450 members of the English Defence League turned up their march in Dewsbury yesterday, with the commending all groups involved for conducting a peaceful march.
Kirklees police Divisional Commander, T/Chief Superintendent David Lunn has thanked partner agencies, the organisers of the demonstrations and the people of Dewsbury.
CS Lunn said: "We are pleased to say that today's events have passed without incident and that disruption to Dewsbury was kept to a minimum, with the Town returning to normal as soon as possible.
"I would like to thank the community, our partners in the council and other agencies and the event organisers themselves, with whom we have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all concerned throughout the day.
"Approximately 450 EDL demonstrators attended, along with approximately 50 counter-demonstrators, mainly from the UAF and TUC. There have so far been five arrests for minor incidents.
"I am very proud of the community response to today's events. This helped enable the protests to pass peacefully, safely and without serious incident.
The Dewsbury EDL Facebook page read: “The EDL will be peacefully protesting in Dewsbury to highlight the two-tier system that operates in this country and the spread of militant Islam.”
They were referring to the town’s links with the 7/7 bombers and claim that there are other Islamic terrorist links. Members have also expressed anger on the social network at a lenient 21-month-jail sentence of Mohammed Nazakat Alam, 24, over the killing of Jack Carter in Thornhill Lees.
The day's events included a march from the assembly point to Dewsbury Town Hall for a number of speeches.
A large-scale police operation will be in force after previous demonstrations saw violent clashes and arrests. The fear of clashes has been increased by the organisation of a large counter demonstration by Unite Against Fascism and Dewsbury Unity who oppose the far-right group's multiple events in the town.
The Faith's Forum in the area, which works towards multiculturalism and understanding across religions, have urged people to stay well away from the town centre and the two demonstrations.
Concerns have been heightened after two EDL members were arrested for violent disorder in the town after a demonstration in Cleckheaton in March of this year.
Ahead of the protest EDL members have posted racist comments online, and speculated over the scale of the march:
Screenshot courtesy of @EDLNewsXtra.
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