Far-right pro-Brexit demonstrators forced to abandon Liverpool march in face of 'vast' group of counter-protesters
'Peaceful people power chased the fascists off our streets,' Liverpool's mayor says
A handful of far-right demonstrators were forced to abandon their pro-Brexit march through Liverpool after a far bigger group of counter-protestors blocked their exit from a train station.
Around five marchers, led by a group called North West Frontline Patriots, fled back into Moorfields station on Friday after anti-fascists, including members of Antifa and Hope Not Hate, responded to the planned protest in numbers described as "vast" by local media.
Liverpool’s mayor Joe Anderson, who joined the counter-demonstrations, said he was “so proud of my city when it unites against racists”.
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“Peaceful people power chased the fascists off our streets. Hope always defeats hate. They should pick on another city, because you will never march on our streets,” the mayor wrote on Twitter.
Footage of the confrontation showed police surrounding a small group of marchers and corralling them back into the station as counter-protesters cheered and chanted, “Nazi scum, off our streets!”.
Anti-fascist campaigners ran around to the station’s other exit to ensure the marchers could not find another route into the town centre, the Liverpool Echo reported.
Hope Not Hate tweeted: “Five fascists turned up for a march in Liverpool today. Pleased to report they left after five minutes.”
Police confirmed there were two arrests – for breach of the peace and a public order offence – though officers did not confirm which group those detained belonged to.
In a statement on the Frontline Patriots’ Instagram page, the group claimed, without providing evidence, that it was “viciously attacked” before the rally and that the only people arrested “was Antifa members”.
The group reportedly planned a half-mile march from Moorfields station to Derby Square, in the heart of the city.
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, praised the counter-protesters for showing "how peaceful protest can prevent the fascists seeking to stain the reputation of our wonderful city of Liverpool”.
“Scousers showing how it’s done. Solidarity,” he added.
Merseyside Police could not be reached by The Independent, but a spokesperson told the Echo the pro-Brexit march was disbanded due to “safety concerns”.