What’s going on
Protesters have clashed in central London as a march and a rally planned by Britain First and the English Defence League (EDL) is under way close to another demonstration from the Unite Against Fascism (AUF).
Many of those attended wore masks.
— Junaid (@ibrownlad) April 1, 2017
— Sieg Fail (@siegfails) April 1, 2017
EDL leader Tommy Robinson arrived and then scenes unfolded to which a large number of police then moved in to contain the situation.
Chief Supt Catherine Roper of the Metropolitan Police told the Evening Standard: “The right to protest is a fundamental right in our democratic society, but this right must be balanced against the right of people to go about their day without fear of violence, disorder or disruption.
— ❄️❄️Halal Kitty❄️❄️ (@HalalKitty4) April 1, 2017
Chief Supt Roper added: “Experience has shown us that when groups with conflicting views come together it can create tension and disorder, not just on the day itself but in the longer term.
“What we have had to carefully consider is how to balance the right to protest with the negative impact on our communities and potential violence and disorder that may have resulted from these protests going ahead as they were suggested.
“If you want to protest on Saturday, we ask that you do so peacefully, no matter what your view. We will adopt a robust arrest policy on anyone who attends and is intent on violence and disorder, or is in breach of these conditions.”
This morning the police issued this tweet:
— MPS Events (@MetPoliceEvents) April 1, 2017