Thousands of anti-fascist protesters and right-wing extremists clashed yesterday during a day of violence in Bolton, Lancashire, that ended in nearly 70 arrests.
Police said demonstrators from Unite against Fascism (UAF) and the English Defence League, which organised the protest, had set out to cause trouble. Two officers and two UAF protesters were among those injured. Some 4,000 demonstrators attacked each other and hundreds of police in the city centre's Victoria Square, forcing businesses to shut their doors.
Garry Shewan, the assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, heaped criticism on the UAF and arrested its leader,Weyman Bennett. "Turning their anger on to police officers they acted with, at times, extreme violence, and their actions led to injuries to police officers, protesters and members of the public," he said. The police arrested 67 people, including Martin Smith, who runs the Love Music Hate Racism campaign.Reuse content