A GROUP of about 30 people have gathered in front of a war memorial to "protect it" during a Black Lives Matter march.

Two soldiers are among those standing in front of the memorial in Old Steine, Brighton, today.

Several police officers have been stationed in the area.

Members of the group have told The Argus they are "not against what they (the protesters) are doing but "just don’t agree with defacing war memorials".

Infantry soldiers Kieran Perkins and Jordan Dale are standing outside the war memorial.

The Argus:

Mr Perkins said: “We have seen in other places that these war memorials are being vandalised and we don’t want that to happen.

“We are not here to be against the protest, we are here to support the police and make sure nothing happens.”

Mr Dale said: “None of us are against what they are doing. We just don’t agree with defacing war memorials.”

As part of the Black Lives Matter movement, there have been suggestions that monuments dedicated to those with links to the slave trade should be removed - with protesters toppling a statue of slave-trader Edward Colston in Bristol last weekend.

The Argus:

Brighton and Hove City Council's lead for equality Cllr Carmen Appich said the removal of this statue by protesters was "understandable" and was a "result of the abject failure of the systems in place and the lack of discussion about statues associated with any form of oppression and bigotry".

After the Edward Colston monument was torn down, anti-racist group Topple The Racists posted a list of more than 75 further monuments earlier this week which it said should be removed.

This included two plaques in Brighton, with one already having been taken down yesterday morning.