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Police praise protesters for peaceful demonstrations across the Midlands

Peaceful EDL gathering in Leicester

The EDL are holding gatherings across the UK today Credit: ITV News Central

Anti-fascist groups have turned out in Leicester at the same time the English Defence League have a gathering planned in memory of the soldier Lee Rigby.

Anti-fascist groups also turned out in Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

The EDL march is one of several organised by the group in towns and cities across the Midlands to mark the death of soldier Lee Rigby at Woolwich in London last month.

In a statement Mr Rigby's family said: "We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.

We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner."

The charity Help for Heroes has previously refused any offer of financial assistance from the EDL.


Arrests made following last year's EDL rally in Walsall

Credit: ITV News Central

Eight people have been arrested this morning (March 26) following disorder at last year's English Defence League (EDL) demonstration in Walsall.

Officers made early morning calls at homes across Tipton, West Bromwich, Brownhills and Acocks Green.

Protesters from the EDL and a counter demonstration group descended on Walsall town centre on Saturday 29 September 2012, with numbers attending the events reaching around 1,000.

A large scale operation was carried out by West Midlands Police to ensure the safety of people visiting the town on the day.

Credit: ITV News Central