As thousands of anti-fascists gathered in Tower Hamlets on Saturday afternoon, English Defence League marchers were kept away by ranks of police officers who escorted them rapidly towards Tower Bridge and well away from their objective of gathering in Whitechapel.
By 6pm in the evening, the confrontation was all over. According the Metropolitan Police, only five arrests were made.
Martin Smith, the UAF national organiser said: “We have won. We haven’t had anybody arrested. We have stopped the EDL coming into this borough. Tommy Robinson [the leader of the EDL] has been arrested. We have marched on the streets today, the EDL have gone and we have won.”
However, a Tweet by the National Union of Journalists reported: “The #EDL set light to a colleague today in the Tower Hamlets protest. He has suffered minor burns. #NUJPhoto.” The NUJ said there were also “numerous reports of abuse, racism, assaults and one count of sexual assault against journalists.”
For life coverage of the demo see here