Woolwich attack: Anti-fascist groups plan counter-demos as EDL marches spread across Britain

Hackers target far-right group in retaliation for ‘capitalising’ on Drummer Lee Rigby’s death

Anti-fascist campaigners are preparing to oppose the English Defence League in up to a dozen towns and cities across the country this weekend, as the far-right group stages a series of demonstrations following the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

The EDL is planning protests in at least 30 locations on Saturday afternoon, after the group’s leadership called for localised events rather than a national demonstration. Anti-EDL campaigners told The Independent that they had identified “10 or 12” of these locations for counter-demos, with Leeds their priority.

The EDL’s plans emerged after members of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous launched a campaign against the anti-Islamic group. Anonymous members leaked personal information it said belonged to EDL donors and members on Tuesday and promised a further leak last night, with more to follow in the near future.

The far-right group’s co-founder Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has asked EDL members to march in silence this weekend. He has called on them to lay wreaths at memorials and instructed them not to carry banners or drink alcohol while marching, following violent scenes in London on Monday.

Plans for many events were published online today. Most of England’s major cities are represented but, in many towns, only a handful of people have currently stated their intention to attend.

Matthew Collins of anti-fascist group Hope not Hate said he believed that the decision to localise the demonstration was part of a plan to draw attention away from a simultaneous march planned in London by the British National Party, with whom the EDL leadership has clashed in the past.

He added: “Tommy Robinson has  got off his political deathbed. The EDL was as good as dead last week. Lennon had lost all respect from what was left of his gang.”

An Acpo spokesman said: “Police are aware of a number of demonstrations planned for this weekend. Forces across the country will be working closely  with local communities as always to ensure these pass off with minimum disruption. While we will do all we can to facilitate peaceful protest, those taking part should be clear that the police will uphold the law.”

West Yorkshire Police said it was not aware of a large-scale planned action by either the EDL or its opponents but would be looking at putting plans in place between now and Saturday.

Members of the Anonymous team leading the attack on the EDL said they decided to act because the anti-Islamic group was “ capitalising” on the death of Drummer Rigby.

Speaking to The Independent, they said it was also in retaliation for the EDL’s treatment of Muslims.

“I’ve seen their treatment to Muslims in my own town and I want to do something about it, and raise awareness of it,” said one member.

Suspect 'admits Paris knife attack'

A 21-year-old man arrested over the stabbing of a French soldier near Paris on Saturday admitted to the crime, officials said. The suspect is a Muslim convert who "wanted to attack a representative of the state", said prosecutor Francois Molins.

Police arrested the man in Yvelines, 45km south-west of the capital.

Lee Rigby died of multiple incised wounds

Police asked for more information about Lee Rigby’s murder after confirming that he died of multiple wounds. An inquest into the solider’s death will open at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.

Three officers who shot suspects Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo could be back on duty within weeks. Adebowale was discharged from hospital yesterday and taken into police custody. Adebolajo remains in hospital.

Witness returns to scene of attack

Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who has been praised for her bravery after calmly talking to one of the Woolwich attackers as he stood clutching a knife with bloodied hands, has returned to the scene of the killing.

Gesturing to the piles of floral tributes to Drummer Lee Rigby, she said: “It’s the public displaying their shock and showing that they are behind the British Army and the soldiers and that this is something they will not accept.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map