9 personer ble arrestert etter voldelige sammenstøt med politiet under en demonstrasjon mot islamister i Luton i helgen. Hundrevis av mennesker deltok i en protestmarsj arrangert av gruppen «March for England» og «United People of Luton», der blant andre lokale tenåringer og kvinner holdt bannere med slagordene «Ingen sharialov i UK» og «Respekter våre tropper».
Protesten skal ha blitt arrangert som en respons på den sterkt kritiserte islamistiske demontrasjonen mot britiske tropper i Luton i mars i år, men endte i vold og kaos da 500 demonstranter stakk av fra politiet som eskorterte marsjen langs den forhåndsavtalte ruten:
The streets of Luton descended into violence after demonstrators, many hiding their faces behind balaclavas, brandished England flags and chanted at officers.
Demonstrators gathered in George Square in Luton town centre yesterday.
A group called March for England was said to have organised the rally as a peaceful protest against Muslim extremists. They were joined by a local group United People of Luton.
The mob, which included teenagers and women, held banners with slogans such as ‘No Sharia Law in the UK’ and ‘Respect our Troops’.
Some protesters wore masks with the horned face of Sayful Islam, a hardline Muslim activist in Luton who took part in an anti-war rally in March, which disrupted a homecoming parade for troops.
Officers on horseback and police dogs were deployed, and policemen drew batons to defend themselves.
Groups of young men in balaclavas and England shirts chanted outside the city centre and one balacava-clad protester held a Rottweiler on a chain, while others clashed with police in riot gear.
One Asian man was hit across the face with a banner and left with a bloody nose.
The nine suspects were in custody today for offences of criminal damage, assault and public order offences, Bedfordshire Police said.
Police said during the disturbance three car windscreens were smashed and a window at a take away restaurant in Chapel Street had been broken.
Last night Luton town centre was calm as police maintained a presence on the streets.
En talsmann for gruppen «United People of Luton», Wayne King, sier til Daily Mail at mange i Luton er bekymret og irritert over at det muslimske miljøet i lokalsamfunnet ikke har gjort noe for å stanse Sayful Islams (arrangøren av den tidligere islamistdemonstrasjonen i Luton. Min anm.) «hatefulle prekener».
The 24-year-old, who wore a T-shirt with the words ‘No surrender to Al-Qaeda’ on it, said: ‘We decided enough was enough after the soldiers got heckled as they marched through the town centre by the Muslim extremists.
‘Our community has been racially attacked for the last 10 years.
‘A mosque in the town got set on fire a few weeks ago and it made national news but churches in Luton are regularly being set fire to.
‘We want laws brought in to stop preachers of hate operating here.’
Luton town centre was busy at the time of the riot with shoppers enjoying the sunshine.
Many of those who joined in the march had been drinking in town centre pubs.
Later on, overhead, a police helicopter monitored the movement of the mob which at one point appeared to be making in the direction of Bury Park, an area of Luton where many of the town’s Asian population live.