November 10, 2010
Posted by Denise
These are the faces of suspected yobs who stormed a meeting of political rivals.
Police are today appealing for your help to identify 10 of those caught on camera at a Tyneside club as members of the left-wing Socialist Workers’ Party began a regular get-together. The yobs forced their way into The Irish Centre, on Newcastle’s Stowell Street and once inside they caused chaos, allegedly throwing punches, setting off fire-extinguishers chanting and hurling abuse.
Police were able to calm the disorder before it escalated into serious violence.
But although six men were arrested, others suspected to be involved in the brawl fled into the night. And detectives investigating the incident have today released images of 10 men, caught on CCTV at the club, they want to speak to.
Det Sgt Rob Ridley said: “We’re trying to establish exactly what happened and who was involved in this incident. "Anyone who recognises the people in the images is asked to get in touch with police as soon as possible.”
Police say they are still unclear about what prompted the disorder, which happened at around 6.45pm on September 22, or who was involved. However, SWP members who witnessed the dust up believe they were deliberately targeted by yobs suspected to have links to the far-right English Defence League.
“I was at another meeting in Newcastle at the time but I received a call from a young lad there who said the Irish Centre was being attacked by EDL,” he explained. “He said as he was going to the meeting 20 or 30 of these fellows came running across the road from Rosie’s bar and tried to get into the Irish Centre. I got there just as the police did and a lot of these EDL thugs had run off.
“The manager and staff were very shaken up. Our members knew straight away they were EDL, a number of them had the badges and T-shirts on. We were just trying to have a meeting. Our meetings are about debating and discussing ideas.
“We want to change the world. But not by beating people up and assaulting them.” And Mr Bakhsh is now urging the public to help police trace the yobs.
“The police have been great,” he said. “These individuals who decided that this was a good idea need to be found.”
But Steve Simmons, from the EDL said although he was aware of the disturbance, he insisted it had nothing to do with the organisation, even if members had been involved.
“As far as I’m aware this was a private disagreement between two groups of lads that may or may not have been EDL members,” he said. “It certainly had nothing to do with the organisation and wasn’t organised by the organisation. Unfortunately we can’t control what our members do in their own lives, even though things like this reflect badly on the organisation.”
Six men aged 47, 45, 43, 33, 25 and 21 have been arrested in connection with the incident. They were all questioned on suspicion of public order offences before being released on bail as inquiries continue.
Anyone who recognises the men pictured or has any other information should call Northumbria Police on 0345 604 3043 ext 69191 and ask for Det Sgt Rob Ridley at Market Street CID.