UKIP to draw on 1,000 strong Facebook supporters to support Wisbech ‘static protest’ over immigration
- Credit: Archant
A PROTEST rally on immigration- described by organisers as a “static protest” – is to be held in Wisbech Park in May.
It is being organised by a Facebook group founded by Sharon Jardine of Tydd Gote, who has just been announced as media spokesman for Wisbech and Fenland UKIP.
Mrs Jardine has met with Cambridgeshire Police and Fenland District Council and agreed outline details for the one hour protest from 1pm on May 18.
Chief Inspector Mike Winters, Fenland police commander, said the Facebook group was linked to a similar Boston group which had also held a local demonstration.
“It has expanded into Wisbech and I have looked into it and found the Boston protest went off quite peacefully,” said Chief Insp Winters.
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He said the group had agreed not to march around the town since the “dynamic of such an action would have had wide ranging impact. Organisers quite happily agreed not to and so reduce the need for me to have control measures.”
Chief Insp Winters said the council had agreed, like police, to the protest since both had recognised the need to allow peaceful demonstrations.
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He said the Facebook page appeared to have over 1,000 members but, as with the Boston protest, nowhere this number is expected to attend on the day.
“However because of the extra interest we are now seeing in this, I have decided to step aside from what we term silver command to give overall authority on the day to another commander,” said Chief Insp Winters.
The other commander would retain overall public order control whilst Chief Insp Winters took the lesser but equally important community role.
Chief Insp Winters said he would continue making local assessments in advance of the day – as an accredited public order commander he knew the areas of organisation to cover.
He said: “In my conversations with the organisers I have reminded them of their responsibilities to control things,” he said.
“We talked of numbers and I have told them if numbers rise then I expect them to have an increased number of marshals. They also need to be reminded of precisely what functions a marshal serves.”
Chief Insp Winters said he was satisfied with the group organising the protest, he had established a dialogue, and they have history with another police force and he was “monitoring information around it”. He had told organisers that he had a legal obligation to provide similar policing should there be a counter demonstration.
Mrs Jardine said her Facebook page had been started “purely to state any concerns or issues that people wish to raise.
“It is a non racist group which is looking for positive feedback and suggestions only. “Any offensive comments will not be tolerated.”
Wisbech Conservative councillor Steve Tierney tweeted: “An anti immigration march in Wisbech would be a very bad development indeed. I hope they rethink and cancel it.”
He added: “There is nobody here who can change migration laws. They’re marching in totally the wrong place.”