They denied being fascists ahead of their first Welsh march – but at yesterday’s Welsh Defence League protest against Islamic extremism onlookers were confronted with scenes of jeering men giving Nazi salutes. It was the first time the newly-formed group have been out on the streets in Wales.
The controversial march had sparked a counter-demonstration, with about 200 protesters occupying the city centre. A heavy police cordon on either side of Castle Street in Swansea city centre kept the two groups apart.
Speaking before its demonstration, the Welsh Defence League (WDL) said the event would be peaceful, and consistently denied allegations of fascist tendencies. But the ugly scenes, in which grown men among the group of around 60 were seen making Nazi salutes in front of small children, seemed to prove otherwise.
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Far-right activists gathered in the centre of Swansea over the weekend to protest against Islamist extremism. Members of the Welsh Defence League performed Nazi salutes and jeered at the hundreds of people who gathered in opposition to the rally. One man scaled a building to take down an anti-Nazi flag, which was then set on fire. South Wales police said a 25-year-old man was arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence and was detained.