Right-wing demo ends in violence

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of people clashed in Birmingham city centre yesterday as right-wing protesters fought with anti-fascist campaigners in a busy shopping street. A demo by the English Defence League ended in violence.

Onlookers described clashes of large gangs. "There were about 250 people in total, fighting and throwing bottles at each other," one said.

Riot police worked to contain the disturbance and a police helicopter hovered overhead. A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said there had been "pockets" of trouble and 20 people were arrested after a clash on a bus. Police later said about 200 people had been involved in sporadic incidents.

The English Defence League had urged supporters to avoid violent clashes. The trouble followed similar incidents in the city last month.