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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Violence breaks out as opposing protest groups run riot in Bristol city centre

Violence flared across Bristol this afternoon as two sets of protesters took to the streets and hurled abuse at each other.
More than 30 police officers, including a dog team and four officers on horseback, were forced to dash across the city centre on Saturday when opposing protest groups squared up to each other.
Several people were arrested after both sides caused chaos on College Green, before running riot in Millennium Square.
Police intervened as scuffles broke out across the city.
The incidents on Saturday afternoon happened after a protest was organised in Bedminster by the Bristol United Patriots (BUP), who claim they "stand against the building of mosques and Islamic 'Education' centres and see them as places to spread more hatred of western values."
The group also claim on its Facebook page that it is against mass immigration and its members "believe this to be a tactic for the end game of white genocide."

In answer to the event, a group called Bristol Antifascists organised an opposing protest, branding the BUP "racists".
The group said: "We are a group of local people committed to opposing fascism and all that it stands for."
At 2pm, both groups clashed in College Green, wearing black jumpers and masks to disguise their faces. Officers were spotted dashing across the fountains at Centre Promenade to intervene before violence broke out.
A stand-off ensued in the alleyway between the Bristol Marriott Hotel and Bristol Cathedral, with the Antifascists on one side, and the BUP on the other.
One man was arrested by police after attempting to dash through the hotel.
Four police officers on horseback blockaded the alleyway, prompting members of the public to stop and watch.
One passing mum, pushing a pram, said both groups "looked scary". She said: "I want to keep out of their way, I am just trying to get around."
Both sides hurled abuse at each other, with the antifascists shouting "Nazi scum" down the alleyway.

A skirmish broke out on college green after a supporter of the BUP shouted, and officers again broke up the maul.
Some protesters pushed and shoved police as they tried to make it through to the opposing side, and traffic was forced to stop on Park Street as the scuffle spilled out into the road.
Police and vans prevented the group from travelling round to the back of the Mariott hotel, and officers told bosses inside the hotel to draw the curtains to prevent the guests being disturbed.
Both groups then moved on to Millennium Square, which was packed with families, running through it in groups.
Members of the BUP, who were carrying flags bearing St George's cross, hissed and spat at photographers who took their picture.
After another standoff by the waterfront, police escorted the BUP away.

Several members of the public who were caught up in the stand off said the experience was frightening.
Cassie Powell said: "My partner and myself got stuck in the middle of this on the waterside with our one-year-old son, literally as one group passed with police another large group came raging up from behind on foot, bikes, skateboards etc. I was petrified and I don't scare easily."
The BUP has so far refused to comment on their actions, but wrote: "This demo is to highlight the homeless situation amongst the ex-service personnel living rough in Bristol and Somali rape gangs operating in this area. All nationalist and patriotic groups are welcome to fly their own flags."
The Bristol Antifascists statement read: "We plan to directly confront their racism, hatred and attempt to divide our class with a simple message – there are enough homes in this rich country of ours for everyone."
We are waiting on a police statement confirming how many people were arrested.


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