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EDL March As It Happened
Here's how things unfolded as the English Defence League and anti-EDL group We Are Luton staged marches in the town on Saturday 5 May 2012.
Reporter @Heart_Amy now speaking to Hazel Simmons Leader of Luton Borough Council and Chief Superintendent Mike Colbourne to get reaction on how the day went
Pictures from today at the bottom of the page
14.42 - Update from Beds Police
EDL speeches have finished they are moving away from the protest site and back to their coaches and train station.
14.31 - Speech by Richard Howitt MEP
“There are those visiting and watching Luton today and who have seen it portrayed as a town at war. This is a peaceful, friendly, vibrant town, and we ask those who come today to look for yourself and take that message back with you.
“There is something foreign that is unwelcome here. It is a foreign virus that has invaded our body. By calling itself "English" it cannot disguise that it is foreign. It is a disease that seeks to grow and spread. And like any virus the body itself will reject it, we will show we are immune to its threat and that good health will be restored.”
14.18 - Update from Luton Borough Council
EDL speeches are still on-going and We Are Luton protesters are still moving.
Earlier on, during the EDL march, a few bottles were thrown towards officers - none were hit.
A few smoke bombs were let off in the crowd and dealt with by stewards. There has been one arrest so far.
During the We Are Luton march some protesters tried to move away from the main march but were pushed back by mounted officers. It is under control at this time.
The We Are Luton group are now marching back to Wardown Park
Beds Police say officers wearing helmets for precaution. Everything under control.
EDL speeches have started
@bedspolice EDL march going as planned in Cumberland Street. Not going to St George's Square.
Reports of a few scuffles and some fireworks being thrown
@bedspolice We Are Luton coaches held up on M40. If they arrive in time will be directed straight to Wardown Park for closing speeches
EDL march is now setting off from Park Street
@bedspolice We Are Luton march now moving off from Wardown Park
Delay on the We Are Luton march as some coaches haven't arrived yet.
Fireworks being set off in Park Street. Beds Police say "A firework has been found by police in Park Street and dealt with. "
The A6 New Bedford Rd + Stockingstone Rd, as well as Mill St and Old Bedford Rd have been closed ready for the We Are Luton march
@bedspolice We Are Luton protestors’ coaches are arriving at Wardown Park. There are no problems to report
Luton MP Gavin Shuker at anti EDL protest in Wardown Park
Police helicopter up over Luton
@bedspolice Police are moving into position at both protest sites. There are no issues at present.
Reported all quiet in Luton
Police are offering a text service. Text POLICE to 88020. Also if you're in town turn your Bluetooth on and you'll be automatically sent updates
Coaches seen at M1 services
EDL March Luton May 2012
Police say their operation to keep order as thousands of English Defence League protestors came to Luton was a success.
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