the BBC report about the EDL demonstration in London and the subsequent arrests was so vague, as I complained of
. Check out this passage from the BBC story:
That’s all it tells us, that the bus broke down, and there was an unspecified “disturbance,” and so, for some unexplained reason, all 44 persons on the bus were “arrested.”
The moment EDL bus is attacked by dozens of Asian men after it broke down following protest meeting in East London
A coachload of English Defence League supporters were attacked by around 100 Asian [read Muslim] youths with missiles when their bus broke down in Tower Hamlets, East London, on its return from a violent rally.
The yellow, red and black bus, carrying around 44 EDL members, was showered with stones as angry teenagers threw traffic cones and bricks, shattering the windows of the bus.
A video on YouTube shows the coach, in Mile End Road, being surrounded with protesters, who scream at the members and throw things at them.
The YouTube footage shows a two-minute film of a group racing towards the bus and then launching whatever they can find.
Police arrested all 44 EDL supporters, who had been involved in the protest in Aldgate, East London, earlier on Saturday.
Officers escorted the members onto a double-decker bus to evacuate them. [LA replies: This is typical incompetent British reporting. What actually seems to have happened is that the EDL members were taken under custody for their own protection from the rock throwing Muslims. Yet the unqualified, unexplained reference to the police “arresting” 44 EDL supporters is used throughout the coverage, both by the Daily Mail and the BBC. Meanwhile there’s no indication that the Muslims—you know, those “Asians” actually throwing traffic cones, bricks, and rocks at the windows of a bus filled with passengers—were themselves arrested. The question of their being arrested or not being arrested is not even addressed in the article.]
When the double-decker bus began to try and leave the area, youths tried to block its path by sitting in the road, but fled when police charged at them.
Police said there had already been an altercation with other local youths after the vehicle stopped at about 6.30pm in Whitechapel Road and some passengers got off the coach.
It was an ugly day for the EDL’s ‘static demonstration’, which saw scuffles break out and its members throwing bottles and firecrackers at riot police, mounted police, and dogs who were trying to maintain control.
By early evening on Saturday 16 people had been taken into custody for a variety of offences including affray, drunk and disorderly and assault on a police officer.
Skirmishes broke out during the afternoon as EDL leader Stephen ‘Tommy’ Lennon addressed a crowd, boasting he had broken his bail conditions to be at the protest. He was not one of those arrested.
The 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. [LA asks: Who has “deprived” them? To deprive means “to take away possessions from someone, to keep from having, keeping, or obtaining.” Why does the supposedly conservative-leaning Daily Mail use this invidious, sneaky language to suggest that certain parties in Britain are being deprived by some sininister agent, whereas in fact these “deprived” persons simply lack the things they would like to have?]
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.
At one point on Saturday a Scotland Yard spokesman said two groups had gathered in east London—one of around 1,000 people, believed to be EDL members, at Aldgate Tube, and a separate group of around 1,500 counter-protesters in Whitechapel Road at its junction with Aldgate East.
EDL protesters were dispersed after mounted police and riot police led them across Tower Bridge.
Several were seen receiving medical attention from officers.
Later police moved EDL supporters travelling on a coach out of Tower Hamlets after the vehicle broke down outside Stepney Green Underground station.
Police said all the passengers on the coach were arrested after two altercations.
At about 6.30pm the coach containing demonstrators stopped in Whitechapel Road and there was an altercation with local youths after some passengers got off.Police vans from forces including Cumbria, Lancashire and Grampian could be seen on the streets.
Campaigners have been in ongoing negotiations with police chiefs in the wake of tough measures introduced by Mrs May.
It is the first time since the Brixton riots 30 years ago that police have requested powers to stop marches in London.
Scuffles broke out as Lennon addressed the chanting crowd, many of whom were waving banners and flags.
The EDL founder Lennon was convicted in July of leading a street brawl with 100 football fans in August last year.
The 28-year-old, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and leading Luton’s hooligans into a fight after a trial at Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court.
The father of three was sentenced to a 12-month community rehabilitation order, 150 hours of unpaid work and hit with a three-year football banning order. He was also ordered to pay £650 in costs.
The trouble comes after frightening pictures were posted on an anti-fascism website which appear to show English Defence League supporters posing with an array of deadly weapons.
On the day that the EDL ignored police and Home Office advice and staged a protest in London, the pictures appear on an anti-fascist website.
In one, a shaven-headed man wears a mask bearing the flag of St George as he brandishes a powerful looking rifle with a scope mounted to the top.
In a second the twin barrels of a shotgun are pointed at the camera lens by a grimacing figure with a cigarette hanging from his lips.
And a third shows three men wearing English Defence League hooded tops, posing like paramilitary fighters, as they point guns into the air in front of a backdrop of the Union Flag and the Cross of St George.
The images come just a month after Anders Breivik slaughtered scores of youngsters during a rampage in Norway.
Soon after his killing spree police were probing Breivik’s links with the far right party amid claims that he had visited the UK and marched with supporters.
Although the EDL denied the links, anti-fascist group Searchlight claimed to have proof that Breivik was in contact with the group.
The RMT transport union attacked the EDL for claiming a strike on the Tube’s Central Line has led to the cancellation of the EDL’s operational arrangements in London tomorrow.
A spokesman for the union said: ‘At no time has RMT talked about a strike—this is a clear cut safety issue for our members who have already had experience in the past of EDL mobilisations. It is our union’s duty, and we believe the employers, to protect our members’ safety at all times.’
Section 13 of the Public Order Act would allow a ban of up to three months—but the force does not believe it necessary.
Ms Pendry said: ‘We have not sought this power since 1981—which shows how we do not take this lightly.
‘We have been in talks with representatives of groups before and since the disorder has taken place and we continue to talk to them today.
‘As far as Saturday is concerned, both parties have requested a static demonstration and we will be negotiating with them suitable locations with the aim of minimising disorder.’