Ten English Defence League protesters have been charged with offences after violence broke out at a city centre demonstration. A total of 17 people were arrested, five from Leicestershire, after the protest in Leicester City Centre.
Four members of the Sky News team were forced to lock themselves inside a satelite truck as demonstrators banged their fists on the windscreen during the disorder. “It was very, very frightening,” said reporter Robin Powell, who was in the truck.
A smoke bomb and missiles were thrown from the EDL protesters into police and crowds of press. There were also clashes between EDL supporters and members of the local black and Asian community away from the city centre.
Powell said around 200 EDL protesters broke through a police cordon at the end of the demonstration and attacked the Sky News truck and a police car.
“Protesters started to charge against the cordon and it was clear the police were not going to be able to hold them back,” Powell said. “Around 200 youths were running amok in the centre of Leicester, smashing a police car.”
He added: “For 15 minutes it is no exaggeration to say police had lost control of the situation.”
Update: See also “EDL protest ends in 17 arrests, violence, and an officer with a broken leg”, Leicester Mercury, 11 October 2011