Around 1,500 Unite Against Fascism supporters gathered in Victoria square to protest against the English Defence League who were also staging a rally in the square. Bolton, United Kingdom, 20/03/2010.
Right from the start there were high levels of police brutality from normal officers and riot police snatch squads. However, the brutal display of force was overcome by the sheer determination and unification of the protesters who definitely would not give up, linked in arms, creating their own blockade behind the police lines.
The EDL and UAF were on separate sides of the square, in a similar stand off style to the demonstration held in London the other week. The high police presence kept each group well away from each other. The UAF joint secretary, Weymann Bennett was arrested, as well as Martin Smith from the Love Music Hate racism Campaign, for suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.
Leading the operation for the Greater Manchester Police, Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan reported in The Times that, "Today in Bolton we have seen groups of people, predominantly associated with the UAF, engaging in violent confrontation. It is clear to me that a large number have attended with the sole intention of committing disorder and their actions have been wholly unacceptable. Turning their anger onto police officers they acted with, at times, extreme violence and their actions led to injuries to police officers, protesters and members of the public."
This statement is a ridiculous remark as the police were the ones going in heavy handed with no reason at all but to scare and intimidate the people into submission. Out of the two reported officers injured one was from a police dog.
After the EDL were escorted to the train station, the UAF then breached police cordons in the city centre and tried to get to the station to chase the ‘nazis’ out of town. By this time many members of the local Asian community had joined in.