Violence breaks out at EDL founder Tommy Robinson's Sunderland book signing

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One person was injured as violence broke out a book signing in Sunderland for English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.

The event was staged in an off-licence on Saturday shortly before a Sunderland Celtic friendly match.

Mr Robinson had been pictured in the city wearing a Rangers shirt – the arch rivals of Celtic – and had posted earlier posted a rant aimed at Celtic fans on Facebook.

In the post he talked about Hoops’ fans showing solidarity with the people of Palestine, saying: “Palestine hates you.”

He added: “All these girls who have got their cleavage out and their Celtic tops… take your cleavage, take your Celtic top and walk through Gaza and show me your solidarity, because you won’t have any.

“You’ll have the biggest shock of your life. So stop hating on me.”

Police attended Fletcher’s News and Booze, where an 18-year-old man suffered a head injury and needed hospital treatment.

Footage posted on social media showed a flare and other objects being thrown towards the shop before fighting broke out on the street.


A video posted on social media showed the violence, which left one injured, unfold (Pints and Pyro/YouTube)

More than 20 football fans were arrested after trouble broke out in the city ahead of the game.

Officers said the majority were unrelated to Mr Robinson’s book signing and included people being drunk and disorderly, committing a breach of the peace and using illegal pyrotechnics.

Emergency services had been called to the off-licence in Hendon at about 1.40pm.

The pre-season match was organised to mark 20 years since the opening of Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and 50 years since Celtic won the European Cup.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan said: “Unfortunately, we did have some incidents of disorder in and around Sunderland between Sunderland and Celtic fans and, while police dealt with them quickly, it is a shame these type of incidents happen at all.”

Sunderland were beaten by Celtic 5-0. 

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