War veterans to hold counter protest in Dudley when Britain First comes to town
War veterans have announced they are planning to hold a counter demonstration in Dudley next month on the same day far right group Britain First comes to town.
Members said they were offended by their use of images of Lee Rigby and that his family would not approve. They are also unhappy that Britain First sells pin badges bearing the image of the poppy.
The military group, which has around 500 members, has now said it will hold a counter demonstration at the same time.
The ex-servicemen will be led by John McKnight, a Royal Navy veteran with 16 years of service, who said he plans to confront Britain First leader Paul Golding, who is expected to attend, but maintained their protest would be peaceful.
“Therefore, a small group of us intend to confront Mr Golding at this march, to show him what we think of him.
“We intend to make our statement in a peaceful manner, and will not rise to any taunts that they throw at us.
“We feel that once our statement is shown to the world, people will wake up to the fact that Britain First do not represent or support us in any way.”
Protests will return to the streets of Dudley just three months after the English Defence League and a counter anti-fascism group held their own demonstrations.
The upcoming demonstrations are expected to be heavily policed in a bid to avoid violent scenes. There were 29 arrests when 600 EDL and the anti-fascism supporters came to Dudley in February.
Dudley Police has organised a series of public meetings in the run up to the protests to discuss the policing operation planned on the day and to provide reassurance to traders and residents.
More than 50 members of the public arrived for the meeting at Dudley Council House last Thursday to raise their concerns. Those who attended were advised that the event is likely to be smaller than the protest in February but were warned it would not be business as usual for traders or shoppers.
Liveraf Comment. Whilst we applaud the determination of Dudley ex-service personnel to peacefully to expose Britain First for what it is, we are somewhat bemused at the Express and Star’s announcement that over 2,000 BF members are planning to show up at this demonstration. That’s because we at Liveraf know that BF couldn’t muster 2,000 brass farthings, let alone members. In fact the last we heard was that national membership is still only in double figures. Of course it may have grown somewhat of late, so we currently can’t say how many phone boxes it would take to hold them. What we can say without equivocation though, is that the number of phone boxes needed would be way below the total for the center of Dudley!
From the Dudley Express and Star . 29.04.15