Man charged following South Shields EDL march

A man has been charged with disorderly conduct following a march of rival protesters in a coastal North East town

English Defence League march in South Shields
English Defence League march in South Shields

A man has been charged with disorderly conduct following a march of rival protesters in a coastal North East town.

Around 350 English Defence League members gathered in South Shields, South Tyneside, on Saturday for the march which was policed by 200 officers from the Northumbria force.

The officers lined the route to ensure EDL protesters were kept apart from rival groups - the 100-strong South Tyneside Unites Against Fascism and Newcastle Unites.

Craig Owens, who has been charged with disorderly conduct, was one of seven men arrested throughout the march, which officers say passed calmly on the whole.

 

Owens, 28, of Bruce Crescent, Hartlepool, will appear before magistrates in South Tyneside on Tuesday, October 8.

A 49-year-old man arrested on suspicion of sending malicious communications via Twitter has been bailed, a 57-year-old man arrested for breach of the peace has been common law released, a 47-year-old arrested on suspicion of assault has been bailed, two men - aged 47 and 30 - arrested for being drunk and disorderly have both been given a penalty notice and a 21-year-old on who was arrested on suspicion of affray has been cautioned.

The EDL supporters gathered at the Scotia pub from 11am onwards and many were drinking before the march began.

Although the town was open for business as usual, with shops unaffected, there were still some minor disruptions on the roads.

The EDL were also joined by another organisation which calls itself the North East Infidels (NEI). Both groups hold right-wing extreme views.

They marched from Mile End Road along Fowler Street up to Beach Road and on to Sea Road before a short demonstration at the Pier Parade.

Protesters were then led back through the route before dispersing.

The roads were only being closed on a rolling basis as the procession marched.

The South Tyneside Unites and Newcastle Unites held a static protest at Pier Parade, about 200 yards from the EDL, and were separated by a wall of police. A spokesperson for South Tyneside Unites said: “This demonstration by the EDL goes against the whole democratic tradition and values of the people of South Tyneside and the North East.”

South Tyneside Chief Supt Ian Dawes said: “The police were there to ensure the safety of everyone involved and the vast majority of people behaved in a calm and sensible way.”

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