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Sikh volunteers providing meals for the homeless in Manchester were allegedly abused by far-right activists after getting caught in a demonstration against Sharia laws. Members of the Sikh Sewa Organisation (SSO) said they had to flee from Piccadilly Gardens for "their own safety" after "EDL (English Defence League) members" became "abusive" towards them. The SSO provide meals for the homeless every Sunday in the same spot but were forced to move on to Stevenson Square after thousands reportedly descended on the area in a protest against Sharia law, The Independent reported. "As per every Sunday our team went to feed the homeless in Manchester. Sadly our usual spot in Piccadilly Gardens was over run by the EDL mindless thugs and we had to scarper for our own safety, as they were becoming abusive to the volunteers.
It became really scary for us," the SSO wrote on its Facebook page.. "Our usual homeless crowd came to us saying they were starving so the volunteers decided to move to Stevenson Square. They continued there tirelessly serving food despite their own safety," it said. Eight people were arrested when demonstrators with UK Against Hate, headed by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, clashed with counter-protesters. Greater Manchester police advised residents to avoid the area after the protest turned "nasty". Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham said the "EDL-types" needed to take a "long hard look at themselves". Robinson refuted the claims that EDL was in attendance as "lies". He wrote on Facebook, "Looks like the police have joined the newspapers in their #fakenews propaganda." "This was not an EDL demo it was UK Against Hate demonstration against terrorism and hate being inflicted on our communities! The actions of the police yesterday and the disgraceful fake news reporting by the media since is a depressing example of the mess our once great country is in," he said.