Migrants are welcome. That was the rousing message from protestors at a pro-asylum demonstration in Dover today.
Groups from across Britain joined together in defiance of a recent fascist march in the town, with local organisations asserting that fascism does not reflect the views of Dover people.
The march, which started at Dover's Market Square, culminated at the Eastern Docks ferry port via the seafront, with rain drenched groups chanting "Here to stay, here to fight, and "no human is illegal."
It was the British version of a simultaneous demonstration in Calais.
Bridget Chapman, secretary of Folkestone United, introduced representatives from humanitarian, political and religious groups who spoke to the crowd about why helping migrants is as important now as it was in the Second World War.
Ms Chapman said: "It's a very simple message: We're here to say refugees are welcome here. About four weeks ago there was a big far right demonstration here in Dover with about 300 fascists marching through the town. They were aggressive, violent and racist and we were approached after that by people in Dover who asked if we would help to organise a demonstration that sent out a positive message, that they don't think the fascists speak for them.
The demonstration has been organised by The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, under the banner of Open Dover, Open Europe.
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In a statement on the group's Facebook page, the group said: "We believe the migrants in Calais should be able to enter the UK and that the migrants risking their lives to come to Europe should also be allowed in.
"We demand that the border at Dover and all borders across Europe be opened.
"We reject the the politics of fear, racism, and xenophobia sweeping Europe and stoked by mainstream parties and media which has sought to dehumanise and criminalise migrants.
"We are particularly horrified by the sheer number of migrant deaths this year: twelve in Calais that we know of and over two-thousand in the Mediterranean.
"These deaths were preventable and indefensible. No human is illegal and nobody should have to risk their life trying to cross a border."
The demonstration followed several similar demonstrations on both sides of the Channel, and several thousands-strong "Refugees Welcome Here" demonstrations around the UK.
Among those to take part were local Kent branches of the Labour Party, encompassing Dover, Deal, Thanet, Folkestone and Hythe; representatives from the Green Party, Unite the union, Folkestone United and Kent Refugee Help.
Kent police were out in force. The demonstration remained peaceful throughout.