FASCISTS rampaged through central London yesterday demanding the release of far-right activist Tommy Robinson, who has been jailed for contempt of court.
The far-right mob attacked police, hurling metal barriers, traffic cones, bottles, beer cans and other missiles.
The attacks began in Whitehall and police were forced out of Trafalgar Square. Participants raised their arms in nazi salutes.
Five police officers were injured and five fascists arrested. A police investigation has been launched.
A counter-demonstration was supported by 400 anti-fascists who included members of unions RMT, UCU, CWU, Unison and the NEU.
Anti-fascist campaigners warned that the size of the march should ring alarm bells for all who oppose racism, fascism and Islamophobia in Britain.
Unite Against Fascism’s Michael Bradley said:
We are sounding the alarm to the trade union and labour movement. We need to build a mass movement to drive these people back.
Left unopposed, their protests will grow and racism and violence will grow with them.
They are using the same kind of rhetoric against Muslims as was used by the far-right in the 1930s against the Jews. We have to learn the lessons of history.
Speakers at the far-right rally which followed the march incited hatred against Muslims.
Defeated Ukip leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters, who heads the For Britain group, told the crowd that they must do away with the “iron grip of Islam,” and said that,
The state and Islam are supreme in the UK.
The rally had international support. Notorious Dutch racist Geert Wilders was among the speakers, and a message of support for Mr Robinson was read out from Donald Trump’s former aide Steve Bannon.
Mr Robinson was jailed in Leeds two weeks ago for using social media to comment on a case being heard in Leeds Crown Court. He was imprisoned for 13 months.
His jailing has become a cause celebre for far-right and fascist groups.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement yesterday: “During the protest there were scenes of violence which saw bottles, metal barriers and other objects thrown at officers.
Five officers have reported injuries, which are not serious.
Police said arrests involved possession of an offensive weapon, two for assaults on police officers, one for possession of a flare, and one for criminal damage to a bus.
“The Met will now launch a post-investigation collating the CCTV in the area,” said police.