Brighton’s police chief has finally denounced rampaging so-called anti-fascists “looking to attack any bald men” after Breitbart London revealed arrests at a “far right” demonstration had been misleadingly reported.
Ten men and four women – most from Brighton, but two of no fixed address – have been bailed pending further inquiries after a string of assaults at a demonstration at a “skin head” music concert on 4 June.
The BBC reported: “Twelve arrests were made in connection with an anti-immigration demonstration… after police received reports of assault and criminal damage involving a large group of masked men in Brighton.”
A huge #antifa turnout in Brighton today, but it’s hard to fight fash when they’re hiding
— Sanj (@sanjeedah) June 4, 2016
The article strongly implies that the masked criminals were anti-migration protestors, but after Breitbart London enquired, a spokesman for Sussex Police conceded that all of the “arrests were made from within the anti-fascist group”.
The BBC has thus far failed to amend its article, even after Breitbart London contacted their journalists responsible as well as being assured their sub editors were aware of the poor reporting.
The police and media have been accused of a “cover-up” online, and today Brighton Police Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp rushed to retrospectively condemn the left wing violence.
“There were a significant number [of anti-Fascists] who took part who were intent on violence and criminality,” he told The Argus. Adding:
“There were a number of people in the protest who showed they were actually – ironically, bearing in mind the protest is about tolerance – some of the most intolerant people you could come across.
“They were determined to cause damage and attack anybody really, any man with a bald head who looked like he might be from the right-wing.”
— Andy Thompson (@andybitesdog) June 4, 2016
A group called “Stop the March for England” planned the counter demonstration on Facebook, and an article on the Brighton Anti-Fascist website, leading up to the event, promised not to let the “far right scum… get away with it”.
“The only strategy to make sure they don’t come back is consistent militant opposition,” they wrote. Adding: “We call on everyone to head to the train station on the morning of June 4th to make sure these fascist scumbags don’t have a good time.”
Elaine Ortiz, of “anti-fascist” group the English Disco Lovers, denied left-wingers were involved in any violence. “I think that’s a mistaken assumption that any violence came from the anti-fascist group,” she said.
Don't mistake skinheads for fascists in Brighton today… https://t.co/T6w9fMGzdG
— Daisy Asquith (@daisyasquith) June 4, 2016
The anti-immigration protestors in Brighton that weekend were from a group called the “Pie and Mash Squad”. However, a peaceful, non-racist and non-political group had met for a music festival called the ‘Great Skin Head Reunion’ on the same day.
Ms. Ortiz admitted that her fellow left-wingers might have got “confused”.
She said: “We had a public meeting with representatives from all the groups and it was discussed very clearly that on the day of the demo there was a skinhead reunion planned.
“So everyone was fully aware of the potential confusion. We were all planning a safe and peaceful protest, we wanted to represent Brighton in a peaceful manner.”