Police are continuing to investigate after an anti-racism concert was stormed by protesters chanting support for the English Defence League.
Three men were arrested on suspicion of affray after a hail of rocks and bottles were thrown into the 150 strong crowd of music fans and at windows at The Well venue, Chorley Lane, near the city centre. Two people were injured at Saturday’s all day Rage Against Racism event. One man had teeth knocked out.
Kevin Berry, assistant manager at The Well, formerly Joseph’s Well, suffered an injured wrist during the fracas while shielding himself from a missile as he stood behind the bar. He said: “A group of around 15 people, estimated to be aged between 16 and 23 barged into the premises shouting and chanting ‘EDL’. They were throwing bottles and rocks. The police attended quickly and arrests were made. Despite the incident, the event continued without a problem. We had to carry on. It would mean that these people would have stopped the benefit gig and all the hard work done to arrange it. The group also allegedly posted their plans on Facebook and afterwards boasted on the internet about what had happened.”
Organisers today said that the concert continued as planned until the early hours of Sunday morning. Star guests at the punk, ska and reggae event included The Mighty Oppressed, Low-Life UK and DJs Jon Firth and Jamie Headcharge.
Four windows were broken, including one at offices above the venue. Two people were injured in the attack.
All money raised at the event will be donated to the Unite Against Facism organisation and local projects.
The EDL claims to be a street protest movement which opposes what it sees as the spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extremism in England.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Officers were called shortly before 2.40pm on Saturday to reports of a disturbance at The Well. One man received a serious facial injury and others received minor injuries, with damage also caused to the premises. Three men were arrested on suspicion of affray, and were bailed pending further enquiries, which are being led by City and Holbeck CID.”
Witnesses are asked to call 0845 6060606.
Yorkshire Evening Post