Sixteen arrested at EDL protest

Sixteen people were arrested after far-right demonstrators clashed with police as they protested in east London on Saturday.

Scuffles broke out and bottles and firecrackers were thrown by members of the English Defence League (EDL) as riot police, mounted police and dogs turned out on the streets in large numbers to maintain control.

By early evening 16 people had been arrested for a variety of offences including affray, drunk and disorderly and assault on a police officer.

Skirmishes broke out on Saturday afternoon as EDL leader Stephen “Tommy” Lennon addressed the crowd, telling them he had broken his bail conditions to be at the protest. He was not one of those arrested.

The far-right group had told Scotland Yard it planned to lead a “static demonstration” in the wake of a 30-day ban by Home Secretary Theresa May on marching in six areas.

There had been fears of potential unrest ahead of the protest, centred on the deprived inner city borough of Tower Hamlets.

Mrs May also banned marches in Newham, Waltham Forest, Islington, Hackney and the City of London.

More than 3,000 officers were made available amid fears of violence and clashes with opposition groups including Unite Against Fascism.

Police vans from forces including Cumbria, Lancashire and Grampian could be seen on the streets.
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