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Three men aged 17, 19 and 29 were arrested following a protest in Birmingham city centre on Friday (21st September). The protest, which started near to the Bullring at around 3pm, was about an online film which many people believe insults Islam.
Police say that the trouble started when the majority of peaceful protestors started to leave. They say a small group of young people exploited an opportunity to cause trouble by running through the city and throwing a number of stones towards officers.
Superintendent Richard Moore, from Birmingham Central police station, explained. ''In these circumstances we have a responsibility not only to maintain the peace and safety of the city centre, but also to facilitate and support peaceful protest. In this case is deeply regrettable that a small proportion of otherwise peaceful protestors behaved so badly and caused the officers present to take enforcement action. I would like to reassure members of the public that when people step outside of the law, then our officers will take the necessary action.''
Shops and businesses in the city remained open throughout the protest although some made the independent decision to temporarily limit access to their premises.
On Saturday morning (22nd September) two of the three men arrested remain in police custody, one man aged 19 has been released.