An anti-racism and anti-police brutality protest in Newcastle has been met by a large crowd of counter protesters, that gathered to “protect” local historical monuments. The tensions escalated into scuffles between rival groups.
Large groups of right-wing protesters emerged in central Newcastle on Saturday, gathering around Grey’s statue and a nearby war memorial at the Old Eldon Square.
The protesters have been faced by a group of the BLM activists, who appeared to be outnumbered by the right-wingers, footage from the scene indicate.
Officers tried to separate the rival groups, but protesters managed to pelt each other with bottles, smoke bombs and other projectiles.
Mobs have recently vandalized several statues in the UK, but it was not immediately clear whether the Newcastle activists were intending to attack Grey’s Monument, which commemorates the former prime minister who abolished slavery in the British Empire back in 1833.