EDL Protest: Hundreds Campaign In Birmingham
20 July 2013, 18:21 | Updated: 20 July 2013, 18:55
Hundreds of protestors from across the country came to the city for an EDL static protest and Islamic Faith Group counter demonstration
West Midlands Police (as pictured: @WMPolice) made more than 30 arrests today after bottles, cans and other missiles were hurled at officers during an English Defence League rally.
A total of 33 people were arrested, mainly for public order offences, at the EDL rally and a counter-demonstration in Chamberlain Square and Victoria Square in Birmingham city centre.
However, most of these were de-arrested following dynamic investigation of the circumstances, a breach of the peace was not established.
More than 1,000 police officers, including many from outside the West Midlands, took part in a major security operation to ensure public safety and prevent rival protesters from clashing.
But sporadic disorder broke out soon after the start of the EDL event in Centenary Square.
At one point during a stand-off between EDL supporters and officers wearing riot gear, police dogs were deployed to quell an attempt to break through police lines into a building site.
Officers were also showered with broken glass, pieces of slate and other objects after EDL supporters, some wearing balaclavas, confronted police near Birmingham's Hyatt Regency hotel.
Here's a video as Heart drove round the Paradise Circus end of Broad Street:
Onlookers told us: ''There have been a few bricks thrown at the officers but they're doing a really good job''
''It makes it feel like it's bigger than it probably should be, but I suppose they have to be over cautious ...to make sure nothing kicks off''
But residents and visitors to the city also told us they felt safe with a high police presence with one woman saying '' for me I feel safer...we're quite reassured by it.''