Several right-wing groups, who branded refugees ‘invaders’, will hold an anti-immigration rally outside the UK Visas and Immigration headquarters in Croydon tomorrow.
The demonstration had been planned for this weekend since mid-July, but has gained extra significance in recent weeks as the Syrian refugee crisis has continued to escalate.
Clifford Le May, chairman of the BNP’s Croydon branch, who are organising the demonstration, stated that their intention was to ‘raise awareness and spur a debate’ about asylum seekers and immigrants.
Several hundred people from other right-wing nationalist organisation have been invited to the demo outside the headquarters, which also attracted protests from the English Volunteer Force and the BNP in 2013.
“You name it, they’ve got an invite,” said Mr Le May. When asked if this included the EVF and EDL, he replied: “Yep, all of them – all patriots and nationalists.”
Mr Le May ruled out the possibility of a joint meeting between the nationalist groups, saying that the demonstrators planned to disperse at the conclusion of the rally, which he described as a ‘pan-nationalist event’.
“We’ve liaised with the police, once the demo is over we’ll disperse from the area. We want to make our point and then leave,” he said.
“It’s not a march – we’ll do our demo and then disperse.”
Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North, said: “The BNP are a bunch of racists who want to divide people from each other. They have no place in Croydon where we all get along together and value the diversity of our community.
“Britain fought in a world war and people died in their millions to stop the kind of extremist ideology the BNP promote.
“They are unpatriotic, their values are twisted, and the vast majority of people completely reject them and the hatred they represent.”
Mr Le May did say that it was impossible to predict the numbers in attendance on the day and was unsure whether BNP chairman, Andrew Walker, would be there, but said that he wouldn’t know in advance for ‘security reasons’.
Mr Le May also condemned the comments Peter Bucklitsch, the failed UKIP PPC for Wimbledon, as ‘insensitive’ and ‘appalling’.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have organised a counter-demonstration with local union and anti-austerity groups, including the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and Croydon Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).
A UAF spokesperson said: “The British National Party has been resoundingly defeated in recent elections. It’s important that we do not allow them to rear their ugly head again.”
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