In the U.K. port town of Dover white supremacists and anti-immigrant groups clashed with anti-fascist activists in violent confrontations that turned a large area into a “war zone,” local officials reported Saturday.
The results of the clashes are at least six persons injured and nine others arrested after police officers wearing anti-riot gear were forced to intervene between the far-right, anti-immigrant, white supremacist demonstrators and the left-wing activists.
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White supremacists from the National Front, Southeast Alliance, Northwest Infidels and the East Kent English Patriots began throwing bricks and smoke bombs at the leftists, who were there defending the rights of immigrants and refugees.
The supremacist groups are all opposed to immigration, as well as migration from other E.U. countries to the U.K. They were countered by anti-fascists groups such as the Kent Anti-Fascist Network.
Police officials did not mention which groups the nine persons arrested belong to, but they did say they were detained in possession of weapons and charged with breaching the peace, violent disorder and public order offenses.
Kent police told AFP that six persons were injured, including one person with a broken arm. Video of the clashes show some people bleeding.
Rather have refugees from around the world than have to deal with intolerant, ignorant, British fascists like those on the streets of #Dover— Pete (@TheMrTuray) January 30, 2016
#Dover proves yet again that it's the far right who has the real problem integrating into civilised British society not new comers— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) January 30, 2016
Me: "My pa fought the Nazis"— Kop·ol·o·gy (@Kopology) January 30, 2016
Liberal: "He's a hero!"
Me: "I'm off to fight some now"
Liberal: "You're just as bad as they are!"#Dover
The neo-fascist protesters also shattered windows and windshields of vehicles and painted swastikas on automobiles and walls.
Other news reports quoted police spokespersons saying at least 20 weapons were seized on site, including knives, knuckle-dusters and hammers that were in possession of National Front demonstrators.
A left-wing activist was quoted by Sky News as saying, "We now see across Europe a climate of bigotry and hatred is on the rise – the scapegoating of migrants, attacks on the Muslim community and an increase in anti-Semitism."
The news outlet also said a female reporter covering the protest had denounced that a far-right demonstrator threatened her, telling her she should be raped.
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The Dover Express said the town was "in chaos" as the two sides continued to clash despite the heavy police presence.
They also reported that they saw protesters “having to be dragged away badly injured and unconscious."