About 1,500 far-right protesters marched through the centre of Luton Saturday to rally against "militant Islam," requiring a heavy police presence to avert clashes with 1,000 anti-fascist demonstrators.
A sixth of Luton's population is Muslim, and past marches by the English Defence League have led to conflict with their opponents. The city centre turned into a virtual ghost town before the rally, with shops boarded up and pubs closed.
But police and community activists averted large-scale violence, making only eight arrests on a mix of assault, drugs and weapons charges. There were no serious injuries.