Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

BIRMINGHAM SEES ANTI-FASCIST ACTION

09-08-2009

Birmingham

Police attempting to keep rival demonstrators apart in Birmingham city centre during early Saturday evening made a total of 33 arrests following sporadic clashes involving rival gangs of far right and anti-fascist protestors.

WMP notice

Police attempting to keep rival demonstrators apart in Birmingham city centre during early Saturday evening made a total of 33 arrests following sporadic clashes involving rival gangs of far right and anti-fascist protestors. Earlier events, organised by the right-wing English Defence League (EDL) and the anti-racist group Unite Against Fascism (UAF), passed off without the large-scale incidents that some had feared. Police reported two injuries during the evening, neither of which are believed to be serious.

Birmingham

The UAF protest in front of the Bull Ring at Rotunda Square was called in response to the EDL’s proposed demonstration at the same spot, the far right group having staged a previous protest there in early July. A crowd of around 300 heard speeches by, amongst others, Respect Councillor Salma Yaqoob and Dave Hughes of the Birmingham Trades Council. The event appeared predominantly good natured, although there were minor scuffles as a handful of right-wing sympathisers in lower New Street appeared to taunt sections of the crowd.

Birmingham

As the UAF event was winding down, the English Defence League were holding their re-scheduled demonstration in Victoria Square where around 80 protestors were outnumbered by a multi-racial crowd of onlookers. A heavy police presence was in place at both events and this prevented serious disorder as a group of predominantly Asian youths broke away from the anti-racist demonstration in an attempt to confront the EDL meeting.
 

Birmingham

Police (including some officers in riot gear) later cordoned off sections of New Street and High Street, and there were further clashes as members of both groups attempted to attack each other. Though UAF organisers later condemned police tactics as heavy-handed, in particular what they claimed was the ‘kettling’ of a group of around fifty Asian youths in an area of New Street, near to the Bull Ring, the police tactics and response to incidents mostly appeared very well-judged and even-handed.

Birmingham

As the evening wore on buses were rerouted from Corporation Street as police reported that protests remained ongoing although no significant incidents of disorder appear to have occurred.

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer