Neofascists in Bolton.
I’m still waiting for an update on the events today in Bolton, but from the BBC coverage it is apparent that the British police colluded with the English Defence League and escorted them into Victoria Square in Bolton.
The video clip from the BBC suggests that the police were more concerned to attack antifascists than halt the progress of the neofascists in the EDL.
Independent sources suggest that the antifascist turnout was higher than the BBC figure indicates.
And for American readers, who might wonder what is going on, essentially the EDL picking areas of Britain with relatively high ethnic populations and provocatively marching in those areas, in the hope of having a fight or stirring up racial hatred.
Similar to the Ku Klux Klan parades of old but without the white sheets, same type of purpose.
Update 1: Bolton anti-EDLers get “kettled”.
Update 2: Videos over at Counterfire.
Update 3: As it happened from the Manchester Evening News.
Update 5: New commenters should read my comments policy before posting.
Update 6: Anorak has various photos including this one of EDL giving Nazi salutes, second row in:
Update 7: The Guardian covers it:
“UAF groups waved anti-Nazi placards and chanted: “Fascist scum off our streets” while EDL supporters carried flags bearing the St George’s Cross and banners against “Islamic extremists”. Prior to the demonstration, both groups agreed to stay in separate areas, separated by steel barriers. But many smashed through the barricades and were involved in clashes. Last week a plea from the council and faith leaders to ban the demonstration was turned down in a letter from Alan Johnson, the home secretary. The EDL describes itself as a peaceful group campaigning against “militant Islam”, but violence has frequently marred its protests .”
Update 8: Bob points us to Bolton, Brutality and Lies
Update 9: Not forgetting Dave Osler on the topic.
Update 10: Greater Manchester Police accused by NUJ:
“On Saturday March 20th NUJ member, Rhetta Moran, was arrested by a police snatch squad at a lawful protest against the English Defence League in Bolton.
Rhetta was arrested while reading out a message of support from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber at the protest in Bolton town centre. She was not engaged in any violent activity at the protest.
She was detained for 10 hours and while in detention her house keys were confiscated and her home was searched without a warrant. Documents were copied from her computer.
She was not charged but released on police bail until May 10 on condition that she does not attend any meetings or gatherings of Unite Against Fascism anywhere in the country. Rhetta is joint secretary of Greater Manchester UAF.
I believe the actions of the police, and in particular the bail condition, is an outrageous violation of my member’s human rights and is in breach of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects freedom of association and assembly.
Since the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for UK public authorities to act in any way which is incompatible with Convention rights, Greater Manchester Police has clearly behaved unlawfully. I have therefore protested to the Chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority and I am calling for an investigation into police behaviour at the protest.”
Update 11: Luna17 points to Police’s Tweet.
Update 12: The Sauce had UAF live blogging from Bolton.