London Cops Clash With 1K Right-Wing Protesters

1,500 come out in counter-demonstration
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2011 2:32 PM CDT
Members of the English Defense League gather for a rally in London, Saturday Sept. 3, 2011.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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(Newser) – Ignoring a government ban on marches in London, hundreds of far-right activists held a protest in the capital today and some clashed with police. It was the first large-scale protest in London since a wave of looting and riots shook it and other major British cities in early August. Police have been on high alert for street violence ever since, and Home Secretary Theresa May has imposed a 30-day ban on marches in six parts of the capital.

That ban included Tower Hamlets, a poor area with a large immigrant population, including Muslims, where about 1,000 people believed to members of the English Defense League protested today. About 1,500 people who oppose the organization also turned out for a counter-demonstration. The league insists it is a peaceful organization opposing the spread of Islamist extremism in England, but its past protests have often turned violent. The group also has been linked to Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian who killed 77 people in his country on July 22.

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