Middlesbrough EDL march and counter demonstration pass without major incident

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A demonstration by the English Defence League in Middlesbrough and a counter demonstration have passed off (more or less) peacefully, say police.

Over three hundred police officers were involved in the operation, which has been planned for a number of months.

Around 150-200 counter demonstrators gathered, many dressed in red – the home colours of Middlesbrough FC and the workers movement – as a sign of solidarity.

A strong police presence was active around Ayresome Gardens, but counter demo organiser, Lawrie Coombs, said: “Every time the fascists come, we’ll stand together. But we don’t anticipate any trouble.”

Councillor Len Junier was a prominent figure, leading the march onto Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough.

As the crowds gathered he said: “We are lucky in Middlesbrough, we don’t have problems with racism.

“We don’t want the EDL splitting our community. We want to celebrate the diversity in our area. But we don’t…

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