United Kingdom Tracker 01.10.12

BBC Northern Ireland: BNP leader Nick Griffin defends Fenian comment on Twitter: “The BNP leader Nick Griffin has defended using a derogatory term about Catholics on Twitter. Mr Griffin, who attended the Ulster Covenant event at Stormont in Belfast on Saturday, said he had used the word Fenian in a tweet after receiving abusive messages from republicans.”

Video: Birmingham Mail: EDL protest in Walsall:Police clashed with members of the English Defence League during protests in Walsall town centre today. During speeches given by leaders of the EDL, the crowd surged towards police lines on Leicester Street. Officers with riot gear used batons and shields to hold back the demonstrators.

BBC Birmingham and Black Country: Walsall English Defence League march sees 28 arrests: Police made 28 arrests following a demonstration by the English Defence League (EDL) in Walsall town centre on Saturday. The police estimate that 1,000 people gathered at the EDL event and at a counter-demonstration. “A small number of protesters and police officers suffered minor cuts and bruises during the disorder, but no serious injuries were reported. Riot officers used batons to try to contain the disorder. EDL supporters met in Leicester Street from mid-morning, with speakers taking to the stage during the afternoon. A counter-event of 500 people took place in Gallery Square.”

The Mail on Sunday: Inside Britain’s terror cells: David Rose with an extensive investigation into how gangs of convicted terrorists recruit prisoners for Al Qaeda inside Britain’s prisons. “Over the past six weeks, The Mail on Sunday has been granted exclusive access to the ‘high-security estate’ – the eight prisons, including Belmarsh and Whitemoor, near March, Cambridgeshire, which house the ‘Category A’ inmates deemed to pose the greatest potential risk – to see at first hand the new front-line of Britain’s war on extremist violence.”

Comment: Sunder Katwala: The Observer: Forget John Terry. Football has striven to fight racism: “The John Terry case, like that of Luis Suarez last year, has led many to wonder whether football’s progress in tackling racism has been illusory. Anybody who spent any time on the terraces in the 1980s or 1990s knows how much did change. Football probably introduced me to racism. But it was also where more was done publicly to confront racism than in any part of British society.”

Extremis Project: The Yorkshire Divison of the English Defence League has called a regional demonstration in Rotherham for the 13th of October.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Sniper fears over Ireland rifle theft: “Anti-ceasefire Republicans have stolen up to 30 high-powered rifles with telescopic sights that can be used in sniper attacks against the security forces in Northern Ireland. The theft of the long-range rifles has raised the spectre of a new sniper campaign similar to the one the Provisional IRA conducted which resulted in the deaths of several soldiers and policemen in the 1990s.”

Reuters: Northern Irish parade passes peacefully amid tight security: A major parade that Northern Irish politicians and security forces feared could spark fighting between Catholics and Protestant passed peacefully on Saturday after police mounted their biggest security operation in 20 years.

Extremis Project: Two men have been arrested following the posting of a video on the far-right North West Infidels Facebook page. The video, posted last wednesday, allegedly shows the kidnap of a man who was then subjected to racist threats.

BBC: Scottish Defence League and Unite Against Fascism stage Edinburgh rallies: Rival protests by a far-right group and anti-fascists have taken place outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. The Scottish Defence League (SDL) held a static protest outside Holyrood, while Unite Against Fascism organised its own counter-protest. About 60 people attended the SDL event while more than 250 people marched from the Royal Mile to the parliament with Unite Against Fascism.

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