Police restrict anti-racist protesters in Luton

The streets of Luton were almost deserted as the far-right racist English Defence League (EDL) came to the town yet again. The counter demonstration of 2,000 gathered on the north side of the town centre while the EDL were on the south side.

Once again thousands of police cordoned off the town centre and the counter demo was not allowed to follow its planned route to the town hall, but was forced to walk in a circle back to where it started.

Scuffles broke out as protesters tried to reach the town centre but soon petered out. Many of the coaches that were en route to the counter demo never got there as police closed off roads. At no time did the two sides even see each other – the police will claim a success but at what price?

The trade union movement must insist that counter demos are allowed to protest as planned and not be treated as an inconvenience.

Steve Glennon