UK: Hundreds of Anti-Islamist Protesters Clash With Police, Rally Held in Same City Where Muslims Heckled Returning Soldiers.....

25th May 2009

The streets of Luton descended into violence yesterday as hundreds of anti-Islamist protesters clashed with police.

The crowds in the town centre hid their faces behind balaclavas, brandished England flags and chanted at officers.

Some wore masks with the horned face of Sayful Islam, a hardline Muslim activist in Luton who took part in an anti-war rally in March which disrupted a homecoming parade for troops.

The mob, which included teenagers and women, also held banners with slogans such as 'No Sharia Law in the UK' and 'Respect our Troops'.

There were reports of violence, with onlookers claiming that an Asian man was hit across the face with a banner and left with a bloody nose.

A group called March for England was said to have organised the rally as a peaceful protest against Muslim extremists. They were joined by a local group United People of Luton.

The chaos broke out when a crowd of around 500 ran away from police who had been escorting the protest along its route, and ran down side streets towards the town centre.

Officers on horseback and police dogs were deployed, and policemen drew batons to defend themselves.

A spokesman for United People of Luton, Wayne King, said: 'We decided enough was enough after the soldiers got heckled as they marched through the town centre by the Muslim extremists. We want laws brought in to stop preachers of hate operating here.'

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