Riot police surround EDL protest after violent clashes between far-right and anti-fascists
RIOT police surrounded demonstrators as violent clashes between English Defence League supporters and anti-fascist protesters broke out on the streets of Liverpool.
The planned demonstration was initially confined to a side street before protesters were moved across the city as police arrested 12 people for various offences under the Public Order Act.
Riot police and police vans surrounded EDL demonstrators in Lime Street as crowds heard huge bangs.
Bottles were seen thrown between the opposing groups of demonstrators and bangs, believed to be firecrackers, were heard.
Bottles were seen thrown between the opposing groups of demonstrators and bangs, believed to be firecrackers, were heard
The EDL said the protest was being held to highlight a number of issues, including Islamic extremists.
Members from branches including Coventry and the North East waved St George’s flags.
Police surrounded EDL and anti-fascist protesters in Liverpool
The EDL demonstration was moved to Camden Street, at the side of the pub, where protesters were contained by police.
The march was brought to a standstill for about 45 minutes when anti-fascist protesters sat in the road near Lime Street station.
Scuffles broke out between the two groups as the EDL demonstrators were moved back towards the station just before 3pm.
Clashes break out during protests in Liverpool
The planned demonstration was initially confined to a side street
Merseyside Police warned motorists to stay away from the Lime Street area of the city centre today with more than 100 officers said to be poised to cover the march.
Deputy Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, said: “Following a number of arrests for public order offences and increasing animosity between both groups the decision was made to disperse those involved in the EDL procession in the interests of the safety of those working, living and visiting the city centre. At some points members of the left wing were seen to throw darts and flares were also activated.
“The safety of the public is paramount and due to the rising tensions between both groups the decision was made to halt the procession using Section 12 of the Public Order Act.”
Police closed off Lime Street
Police in riot gear surrounded the planned demonstration
“I would like to thank members of the public and businesses in the city centre for their patience as this matter was dealt with.”
Police enforced a Section 60 Order in the city centre allowing officers to search people for offensive weapons.
Chief inspector Mark Morgan said: “We have had previous processions in the city which have resulted in disorder between those involved in a public procession and counter protestors.