Protests over Woolwich attack

Supporters of the English Defence League has been holding demonstrations in Newcastle and Manchester in response to the killing of a British soldier in Woolwich last week. There have also been some counter-protests.

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EDL supporters chant 'RIP Lee Rigby' in Newcastle

Several hundred English Defence League (EDL) supporters gathered on the steps of St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle to protest against the killing of a British soldier last week.

Some sang "I'm English til I die" and were honked by passing van drivers.

EDL supporters outside St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle
EDL supporters outside St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle Credit: ITV News / Ben Chapman

Chants of "Whose streets? Our streets" and "RIP Lee Rigby" rang out and one protester carried a flag bearing the name of the killed British soldier.

Police were present in large numbers watching the demonstration grow.

EDL supporters carry St George's flags
EDL supporters carry St George's flags Credit: ITV News / Ben Chapman
A protester carries a flag beraring the name of Lee Rigby, the British soldier killed in Woolwich
A protester carries a flag beraring the name of Lee Rigby, the British soldier killed in Woolwich Credit: ITV News / Ben Chapman

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Protests in Manchester over Woolwich murder

Protesters in Manchester
Protesters in Manchester Credit: Twitter/@shava12000

Around 100 protesters, believed to be English Defence League supporters, are holding unplanned protests in two areas of Manchester.

There are also reports of a counter-protest by members of Unite Against Fascism in another part of the city.

Greater Manchester police have told ITV Granada that one person has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

Horse punched by football fan to help police EDL march

A Newcastle United fan punched Bud in the face during scuffles with police in the city
A Newcastle United fan punched Bud in the face during scuffles with police in the city

Among the police horses on duty at the English Defence League march in Newcastle today will be Bud, a horse who was punched during scuffles after a derby match in the city.

Bud flew to national fame when footage emerged showing a football fan punching him in the face after Newcastle United's 3-0 defeat to arch rivals Sunderland last month.

Well-wishers stroked and patted the police horse as he made his first return to the streets of Newcastle.

Read: Police horse 'fine' after football fan punch attempt

Watch: Newcastle 'horse-punch' football fan 'sickened' by his actions

Heavy police presence in Newcastle for EDL protest

There is a heavy police presence in Newcastle for a planned demonstration by the English Defence League over the death of a British soldier in Woolwich.

Police vans lined up in Newcastle
Police vans lined up in Newcastle Credit: ITV Tyne Tees / Ross Hutchinson

About 1,000 officers were expected to be on duty in the city centre, backed by 10 police horses on loan from the West Yorkshire force.

A statement on the Northumbria Police website said: "We appreciate that the events in London on Thursday may have heightened community concerns about this weekend's planned protests in Newcastle.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to adapt accordingly."