The Guardian reported on Friday that British police have arrested more than 170 members of the far-right English Defense League over threats to attack the Occupy encampment in London.
The arrests took place outside a London pub, but police believed that those arrested were preparing to head for the Occupy LSX encampment at St. Paul’s Cathedral. EDL members have been threatening on Facebook to burn down the Occupy protesters’ tents and some have recently attempted to enter the encampment.
The EDL is known mainly for its anti-Islamic protests and is often accused of racism and of fomenting violence. The Swedish mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is alleged to have have extensive contact with the EDL and to have marched in their protests.
An EDL statement had been read to the Occupy LSX general assembly on Friday morning to make them aware of the threats. According to occupier Bryn Phillips, “They called us all sorts of names in the statement and said we should leave ‘their’ church and stop violating their religion.”
Phillips described the police intervention, which was carried out under a law that permits arrests to prevent an “imminent” breach of the peace, as “fantastic.”
Video from the Telegraph, November 11, 2011.