EDL Tower Hamlets march in photos and arrests
YESTERDAY’S EDL march was prevented them from passing through the middle of Tower Hamlets, kept away by court order and police from the East London mosque.
George Thomas, for the Metropolitan Police, said people taking part in EDL marches could be “unreasonably” provocative and he believed between 1,000 and 2,000 people would take part in the EDL march and “several thousand” in counter-demonstrations. He said this could leave the police facing “crisis management”.
In an attempt to get nearer to the EDL, a large part of the crowd headed by an Anti-Fascist Network bloc set off round nearby streets. Some of them ended up being kettled by police, who later staged a mass arrest of anti-fascists under Section 12 and Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 – the laws which allow the police to impose conditions on public demonstrations and assemblies. In other words, they were arrested for diverging from the route imposed by the police – for little more than standing in the wrong road.
Fair? The Indy reports:
A police spokesman said about 160 counter-protesters were arrested after a group broke away from the official route and headed towards Tower Bridge, where they were stopped by police.
Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of Unite Against Facism, says:
“They [EDL] didn’t come up with enough numbers and they really depended on the police to be able to escort them in an area where they were not really wanted. It really was like outsiders trying to cause trouble. I think that the EDL are attempting to persecute the Muslim community in Tower Hamlets in the same way that [1930s British fascist leader Oswald] Mosley tried to persecute the Jewish community here. The best thing about today was the mixture of people who came out. It was exciting to be here.”