The Scottish Defence League (SDL) held a static protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, while Unite Against Fascism organised its own counter-protest. Police said that around 60 people attended the SDL event, which lasted for around 45 minutes. The majority arrived by coach.
Meanwhile Unite Against Fascism said its march from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Parliament attracted over 300 people. Police put the figure at around 250.
Lothian and Borders Police created a “sterile” area outside Holyrood, with the two groups separated by barriers and accompanied by police officers. Members of the public were kept away from the area.
Speaking after the event, Luke Henderson, co-ordinator for Unite Against Fascism, said: “The march was absolutely fantastic and we were very happy that we had a great turn out. Our march had representatives from the many diverse communities that make Edinburgh a vibrant and open city.”
Update: See also “Scotland and Islam”, Sunday Herald, 30 September 2012
Police clashed with members of the English Defence League during protests in Walsall town centre today.
During speeches given by leaders of the EDL, the crowd surged towards police lines on Leicester Street. Officers with riot gear used batons and shields to hold back the demonstrators. Scores of missiles – including bricks, bottles and litter bins – were hurled at police.
At 3pm officers cleared Lichfield Street with a shields charge as members of the EDL were herded on to buses to transport them away from the town centre.
West Midlands Police said they have no power to ban a static protest and the right to protest peacefully was a sign of a healthy democracy.