Opposing immigration marches set to meet on Norwich’s streets

PUBLISHED: 14:34 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 29 October 2018

The two demonstrations are planned for outside City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

The two demonstrations are planned for outside City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

EDP pics © 2007

Police are gearing up for two demonstrations in Norwich on the same day - one protesting about mass immigration and a counter rally showing migrants and refugees are welcome.

Police are talking to the organisers of the two rallies. Picture: Ian Burt.Police are talking to the organisers of the two rallies. Picture: Ian Burt.

Norwich is one of five cities, along with London, Coventry, Cardiff and Leeds, where UK Unity is holding a ‘Take Back Control’ demonstration next weekend.

But a counter demonstration is also planned by a group which wants to “stand up to this poisonous narrative”.

Police are trying to speak to the organisers of both rallies to make sure they pass off peacefully.

UK Unity was set up in Scotland last year by David Clews as an anti-Scottish independence, but pro-Brexit group.

Advertising their Norwich rally on Facebook, which is planned to take place outside City Hall from 12pm on Saturday, November 10, UK Unity says: “We are sick of the Brexit betrayal and so much else in this country.

“From the continuing crime epidemic and failure to curb mass immigration to the sad state of affairs in Britain.

“People are at breaking point and we must show the politicians that enough is enough. We need people out on the streets across the country! So many people have asked for a nationwide event at the weekend, so now we have one.”

Norwich voted to Remain in the 2016 referendum. Of a turnout of 69pc, 44pc voted to leave the EU and 56pc voted to remain.

Recent years have also seen the city welcome refugees from wars in the Congo and Syria.

And a counter demonstration has been organised at City Hall just after UK Unity’s rally.

Norwich Against Fascists have organised their demonstration at 12.30pm. On their Facebook site, they say: “We’re here to stand up to this poisonous narrative.

“Norwich has a proud history of welcoming strangers. For 2,000 years our fine city has been enriched by the culture, skills and friends that immigration has gifted us.

“That’s why we’re arranging a counter demonstration to show the true values of Norwich. Migrants and refugees are welcome here.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “We are aware of the planned protests and are currently attempting to work with event organisers to ensure we provide a proportionate police response to ensure the demonstrations are conducted peacefully.”

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