British National Party (BNP) supporters and anti-fascist campaigners clashed outside the Palace of Westminster today.
“I’ve put my best suit on today and come out for a peaceful demonstration and this is what’s happened. And to think they call us thugs!” one BNP supporter who suffered a large cut to his nose told the Independent.
BNP activists holding banners saying “hate preachers out” were heavily outnumbered by anti-fascists with “smash the BNP” and “say no to Islamaphobia” signage, the Independent reported. The group of counter-protesters, thought to be a part of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), chanted “fascist scum” and “you racist Nazis” at their rivals.
According to the report, Nick Griffin, whose party was banned by police from protesting in Woolwich over fears of “serious disruption to the life of the community” and the potential for “serious disorder”, arrived at around 2.30pm to the sound of the national anthem.
“Due to police concerns about serious disruption to the life of the community, and the potential for serious disorder should this counter protest confront the BNP organised protest, police have imposed conditions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.Those conditions state that the protest must take place in Whitehall Gardens junction with Whitehall.A group of about 300, also believed to be part of the UAF protest, were stopped in Old Palace Yard junction with Abdingdon Street.This group have now been notified of the conditions imposed under Section 14 and requested to move to Whitehall Gardens to continue their protest. Officers are in negotiation with this group.” a Scotland Yard spokesman told the newspaper.
Photo courtesy the Independent