Manchester City Centre was busier than usual today as a “UK Against Hate” demo held by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson was taking place, because of the nature of this demo, many people thought after what had taken place at the Manchester Arena, the city did not need any demo of this kind.
At one point in the demo, opposition to the UK Against Hate demonstrators threw things at them and for a time things turned nasty before police were able to restore some order.
Chief Superintendent John O’Hare said: “This has been an incredibly challenging day with thousands of people attending Manchester City Centre for the protest.
“I understand that these events are very emotive and that tensions run high when there are polarised views and counter-protests.
“Our City has been through a lot over the last few weeks and I know there were people opposed to the event taking place.
“We have worked closely with Manchester City Council, our Key Partners and the wider Community to find the most effective way to facilitate and manage this protest in a balanced and safe manner.
“In order to ensure we could deliver a safe operation we deployed over 400 police officers, including support from other forces.
“This meant another busy weekend for our people who have worked considerably long hours in extremely challenging circumstances for no other reason other than to look after our communities.
“There have been 8 arrests for public order offences, which is not uncommon for a demonstration of this size.
“It was pleasing to see that this protest did not stop the people of Manchester from going about their normal Sunday activities.”