FEARS are growing over the “perfect storm” of far-right extremists and football hooligans clashing with Black Lives Matters supporters.
Football firms and far-right thugs have vowed to defend the nation’s war memorials and statues, sparking concerns of violence on Britain’s streets.
It comes after a video plea from former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.
Real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, he released a two-minute outburst in which he accused police of being “soft-handed” because there were “too many people who aren’t white”.
He boasts a criminal record with convictions for a number of offences, including football-related violence, trying to travel on false documents and a protest against Fifa’s decision to stop the England football team wearing poppies on their shirts.
There are now concerns the anti-racist protests could spiral into even more clashes.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said: “There’s an awful lot of preparation going on. I have been very critical of the way this has been managed.
“We have got the perfect storm ahead of us this weekend, we have got planned protests and now Tommy Robinson and his agitators.”
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance, a network founded in 2017 that claims to oppose terrorism has told members to defend statues and war memorials.
Anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate warned of violence on British streets, claiming the group were using the protests as cover.
Chief executive Nick Lowles said: “While the group’s stated intention of protecting the war memorials might attract the sympathy of some, let us be in no doubt about their real objective — violence.”
The last week saw 62 officers injured in the capital, including a PC who remains in hospital after being thrown from her horse in Whitehall.
There were 135 arrests over three demonstrations.
Sickening footage yesterday revealed clashes between protesters and a jeering group separated by a line of police at the rally in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire yesterday.
They can be heard yelling “why don’t you go back to Africa then” before chanting “there’s only one Lee Rigby”, Herts Live reports.
The weekend saw thousands of anti-racism protesters gathered across the UK – with Black Lives Matter rallies in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff and Watford following the death of George Floyd.
Mr Floyd died after white police officer Derek Chauvin held him down by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protests in the US.
Yesterday saw a monument to a slave trader removed from London’s docklands after the Black Lives Matter protests – as cops shielded Winston Churchill’s statue from further damage.
The figure of Robert Milligan was taken down by a JCB from its plinth in West India Quay following a petition by a Labour MP.
Tower Hamlets Council authorised the removal of the figure by professionals this evening, meanwhile cops had to form a human shield to protect a monument to Winston Churchill in parliament Square.
In a statement on Twitter, the council said: “Tonight, we have removed the statue of slave trader Robert Milligan that previously stood at West India Quay.
“We have also announced a review into monuments and other sites in our borough to understand how we should represent the more troubling periods in our history.”
Sharing footage of the moment the statue of Robert Milligan was removed, London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “The statue of slave trader Robert Milligan has now been removed from West India Quay.
The Winston Churchill statue was also vandalised during the protest in London’s Parliament Square.
It appears the world-famous memorial of Winston Churchill was defaced with letters ACAB – which is believed to stand for ‘All Cops Are B******s’.
Pictures show police officers standing in front of the memorial with neon green graffiti defacing it on the 76th anniversary of D-Day, on Saturday.
Police in Bristol were criticised for allowing angry protesters to tear down the statue of slavetrader Edward Colston last weekend.
There are now fears that similar statues could be torn down by groups of protesters, with Black Lives Matter leaders believed to have complied a list of controversial memorials they want targeted.
Mass peaceful protests also took place over a statue Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College in Oxford University this evening, as thousands called for its removal.
The Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaign group has called for the image of the mining magnate and empire builder to be removed, saying the university has “failed to address its institutional racism”.
On Friday, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock begged Brits not to join in, urging them to avoid mass demonstrations as they breach lockdown rules.
But people have been rallying for justice in the UK all week, with thousands taking to the streets.
Boxing champ Anthony Joshua was among the crowds who marched in Watford on Saturday.
Protests across the US had initially been marred by the looting and destroying of shops, and videos of violence between police and crowds quickly spread on social media.
However, peaceful demonstrations have now taken over.
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