London police contain rival protests over soldier’s killing

Supporters of a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-demonstration to another one held by the far-right British National Party (BNP) against the killing of a British soldier, scuffle with police in central London Credit: Reuters
Supporters of a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-demonstration to another one held by the far-right British National Party (BNP) against the killing of a British soldier, scuffle with police in central London
Credit: Reuters

Police intervened to separate about 150 far-right protesters from a much larger anti-racism crowd in London on Saturday to stop them from coming to blows over the killing of a British soldier on a busy street last week.

A number of protests and counter-protests have taken place in the wake of the May 22 killing of Lee Rigby, a serving soldier and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, which the authorities are treating as a terrorist incident.

Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo are now in custody on suspicion of killing Rigby. Adebowale has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm.

Small but noisy far-right groups have taken to the streets several times since Rigby’s killing to express anti-Muslim views. Their actions have been widely condemned and police, politicians and religious leaders have appealed for calm.

The protest by the far-right British National Party (BNP) near the Houses of Parliament was dwarfed by a counter-demonstration by a group called Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

The BNP protesters held placards with the slogan “Hate preachers out”, a reference to radical Muslim clerics they say should be deported from Britain. The UAF banners had slogans like “Free hugs”, “Nazis out” and “Jobs and homes not racism”.

Witnesses said there were some minor scuffles and they saw one man with a bloody nose, but police intervened quickly to keep the two sides apart.

Police said some of the UAF protesters refused to remain in their designated penned area and 20 were arrested.

The BNP originally wanted to march through Woolwich, the neighborhood in southeast London where Rigby was killed, but the police banned them from the area because it could have resulted in “ugly scenes on our streets”.

Another far-right group, the English Defence League (EDL), skirmished with police in Woolwich on the night of the killing and mustered about 1,000 protesters in central London on May 27 to chant slogans like “Muslim killers off our streets”.

Rigby’s family issued a statement on Friday saying his death should not be used as a pretext for reprisal attacks against Muslims.

On Saturday, the Daily Mirror newspaper published a letter entitled “Hope not Hate”, signed by 33,000 people including Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition Labour Party.

“By blaming all Muslims for the terrible murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, the EDL will attempt to whip up a climate of fear and violence towards the Muslim community in Britain. But the EDL will fail,” the letter said.

“We know that the EDL does not speak for all Britain, just as we know that Muslim extremists do not speak for all Muslims.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Television

Adrien Brody shows off his lock picking in…

Adrien Brody talks about his role in the History channel's new "Houdini" miniseries.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.