Police appeal for photographic evidence of EDL violence in Halifax

EDL Halifax protest July 2011

Police are asking the public for their pictures and video of violence that erupted when the English Defence League descended on Halifax at the weekend.

Divisional commander for Calderdale Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern says they are investigating a clash between some of the far-right group and counter-demonstrators at King Cross and the break-out of EDL members from the Eureka car park. He urged residents who saw what happened, have footage or photographs, or who witnessed any other trouble, to get in touch.

Calderdale councillor Faisal Shoukat (Lab, Park) says he was assaulted after EDL supporters turned up at the counter-demonstration. He said he was speaking to organisers of the counter-protest as they were setting up when EDL supporters turned up and started damaging the gazebo and speakers.

“They started shouting racist abuse and opening up a banner with racist remarks on it and they chanted ‘EDL’,” he said. He suffered bruising to the back of his head and kidney area. He said one of the EDL members was filming the incident.

The EDL had been told they could hold their protest in the Eureka car park, and the museum shut for the day because of the demonstration, but some of the group came intent on marching on the town’s streets. Coaches are believed to have let some off in Sowerby Bridge, from where some marched into Halifax and others took buses into King Cross and the park opposite the William IV pub where the counter-demo was planned.

Police marched the protesters into the Eureka car park where the mob hurled glass bottles at police, shouted anti-Islamic chants and “Let’s go mental” before breaking fencing to get out of the car park and onto the Eureka grounds. Officers donned riot gear and escorted the EDL supporters to coaches and the rail station and out of Halifax.

Anyone who can help the police should call 0845 6060606 or CrimeStoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Halifax Courier, 12 July 2011