Published: 17:10, 26 July 2021
| Updated: 16:53, 27 July 2021
People making a stand against Covid vaccines have left onlookers perplexed wondering why they chose to hold their gathering in the "quietest part of Deal".
Between 20 and 30 people descended on Sandown Castle Community Garden yesterday (Sunday) for what they call a 'Super stand' against vaccine passports and jabs for children.
But a volunteer from the award-winning heritage attraction, and a trader based there said there was nobody to see them or hear them, because they put off usual visitors from attending.
Linda Ford, who runs the community garden group said she was really upset that they "spoiled the whole essence of the garden."
KentOnline has tried to contact the organisers of the event which was made up of a number of groups in East Kent under the banner of A Stand in the Park.
This is a movement seeking to unite people in parks all over the world every Sunday between 10-11am.
The organisation's website says: "We 'Stand in the Park' to celebrate freedom, diversity, and fairness." It professes to consist of 65,000 members holding events in 600 parks in 15 countries.
"It wasn't a protest it was just like minded people meeting to chat..."
One man who attended told us: "It wasn't a protest it was just like minded people meeting to chat."
But with placards and banners on display and a report of chanting for the cause, Mrs Ford described their presence as "antagonising."
Kent Police, whose officers attended, said the force had received reports of a protest.
She said: "They just turned up. It was an organised event. We knew nothing about it.
"They had signs up banners advertising Stand in the Park Pencester in Dover.
"People have their own views but you don't go round trying to change other people's views and antagonising.
"They bought refreshments along. It's not a park! Its a community garden. Tranquil. It's a space where we come to forget what's going on in the world, to escape, to bring something lovely to the North End to give people space and a place to visit.
"The visitors, when they came down, saw what was going on and they were going away.
"It is annoying because if we want to put on an event to fundraise for the garden, we have to get permission from the council and public liability insurance."
Another woman, whose identity we are protecting, said she was shouted at for taking a photo of what she described as "an invasion".
She said: "The garden was taken over by them and there was shouting and chanting for a short period.
"Despite one person threatening me legally, I took general photo views of the crowd, numbering 20 to 30 people.
"Their aims are completely insensitive to the background of Covid-19 deaths experienced in this community, and their impact on vaccination take up is disgraceful particularly with rising cases amongst young people.
"Friends of North Deal have turned up regularly for the past month to support this voluntary project that brings much benefit to people living in the area. We will not be turned out of our local community garden."
Louise Hogben of the Hog and Bean was there for the last 30 minutes.
She described what she saw as: "Like they were having a picnic and annoying everyone else that was there."
A much smaller number of protesters has attended each Sunday as part of the A Stand in the Park movement, but Ms Hogben added: "They've got their opinion, why did they come to the quietest part of Deal to protest?"
A Kent Police spokesman said: "Kent Police officers attended Sandown Road, Deal following a report of a protest shortly after midday on Sunday 25 July 2021.
"No arrests were made."