Nationalist groups including the National Front, the British National Party (BNP) and the East Kent English Patriots gathered in Dover this weekend to protest against the government’s ‘abandonment’ of British truckers passing through Calais. The 50 or so protestors wanted to draw attention to the risks that drivers face from illegal immigration, both in terms of the threat of being attacked, and because they face huge fines if their trucks are found to have immigrants aboard.
The protest was organised by a group called the South East Alliance, a “non-political community based street movement” according to their Facebook page. Speaking to Kent Online, Paul Pitt, head of the Alliance said “The reason we are here today is for the truckers. They’re getting £2,000 fines. It’s not fair. It’s not them that are breaking the law but it’s them that are being held responsible for it.
“The British truckers are the backbone of this country. We need to support them to benefit our economy. So get behind them and support these lads.”
Lorry driver Phillip Hanley agreed, telling The Express “I do not go over the water but we have a lot of trucks that do and there are a lot of drivers who pull their trucks through Calais, and they have to sleep with their doors locked. It’s not on. Jobs should not involve that.
“They leave their wives on Monday mornings, early on Sunday night, they go to work and have to put up with all that over there, and the French Government is doing nothing about it. It’s costing the hauliers thousands and thousands of pounds because they have had to re-route their trucks to Zeebruge or Dunkirk which causes delays and mean they are not meeting their times.” Mr Hanley made it clear that he did not support the National Front or any of the other groups attending the march politically.
Amongst the protestors was Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP. He told The Express “I am here because four years ago British lorry drivers stopped me when I was driving through Belgium and told me ‘you’ve got to do something to explain what’s going on because every single day us and our colleagues are having our lorries broken into by illegal immigrants. We are being threatened, being stabbed and being beaten.’
“They are desperate to get into Britain and stop at nothing. The British government has got to get a grip on our borders and shut out these illegal immigrants”.
The protestors gathered just outside the port waving banners reading “Support our Truckers, Secure our Border”, British flags, and banners of the BNP, National Front and South East Alliance at 1pm. Some attempted to stage a sit-down protest to disrupt the flow of traffic into the port, but were quickly moved on by local police.
The protest was short lived. At around 2pm Kent Police tweeted “A protest in Dover this afternoon is concluding. The event has passed with minimal disruption to Eastern & Western Docks.” No arrests were made, although one person was issued a summons for wilful disruption of the highway.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) issued a statement that no trade groups supported or endorsed the blockade, although the association added that it was sympathetic to the plight of the drivers in attempting to deter illegal immigrants.
Earlier this month Breitbart London reported on the increasingly desperate lengths that immigrants are resorting to stow away on lorries bound for Britain, with some gangs growing violent in their attempts. Many fear that a driver will be killed if the situation does not change, a worry that Mr Hanley expressed this weekend, saying that it was likely to “get worse before it gets better”.