Sussex

Brighton demo: Anti-fascists 'targeted bald men'

Brighton march
Image caption About 400 pro-refugee and anti-fascist demonstrators marched from the station to the seafront

A police chief has accused anti-fascist protesters of turning up at a demo prepared to attack "any bald men who looked right-wing".

Saturday's anti-fascist march in Brighton was held on the same day that a Great Skinhead Reunion also took place on the seafront.

The protest was initially organised to oppose an anti-immigration march that failed to materialise.

Police arrested 14 anti-fascists after an attack on three bald men.

Ch Supt Nev Kemp said some anti-fascists were "intent on violence".

He said the planned anti-immigration protest did not take place because protesters went to an event in Bristol instead.

"My understanding is that most of the protesters that said they might be coming to Brighton actually went up to Bristol, so they didn't appear," he said.

But he said the anti-fascist counter-protest did go ahead and he added: "There were a significant number who took part who were intent on violence and criminality."

'Targeting bald men'

The 14 anti-fascist campaigners - arrested on suspicion of violent disorder - were held after masked protesters were seen attacking three bald men, he said.

Sussex Police said 10 men and four women - most from Brighton, but two of no fixed address - had been bailed to dates in July pending further inquiries.

Mr Kemp said: "There were a number of people in the protest who showed they were actually - ironically, bearing in mind the protest is about tolerance - some of the most intolerant people you could come across.

"They were determined to cause damage and attack anybody really, any man with a bald head who looked like he might be from the right-wing."

Siriol Hugh-Jones, who took part in the protest, said: "Where I was there was very little sign of violence."

She added: "It was much more a carnival atmosphere.

"We were trying to be nice and fluffy and show how tolerant Brighton and Hove is and what a liberal society it is and celebrating that."

She said she marched behind some of the masked men but didn't know who they were.

Image caption Demonstrators confronted rival groups on Brighton seafront

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