Police on alert as right wing demo planned in Blackpool

Police are on the alert after a far right group announced it will be holding a rally in Blackpool.

Thursday, 10th March 2016, 2:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2016, 2:26 pm
A North West Infidels protest at Preston

The North West Infidels’ Blackpool group has said that a “unity demo” will take place in the resort this Saturday.

The regional group has previously held rallies in neighbouring towns including in Preston last October when chaotic scenes ensued following clashes with rival groups.

Smoke bombs were thrown and barriers separating rival groups were knocked down but no major incidents occurred and only one person was arrested. Today Lancashire Police said it was watching the situation.

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A spokesman said: “We are aware that a group who identify themselves as the North West Infidels are publicising an event in Blackpool on Saturday, March 12.

“At this stage officers are gathering information to establish the exact nature of any event that may take place.

“If a police presence is required it will be proportionate and planned to ensure any event takes place peacefully and minimises disruption to the town.”

The North West Infidels said on their Blackpool Facebook page that they were holding the rally to highlight the issue of poverty in the resort and make the point that they did not want refugees coming to live in an already deprived area.

They said: “Blackpool is not a place for refuge for anyone let alone adding poverty stricken refugees. Sort the British homeless out, start blaming the job centres for sanctioning people’s benefits that leads to them being homeless.

“Housing refugees is insulting to the local people who work hard daily for so little return only for our governments to hand out everything free to others before our own people.”

A spokesman from left wing group UK Revolution said: “Blackpool is a family friendly area and we don’t want these evil fascists turning up trying to cause trouble.”