Pro and anti-migrant protestors face off in Dover in latest clash over Channel crossings

  • So far in 2023, 2,953 migrants have arrived in Britain after crossing the English Channel
  • Far right group Patriotic Alternative arrived in Dover today to demonstrate in the city

Campaigners for and against migrants faced off in Dover today as nearly 3,000 people have crossed the English Channel so far in 2023.

Kent Police formed a line between the groups who gathered in the center of the port city.

A record 44,666 migrants arrived aboard small boats in 2022, according to the Interior Ministry. More than 60 percent of asylum applications are successful.

Since January 1, 2,953 migrants have arrived in the UK – an average of 48 per day. On January 25, around 321 people arrived in the UK and applied for asylum.

One of the groups in Dover today welcomed the newcomers who risked their lives crossing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in flimsy boats.

Members of the neo-Nazi Patriotic Alternative marched through Dover today to protest against people fleeing war and conflict and seeking asylum in the UK
Demonstrators carried banners during the protest in the port city

The other group wanted to deport the migrants.

The anti-refugee campaign was organized by the far-right group Patriotic Alternative.

Patriotic Alternative was founded in 2019 by Mark Collett, a neo-Nazi who calls for a “racially pure white society” and ran the youth wing of the BNP before the party expelled him. It now claims to have more than 15,000 members.

Last week, Patriotic Alternative organized a demonstration in Skegness where people marched alongside a “Hitler lookalike”.

Kent Police said the demonstration and counter-demonstration this afternoon was peaceful.

A spokesman said: “We would like to thank the people of Dover for their patience and understanding during today’s protests, which have now come to an end and have passed largely without incident. Most of those involved have now left the area with no riots or arrests.’

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Police filmed many of the anti-refugee protesters as they were prevented from going any further into the city
Police grabbed a man wearing a gas mask and military-style suit at the march
They took off his mask and helmet. Kent Police later confirmed that no arrests had been made

Speaking on the ongoing small boat situation, a Home Office spokesman said: “The unacceptable number of people risking their lives making these dangerous crossings is putting an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.

“Our priority is to stop this illegal trade and our new Small Boats Operational Command – reinforced with hundreds of additional personnel – is working with our French partners and other authorities to bring the people smugglers down.

“The government is also going a step further by introducing legislation to ensure that anyone entering the UK illegally is arrested and promptly deported to their country of origin or a safe third country.”

The Home Office said it had hired 730 additional staff to deal with Channel Crossings and took operational command of the situation from the military.

A few dozen protesters marched, one with crutches. Another had the flag of St. George painted on his face
The far-right protesters were greeted by a group of people calling for safety and dignity for all
Various left-wing groups and their supporters held up placards welcoming refugees to Kent
Not all of the people at the far-right demonstration were men, as there were a few women present
Several men wore dark glasses and masks to disguise their appearance
As the far-right demonstrators approached, a woman held up a placard with the message: “My Jewish grandparents fled pogroms and found refuge here. Today’s refugees deserve the same right!’
Police said they made no arrests after today’s demonstration and counter-protest


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