A positive policing presence in Brighton and Hove today (Saturday 2 June) ensured it was largely business as usual for residents, traders and visitors, as both nationalists and UK Uncut supporters gathered in the city. (The group promote alternatives to Government spending cuts ) Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “We took the decision to have a visible and reassuring presence in the city today. Early engagement, explaining our intentions to facilitate peaceful activity and making arrests for any criminality, prevented an escalation of tension between the groups and only a few minor incidents of disorder took place.
“I would like to thank local people, businesses and visitors for their patience on the few occasions when it was necessary to close roads or divert traffic. We were able keep these to a minimum.”
Police estimate around 100 nationalists and 100 UK Uncut supporters were in the city. Supporters of UK Uncut gathered at the Clock Tower just after noon and made their way to Churchill Square for a peaceful gathering.
After the planned event, a spontaneous anti-fascist march took place in North Street involving some people who had been part of the UK Uncut group and others. Around 3pm this march was diverted away from nationalist supporters by police to avoid likely conflict.
Later in the afternoon, there were minor confrontations between opposing factions on the seafront and in the St James’s Street area but these were quickly dealt with by police.
A group of around 30 nationalists who had been confrontational during the afternoon were escorted to Brighton railway station around 6pm and placed on trains out of the city.