The planned March for England event taking place in Brighton on Sunday and a nearby event organised by Unite Against Facism (UAF) on the same day has resulted in a clash between two of Brighton and Hove’s prospective parliamentary candidates.

google_protectAndRun("ads_core.google_render_ad", google_handleError, google_render_ad); Simon Burgess, Labour candidate for Brighton Kemptown, supports the UAF event and insists it “does not encourage confrontation or violence in anyway”. However, Paul Perrin, UKIP candidate for Hove, has slammed those supporting a “potentially violent and dangerous ‘counter march’ to take place on the streets of our city” and adds that they have: “some very serious questions to answer regarding their caviller attitude to public safety”.

The Unite Against Facism event has been organised by members from the University of Sussex and their original Facebook event was entitled “STOP THE RACIST EDL IN BRIGHTON”, although this has now been changed to “Celebrate Brighton’s Unity, Oppose the Racist EDL”. Currently 550 people have pledged to attend the event at Victoria Gardens in Grand Parade on Sunday 25th April.

However, March for England organisers have stressed that they are not connected to racist groups. They have explained that they’ve previously banned BNP MEP Richard Barnbrook from attending an event, while they stress the English Defence League are not planning to hijack the event.

However, Burgess, along with Liberal Democrat PPCs Paul Elgood and Berni Millam and Green PPC Ian Davey, have all signed a statement appearing on the UAF Facebook event page, which has infuriated Paul Perrin.
He said: “It is shocking that people, including some of our elected representatives (and at least one parliamentary candidate) should attempt to call a mob on to the streets of Brighton and Hove.

“That they should do this on the mere rumour that an established, peaceful, fun family event may be attended by some members an unpleasant (but legal) organisation is almost beyond belief.”

However, Simon Burgess, has challenged March for England to do more to distance themselves from EDL and stressed that he would not be opposing their event should they do so.

He explained: “If the march organisers are trying to prevent the EDL from attending why does their website include links to other far-right organisations including the EDL ? If they are actively working to remove those links and asking EDL and similar racists groups not to attend then I am not against the march. I am in favour of celebrating St George’s Day.

“The UKIP candidate is not reading the UAF page properly it does not ’suggest a mob on to the streets’. It says ‘Let’s celebrate our unity in opposition to the EDL. There will be a unity festival to defend and celebrate multiculturalism in Brighton, join us.’ The UAF is not encouraging
confrontation or violence in anyway.

“I would not support any violent demonstration, I am supporting a celebration of diversity”.
Mr Perrin has responded to Simon Burgess by saying: “If they are so naive as to not see where their letter would lead, it just shows how unsuitable they are for their roles/jobs.”


It certainly seems legitimate to fear that calling for an event, that has previously been peaceful, to be opposed could in fact lead to an unsavoury confrontation between two events taking place within a close proximity.

News From Brighton would therefore appeal to everyone involved to clarify that a confrontation is not sought.
8/4/2012 06:53:27 pm

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19/6/2013 06:01:40 pm

Racism is still present in many parts of the world and I think it cannot be forcibly stopped! Awareness must be made among the people in the concerned matter! I think these kinds of programs are so much helpful regarding this!


I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. Please do keep up the quality writing

18/9/2013 03:59:53 pm

That they should do this on the mere rumour that an established, peaceful, fun family event may be attended by some members an unpleasant (but legal) organisation is almost beyond belief.”


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