Brighton protests end in 14 arrests

Posted On 30 Aug 2010 at 10:11 pm

Fourteen people were arrested in the centre of Brighton when two demonstrations were held today.

The arrests were for public order offences, assault and to prevent a breach of the peace.

They came as about 250 protesters took part in an English Nationalists Alliance (ENA) march and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) counter-protest, starting at lunchtime.

Sussex Police tried to ensure that both protests took place close enough to one another to enable the members of each group to make their points peacefully but safely.

But a small group from the counter-demonstration threw missiles at the police in the Trafalgar Road area, the police said.

There was no direct confrontation between the two protests, according to the police, but disorder was directed towards officers.

Protesters obstructed traffic in Queen’s Road, North Street and the Old Steine for a while.

Two police officers suffered minor injuries and received medical attention. One protester also received injuries, for which two people were arrested.

Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said: “The right to peaceful protest is an important part of Brighton and Hove life.

“It is our aim to allow protesters the freedom of speech to express their views safely, without causing disruption and disorder to residents, visitors and businesses.

“Sussex Police made concerted efforts to engage with the organisers of both groups.

“Our close liaison with organisers of the ENA event ensured protestors followed an agreed route.

“Unfortunately the organisers of the UAF did not discuss their intentions with police, resulting in the event being delayed by a minority of participants causing some unnecessary disruption.

“I again urge those who wish to hold demonstrations in the city to abide by the law and notify the police of their plans in advance, so we can jointly plan a safe and visible event that respects others rights to go about their business free from intimidation and violence.”

  1. mike Reply

    i am very sorry to have to ask this question.
    this ‘protest’ was clearly going to be
    a high tension confrontation
    between two completely opposed masses of people
    willing to be out for a big fight.
    IF Sussex Police HAD to ensure
    that BOTH protests took place
    CLOSE enough to one another
    to enable the MEMBERS of each group
    to make their POINTS peacefully but safely.
    THEN next time, please, can Sussex Police insist,
    that the double demonstration takes place
    on the Waterhall Rugby Fields ?
    where there is plenty of space
    for every one to destress and decompress.
    instead of the stress and compression
    in the middle of town.
    Waterhall, where Sussex Police
    can really referee the double demonstration
    with big tannoy loud hailers
    giving simple rules of engagment:
    to make a high excitement
    big fun game out of it
    by dropping a one metre cube bag
    of tennis balls in the middle
    of the two groups
    from their helicopter
    for every one to throw at each other
    and have a good fun run around
    chasing each other
    and wrestling each other to the ground
    to give in and surrender
    then let go and up and run again

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