Bradford: Man denies organising anti-vaccine protest during lockdown

Amar Sattar has been accused of organising an anti-lockdown protest (Picture: Rex/SWNS)

A man has appeared in court, accused of organising an anti-lockdown protest in which nine police officers were injured.

Amar Sattar, 35, denies organising the ‘Unite the North’ event on March 27 in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Hundreds of people descended on the city which at the time was one of the worst-hit parts of the country for Covid cases.

Police said 13 people were arrested at the event after some protestors ‘attempted to cause disruption’ by visiting a vaccination centre.

Sattar, from Keighley, did not deny being at the demonstration to ‘protest his views’ but claims he was not the organiser.

He’s been accused of breaching Covid laws which limited gatherings to no more than 30 people on outdoor land.

Appearing at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court, he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth and to enter his not guilty plea.

Sattar’s defence solicitor, Sajad Chaudhury, told the court that Sattar ‘he attended to voice his concerns about ‘various issues’ including the NHS, awarding of PPE contracts, and vaccinations.

Amar Sattar outside Bradford and Keighley Magistrates? Court. See SWNS story SWLEprotest. A man appeared in court last week charged with being one of the organisers of the ?Unite the North? anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown protest held in Bradford earlier this year. Amar Sattar, 35, of Fell Lane, Keighley, pleaded not guilty to the charge of holding or being involved in holding a gathering of more than 30 people on specific outdoor land in a Tier 4 area. The charge relates to the Unite the North protest held in Bradford city centre on March 27, when hundreds of people descended on the city from across the north to protest against Covid-19 lockdowns and the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Amar Sattar outside Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court (Picture: SWNS)

Sattar, who was granted bail, is due to stand trial at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court on October 20.

A second man was also due to appear on Friday charged with attending the protest.

Nathaniel Joseph, 41, from Wetherby, failed to turn up for his hearing, and his case has been adjourned until June 25.

His solicitor told the court: ‘He was aware of the hearing but I cannot give an explanation for his absence; he would have pleaded not guilty.’

Hundreds of people attended Bradford city centre for the protest in March while the country was under a strict national lockdown.

Some 19 people received on the spot fines for being at the event and dispersal orders were issued.

Promotional material ahead of the protest said it was taking a stance against lockdown, and stood for: ‘No to the vax agenda; no to health passes; no to gov corruption; no to lockdowns.’

It also said: ‘No vaccine needed. I have my immune system.’

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