Read his “fair & balanced” report, here:
Children were thrust into racial hostilities today as the English Defence League clashed with police and anti-fascist groups in Newcastle.
Shops and pubs in the city closed as up to 3,000 EDL and Unite Against Fascism members took to the streets, chanting and waving banners.
The two camps came face-to-face near the city train station before their planned marches, with UAF protesters chanting ‘Off our streets, Nazi scum’ in response to the EDL’s chorus of ‘You’re not English anymore’. They were kept apart by hundreds of officers from five forces.
There was no violence, but Matthew Taylor from the Guardian (of Muslims) goes “undercover” to find some:
English Defence League: Inside the violent world of Britain’s new far right/Undercover Guardian investigation reveals plan by English Defence League to hit racially sensitive areas in attempt to provoke disorder over summer. Video
St George’s Cross: Fascist protesters young and old were draped in English flags and wearing clothing emblazoned with the national symbol (Nationalism and resisting Islamofascism is a bad thing for leftist progressives/ed)
Children from both sides were seen gesturing and waving placards. Young children in the EDL group were wearing English flag capes.
Hour-long marches began at opposite sides of the city and concluded within 150 yards of each other, with rows of police officers with dogs and horses keeping the two groups apart.
There were several scuffles between rival marchers, but police said there had been no arrests made.
Chief Supt Graham Smith said: ‘It has been a great success. It has passed without incident. Newcastle is a city for peace and the aim of today was to allow peaceful protests which we have demonstrated is possible through careful planning.’
A strong police presence will remain in the centre throughout the bank holiday weekend to prevent trouble.
One of the EDL leaders, Ronnie Burgess, a 31-year-old bodyguard from Liverpool, insisted it was not a racist group.
Wearing a steward number one fluorescent jacket, he said: ‘The message has been lost and we have got a bad press lately. We don’t deny we have racist members, but we police ourselves and we will find them out. We don’t want them.’
Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of UAF, said he was pleased with the turn-out to oppose the EDL.
He said: ‘They have come to try to divide black and white, Muslim and Christian.”
Dozens arrested as anti-Muslim English Defence League protestors battle rivals/The EDL organised the rally in Bolton, Lancashire, to protest against ‘radical Muslims’ and Sharia law
It was Weyman Bennett and Salma Yaqoob who caused the violence in Birmingham. The pair of them spent an hour or so winding the UAF mob up, then set them on innocent passers by. Martin Smith was arrested (again) too.
- From a Socialist rag:Â Call on the Home Secretary to drop the charges against Weyman Bennett
‘We are going through an economic crisis like in the 1930s. We don’t want the same diseases we had then, of fascism and racism.’
Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, said: ‘In Newcastle, we don’t accept the premise of the EDL march. Newcastle has a proud and magnificent history based on solidarity, peace and diversity.’
May the burqa rest lightly on your shoulders, Â Catherine!
- Is Yasmin Alibhai-Brown the stupidest woman in Britain?
- A mosque at Ground Zero? A sick joke
- Why do al-Qaeda’s rights trump those of the British people?
- US Attorney General attempts to beat Jacqui Smith at Jihad Denial Syndrome
- Samia Rahman: Muslims must refuse to rise to EDL provocation
- English Defence League: new wave of extremists plotting summer of unrest