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Anti-racism protesters organise demonstration as Britain First plan meeting in Swanley

Anti-racism protesters are planning a demonstration against right-wing group Britain First which is holding a meeting in Swanley.

The group originally planned to hold the meeting in Dartford, but tweeted that the first venue had cancelled due to "adverse police activity".

Gabriel Forcella-Burton, organiser of the anti-Britain First protest, said: "This is exactly what happened in Wigan last week when the venue found out who they really were.

"I think it's a combination of that and them knowing they would meet stiff opposition in Dartford."

Britain First is now planning to meet at an unnamed venue in Swanley, the latest stop on the group’s controversial national tour.

Both Britain First and anti-racism protesters have been building support on social media over the last few weeks.

Britain First at Crayford Mosque
Britain First at Crayford Mosque

Mr Forcella-Burton said: “The majority of the protesters will be local people – some who have never met before. We have been in touch with some antifascist groups from the south east but the core will be from Dartford.”

The ‘Kentish Batallion’ of the stridently anti-Muslim Britain First recently ‘invaded’ Crayford Mosque in Bexley, demanding they remove signs designating separate entrances for men and women.

Mr Forcella-Burton said: “The congregation from the Crayford Mosque they targeted two weeks ago will be present, as they have been directly affected by this.”

However, protesters are not yet sure where Britain First plans to meet on Saturday evening. Previous venues on the national tour have turned the group away, and the location of meetings is kept secret until the last minute.

Mr Forcella-Burton said: “They have been holding their meetings in the backrooms of pubs and working mens’ clubs. Some venues have banned them when they found out who they were.”

Posters have been shared on social media
Posters have been shared on social media

Police said they were aware of the situation and promised to 'deal robustly' with any trouble.

Dartford district commander Chief Inspector Ian Humpheryes said: "We are aware of planned meetings in Dartford tomorrow evening and are monitoring the situation. Officers will be in attendance to facilitate peaceful protest but we will deal robustly with any crime or disorder using the powers available to us."

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