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March for England told to expect 'frosty reception'
Nationalist protesters have been told to expect a “frosty reception” when they gather for the annual March for England on Sunday.
More than 1,500 people are expected to descend on Brighton seafront for the event, held to mark St George's Day.
While organisers of the event call it a celebration of being English, opposition protesters have labelled it as an excuse for racism and violence.
Tony Campbell, from the Stop the March for England group, said more than 1,300 people are expected to take to the streets in opposition.
He said: “Brighton always comes out in huge numbers to oppose events like this.
“We are expecting around the same number as last year if not more. The response this time round has been fantastic.
“They can expect a frosty and noisy reception from us. We will outnumber them and we will drown out their message.”
Although march organisers had not responded to The Argus at the time of going to press last night, last year about 200 members took part in the event.
While the seafront march passed without incident, a number of running battles and skirmishes broke out away from the organised route.
Yesterday police issued a series of special measures in an attempt to prevent similar scenes.
Special powers have been pre-authorised to enable extensive stop and searches throughout the city on the day.
Officers will also have the power to ask anyone wearing a mask to remove it. If they refuse they could be arrested.
Those taking part in the march will also be banned from carrying banners, other than the cross of St George.
Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “As always, our priority is public safety, whether they be in the march, counter protest or anyone else in the city.
“It is vitally important that those attending the event work with us and comply with directions or other restrictions which we will need to give to keep people safe.
“Unlawful behaviour - or that which goes beyond what could be considered reasonable in terms of peaceful protest - will not be tolerated.”
Don't miss The Argus on Friday for a full preview of the day, including a map and information on road closures.
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