30 Arrests As EDL Clash With Police


Bricks and pieces of wood thrown at Walsall demonstration.

30 people were arrested at an English Defence League protest in Walsall as police were pelted with rocks and pieces of wood.

All 30 have since been bailed.

A total of around 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Leicester Street and outside the New Art Gallery for a counter-protest.

Around 800 police were on duty in the town centre.

Things were generally peaceful until a flashpoint at 2pm when missiles began to be thrown.

Jaz from Birmingham told Free Radio it all happened very quickly. He said: “They all came towards the police lines then one guy went past and swore at them.

“The police took him away straight away but it all kicked off very quickly after that.

“They started charging the police and throwing rocks and bricks.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Police contained the trouble within Leicester Street and by approximately 3pm began leading the protesters onto buses and out of the town centre.

By 6pm Leicester Street was re-opened and the clean up began.

A small number of protesters and police officers sustained minor cuts and bruises, however no serious injuries were reported.

Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman, in charge of the day’s operation, said: “The majority of people attending the two demonstrations were peaceful and law abiding.

“Unfortunately a small number of people at the Leicester Street site became a little more aggressive and there was minor disorder for around ten minutes.

“Arrests were made where necessary and further enquiries will be made to determine if any other offences were committed.

“That said, this has generally been a successful operation, due in no small part to the excellent work between police, our partner agencies and representatives of our communities.”

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Headlines supplied by Sky News.