Shops and businesses closed in Newcastle city centre yesterday as members of the English Defence League (EDL) clashed with members of the left-wing Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

The EDL, an anti-Islamist organisation, marched through the city draped in English flags. Children were also included in their ranks. At the UAF, they shouted 'You're not English anymore'

In response, the UAF protesters shouted 'Off our streets, Nazi scum'.

The two opposing groups, numbering 3,000 in total, took part in separate hour long marches through Newcastle, eventually coming face to face near the train station.

Hundreds of police officers from five separate forces were drafted in to keep order, but no arrests were made.

The EDL have always insisted they are not a neo-Nazi group, but are merely protesting against Islamic terrorism. In the past, they have kicked out members with neo-Nazi links.

No arrests were made yesterday, but the vast majority of arrests in similar clashes between the two groups in Bolton earlier this year were members of the UAF, who seem less capable of peaceful protests than EDL members. UAF leader Weyman Bennett was amongst those arrested in Bolton.

However, politically correct Lefties have lined up to attack the EDL for daring to protest against Islamofascists. Catherine McKinnell, the Labour MP for Newcastle North, said (in typical Labourspeak) Newcastle is "proud" of its "diversity."

If I remember rightly, the 7/7 bombers were from Yorkshire.

Children draped in English flags take part in fascist protest march through Newcastle

By Scott Warren
29th May 2010
Daily Mail

Children were thrust into racial hostilities today as the English Defence League clashed with police and anti-fascist groups in Newcastle.

Shops and pubs in the city closed as up to 3,000 EDL and Unite Against Fascism members took to the streets, chanting and waving banners.

The two camps came face-to-face near the city train station before their planned marches, with UAF protesters chanting 'Off our streets, Nazi scum' in response to the EDL's chorus of 'You're not English anymore'.

They were kept apart by hundreds of officers from five forces.

Protest: An English Defence League member during today's march through Newcastle

St George's Cross: Protesters young and old were draped in English flags and wearing clothing emblazoned with the national symbol

Children from both sides were seen gesturing and waving placards.

Young children in the EDL group were wearing English flag capes.

Hour-long marches began at opposite sides of the city and concluded within 150 yards of each other, with rows of police officers with dogs and horses keeping the two groups apart.

There were several scuffles between rival marchers, but police said there had been no arrests made.

Opposition: Children protesting with the EDL made gestures towards the anti-fascist UAF after the two groups met in the middle of the city

Chief Supt Graham Smith said: 'It has been a great success. It has passed without incident. Newcastle is a city for peace and the aim of today was to allow peaceful protests which we have demonstrated is possible through careful planning.'

A strong police presence will remain in the centre throughout the bank holiday weekend to prevent trouble.

One of the EDL leaders, Ronnie Burgess, a 31-year-old bodyguard from Liverpool, insisted it was not a racist group.

Wearing a steward number one fluorescent jacket, he said: 'The message has been lost and we have got a bad press lately. We don't deny we have racist members, but we police ourselves and we will find them out. We don't want them.'

Anger: Police stop the EDL protesters as they clashed with Unite members before the two groups' marches got underway

Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of UAF, said he was pleased with the turn-out to oppose the EDL.

He said: 'They have come to try to divide black and white, Muslim and Christian.

'We are going through an economic crisis like in the 1930s. We don't want the same diseases we had then, of fascism and racism.'

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, said: 'In Newcastle, we don't accept the premise of the EDL march. Newcastle has a proud and magnificent history based on solidarity, peace and diversity.'

Last edited by Blackleaf; May 30th, 2010 at 12:30 PM..