15 are held in street demo

Police  contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.
Police contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.
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There was chaos in Halifax town centre over the weekend when two major political rallies were staged.

Police made 15 arrests.

Police  contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.

Police contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.

More than 200 officers from across West Yorkshire oversaw meetings of the English Defence League and the Muslim Defence League.

Tens of police vans, horses and the police helicopter were also deployed to ensure the demonstrations remained peaceful.

It was confirmed last night that 15 arrests were made for minor public-order offences in Saturday’s demonstrations

The majority of those arrested were men from the EDL, which positioned itself outside the Barum Top pub in Bull Green from around 11am.

Police patrol in Bull Green Halifax.

Police patrol in Bull Green Halifax.

Around 150 members of the EDL took part in the rally, while around 50 members of the MDL gathered in People’s Park in the Park Ward area.

One man was taken ill but refused to be taken to hospital by paramedics. Police denied rumours the man had later died.

Some roads were closed around the Gibbet Street area and traffic had to be diverted to ensure the two parties were kept apart.

At one stage, pint glasses were thrown at passing cars and some members of the EDL attempted to move towards the MDL demonstration. But police prevented the two groups from coming together.

Police  contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.

Police contol the EDL at The Barum Top Inn, Halifax.

The Barum Top was forced to close for a short time when the demonstration outside became too rowdy. At that point the EDL moved over the road to the Salvation pub.

Acting Superintendent Martin Lister of West Yorkshire Police’s Calderdale Division, who commanded the police operation, thanked the residents of Halifax for their patience and understanding.

Superintendent Lister said: “Our officers enjoyed a tremendous response to today’s operation from the local public which ensured that today’s demonstrations could both pass peacefully without disorder, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank residents and businesses of Halifax for this.

“West Yorkshire Police is fully committed to upholding Freedom of Speech and the right to peaceful protest.

Guard: a heavy police presence in Halifax town centre

Guard: a heavy police presence in Halifax town centre

“Although it has to be said that a minority seemed intent on causing disorder, the majority of those taking part demonstrated peacefully and with respect for the rights of other people within our community.”

It was the second time this month that police have had to deal with an EDL demonstration.

On April 4, officers were called to the Courtyard pub in Halifax to deal with the unruly behaviour of the far right movement which had stopped in the town following an early demonstration in Blackburn.