UK

Britain First Still Can't Muster 100 People For A March

Paul Golding blamed police 'sabotage'.

05/11/2017 13:18 GMT | Updated 05/11/2017 13:26 GMT

Britain First yesterday held a “static rally” outside Bromley police station in protest of what the group deem unfair treatment by authorities.

Despite six years of campaigning, a rousing call to support the “Persecuted Patriots” and a Facebook page liked by nearly two million people, the far-right group failed once again to gather significant real-world support.

Around 50 flag-waving supporters showed up but were vastly outnumbered by an anti-fascism demonstration held across the road.

Britain First leader, Paul Golding, blamed police for “sabotaging” the rally.

In a live video posted to Facebook, he said: “The police have done absolutely everything in their power to try and sabotage this event. First they told us we could not under any circumstances march down the high street.

“So we said ‘do you know what, whatever, we’ll hold a static rally outside the police station.’

“So now what they’ve done to sabotage it - fair enough, we’re outside the police station - but they have put the opposition on the other side of the road!”

It is absolutely standard procedure for police to keep rival demonstrations separate. 

Ahead of the march the local Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties issued a joint statement against the march.

A spokesperson on behalf of the parties said: “We have put party politics aside to come together in united opposition to the appearance of a fascist group walking through our town.

“We will stand together in quiet solidarity in Bromley on Saturday to make it clear that this group does not represent the views of the people of Bromley.

“We are an inclusive and all-embracing community in Bromley, we are enriched by our friends, family and work colleagues who come from all corners of the world, who represent all religions and all ethnic backgrounds.

“They are part of our community and we will stand resolute against anyone who seeks to divide us.”

Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen, were charged last month with causing religiously aggravated harassment and were both bailed to appear before Medway Magistrates’ Court on October 17.

Both have been required to present themselves weekly at a police station as part of their bail conditions but the pair spent much of last month touring far-right events across Europe.

The original charge against Fransen and Glding relates to the distribution of leaflets in the Thanet and Canterbury areas and videos posted to social media during a gang rape trial at Canterbury Crown Court in May.

That trial saw Shershah Muslimyar, 21, Tamin Rahmani, 38, Rafiullah Hamidy, 24 and a 17-year-old all convicted and jailed for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Ramsgate.

Fransen, 31, faces four counts of causing religiously aggravated harassment and Golding, 35, faces three counts, Kent Police said.

The pair, both from Penge in south east London, were arrested on May 10.