Rival protestors clash with police as demonstration after election turns nasty

Claudine Rigal
Juin 12, 2017

People were urged to stay away from Piccadilly Gardens after a protest involving the EDL and rival anti-fascist groups turned violent today.

The group's presence led to fiery clashes with demonstrators and Anti-Facist groups as Greater Manchester Police officers in riot gear tried to separate demonstrators.

Local media reports said several EDL supporters scuffled with police after attempting to cross the protest line established along Station Approach near Picadilly Station.

Law enforcement advised people to avoid the area and some trams and buses had to be diverted elsewhere.

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare said: "This has been an incredibly challenging day with thousands of people attending Manchester City Centre for the protest".

'I understand that these events are very emotive and that tensions run high when there are polarised views and counter-protests.

'In order to ensure we could deliver a safe operation we deployed over 400 police officers, including support from other forces.

"Our city has been through a lot over the last few weeks and I know some were opposed to the event taking place".

"This meant another busy weekend, workeing considerably long hours in extremely challenging circumstances to look after our communities".

Eight arrests were believed to have been made during the afternoon - with some protestors accusing EDL demonstrators of using pepper spray on them.

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