Sunday, 31 October 2010

Unite Against Fascism Fascists Arrested On Way To EDL Rally

Five Britons were among 34 people arrested by Dutch police as they headed to confront far-right activists showing their support for controversial politician Geert Wilders.

The "anti-fascist" group was intercepted en route to take on around 50 supporters from the English Defence League who had gathered at a train station near Sloterdijk, northwest of Amsterdam, for their legal action.

Police said they also stopped and diverted a metro train carrying dozens of "football hooligans" bound for the isolated area in order to "prevent a confrontation".

A website for Ajax Amsterdam supporters had urged fans to confront the EDL "because we don't tolerate racism and fascism in our city".

Wilders - who did not support plans for the demonstration - is being prosecuted in the Netherlands for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.

His pledge to "stop the Islamisation" of the country during a campaign could see him fined £7,600 or jailed for up to a year.

The EDL were given permission to hold the action in the isolated area near Sloterdijk rather than Amsterdam's centre, where it would have been harder to manage.

Officers were later tipped off about plans among English and Dutch football hooligans to use the event for "hard confrontation".

The five Britons arrested were among 18 people picked up for failing to carry proper identification. They were fined £60 and freed, police spokesman Rob van der Veen said.

A further 14 were held for "public violence" and remain in custody to "appear in court soon", he added.

Sky News reporter Enda Brady, who was at the scene, said the EDL minibus was stoned, but no one was hurt.

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