|Local newspaper, The Northern Echo, reports on the anti-burqa protest by the English Defence League and North East Infidels in Hartlepool last weekend.
Around 150 members of the EDL and NEI marched from The Clarendon Pub to the War Memorial in Church Square.
A counter protest by anti-fascist group Hartlepool Against Racism was also held on the same day.
A number of EDL supporters managed to confront the anti-fascist group at the war memorial which resulted in a series of insults being exchanged before police intervened and removed the counter-demonstrators.
Chief Superintendent Irvine, Silver Commander for Cleveland Police, said: “The demonstrations and counter-demonstrations have passed off in Hartlepool today without arresting anyone in connection with the protests.”
The EDL have previously held protests in the area. Last month, approximately 200 EDL supporters protested against plans to build an Islamic education centre in Shotton Colliery which led to one arrest. Plans for the Islamic education centre have faced continuous opposition since last year with far rights groups regularly voicing opposition to the proposals.
Hartlepool has also experienced a number of hate crimes including incidents of racial abuse and criminal attacks on a local mosque. In February, the Nasir mosque was targeted during prayer time by two men and a woman who burst into the mosque and hurled racist abuse at worshippers. In October 2011, the mosque was attacked by two men and a woman who were later sentenced for smearing racist graffiti on the mosque and other premises nearby.