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English Defence League march and counter protest pass off peacefully

Published 20/02/2016

An image from an English Defence League rally in Walsall last year
An image from an English Defence League rally in Walsall last year

A rally and march by far right group the English Defence League has passed off peacefully amid a heavy police presence.

Around 200 EDL supporters gathered in Preston for the event as a counter demonstration was held, the two sides kept apart by steel barriers.

Police leave was cancelled and around 400 officers were on duty, with mounted officers and riot vans swamping Preston city centre.

It is believed no arrests were made during the hour long EDL event, where supporters chanted anti-Muslim slogans and went on a short march and rally before dispersing.

The group said their protest in Preston, which has a large Asian population, was to highlight "another creeping Sharia city".

The counter demonstration, billed a One Community event to promote diversity, attracted a few hundred visitors, with local Muslims handing out free food and hot drinks, to passers-by.

Both groups had been warned of arrest under the Public Order Act if those attending either event left their designated areas.

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