POLICE from 22 forces were mobilised on Saturday to control a march in Nottingham by 160 thugs from the fascist English Defence League.
Hundreds of officers, including mounted police, were deployed in the city as the fascists marched, chanting Islamophobic slogans including: “No Halal for UK” and “No Sharia for UK.”
A counterdemonstration was joined by around 400 people, with participation from Nottingham People’s Assembly, trade unions and Unite Against Fascism.
Nottinghamshire Police said five people were arrested.
The EDL march shut down city-centre businesses and eggs and bottles were thrown.
Chief Inspector Andy Hall sought to justify the fascists receiving police protection, saying: “While not everyone will agree with the sentiment behind today’s demonstration, Nottinghamshire Police does have an obligation to facilitate the right to a peaceful protest and we would also like to thank the majority of demonstrators on both sides who did behave responsibly.”
EDL marches and rallies over the last 10 years have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds.
By 2013, policing costs had reached £10 million, according to figures released in response to a freedom of information request, and the figure has continued to increase since then.
Almost £6 million has been spent in the past two years on policing far-right demonstrations outside London and protests against them.
Saturday’s targeting of Nottingham by the EDL was not the first time the fascist group has turned its attention to the city. An EDL march there in 2009 cost the taxpayer an estimated £1m in policing costs.