Two arrests following EDL rally in Birmingham on Saturday
Categories: Latest News
Monday June 27 2016
Luton Today reports on the arrest of a local man in connection with alleged offences committed during the English Defence League rally in Birmingham at the weekend.
Around 30 people protested outside the Manarat Foundation in Sheldon on Saturday afternoon, 25 June. A spokesperson from the Foundation, Mohammed Islam, said the protest centred around a disused garage a few doors down for which the foundation had received planning permission to renovate.
“We knew the demonstration was taking place and we contacted the police”, Islam told The Mirror.
“We knew from social media, they were giving leaflets to our neighbours that a three-storey building was being built. They were looking on the neighbours to come out but the neighbours have no concerns,” he added.
Video footage on the Birmingham Mail website shows the group waving St George’s flags and unfurling a banner outside the centre. The sound function has been disabled to remove the “offensive chanting” about “refugees”.
ITV News reports that two arrests were made on the day and officers seized an “offensive banner”.
Luton Today reports that one of those arrested is a local man, Thomas Johnstone, 30, from Hitchin, who was charged with two counts of racially aggravated public order, two counts of threatening behaviour and obstructing police.
Johnstone is due to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday 27 June.
Insp Dave Keen, of the Birmingham East local policing unit, said the force had spent months planning for the rally and were now investigating whether any further offences were committed.
He said: “Our negotiations with the organiser were very positive and they stressed their intentions to express their views without resorting to disorder.
“A post investigation is under way to determine if any other offences were committed and action will be taken if any further offences are identified.
“I would urge anyone with photos or information to contact me on 101.”