Groups of protestors gathered at Old Trafford and separately at The Lowry Hotel, Salford on Sunday 2 May for a peaceful planned protest. However, the protestors outside Old Trafford became aggressive and antagonistic towards police before they forced entry the ground with some United staff having to lock themselves in rooms.
Late afternoon on Sunday,200 protestors outside the Lowry and over 1000 protestors at Old Trafford gathered for the protest. Police officers were at the scene to monitor the situation. Even the protest started as a peaceful event, the groups grew in size and the peaceful event became an aggressive one.
Especially, protestors who are outside Old Trafford became aggressive towards police. A group of protestors of about 100 forced entry to the ground. Protestors in the stadium were evicted by officers but protestors who are outside thrown bottles and barries at officers and horses.
Two officers were injured with minor injuries. One officer was attacked with a bottle and injured seriously with a significant slash wound on his face. After the aggressive protest, the match was postponed for safety reasons by Trafford Council and the clubs.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: “The behaviour displayed today by those at both Old Trafford and The Lowry Hotel was reckless and dangerous. “We have launched an investigation and we will be working closely alongside partners to ensure we establish the full circumstances surrounding today’s events and prosecute those responsible.”
“We understand the passion many supporters have for their team and we fully respect the right for peaceful protest. Plans were in place to ensure this could happen safely, but it soon became clear that many presents had no intention of doing so peacefully.”
“The actions of those today required us to take officers from front-line policing and call in support from neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder from getting worse. At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers.”