May 28, 2011

Blackpool EDL and anti-fascist demos 'pass peacefully'

An EDL member showing his intelligence and style
Protests by the English Defence League (EDL) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) groups in Blackpool were "relatively incident free", police have said.

About 1,500 people attended the EDL rally at South Pier while a further 50 people attended the UAF event at Central Pier, police estimated. Officers from three other forces were brought in to bolster police numbers after trouble at past protests. Ten men were arrested for a variety of offences, including public order.

The demonstrations were held at lunchtime and police said crowds had begun dispersing at about 1330 BST. Day-to-day policing carried on as normal in the resort while specially-trained officers - including some from Merseyside, Cumbria and West Yorkshire - monitored the protests.

Among the 10 arrested were three men from Merseyside - aged 27, 35 and 37 - who were detained on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in a public place, along with a 26-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. A 29-year-old man, from Blackburn, and a 36-year-old man, from Darwen, were arrested by British Transport Police for public order offences. A 21-year-old man from Gateshead was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

Divisional Commander Richard Debicki said: "We are pleased that the protest has passed off peacefully and we are satisfied that we were able to give both sides the right to demonstrate and to ensure that it was business as usual for the resort.

"We would like to pass on our thanks to businesses and members of the public for their support and co-operation. Many officers will now remain in the resort over the bank holiday weekend to help reassure local businesses and communities."



Anonymous said...

The 10 arrests were all on the EDL side.I was there.

Anonymous said...

What's the fat minger doing in the pig's outfit?

About to get jiggy with a pig's head?

Anonymous said...

Any chance this was taking place in a Wetherpoons?

The wine advert looks very much like it.

I still don't understand why the government and the cops allow the EDL to get drunken and disorderly and commit crimes. It's like giving Fred West free kiddie porn.

Andrew said...

While waiting for the bus home from the demo I actually saw the "gentleman" in question walking along Central Drive toward the town centre - in his mankini, but minus the mask - with a group of more conventionally dressed people. Till I saw the photo I assumed they were a stag party - who are known for their oftentimes outrageous attire - because they had no flags or other insignia such as hoodies. A convoy of THREE police vans drove past - one of them blipped the siren, but none of them stopped, perhaps because he was covering enough to remain within the laws on public decency. I can only assume the police had bigger things to worry about.

Anyway thanks for organising the vigil, it was excellent. It was a timely and dignified response to the EDL provocations.

Anonymous said...

About 1,500 people attended the EDL rally at South Pier while a further 50 people attended the UAF event at Central Pier

What with our side being so heavily outnumbered now I think maybe counterdemos should be ditched and propaganda before and after the event be spread instead?

Anonymous said...

Re: That photo

Hmmm......A very dignified tribute to the memory of Charlene Downes !

Anonymous said...

From HNH yesterday

"We are hearing a rumor (And it is only a rumor) that an EDL member has been stabbed by one of his fellow members. Unconfirmed as of yet."

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the suggestion of ditching counter-demos. We know we can usually get bigger numbers than we did this time and we know there were reasons why it was small this time. UAF will be planning long term for Blackpool.

Waxy Lemon said...

Counter demos do tend to be made up of local people, not coached in groups from all over the country. The only way a proper comparison could be made is if we knew how many of the far right were actually from Blackpool itself. I suspect the numbers on both sides would be pretty even if they were made up of only local supporters.

Anonymous said...

He's not a member of the EDL Jewish Division then?

anarchist said...

You're not having a caption competition for this photo?