Violent clashes broke out on Saturday between riot police and right-wing protesters. About 2,000 members of the English Defence League (EDL) descended on Dudley town centre in the West Midlands to demonstrate against plans for a new mosque.
Some of the protesters broke out of a pen in a car park, breaking down metal fences and throwing the metal brackets at officers, who were armed with riot shields and batons.
Members of the demonstration started fighting their own stewards who were trying to calm them down as they attacked the fences penning them in.
The EDL had put signs up which read “Labour forcing mosques on Britain” and “No one wants this mosque”. Some demonstrators held placards reading “Muslim bombers off our streets” and “Say no to the mosque”. The national anthem was played on a speaker system while demonstrators waved the flag of St George.
The mosque is planned for Hall Street with details on the design and positioning of the building due for submission by July 2011. In July last year the council lost a high court challenge to prevent the planning application being given the go ahead.
The EDL protesters managed to break out of the car park by pulling down fences and barging their way past riot police officers. About half the group then ran off through the town. Lines of riot police officers fought running battles with protesters as they tried to contain the mob who pulled down barriers blocking off roads.
See also Stourbridge News, 3 April 2010