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Friday, 26 November 2010

EDL founder denies assaulting police officer

Published on Nov 25, from the Ripley & Heanor News

English Defence League founder Stephen Lennon from Luton has denied assaulting a police officer during clashes with Islamic protesters.

Lennon, 27, of ... was arrested by police in Kensington, west London, as the nation stopped to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day.

Five others associated with his group were also arrested, as members of Muslims Against Crusades, a group which purports to "expose the enemies of Islam", burned remembrance poppies.

Two Muslim protesters were arrested for public order offences.

One officer was taken to hospital with a head injury during the clashes, as about 50 men linked to the EDL were kept separate as they shouted abuse.

Lennon pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing on Monday at West London Magistrates' Court to assaulting a police officer.

He was granted unconditional bail and a trial date was set of January 12. About 30 supporters gathered outside the court, some bearing EDL placards.

The banners bore pictures of Islamic protesters and slogans such as "These traitors should be in court - not Tommy" - Lennon is known by some supporters as Tommy Robinson. One woman shouted out: "Who's going to nick the poppy burners?"

Lennon said from the court steps: "I'm morally innocent. I would do it again tomorrow, we will do it again, whenever we see them disrespecting our troops."

He told his followers: "I will get not guilty." And asked if they would continue protesting, he said: "Of course we will."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2010, All Rights Reserved.

*) The music on the video is by Edward Elgar, a great English composer.

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