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'England til I die': Nine arrested as police clash with anti-migrant protesters in Dover

Demonstrators who welcome migrants also rallied in the town.

Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Sep 5th 2020, 5:41 PM

ANTI-MIGRANT PROTESTERS, gathered at the port of Dover to demonstrate over thousands of people reaching the UK in small boats, have clashed with police and blocked a dual carriageway.

Protesters brought traffic on a busy dual carriageway to a standstill for more than an hour while they marched and sang Rule, Britannia. Some shouted, “England til I die”. 

At least nine people were arrested, including for racially aggravated public order, violent disorder and assaulting an emergency worker.

At one point several officers were seen restraining a person on the ground. The individual was later arrested, police told the PA new agency.

There have been other sporadic clashes with the group of at least 50 police officers by the A20.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Earlier in the day anti-racism activists gathered to stand in solidarity with people making the dangerous Channel crossing.

Demonstrations both against and in support of migrant arrivals took place amid a heavy police presence on what was a sunny day in the Kent port.

Officers were drafted in from as far afield as Norfolk to help maintain order, the PA news agency understands.

Dozens of anti-migrant protesters assembled on Dover seafront before marching towards the harbour.

Many wore Union Jack face coverings and carried flags, while others had banners criticising the UK’s immigration policy.

Some shouted “freedom” and “get these scum off our streets” as they moved along the seafront.

migrant-channel-crossing-incidents Source: PA

As they emerged on to the A20, a vital artery for trade vehicles entering and leaving the port, they were met by at least 100 officers.

The group’s march blocked the busy road for more than an hour, with cars and lorries grinding to a halt as the group moved towards the town centre.

Several police officers were seen restraining one person and pinning them to the ground.

The individual was later arrested, police confirmed.

embedded255328280 The White Cliffs of Dover lit up with a series of projections in support of migrant welfare Source: PA/Freedom from Torture/POW

migrant-channel-crossing-incidents Pro-migrant supporters during a 'solidarity stand' in Dover's Market Square in support of the refugees crossing the Channel to Kent. Source: PA

There were fears of violence ahead of today, with both pro and anti-immigration activists announcing their intention to assemble in the Kent town.

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Last night the words “Rise above fear. Refugees welcome” were beamed onto the White Cliffs of Dover by humanitarian charity Freedom From Torture.

A heavy police presence is in place in the town, with large concentrations of officers in Market Square and the railway station. A cohort of officers on horseback are among those monitoring the situation.

Various groups had announced their intention to travel to Dover today to protest for or against migrant crossings.

Pro-migrant activists gathered in Market Square in a demonstration organised by Kent Anti Racism Network.

Addressing a crowd of about 100, Peter Keenan from Kent Refugee Help said when society sees people who are fleeing war and turns them away “that says something about the state of your society”.

He continued: “We are not those people. We are standing up and welcoming people who are in desperate circumstances fleeing from awful situations.”

Anti-racist group Hope Not Hate had raised concerns in advance of the event that there will be violence and that splintered elements of the British far-right may also travel to Dover.

Chief Superintendent Nigel Brookes from Kent Police said: “As a force, it is our responsibility to facilitate peaceful protests, however we will not tolerate violence or disorder.

“Anyone planning to visit Dover with the intention of committing offences should be aware they are not welcome here and that we will seek to prosecute anyone who breaks the law.”

The total number of people who have crossed the sea to Britain in 2020 is now more than 5,600, analysis by the PA news agency shows.

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