Massive Merseyside police operation keeps rivals apart at James Larkin march

Pictured is a member of the James Larkin Society holding up a photo of James larkin as the rally made its way from Park Road, up Upper Warcwick Street and through to Princes Avenue.n

Pictured is a member of the James Larkin Society holding up a photo of James Larkin
A MASSIVE police operation prevented clashes between far right protesters and anti-fascist demonstrators in Liverpool today.

Members of the James Larkin Society gathered in the city, flanked by an enormous police presence to ensure that any trouble was kept to a minimum.

A number of counter protest groups turned out as a result of the march in parts of South Liverpool and the city centre.

James Larkin march

The event was held in honour of Liverpool-born Irish trade unionist James Larkin and had an anti-racist theme.

Those marching the streets insisted they wanted to make a stand against racism and fascism.

Protesters attempted to delay the start by staging a sit down protest and shouting at the people marching, which led to scuffles with the police.

They said it was an IRA march and chanted “IRA off our streets” at those holding James Larkin Society banners.

Those on the opposite side of the James Larkin Society were adamant that within the march there were people who were IRA sympathisers.

Alec McFadden, president of the Merseyside TUC and anti-fascist campaigner, told the ECHO: “Today was all about celebrating one of the main trade unionists James Larkin.

“The theme was against racism and fascism. The people of Merseyside succeeded in having a trade union march and rally in opposition to racism and fascism.

“What shocked us was the number of people who came from outside Merseyside with the idea it was something to do with the IRA, it wasn’t.

“The police did a very good job in very difficult circumstances to ensure the march went ahead peacefully.

“I intend to write a report to the leaders of the council because of the influx of people from outside Merseyside who came to try to interfere with the march.”

Today’s march set off from Larkin’s birthplace in Combermere Street, off Park Road, in Toxteth and reached its destination at Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral.

In the run up to the event leaflets were handed out in defiance of what they branded an IRA march. Some posters carried images of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball who were killed in the 1993 IRA bombing of Warrington.

Messages urging people to come along and protest were also left on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Merseyside Police said 23 men and three women were arrested for minor public order offences.

Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Andy Ward said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the public for their patience and assistance this afternoon.

“The procession passed with limited disruption and the few individuals intent on disrupting the march were dealt with swiftly by officers.

“Today’s operation reaffirms the Force’s commitment to facilitating peaceful demonstrations and marches.”

From the Liverpool Echo  23.07.12. Report by Tina Miles

4 Responses to “Massive Merseyside police operation keeps rivals apart at James Larkin march”
  1. donna says:

    I am a liverpool protestant, completely anti bnp/edl or whatever other guise they wish to have but I cannot march with the band you used for the parade. Can anyone tell me why this band says it is not there to antagonise but will happily play tunes such as crossmaglen, go on home (what a tune for anti-racism) and other songs that are non socialist and anti-british. I personally am have nothing but sympathy for the soldiers who (once again) had to pay the sacrifice for others in ireland – to walk behind a band who plays tunes revering those who killed them is poor form and I don’t think helps the anti-racism cause. I was in shenanigans in tithbarn st just after the manchester bombing and the jlrfb (as they were then known) were laughing joking and singing about the event, from that day on I have no respect for them, they are more anti-brit than socialist and that is a fact – I have witnessed that. So please ensure that future marches are truly all embracing – you don’t have to be a republican to be anti-racist!

  2. donna says:

    I thought you published all comments?

    • ZAPATA says:

      A co-incidence now of course , that the reason for all the problems on saturday are due to the band…………and that presumably the virulent anti-Irish sentiments are their fault as well, so are the threats to the Irish community every 12th of July in Liverpool.It is amazing that the same points are being made on the EDL and BNP websites!! People need to remember that allegiance to anti-catholicism/irish.,across sections of English nationalism runs deeper than ” class”

      • donna says:

        Well is it reasonable for a band to play virulent anti-british tunes? No its no co-incidence that the problems on sat were largely down to the fact that this band was playing. They have used the anti-racism slogan so they could walk the streets of liverpool, songs that include such ditties as ‘so fuck your union jack’ – is bound to antagonise – I can’t imagine a country where that wouldn’t!

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