Arrests in Tower Hamlets

I think it was reasonable to place some restrictions on yesterday’s EDL march, preventing them from marching through the heart of Tower Hamlets, but I don’t agree with those calling for an outright ban on such demonstrations. The day ended with a number of arrests, including that of Tommy Robinson.  The Guardian report gives some details but does not refer to the many arrests of anti-fascist demonstrators.  Here is one account of these:

In an attempt to get nearer to the EDL, a large part of the crowd headed by an Anti-Fascist Network bloc set off round nearby streets. Some of them ended up being kettled by police, who later staged a mass arrest of anti-fascists under Section 12 and Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 – the laws which allow the police to impose conditions on public demonstrations and assemblies. In other words, they were arrested for diverging from the route imposed by the police – for little more than standing in the wrong road.

And here is a copy of the bail conditions set for these protestors, preventing them from engaging in demonstrations against the EDL (and similar groups) within the M25.

Apparently these people were not associated with the UAF.   It could be argued that trying to approach closer to the EDL was a potentially inflammatory move, and if they were violent or obstructive, perhaps the restriction is reasonable, but it does seem as though it has been applied indiscriminately to large numbers of people.

Update: It has been pointed out that these are police bail conditions and as such are likely to be amended or removed.