44 EDL supporters arrested after run-in with East End youths

A confrontation between Tower Hamlets youths and a group of EDL members being driven through the East End on a coach led to the arrest of 44 far right supporters.

The fiery exchange followed demonstrations by the EDL and counter fascism groups in the area between Whitechapel Road and Aldgate on Saturday.

At around 6.30pm a coach full of EDL members stopped in Whitechapel Road and some of its passengers got off and came face to face with youths gathered in the area.

The EDL members got back on the coach but it broke down shortly after in Mile End Road outside Stepney Green tube station and another scuffle broke out.

Police were quick on the scene and a double-decker bus was used to take the far right supporters out of the borough.

Later on officers arrested all the passengers on the coach and they are being held in various London police stations.

A total of 16 other arrests had made during the day for offences including assault on a police officer, common drunk, drunk and disorderly behaviour and affray.

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Around 1,000 EDL supporters were estimated to have arrived at Liverpool Street station at around 3pm that day after travelling in from King’s Cross station.

They were outnumbered by anti fascism protesters from groups including Unite Against Fascism and Socialist Worker.

Both the EDL and counter fascism groups ignored pleas from East End politicians including MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali, mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman and also borough commander of Tower Hamlets police Paul Rickett to stay away from the demonstrations.

Police are urging anyone who witnessed the disturbances to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.