Dozens of protesters were arrested during violence clashes with police at a controversial demonstration by anti-Islam campaigners in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Around 1,000 members of the English Defence League (EDL) marched to Aylesbury's Market Square chanting “if you build your f**king mosque, we’ll burn it down” and other anti-Muslim slogans.
The march ended when a group of 200 demonstrators tried to break through police lines hurling glass bottles, coins, sticks and cans at offices in riot gear.
Police arrested 12 EDL supporters, eight on suspicion of possessing offensive weapons, three for public order offences and one for being drunk and disorderly.
Aylesbury’s police commander Superintendent Richard List said that “most of the day passed off peacefully but unfortunately there were outbreaks of violence and disorder which had to be dealt with by police officers”.
EDL say they are merely protesting against militant Islam and the construction of “mega-mosques”.
Today’s clash in Buckinghamshire was the latest in a series of demonstrations that have resulted in street battles between Muslim youth, anti-fascist protesters and EDL supporters.
This morning more than100 Unite Against Fascism (UAF) protesters, made up of local people including trade unions and religious groups, gathered in the town’s Vale Park.
The UAF claim that the EDL is an extreme right wing organisation made up of football hooligans with links to neo-Nazi groups.
Muhammad Saleem a spokesperson from the UAF said that “despite their best efforts, the EDL was unable to break the harmonious coexistence between different ethnic and religious groups in and around Aylesbury”.
The EDL emerged in March last year after a small group of Muslim anti-war protesters heckled soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment who were parading through Luton after a tour in Afghanistan. Local football supporters clashed with the anti-war demonstrators and as a result of this formed the now infamous group. Aylesbury, UK. 01/05/10
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