The north-east London area of Walthamstow has been brought to a standstill today by a protest organised by the far-right English Defence League and counter-protests by anti-fascist groups.
Witnesses say there are "hundreds" of police with vans, horses and dogs escorting a the EDL turnout of between 30-80.
Meanwhile locals have taken to the streets in their droves in an attempt to ward off the anti-Islam group. Local MP Stella Creasy was on the scene alongside the community. One tweeter said: "An EDL supporter has just done a Hitler salute to @stellacreasy on VE Day. This is what we're dealing with."
— Edward Berridge (@dick_bishop) May 9, 2015
EDL march in Walthamstow today. Only about 50 marchers, many more police. pic.twitter.com/j0jSnYnq86— Liz Rivers (@LizRivers1) May 9, 2015
Hi there, you seem like a nice man. pic.twitter.com/5EJEgyaSN0— Audioseal (@AudioSeal1) May 9, 2015
police line on forest road moving people down road away from EDL - hate that they are making this happen in our town! pic.twitter.com/4xIfw47pti— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) May 9, 2015
Proud of the support we got in #Walthamstow today!!May 9, 2015
The Met Police's Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell said: "When an organiser of an event comes to us, we need to balance their rights to protest with the impact their event will have on local businesses and residents.
"Previous experience has led us to believe that if the protest by the EDL and the counter-protest by the UAF were allowed to go ahead without conditions, there would be strong likelihood of serious disorder and serious disruption to the local community."
While numbers of EDL protesters seemed to be in double figures, hundreds of anti-fascists turned up:
Family day out to oppose EDL together in Walthamstow pic.twitter.com/BrzFxl4dPR— Barnaby Davis (@BarnabyDavisEFG) May 9, 2015
Love this anti-EDL protest underneath a sign that sums up Walthamstow. All but vile racists are welcome. pic.twitter.com/NxJwDEmnIe— Sean Kearns (@SeanPaulKearns) May 9, 2015
Apparently there are more pandas in Scotland than #EDL marchers in Walthamstow.— Thom (@MrMoth) May 9, 2015
Meanwhile, a much larger protest was taking place in Dudley, organised by the Britain First Facebook page.
Protesters gathered at on the steps of the council house. pic.twitter.com/sbASp5Lp8e— Richard Guttridge (@RichG_star) May 9, 2015
The march has stopped at Dudley Council House. pic.twitter.com/b30d94R0Xr— Richard Guttridge (@RichG_star) May 9, 2015
Despite a considerably lower police presence in Dudley, one arrest was made and many locals became riled up over the group's Islamophobic sentiment.
Paul Golding said he will personally bury a pig at the mosque site 'if that's what it takes'— Richard Guttridge (@RichG_star) May 9, 2015