Tag Archives: thugs

Police to screen EDL rally footage on Crimewatch in fresh appeal to trace 100 thugs

Looking like the state may be turning on its very own bootboys –  The English Defence League.

From the Birmingham Mail (Jan 19).

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the EDL and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations

Police are to make a fresh appeal to identify up to 100 demonstrators involved in bloody clashes at an English Defence League march last year.

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the English Defence League and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations.

One policeman suffered concussion during scuffles while other demonstrators were left bloodied by missiles and clashes with police in the shadow of the city’s new library.

An estimated 2,000 EDL supporters poured into Centenary Square last July, chanting hate-filled anti-Islam slogans.

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In Chamberlain Square about 300 people – some hiding their identities by wearing balaclavas – from Unite Against Fascism turned out for their counter-demonstration.

More than 1,300 officers from 12 forces were drafted in for a £1 million pound operation designed to guarantee public safety. It was West Midlands Police’s most expensive ever policing bill.

Set against the backdrop of soldier Lee Rigby’s murder, and three bomb attacks on Midland mosques, the demos were held at a time of heightened tensions.

Around 20 arrests were made at the time with 16 further suspects from across the country being detained and bailed since the incident.

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But police have spent the last six months scouring CCTV footage of the rally and say it has given them access “to a wealth of exceptional quality footage” likely to provide “significant investigative opportunities to bring a large number of offenders to justice”.

It is understood that officers have managed to collate images of up to 100 suspects and an appeal will be made to identify them on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Wednesday.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “A team of detectives continue to investigate disorder which broke out at Birmingham’s EDL demonstration in July 2013, and to date 16 people have been arrested post incident.

“Those detained have been arrested from across the country – from Newcastle to Exeter – and they remain on police bail pending further enquiries.

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“Efforts continue to identify others involved in the violence in Centenary Square and a fresh appeal will be made on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme January 22.”

Last night online EDL chat forums were buzzing with activity as members discussed impending arrests and the upcoming Crimewatch appeal.

A spokesman for fascist monitoring site EDL News said: “Some EDL who were there have gone on social media sites, saying they are planning to hand themselves in to the police in an effort to pre-empt ‘a knock on the door by Old Bill’.

“It’s really got them worried, especially after 30 or so EDL members were sentenced recently for violence at their Walsall demonstration.”

The EDL and its splinter groups have held five demonstrations in Birmingham. The first two, in 2009 and 2010, resulted in serious disorder while others in 2011 and last January passed peacefully.

But the July 20 demo last year marked a return to violence.

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In a move criticised by some, EDL supporters had gathered from late morning at Broad Street’s Bar Risa as agreed beforehand with the police, who were keen to keep them in one place before the official rally.

Anti-Islam chants were soon echoing as attendees queued at the bar for their pre-demo drinks. Outside, flags of St George boasting EDL divisions from as far afield as Grimsby were unfurled as members chanted “England Til I Die”.

As the crowd gathered, more police riot vans lined up along the street, forming a barricade between the demonstrators on one side and onlookers on the other. At one point about 20 climbed on top of a small fast food van, prompting fears that the roof would collapse under their weight.

Eventually, the EDL were escorted by a heavy police presence down Broad Street, at which point the first of a series of scuffles took place.

Opponents to the group became more vocal as they marched, yelling “Scum!” and “Not in my name!”

Progressing towards Centenary Square, where the main demonstration with speeches took place, EDL leader Tommy Robinson, flanked by watchers, was quickly ushered to the staging area.

But even as the speeches began, many of the EDL supporters clashed with police.

One group clambered on top of a bus shelter while fellow EDL members held up the roof to stop its collapse. Others attacked the construction fence around the new Library Of Birmingham, only to find riot police waiting on the other side as they broke through.

And as speeches from Robinson and others, speaking out against Islam, continued, flashpoints erupted from one end of Centenary Square to another.

One EDL member said: “These are our streets we can be here if we want. It’s nothing to do with the police – they shouldn’t be here.”

In the shadow of the ICC and Symphony Hall red smoke bombs were hurled at riot gear-clad police while fences surrounding the REP Theatre were also attacked. On the other side of the square plastic bottles, gravel and coins were thrown at a line of police.

While cheers rang out every time a missile found its mark, one man pulled up a cobble stone, smashed it in two, before covering his face and hurling it at the line of police. During the disturbances some suffered head injuries and were seen wandering around with bleeding wounds.

One appeared to be hurt when fencing around the library was pulled down on top of him.

Robinson told the gathered crowd that the EDL wanted CCTV cameras returned to Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook. Around 200 cameras – costing £3 million – were removed in 2011 after an outcry from local communities concerned about civil liberties.

Robinson also said the jailing of six Birmingham men, who planned to attack an EDL rally in Dewsbury, was behind the protest.

As the EDL were gradually ushered to waiting coaches along Broad Street, some broke through lines at Regency Wharf.

A window at the Blue Mango Indian Restaurant was smashed as a small group ran along the canal towpath and plant pots were strewn around. But with coaches waiting and the afternoon heat taking its toll, the earlier anger of the group faded as they waited to be released by police.

Broad Street re-opened at about 6pm and council clean-up crews arrived to tidy litter and debris before the crowds of regular Saturday night revellers arrived.

As the clean-up continued West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe hailed the operation a success.

“A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into today’s events and it is reassuring to see that both demonstrations have largely passed off without serious incident,” she said.

“We are aware of some instances of criminal damage and a number of assaults have been reported, which will be the subject of our ongoing inquiries as we move forward from today’s operation.

“Most people who came to Birmingham to go about their daily business in the shopping areas would have done so without having been greatly affected by the protests, which is pleasing.

“Arrests were made where necessary and further inquiries will be made to determine if any other offences were committed.

“That said, this has been a successful operation, due in no small part to the excellent work between police, our partner agencies and representatives of our communities. She added: “We recognise that the people of Birmingham have been both concerned and inconvenienced and we would like to thank them for their tolerance, co-operation and patience.”

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EDL supporters sentenced to 60 years for Walsall disorder

31 men from across the country, aged between 18 and 59, have been given sentences totalling 60 years and eight months for their part in the 2012 disorder which broke out in Walsall following an English Defence League demonstration.

Over 600 supporters of the EDL held a demonstration in the town centre on 29 September last year. A counter demonstration was also held nearby by the Unite Against Fascism group. Police officers had to keep the two groups apart.

EDL Walsall 2012

EDL supporter injured by his own side in Walsall 2012

A number of officers and EDL stewards were injured when the atmosphere turned hostile and supporters of the EDL threw missiles at the police.

The following men have been sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for their part in the disorder:

Douglas Ralston (53) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Darron Davies (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Neil MacDiarmid (50) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 15 months

Alan Turnbull (32) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Stephen Currien (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Lee Rogers (26) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Gary Lycett (55) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Jack Lambert (25) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Michael Thomas (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Jack Clark (22) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months

Christopher Boyall (31) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Benjamin Banfield (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Mark Baker (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 21 months

Dean Lidster (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Craig Forward (38) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 25 months

Stephen Bennett (23) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Christopher Jelley (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Myles Smith (39) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Nicholas Cooper (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

Peter Kirkham (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Mark Conroy (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 30 months

Kirk Reeves (40) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months

Richard Schulz (38) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 42 months

Dean Smith (33) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

John Cureton (48) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 36 months

Kirk Jones (28) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 33 months

Ronald Hatton (59) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work.

Leslie Silk (37) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work.

Samuel Phipps (18) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Duncan Smith (43) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Lee Coxshall (aged 34) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

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“On 29 September, the English Defence League had arranged for their supporters from around the country to assemble in Walsall for a demonstration. It is the right of anyone to hold a peaceful assembly and Article 10 of the European Commission for Human Rights provides the right for freedom of expression; however, on that day, the supporters of the EDL went far beyond freedom of expression or a peaceful assembly.

Fuelled by hate and alcohol, a section of the group, instigated by key figures within the demonstration, began to direct their anger towards the counter demonstration. As police then sought to contain the group, supporters of the EDL began throwing missiles.

Police officers were then exposed to some of the worst violence that they have been subjected to in a public order situation. Concrete slabs, bricks and a table leg were among some of the various items which were used as weapons and thrown at the officers.

Those engaged in such reprehensible conduct paid little regard to what they were doing or who they were attacking, as during their orgy of violence, a number of their own EDL stewards, as well as police officers, were seriously injured.

A year on from those violent scenes those responsible for their actions that day have been arrested, brought to justice and now they have to face the consequences for their actions.”

– Robin Allen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service

Link

Full sized mugshot gallery here


Right-wing thugs locked up after Liverpool city centre attack

Liverpool echo 26 September

“Trouble spread to Bold Street bar after gang set upon anti-fascists heading to a fundraising gig

Far-right thugs attack in Bold Street
Far-right thugs attack in Bold Street

Seven right-wing thugs who attacked a Liverpool City Centre anti-fascist meeting were jailed after admitting charges of violent disorder.

The men, who were either members of or associated with groups including the National Front,  the English Defence Force or North West Infidels punched and kicked people heading for a fundraising gig at the News From Nowhere Bookshop on July 6 last year.

CCTV footage shown to Liverpool Crown Court showed the men, led by 25-year-old Liam Pinkham, running across Bold Street and attacking a smaller group walking past the Cafe Tabac bar and restaurant.

Liam Pinkham

Liam Pinkham

The attackers, some of whom were wearing masks, punched and kicked their victims who were pursued into the Tabac where the violence continued, sending tables and chairs flying.

Anya Horwood, prosecuting, said: “It would appear that the motivation for this violent disorder was polarised political opinions and personal enmity. The attacking group shared right-wing beliefs and the victims anti-fascist.”Witnesses described seeing the group hanging around outside the nearby Sainsbury’s store and thought they were about to raid it before they went to the Tabac and started “beating people.”

Those inside described three “punks” outnumbered two to one being beaten to the floor and one suffering a golf ball sized lump to his head.

Liam Pinkham, who was at the front of the attack having crossed the road to remonstrate with a man he had previous dealings with, was found a short time later cowering on top of a multi-story car park with another attacker Stephen Dumont, then aged just 16.

Stephen Dumont

Stephen Dumont

Matthew Coates, 22, was found on Roscoe Street with a mask and St George’s flag in his pocket and said: “OK you’ve got me” while Shane Calvert, 31, was found near Lime Street out of breath with bloody knuckles.

Matthew Coates

Matthew Coates

Pinkham, of Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead; Dumont, 18, of Rosewood Close, Netherley; Coates, of Albert Road, Southport; Michael Kearns, of Dovecote Avenue, Dovecote and Nathan Smith, 21, of North Road, St Helens, all pleaded guilty to violent disorder – though Smith failed to turn up to the hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.Two men from Blackburn Peter Hawley, of Ailsa Road, and Shane Calvert, 31, of Shetland Avenue, admitted the same charge.

Peter Hawley

Peter Hawley

Some of the men admitted being members of the English Defence League whereas others denied membership though they offered “frank” political opinions.

Shane Calvert

Shane Calvert

Judge Robert Trevor-Jones, said: “All of you were either members of, or have associations with, groups which happen to hold right-wing views or positions whether it be the National Front, English Defence Force or North West Infidels. “It is that common factor which brought you all together on Bold Street that evening because you had been made aware there was to be some form of anti-fascist meeting.

“It is quite clear you all went there to Bold Street with the view to disrupting or preventing that meeting taking place even if you did not intend direct violence beforehand.

“Of course in such circumstances involving two groups holding diametrically opposed views there is a clear risk of confrontation as was shown by the CCTV in court.

Michael Kearns

Michael Kearns

“Although the violence was short lived it was in full view of passers-by, initially out on the street, and it spread into a nearby cafe causing chairs and tables to be overturned and glasses to be smashed. Calvert, Pinkham, Kearns and Smith were in the thick of it.”

He jailed Pinkham, who had previously threatened to burn down News From Nowhere while making abusive comments about Anne Frank, for 17 months.

Dumont was sent to a young offenders institution for a total of nine months after he was also found guilty at trial of public order offences after shouting racist taunts through a megaphone at a mosque in Ashton Under Lyne, Greater Manchester.

Coates was locked up for ten months; Michael Kearns, 39, for 14 months; Peter Hawley, 53, for 13 months, and Shane Calvert was  given14 months behind bars.

As they were led to the cells their supporters, who packed the public gallery, shouted: “No justice” and applauded them.”
Video of the attack on anti-fascists

NWI Fascists issued this warning shortly after the sentencing

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See also

Final far-right thug (Nathan Smith) jailed for beating up anti-fascist demonstrators


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