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17 May 2012, 09:26
Three people have been arrested after the BNP organised a rally against Greater Manchester Police.
Police said around 10 BNP supporters held a peaceful demonstration in Heywood town centre on Wednesday.
But on the same day 40 far-right protesters from groups including the Infidels of Britain and the National Front tried to force their way into a council function at Rochdale town hall.
Two men were arrested for a breach of the peace and another for a racially-aggravated public order offence.
Last week nine Asian men received jail sentences of between four and 19 years from a judge who said they treated their five white victims “as though they were worthless and beyond any respect”.
Superintendent Chris Hankinson of Greater Manchester Police said: “This evening's events show that far-right groups are now prepared to use different tactics in order to get their views across.
“On this occasion they appear to have planned a separate demonstration in Heywood to draw attention away from a larger event in Rochdale.
“Thankfully they came up against our determined and professional officers who prevented them getting into the town hall where they were clearly intent on causing as much disruption as possible.''