Police confirm 300 arrests made at EDL and anti-fascist protests in east London
- Credit: Archant
Police arrested 300 protestors as clashes broke out during demonstrations in east London on Saturday.
Scotland Yard confirmed that most of the arrests were made when a splinter group of anti-fascist demonstrators broke through police lines and ran towards Tower Bridge, where far-right group the English Defence League was marching.
The anti-fascist splinter group left the main counter-demonstration in Whitechapel’s Altab Ali Park, marching along Whitechapel Road before breaking police lines and sprinting towards Tower Bridge.
But they were met with a huge police presence in Commercial Road, with police arresting many of them for breaching conditions imposed on the protests.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Fourteen arrests were made for a variety of offences including violent disorder and criminal damage.
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“In addition, 286 people were arrested for breaching the conditions imposed on them. The vast majority of these 286 people were part of the counter demonstration. All 286 have been bailed to various central London police stations from dates in October 2013 onwards.”
A further 14 arrests were made at different points during the day, including of EDL members. On social networking site Twitter, EDL leader Tommy Robinson - whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - wrote that he was arrested and charged with inciting a crowd to commit pubic order offences.
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He has since been named as one of three protestors charged for failing to comply with conditions imposed on the march under the Public Order Act 1986, and inciting public assembly with participation to breach section 14 of the same Act.
Estimates put the number of EDL protestors at around 500 - though the organisation’s Twitter account said there were “loads more” than that - while organisers of the anti-fascist demonstration said more than 4,000 turned out to opposed the EDL.