Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Anti-immigration protesters clash with police and block A20 into Dover

Anti-migrant protesters have clashed with police and blocked a dual carriageway into Dover.

Rival groups have assembled in the coastal town in Kent to demonstrate over the arrival of thousands of migrants in small boats.

Traffic on the A20 was at a standstill in both directions after protesters assembled on the road in large numbers.

Many wore Union flag face masks and carried banners, while some shouted “England til I die” and sang Rule, Britannia.

At one point several officers were seen restraining a person on the ground.

The individual was later arrested, police said.

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

Earlier, a group of around 60 people shouting anti-migrant slogans were seen moving along Dover seafront.

It is thought that groups from across the country have travelled to Dover.

Meanwhile, pro-migrant activists gathered in Market Square in the town in a demonstration organised by the Kent Anti Racism Network.

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

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

On Friday night the words “Rise above fear. Refugees welcome” were beamed on to the White Cliffs of Dover by humanitarian charity Freedom From Torture.

More than 1,450 migrants arrived in the UK by small boats in August – believed to be the record for a single month – according to analysis.

The number of migrants to have crossed the sea to Britain this year is now more than 5,600, figures from the PA news agency show.

Last month also saw a new single-day record for migrant arrivals, with 416 migrants crossing the English Channel to reach UK shores in small boats on Wednesday.

Downing Street said that the figure was “completely unacceptable”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently vowed to make the route “completely unviable” for those crossing the Channel to seek asylum.

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