(picture from @BenJames22, reporter at The Argus)
Lois JC reports:
There was a much smaller presence of fascists than in earlier years: around 150. Antifascists outnumbered them at least 2-1. We lined the streets while the fasc did their walk down the road. But we were heavily surrounded by police and it shouldn’t be trumpeted as a massive victory. There were so few fasc that they splintered at the end into small groups looking for trouble. No major incidents, as far as I know. The most notable thing was the enormous police presence. There were hundreds and hundreds of police.
Sam B adds:
A lot of us couldn’t get to the rally point after being marched off by cops after MFE tried to jump us on our way there. The barricades by the station were cool but cleared rather quickly. I agree the police seemed very heavy handed with searches.
(last year’s anti-MFE mobilisation used similar tactics. picture from AFN)
The Argus has a detailed online report headlined “Violent clashes as March for England returns to Brighton”.
- One of the largest police operations Brighton and Hove has ever seen was assembled to separate 150 nationalists from 1,000-plus anti-fascists.
- Anti-fascist groups caught wind of fascist movements and made way to Bright Helm in West Street (Wetherspoons pub) which police surrounded with officers and horses. Horses were sent in to clear the anti-fascists.
- Nationalists were escorted to the seafront to start their march. Between 600 and 900 anti-fascists remain alongside south side of Kings Road, behind officers and barricades. Among them Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.
- Main seafront march without incident, but running battles as groups from each side split into surrounding roads. Clash outside Dorset pub on the corner of Gardner Street and North Road: tables, chairs, bottles, punches thrown as police are caught off-guard. Total 27 arrests, ranging from assault causing actual bodily harm to possession of an offensive weapon.
@stopmfe twitter feed from yesterday:
12pm: March for England itself is tiny, a fraction of the size of previous years. Anti-fascists on West Street move to block 70 fascists in Wetherspoons pub from joining the march.
1pm: Fascists marched from West Street towards Middle Street, around 70 held there for a while, then marched back from bottom of Middle Street towards the bottom of West Street, then towards clock tower. About 70 MFE in total.
2pm: Several hundred anti-fascists lined and blockaded Queen’s Road outside the station as a final push to make MFE visit was as unpleasant as possible. Police marched MFE right through the station and out the back, approx 150.
See also Guy Smallman’s report & pics at Reel News: “MFE racists still not welcome in Brighton”
And finally: “Did you see any antifascists arrested today? Did you witness any police violence? If so, contact arrestee support on 07923 099339.”