The Daily Mail melder at mer enn 70 personer ble arrestert og en håndfull lettere skadet, da det i går kom til sammenstøt mellom ca. 2000 demonstranter fra The English Defence League (EDL) og ca. 1500 motdemonstranter fra Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Urolighetene fant sted i sentrum av den nordengelske byen Bolton, hvor det ble arrangert en demonstrasjon av EDL, som hevder å bekjempe militant islam. Politiet holdt etter beste evne de to gruppene adskilt ved hjelp av sperringer. 9 av de arresterte tilhørte EDL og minst 55 kom fra UAF, som etter politiets oppfatning var ansvarlig for mesteparten av volden:
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, from Greater Manchester Police, who led the policing operation, said his officers faced ‘a lot of hostility’ and ‘unwarranted attacks’, resulting in injuries.
And he reserved his fiercest criticism for the anti-Fascist group, who he said had turned up intent on causing trouble.
‘Today in Bolton we have seen groups of people, predominantly associated with the UAF, engaging in violent confrontation,’ he said.
‘It is clear to me that a large number have attended with the sole intention of committing disorder and their actions have been wholly unacceptable.
‘Turning their anger on to police officers, they acted with, at times, extreme violence and their actions led to injuries to police officers, protesters and members of the public.
‘The police are not and should not be the target of such violence and anger, and this protest and the actions of some of the protesters is roundly condemned by GMP and by Bolton Council.’
Scores arrested as English Defence League and anti-fascists clash in violent street protests (med kort videoopptak)