21 June 2009

Four arrested at BNP rally

Four people including a teenager have been arrested on suspicion of "racially aggravated" offences at the British National Party's 'Victory' rally in Lancashire.

The men, who are not believed to be connected to the party or anti-fascism protestors picketing the event, are being held by police after confronting protestors outside the Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool on Saturday. The four arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred were a 16-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man from Widnes, Cheshire, a 21-year-old man from the Wirral and a 41-year-old man from Leigh, near Wigan

Up to 80 members of the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) group gathered outside the hotel where BNP leader and North West Euro MP Nick Griffin is expected to address members around 4pm.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said that the protest ended around 2pm and passed off "without major incident" despite the arrests. She said: "It is not believed the four are associated with the UAF or the BNP in any way."

Protesting outside the hotel on the resort's seafront, Raymond Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, held up offensive, threatening posters which he claimed had been put through his door by the party. He said: "Don't tell me it's a normal political party - that's what the Nazi Party said in the 1930s. And we must expose them. It doesn't matter what Nick Griffin says.

"They are respectable in the daytime but at night go around kicking in doors."

Mr Griffin, who was elected a Member of the European Parliament for the North West earlier this month, said the rally was to thank the party's "key people and activists all over the country." He said: "We will be talking about where we go from here and to make sure we serve our constituents properly."

Lancashire Evening Post

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