UK: Far-right Activists in Manchester Abuse Sikh Volunteers
14/6/2017- Sikh volunteers providing meals for homeless people in Manchester were allegedly abused by far-right activists after getting caught in a demonstration against Sharia law. Members of the Sikh Sewa Organization said they had to flee Piccadilly Gardens for "their own safety" after "EDL (English Defense League) members" became "abusive." Every Sunday, the SSO provides meals for the homeless in the same spot in Piccadilly Gardens, but volunteers were forced to move to Stevenson Square June 11 after thousands reportedly descended on the area in a protest against Sharia law, The Independent reported. "As per every Sunday our team went to feed the homeless in Manchester. Sadly, our usual spot in Piccadilly Gardens was overrun by the EDL mindless thugs and we had to scarper for our own safety, as they were becoming abusive to the volunteers. It became really scary for us," the SSO wrote on its Facebook page. "Our usual homeless crowd came to us saying they were starving so the volunteers decided to move to Stevenson Square. They continued there tirelessly serving food despite their own safety," it said.
Eight people were arrested when demonstrators with U.K. Against Hate, headed by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, clashed with counter-protesters. Greater Manchester police advised residents to avoid the area after the protest turned "nasty." Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham said the "EDL-types" needed to take a "long hard look at themselves." Robinson refuted claims that EDL was in attendance, calling them "lies." "Looks like the police have joined the newspapers in their #fakenews propaganda," Robinson wrote on Facebook. "This was not an EDL demo it was U.K. Against Hate demonstration against terrorism and hate being inflicted on our communities! The actions of the police yesterday and the disgraceful fake news reporting by the media since is a depressing example of the mess our once great country is in," he said.
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