Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Mob fury at Piccadilly battleground

OVER 40 people were arrested in the confrontation between two political groups in Manchester city centre.

Piccadilly Gardens was swarmed by over 2000 protesters as English Defence League (EDL) demonstrators faced off against members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) on Saturday afternoon.

The static protest between the two groups was met with a well contained police lockdown. The two factions stood divided by a line of riot police, dogs and officers on horseback.
Persistent anti-fascist chants of “Nazi scum, off our streets” were greeted with patriotic songs and Nazi salutes from the EDL, who strongly oppose Sharia law and “radical Islam.”

Minor pockets of violence and rushes for the dividing police line were quickly halted by officers as around 700 EDL supporters faced up to 1400 UAF demonstrators for over four and a half hours. Speakers for the UAF group taunted their opposition crying “you said you would bring 1000, where are they? There are many many more mosques than you.”

Shortly before 5pm police herded protestors towards railway stations as the protests came to an end. The demonstration is in a series of protests around the country after confrontations in Birmingham and London in recent months.

The demonstration further fuelled a war over the country’s identity with both sides displaying solidarity and immunity to intimidation in the face of the opposition. Some witnesses questioned the conflict demanding “why can’t people live together in today’s society. England is multi-cultural and that is a fact.”

Anti-fascist protesters also directed opposition against the decision of the BBC to allow BNP leader Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time with plans to blockade the BBC Television Centre, in White City. Witnesses labelled the decision “disgusting” and “disgraceful” in the fight for a multicultural and democratic society.