March 20, 2010

4 injured, 55 arrests in EDL demo

Fifty five people were arrested and several people injured after violent clashes broke out between right-wing and anti fascist extremists and police during a demonstration in a town centre today.

Controversial right-wing group The English Defence League (EDL) organised the rally in Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancashire. A counter-demonstration by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is also being held, and hundreds of police officers are battling to keep control of the rival groups. Around 4,000 protesters have 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" have broken 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.

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. This is not a peaceful protest and we are facing a lot of hostility. We will take swift action when confronted with disorder. The number of arrests already made is a clear indication that this is not a peaceful protest and some demonstrators are determined to cause trouble. The actions of some demonstrators is resulting in injuries to others. This is not acceptable. I am determined to identify the offenders by whatever means and bring them to justice."

Riot police and mounted officers armed with batons are trying to keep the crowds in check in front of the town hall. Police dogs have been deployed in a bid to control the crowds and a police helicopter has also been dispatched. It is unclear how many of those arrested are EDL and how many are UAF.

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. A 19-year-old man has received treatment for an ongoing health problem, another man has fractured a finger. A 16-year-old girl has been treated after suffering panic attack, police said.

Most shops and pubs are closed in the area, and most taxi firms have pulled their drivers off the roads.

Second World War veteran Bertie Lois, 89, who lives in Farnworth, Bolton, is protesting 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.

Manchester Evening News


Anonymous said...

The CUNTS website was screening a live feed of the demo, and Griffinite scumbags VNN were pleased with the EDL. So much fo the BNP proscribing the EDL.

Griffo is indeed running things.

Anonymous said...

I hope Wayman Bennett will be compaining to the police complaints department.

EDL are indeed state-sponsored to keep the pressure on Muslims in the War On Terror.

Pictures show the police laughing and joking with the EDL.

Go figure...

Anonymous said...

I thought you people were 'state sponsored'?

Sid Little said...

Q: What do you call and EDL with a job?
A: Officer

Ex Brum BNP said...

As an recent ex-BNPer (got sick and tired of the begging letters and the non-stop crap about Islam- im more worried about the economy and my job than Islam). I am really baffled by the police/State co-operation with the EDL. The BNP leadership hates the EDL because it says it is taking funds away from "the only party to stop the islamification of Britain" etc etc (that is Griffin's deep pockets). There has never been this level of co-operation between BNP and police and for the record the police really do hassle BNP members when we did paper sales, have street stalls etc. The EDL seems to be granted a licence to do whatever and I see that Bolton council even provided free portable toilets for both EDL and UAF. Just what purpose do the EDL serve? I wish I knew the answer but it is probably well layered by the State.

Antifascist said...

'I thought you people were 'state sponsored'?'

The events of today disprove that BNP-inspired lie then, don't they.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The CUNTS website was screening a live feed of the demo, and Griffinite scumbags VNN were pleased with the EDL. So much fo the BNP proscribing the EDL.

How disgusting you are. Fancy putting a comment like this on your website.

ex-fascist said...

"I see that Bolton council even provided free portable toilets for both EDL and UAF"

In the case of the EDL I guess I can see their point considering their penchant for filling their bladders with cheap fizz and spraying it all over the city's historic monuments.

Anonymous said...

Ketlan is state the dole.

Antifascist said...

'How disgusting you are. Fancy putting a comment like this on your website.'

And what precisely is wrong with the comment?

'Ketlan is state the dole.'

Try to get your facts right, bozo, I'm not on the dole.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the state is building up the EDL in order to undermine the BNP. The latter has a level of public support that the EDL will never have. People won't vote for a load of violent pissheads in the same way they will for the suits even if their politics are not too dissiilar. The BNP does threaten the establishment to some extent. The EDL never will so it makes sense to build up the EDL at the BNP's expense.

Q said...
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Mister Mussel (smells a fishy stench) said...

There's one key point here that will be explored in the days to come. Since the bad publicity gained by the EDL in Stoke, when most press reports called them "far right", Alan Lake and Geobels Trevor Kelway officially contacted the Press Association to complain that the tag was "prejudicing the EDL.

So much for the claims that the EDL believe in the "freedom of the press".

Google "Bolton" "EDL" and "right" into Google News and you will see that most if not all reports now describe the EDL as being merely "rightwing".

Maybe convicted child abusers will follow suit and threaten legal action against red top tabloids calling them "nonces" and "paedos".

There's some big players sponsoring and funding the EDL for its pro-military Islamophobic agenda.

Jace said...

There's a good report on Expose the BNP

"The battle of Bolton and the media

By admin on March 20th, 2010

Anti-fascist protesters emerged victorious on Saturday after holding Bolton’s central Victoria Square against the racists from the English Defence League.

But mainstream national media reports are presenting it as a contest between two violent groups – and blaming the anti-fascists for the violence.

Anti-fascists faced brutality from police with dogs and on horseback. There were over 60 arrests – 55 Unite Against Fascism and 9 EDL, according to Sky news – including UAF leader Weyman Bennett “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder”. The police commander made disgraceful allegations about the protesters.

Video on the Bolton News website makes it clear, however, that the violence was not coming from the anti-fascists. It shows an elderly veteran of World War 2 who had joined the protest, and UAF stewards can be heard urging protestors to stay calm in the face of apparent police efforts to provoke a riot.

The Bolton News had a reporter in Victoria Square who described on Twitter how EDL members had broken away from the square to cause violence: “Number of demonstrators intent on causing disorder have broken away from protest site. Large numbers of officers deployed to address.” The journalist saw “missiles flying” as the EDL tried to get out of its enclosure.

Anti-fascists clearly outnumbered the EDL, yet the BBC on its website and on TV news cited the police estimates that there were 1,500 anti-fascists and 2,000 EDL. The facts suggest otherwise.

The Bolton News reported on Twitter at 3.30pm: “EDL look to have gone from the sq[uare] but more UAF supporters making their way there. Banners from Hull, London, Birmingham among those seen”

Anti-fascists continued to join the protest. Twenty minutes later the Bolton News reported a “large number of asian youths in ashburner street”, just outside Victoria Square

This was the turning point when hundreds of young Asians joined the protests.

Socialist Worker’s reporter described this moment: “Anti-racists in Victoria Square have been buoyed by the arrival of large numbers of young Asians from the town. Shafiq told Socialist Worker, ‘The police tried to stop us getting here by holding us in a side road for hours. Several times we tried to break through their lines, but they held us back. … Its disgusting that the police have allowed the EDL to do what ever they like here, but we’ve been stopped from defending our own town.’”

About the same time, UAF’s twitter feed reported: “Another huge contingent of UAF supporters finally allowed to enter the square”. Hundreds of anti-fascists had been blocked by police from entering the square.

The BBC’s reporting was execrable, quoting the EDL and repeating its claim that “it describes itself as a peaceful, non-political group”. UAF spokespeople were not quoted.

Sky news at 6pm also reported the protest as a violent confrontation, citing the numbers arrested as if they were proof of violence on the UAF side."

Anonymous said...

"Maybe the state is building up the EDL in order to undermine the BNP."

Oh well - They're not completely useless then!

IMO you can land up disappearing up your own arsehole trying to work out the convoluted and opaque macinations over the State's relationship with the EDL/BNP/UAF etc. Certainly the State have infiltrated all these organisations - see what happened in the early 90's (the last time there were big confrontations between the Right and Left) by reading this Observer article from last Sunday here:

Now, this is happening again but how much state operatives actually influence the direction of said groups is open to debate. I think that their influence is overstated.

Anonymous said...
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NewsHound said...


Anonymous said...

It's right about everyone calling them merely "right wing" instead of "far right". No mention of the fact they are mainly football thugs any more. It's as if the propaganda machine has reached out and touched all sections of the press.

Even the usually always critical Scottish papers are calling them just "far right".

What the heck's going on?

Anonymous said...

Clive Jefferson was with the EDL with the Cumbrian Patriots.

Anonymous said...

The BBC coverage was awefull, the camera never once showed the EDL and their estimates on numbers were up n down like yoyos. SHAME ON YOU BBC!!

Sakib said...

I was there in solidarity with the UAF and the police brutality was horrendously over the top, the EDL were given a free ride yet good honest people who want to defend freedom, justice and equality get fucked over as always. It seems to me that the police were on their side, the measures against us were barbaric yet it should have been the EDL that were treated with suspicion considering the carnage and violence in Stokely.

Anonymous said...

any one tell me why the EDL carry a jewish flag.

UK Fightback said...

Why did the EDL carry a Jewish flag?

They didn't, they flew an ISRAELI flag (there are lots of Jews who don't support the actions of the Israeli state) but either way the EDL's purpose is to trick Jews

Anonymous said...

I remain anonymous because most of your commenters do so. It is the cowards way really but why should I make myself a target for reprisal on such a left wing site.

I am Jewish, and involved deeply with anti Jewish events in the want know why the Israeli flag was being flown, it was the EDL's way of trying to show any and all opposition to the Muslims. The BNP are backing the EDL fullly...see Andrew Gatward's run in with Bill Baker on his FB notes.

The EDL claim to support the Jews in Britain, in fact the Jews in general despise the BNP like they despise the EDL. Anyone can buy an Israeli flag, the islamic extremists have in the past just to burn. I find your organisations generally anti semitic too and higly supportive of the Muslim population in the UK and in Palestine.

Without going into politics to deeply, the two arrested for flying the Israeli flag were probably not Jewish in any case so the actual reality of the matter is that the Jews in Britain were dragged into this neo nazi demonstration unwillingly.

Generally I get on with many Muslims in the UK nd I am Jewish. It's the infected few that make the news, not the general Jewish community, and if the EDL wish to associate we jews with them or the BNP we will not remain quiet for ever!!!

The EDL will not trick the Jews, and the Jews will NEVER support a BNP backed EDL

Tony Steinberg said...

We have the right to fly the Israeli flag a much as anyone has the right to fly the islamic/Muslim, Hindu/Sikh or union is not offensive unless you are a bigot or racist, or a member of the EDL or the BNP

I am a British Jew and although this country seems generally anti Jewish for what ever reasons I remain proud of my religion, my flag(s) I detest seeing the union flag being ripped apart by anti fascist protesters, just because the BNP have hijacked it and Winston Churchill. What ever anyones felings about the union flag or the israeli flag, they mean something to someone and that should be respected.
The EDL thugs who flew the Israeli flag were not as far as I am aware Jewish in any case, I may be wrong (can you confirm), but if they were I would hope both will be ejected by the general jewish cummunity here in Britain.
Who ever heard of Jews united with Nazis.
If anyone on this site attacks the fact the Israeli flag was flown needs to find out for sure why before they start drumming up more anti Jewish rubbish.

Jospeh Wench said...

I do not think the people flying the Israeli flag were Jewish, it was the EDL trying to stir up more hatred within the Muslim community. The EDL are not state backed. It is your selves and the UAF that receive funding from the government and union's. The EDL are BNP backed that's for sure, but not state, that is stupid guess work.

UK fight back...your comments about the actions of the Israeli state seem a little one sided?...what about the actions of Hamas and the state of Palestine. Do the Jews in Israel have to sit back and take all that these terrorists throw at them. Only once, refering to the 7 day war has Israel taken the offensive,and that was because Mossad had discovered the pending attack on Israel. If you search attacks made by Israel they are either defensive of in retaliation.
I feel deeply for the people of Gaza, but what has happened has happened as a result of hamas attacks on israel from within Gaza.

I support the israeli state, but not the violence and attacks from either sides. Don't blame the Jews for everything, that's exactly what Hitler did!