown from the EDL crowd"
Live from MEN - Demo in Manchester
"An EDL supporter just hurled a lucozade bottle into the crowd of UAF supporters."
Text from the troops
"We seem to have the EDL boxed in..."
BBC - Protesters in city demonstrations
At least 2,000 of people are protesting in two political demonstrations in Manchester city centre.
The English Defence League (EDL) has arrived in the city to stage a protest in Piccadilly Gardens to campaign against Islamic extremists. This has prompted a planned counter-protest by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Police said 18 people had been arrested in Manchester on suspicion of public order offences. One arrest was on suspicion of carrying a weapon.
Both sides are facing each other in Piccadilly Gardens and are separated by a line of police officers, dogs and mounted police. Matt Trewern, from BBC Radio Manchester, said the atmosphere was "quite tense" and there had been a series of confrontations between opposing protesters.
He said: "The police are trying to keep the two groups separate and they have managed to confine some of the EDL protesters to the narrow streets in the Northern Quarter. Trouble started when 100 members of EDL arrived at Piccadilly Gardens and they were immediately met with shouts of 'racists' and 'off our streets' by members of the UAF, who had already congregated at Piccadilly. The atmosphere is tense, but it is not yet out of control."
He said the number of protesters from the UAF outnumber those from the EDL by about three to one.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "The presence of so many protesters in the city has proved a challenge and while many have turned out to protest peacefully the police reaction has been necessary in order to prevent the few hell-bent on violent confrontation. Today we've made 18 arrests, many of whom were thought to be agitators and trouble-makers."
Greater Manchester Police confirmed one man, believed to be heading to the protest, had been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of distributing racially aggravated material.
Muslim leaders have renewed appeals for people to avoid the demonstrations. A recent EDL event in Birmingham led to counter-demonstrations and bricks being hurled at riot police. Up to 90 people were arrested.
Nanu Miah, a community leader from Oldham, said: "We are not encouraging people to go, we don't know who EDL is and what could happen."
HnH - EDL leader arrested
I've just heard that one of the leaders of the English Defence League was arrested this morning in Birmingham on suspicion of distributing racially aggravated material.
Meanwhile EDL supporters are beginning to descend on Manchester. I understand that football hooligans from 20-25 gangs are making the trip, mainly from across the North West and West Midlands. A few are coming down from the North East and up from the South Coast.
Hope not hate