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Eldon England Flag at Half Mast for EDL March

SIMULTANEOUS marches by two rival protest groups passed without incident despite fears they could flare into violence on the city streets. However, although there were some minor scuffles there were no arrests and no one was injured. The high police presence remained into the night.

Open Council assistants recreated the moment when the Eldon Square England Flag was lowered to half mast.

At least 1000 trade unionists, LGBT activists, Muslims, anti-war campaigners, students and others will turn out on the streets of Newcastle to counter the English Defence League (EDL) march.

The 600-strong EDL march will be kept to its Bigg Market march route through pressure from a 600-strong Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-march and a 100-plus mobilization by North East Against Racism (NEAR).

The EDL will be denied control of Grey's Monument (commonly regarded as the centre of Newcastle) by an anti-racist rally jointly organized by the TUC and Hope not Hate, which will attract at least a further 400 people.

The TUC, UAF and NEAR events will be constituted mostly by local anti-racists. In contrast the EDL, a far right marching organization will consist of football hooligans and racists, bussed in from around the country to campaign against “the spread of Islam and Islamic extremism”.

The UAF march will begin at St James Park, home of Newcastle United, and proceeded to move through Newcastle city centre to passionate chants of “EDL, Off our Streets” and “When the EDL spread racist lies, We fight back and organize”.

Its climax will be a rally at Newgate street, right next to the EDL march route, where UAF demonstrators will cheer speeches from UAF, NUT, RMT and trades council speakers.

The marches will pass off peacefully, thanks in part to high quality stewarding by UAF and NEAR members. Police will keep the anti-racists and EDL members separated at all times.

The muster point for EDL coaches and mini buses was at Washington services northbound on the A 1 M, they expect everybody to arrive there no later than 11:00am. They plan to arrive into Newcastle city centre as a convoy which will be escorted to 3 public houses in close proximity of each other on Bewick Road where they will enjoy some light refreshments.

The march will then start. They had to leave Bewick Road no later than 13:45 and make sure that they have drunk up and used the facilities if needed. They will march through the main part of the city centre towards the demo point, once everyone has congregated at demo point they will be entertained by a host of EDL celebrities.

Once this part of the demo is over, they will be continuing their march through the city centre. They will then split into two, one group of EDL members going back to the coach park, and the other going to the train station.

Northumbria police have been very fair and accepting of the EDL, their strategy is light policing. The police have called the operation for this event operation Dunadry named after a tree in Northern Ireland that represents peace and unity.

EDL stewards and Northumbria police will be working side by side to make sure that anyone that is trying to disrupt the march will be ejected from it, racist chants and slurs will not be accepted and anyone found being abusive to our stewards, members or to the police will be dealt with accordingly, the demonstration will be for members of the English defence League.

Stewards will be informed of anyone who does not fit the bill of a true EDL patriot, so they can be removed from the march or demo. They didn't want infiltrators ruining a great day.

The Eldon Square England flag was flying at half mast for a day of marches in the city as the English Defence League were set to clashed with Anti-Racist Campaigners.