Published: 12:00, 30 August 2017
| Updated: 12:15, 30 August 2017
Maidstone anti-fascists have come up with a novel way of countering right-wing protests.
Following several visits by Britain First supporters to the County Town to campaign against the redevelopment of Maidstone Mosque in Mote Road, the Maidstone Anti-Racist Network has decided to donate £10 for each member of the group who turns up to future demonstrations.
The money raised will then go towards funding the building work, which would see the current outdated centre demolished and a modern three-storey complex of classrooms, a library, offices, a kitchen, three shops and a flat created in its place.
Britain First and the South East Alliance have taken exception to the project, which they see as an expansion despite the fact the new structure’s footprint will be slightly smaller.
Jonathan Terranova, of the Maidstone Anti-Racist Network, said: “Following a German example we have decided to use Britain First’s presence in Maidstone against them. Each time a Britain First member comes to the town to protest against the building mosque, we will donate £10 towards the building of the mosque.
“Eight supporters were in the town centre on Saturday before they marched to Maidstone Mosque so we have raised £80 which we will be giving to the Imam.
“The more Britain First members that turn up, the more money we will collect through crowdfunding for the mosque. We will use their campaign against them in the most peaceful way possible.”
The 27-year-old added: “Their motives seem very divisive. They are quite ill informed about Islam. It’s important to counteract them not with violence and threats. Protesting can sometimes rile and inflate the problem and therefore we are going down the peaceful route.”
The idea was pioneered in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel in 2014 over a Nazi march.
For every metre marched €10 was donated to anti-fascist groups, with locals turning out to cheer on the participants of what was dubbed Germany’s most involuntary walkathon.