A protest has taken place yesterday evening outside an asylum-seeker hotel in Knowsley, Merseyside, England which turned violent. A police van was set on fire and destroyed, with three people being arrested on suspicion of violent disorder.
Clare Moseley, the founder of refugee charity Care4Calais, was among the people from pro-migrant groups who went to the Suites Hotel in Knowsley to oppose the anti-migrant protesters who were gathering. She said that the situation became like a war zone, with residents at the hotel having come from extreme conditions overseas and being terrified by what was taking place. There is a suggestion that the demonstration was triggered by a rumour that had been shared on social media. The local police condemned the incident, with Paul White, the Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, saying:
“We will always respect the right to protest when these are peaceful, but the scenes tonight were completely unacceptable, putting those present, our officers and the wider community in danger. Thankfully we have not had any serious injuries reported up to this point, but for officers and police vehicles to be damaged in the course of their duty protecting the public is disgraceful”.
George Howarth, the local Labour MP, said:
“The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are welcoming to people escaping from some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety”.