'˜Far-right' gang disrupt event in Portsmouth gathering aid for refugees

POLICE were called after protesters, believed to be from a far-right group, targeted two events.

Saturday, 21st January 2017, 6:00 am
Police turn up to the Venture Tower as protestors thought to be from the far-right make an appearance Picture: Habibur Rahman

Charity Don’t Hate, Donate was stacking a truck full of warm clothes, medicines and food for refugees in Syria at the Venture Tower, in Fratton yesterday evening.

But about 10 men turned up and organisers said they were looking to cause a nuisance.

Chantelle Burton, Don’t Hate, Donate committee member, said she wasn’t fazed by the incident, having recently spent time in Somalia.

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Chantelle said: ‘We had some people come down and start asking why we help refugees in other countries when we should be helping our own.

‘Things got a bit heated, but I simply said that we do help our own, having recently fully kitted out a homeless man.

‘In those situations, the best way is to educate. We told them that charity does start at home, but is doesn’t end there.

‘That’s when they said they’ll help with the homeless project and load the container.

‘It is not ideal but we have potentially just encouraged other people get involved in homeless projects.’

Police were called and defused the incident.

Earlier, a group from Greenpeace was threatened by some men at a peaceful demo.

As they looked to get a picture with a sign ‘Build bridges not walls’ in Gunwharf Quays, in reference to newly-inaugurated American president Donald Trump’s policy on building a wall to separate America and Mexico, the men snatched it from them and said that democracy had spoken in regards to the election.

A man, who asked to be identified, said he felt threatened by a group of about eight men, with one of them wearing a balaclava.

He told The News there was a stand-off for around 45 minutes and believes they were far-right activists.

The man said: ‘I am still shaken up about it. I feel sorry for them and do not understand why they were so aggravated.

‘During the stand-off, I knew I couldn’t let those guys win.’