Priti Patel furiously scolded the “indefensible” hooliganism that emerged from the weekend demonstrations. The Home Secretary confirmed in the House of Commons that hundreds of arrests had been made over criminal activity. The weekend protests were a direct reaction to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have been taking place around the country, including London.
Ms Patel told MPs: “On Saturday, 2,000 people attended counter-protests in Westminster with eruptions of violence throughout the day.
“Racists and far-right hooligans clashed with the police and fights broke out.
“Smoke bombs, glass bottles and were lobbied at the police in shameful scenes.
“38 officers were hurt across the country this weekend.”
She continued: “They were kicked, punched and pelted with missiles.
“On Saturday alone, there were 137 arrests for offences.
“This included assaults on officers, violent disorder, breaches of the peace, possession of offensive weapons and class A drugs and drunk and disorderly behaviour.
“In total, at least 100 officers have now been injured, as well as three police horses and one police dog.”
The ‘counter-protests’ claimed to be aimed at defending statues and monuments after a few were vandalised at BLM marches.
However, as Ms Patel revealed, a large majority, especially in London, ended in violence.
A number of reports have been made against the ‘counter-protesters’ for running rampage and attacking ordinary people.
Many of the statues that were being guarded had already been boarded up by the Mayor of London as a precaution.
Sadiq Khan had pleaded with BLM activists to cancel demonstrations for fears of clashes with the extreme far-right.