Far-right gangs have turned their attention to Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds after the main Black Lives Matter demonstration in Hyde Park was cancelled due to fears of clashes.
Hope Not Hate, an anti-fascist organisation that monitors far-right groups, has warned that hundreds of football hooligans and far-right agitators could be dispersed to the regions after BLM’s London branch cancelled its protest.
Researchers say Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds could be potential “flashpoints”. Protests are also expected to take place in cities including Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Met Police warnings
On Friday evening, the Metropolitan Police imposed conditions instructing Black Lives Matter and right-wing protesters to stay in separate areas or face being arrested.
“Based on current information, and in order to keep those people safe who plan to come and protest, we have made the decision to impose conditions on the planned demonstrations on Saturday,” Commander Bas Javid said.
“If you were planning to come to London, I would urge you to reconsider, but if you are still intent, please familiarise yourself with what the conditions are. Please keep yourself safe by complying with government guidance on social distancing.”
Exploiting the situation
Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, hit out at “far-right extremists seeking to exploit the situation and sow hate for their own divisive ends”.
“I have no doubt that police across the country have the skills, experience and dedication to respond as well as possible to the challenge, and the vast majority of protestors intend to be peaceful,” he said.