Arrests made during protest march

March for England in Blackpool.  Demonstrators are stopped by the police.
March for England in Blackpool. Demonstrators are stopped by the police.
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Protesters marching along Blackpool’s South Shore to demonstrate ‘English pride’ were stopped in their tracks by police on Saturday.

Nationalist marchers set off from Yates, South Shore, and the Sun Inn in Bolton Street, at around 1.30pm.

March for England in Blackpool

March for England in Blackpool

Brandishing the St George’s flag, they chanted ‘English ‘til I die’ and made their way towards Blackpool Tower.

Police had lined up in the road to create a human barrier as a precaution, preventing the protesters from continuing their march.

Force Incident Manager, Insp Claire Cooper, said: “Five arrests were made but there was fairly minimal impact from the march.

“The police did running cordons to keep the crowds under control and deal with people who may have needed segregating from the group.

“The cordoning tactics were successful in dispersing the crowds, and activity on the promenade was back to normal by 3.30pm.”

People had travelled from all over the country to take part in the ‘March for England’, but some hadn’t journeyed far at all.

Kevin Stretton, 45, from South Shore, said: “This is a peaceful march to show our pride in England.

“We’re the quiet side of the EDL (English Defence League).

“We support the armed forces and UKIP (UK Independence Party).

“I won’t hide behind a flag.”

The group took their chants towards Blackpool Tower where they planned to give speeches, but police put a stop to the march after half an hour.

An event organised by nationalist campaign group March for England last year saw shops close amid clashes with groups opposed to the event in Brighton.

There were 27 arrests and business chiefs estimated they lost thousands of pounds in trade by closing down.