15 ar­rested in protest ri­ots

Halifax Courier - - Uk+world -

MORE than a dozen peo­ple were ar­rested yes­ter­day af­ter a demon­stra­tion in a city cen­tre turned vi­o­lent, leav­ing po­lice and pro­test­ers in­jured.

The dis­tur­bances came just six days af­ter a riot in the same area of Bris­tol.

Skir­mishes spilled out from the Stokes Croft area to­wards the Cabot Cir­cus shop­ping cen­tre.

Po­lice said about 400 peo­ple were in­volved and saw ri­ot­ers break­ing down res­i­den­tial walls and re­mov­ing roof tiles to use as mis­siles.

They also lit fires, set up bar­ri­cades and daubed graf­fiti through­out the area. Avon and Som­er­set Po­lice said sev­eral of­fi­cers suf­fered head, neck, back and leg in­juries, and re­quired hos­pi­tal treat­ment af­ter be­ing pelted with bot­tles, rocks and other mis­siles.

A to­tal of 15 peo­ple were ar­rested and more ar­rests were ex­pected, the force said.

Last week’s dis­tur­bances in Stokes Croft saw a branch of Tesco Metro, which has been sub­ject of a cam­paign to pre­vent its re­cent open­ing, at­tacked.

The re­tail gi­ant con­demned the trou­ble and said yes­ter­day’s vi­o­lence showed it was not an an­tiTesco cam­paign. Avon and Som­er­set Po­lice said of­fi­cers moved in to “con­tain a group of pro­test­ers” who were wear­ing masks and throw­ing bot­tles.

The force said neigh­bour- hood of­fi­cers were “ac­tively en­gag­ing” with what was a peace­ful gather­ing ear­lier in the evening out­side the squat known as the Tele­pathic Heights.

How­ever, sup­port was called in af­ter a num­ber of peo­ple be­came vi­o­lent, put on masks and be­gan throw­ing bot­tles at po­lice.

A po­lice spokesman said: “Of­fi­cers had no choice but to with­draw and seek sup­port from col­leagues wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing.”

There were then clashes be­tween po­lice and pro­test­ers, re­sult­ing in in­juries on both sides.

The crowd of around 250 pro­test­ers grew to 400.

Ac­tion: Sev­eral of­fi­cers were hurt by mis­siles

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