A far-right group has abandoned plans to march through Liverpool after members were visibly outnumbered by counter-demonstrators, including the mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
A handful of marchers from the so-called North West Frontline Patriots were met by hundreds of anti-fascist counter-protesters co-ordinated by groups such as Merseyside Together and Unite Against Fascism as they arrived in Liverpool on Saturday.
“Peaceful people power chased the fascists off our streets,” Anderson, a Labour politician, said, adding that he wanted to “show these people they are not welcome in this city”.
So proud of my City when it unites against racists. Peaceful people power chased the fascists of our streets. Hope always defeats hate.😍They should pick on another City,because you will never march on our streets💙❤️💜 pic.twitter.com/HvWFNuHUqW
— Joe Anderson (@mayor_anderson) November 3, 2018
“I want it to be peaceful, but I want people to be out on the streets saying they are not welcome in our city,” Anderson told the Liverpool Echo prior to the march. “Some people on Twitter have said to me: ‘What about free speech?’ Well that comes with a responsibility not to espouse hate.”
Merseyside police said one person was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace, while another was held for a public order offence. A spokeswoman was not immediately able to say which group the detained individuals were supporting.
Police did not provide an estimate of crowd sizes, but the Liverpool Echo reported from the scene that the counter-demonstrators were out in far greater numbers.
About half a dozen people were seen arriving at Moorfields station and being escorted outside by police before swiftly returning indoors, as crowds of counter-protesters chanted “No pasaran” while holding placards proclaiming “No to Racism”.
The group had reportedly intended to march from Moorfields station at its Exchange Street entrance along Dale Street to Derby Square. There was a big police presence in place to escort them along that route.
However, they barely made it out of the station. The anti-racist group Hope Not Hate said: “Five fascists turned up for a march in Liverpool today. Pleased to report they left after five minutes.”
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