Kent

Far-right and anti-racism protesters clash in Dover

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Media captionAngry scenes as police dealt with rival groups of protesters in Dover

Three people were arrested amid violent scenes as groups demonstrating against immigration clashed with anti-racism protesters in Dover.

Smoke bombs were let off and bricks thrown as police turned out in force to oversee hundreds of far-right demonstrators marching through town.

They clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators, leaving five people with minor injuries.

Kent Police said it seized more than 20 weapons including a knuckle duster.

Police said their operation ended at 17:00 GMT after they had arrested individuals for possession of offensive weapons, breaching the peace and public order offences.

Banners and placards carried by the right-wing marchers included those from the North West National Front, neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18 and the Scottish Defence League.

Counter-demonstrators included members of Kent Anti-Racism Network, anti-fascist group Antifa and people with Socialist Worker placards. They were addressed by Diane Abbott, shadow secretary of state for international development.

Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption Far-right protesters clashed with anti-fascist protesters as police cordons kept them apart
Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption Diane Abbott addressed anti-racism demonstrators as protest groups gathered
Image caption Large numbers of police are on the streets of Dover
Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption Police expected large numbers of demonstrators to gather in Dover
Image copyright Gareth Fuller/PA
Image caption Far-right demonstrators displayed banners from various National Front groups
Image caption Dog handlers were on duty as part of a large police presence in Dover as demonstrators clashed

Earlier, six people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at a service station on the M20 which was closed after several coaches believed to be on the way to the demonstrations were damaged.

Police said officers were called to a disturbance at Maidstone services at junction eight at 10:51 GMT. Two coaches had swastikas daubed on them in blood following a clash between two rival groups.

A coach which left the scene was stopped at junction 11 services at Westenhanger.

During the day police took away weapons including a knife, pieces of wood, glass, hammers and bricks.

A police spokesman said he could not comment on the motives of those involved, or what groups they may or may not have been a part of.

Police warned on Friday the demonstrations were expected to attract large numbers of protesters, with businesses and residents told to expect disruption.

Image copyright Bat020
Image caption Several coaches were damaged at Maidstone services on the M20
Image copyright Bat020
Image caption Police said two coaches had swastikas daubed on them in blood

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