Woolwich attacks: BNP and anti-fascists in street clashes

Far-right groups march across UK in wake of Woolwich killing, while police in London arrest 58 during angry scenes yesterday after anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with British National Party members outside the Houses of Parliament. The far-right group’s march was one of around 60 planned across the country yesterday to mark the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, murdered in Woolwich last month.

 

Nick Griffin turned up around two hours later and, addressing reporters, said his supporters had come out to protest peacefully and to oppose any Islamic presence in Britain. And he claimed that the murder of Drummer Rigby would not be an isolated incident.

 

The Metropolitan Police said that the UAF faction numbered around 300 people and the BNP group around 150.

 

Right-wing anti-Islamic protest in Birmingham

It was supposed to be a “peaceful” protest by a group opposed to Islamic law and what it perceives as radical Islam. Or at least that is how the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) would have liked Saturday’s demonstration to be received.

But many had their doubts. Chief among them, the West Midlands Police, which spent the previous fortnight meeting Muslim community leaders to ensure that they told their followers to stay away. Less than a month earlier, a visit by EDL supporters to the city ended in a feud between them and counter-demonstrators, mainly of Asian backgrounds, and 35 people were arrested.

About 100 EDL supporters descended on Birmingham on Saturday morning, some carrying signs reading “Islamic Extremists Out” and “Make Britain Safe”. Others screamed insults against Allah and Islam as they made their way to a nearby pub.