Saturday, 25 May 2013

English Defence League Clash With Lefty Thugs

Published on May 25, 2013

Thousands of English Defence League supporters clashed with police and left-wing opponents as they marched through Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday. A heavy police presence was deployed by local authorities, including several mounted officers. Police estimate that between 1,500 and 2,000 people took part in the EDL rally, outnumbering some 400 participating in a counter demonstration by left-wing group Newcastle Unites.

EDL supporters held high flags reading 'Support our Troops' and 'RIP Lee Rigby' as the UK continues to face an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric following the attack on serving British soldier Lee Rigby. Northumbria Police arrested three men ahead of the EDL event for allegedly posting racist tweets, joining the list of individuals arrested across the UK for offensive online activity since the Woolwich attack.

Although planned for months in advance, tensions at the rally were high in the wake of the the May 22 murder of a British soldier near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, London. Over 100 balaclava-clad supporters of the extreme-right group also clashed with police shortly after the murder on May 22, throwing glass bottles and rocks while gathering at the Woolwich Arsenal railway station.

Lee Rigby was fatally attacked by two men wielding knives and meat-cleavers after running him down in a vehicle. The suspects have been identified as 28-year-old Briton of Nigerian descent, Michael Adebolajo and 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, both remaining in hospital after being shot by police at the scene.

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