Concerns that British authorities would be caught flat-footed and unprepared for Saturday's (5th December) potentially violent street protests in the Midlands City of Nottingham, proved to be unfounded.
A massive police operation involving almost a thousand officers successfully contained a demonstration by the English Defense League and their opponents from the UAF (Unite Against Fascism).
For photos go to click here
It appears that fewer members of the EDL made it to Nottingham than were anticipated, and they were outnumbered by the UAF - both sides were swamped by police numbers.
Local police leave was canceled as extra officers were bused in from constabularies in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, and Humberside. A police helicopter hovered overhead and barked instructions over a loud-hailer. Police cameramen filmed marchers and perceived agitators with hand-held video equipment. The day's operation was estimated to have cost local tax-payers in excess of $1.6 million. Local police chiefs said they will be applying to central government funds for reimbursement.
EDL supporters wrapped themselves and paraded with Union Jacks and St. George's Cross flags. Some carried placards saying 'Protect Women, No to Sharia' and 'No Surrender'. Many sang the National Anthem between football-style chants and their ubiquitous call of 'we want our country back'. Others repeatedly called out 'Allah, Allah, who the f" is Allah?' in attempts to provoke a violent reaction from Muslim counter-demonstrators in the ranks of the UAF. The opposition carried placards saying 'Not Racism -- Jobs & Homes, Stop EDL Racism, Stop Fascist BNP' . Some also carried the white and green flag of Pakistan.
Police managed to keep both side apart and prevent anything more than minor scuffles. Trams into the city center ceased dropping off or collecting passengers at certain stops and some streets were sealed off by the authorities. There were about a dozen arrests for minor public disorder offenses and no serious injuries during the day. However, one demonstrator was bizarrely reported as having been bitten by a police dog after he attempted to kick it -- a new twist on the hackneyed 'man bites dog' story.
Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), the US-based private security operation who's Intel Watch-Map last week flagged the upcoming Nottingham & Edinburgh demonstrations as a potential threat to the internal security of the UK has since removed the posting from its webpage.
The UK government and mainstream media continue to downplay the potential threat of civil unrest caused by the rising number of street protests by the EDL and their opponents in the UAF. Reporting continues to be very low profile and dismissive of the EDL as just another extension of the UK's well documented history of soccer hooliganism.