Anti-immigrant protests outside a hotel housing asylum seekers in northwest England have erupted into riots and 15 people have been arrested, local police said on Saturday.
Merseyside Police said a police officer and two civilians suffered minor injuries in riots in Knowsley village, 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles) from the city of Liverpool, on Friday night.
Police said some protesters threw objects and set police vans on fire. Those arrested ranged in age from 13 to 54 and were detained “after the riot.”
Merseyside Sergeant Selina Kennedy said, “Many of the people who showed up at the Suite Hotel last night were trying to use the planned protests to commit violent and despicable acts.” They showed up armed with fireworks and caused as much trouble as they could, and their actions could have resulted in serious injury or worse to civilians and police.”
Kennedy said speculation on social media about a man accused of making inappropriate advances to a teenage girl in a nearby town may have sparked the demonstrations outside the hotel. A man in his 20s was arrested in another part of England on Thursday “on suspicion of violating public order” but was later released on the advice of Child Protective Services.
George Howarth, who represents Knowsley in the UK Parliament, said Friday night’s violence did not reflect the community.
“The people of Knowsley are open-minded and welcome those fleeing the most dangerous places in the world in search of safety,” he said. “Those demonstrating against refugees at this protest tonight do not represent this community.”
The UK has fewer asylum seekers than other European countries such as France and Germany, but there has been a sharp increase in the number of people trying to reach the UK across the English Channel on dinghies and other small boats. ing.
More than 45,000 people will arrive in the UK by this route in 2022, most of them applying for asylum. The system for considering asylum applications is slowly slowing down due to political turmoil and bureaucratic delays, leaving many migrants stranded in hotels and other temporary accommodations.
Crossing the English Channel has become a major political issue, with the Conservative government pledging to ‘stop the ship’. Opponents accuse the government of demonizing desperate people fleeing war and poverty.
In October, a man blew up a processing center for new arrivals at the Strait of Dover port. Police said he was motivated by far-right ideology. He committed suicide after the attack.
https://www.winknews.com/2023/02/11/protest-outside-uk-asylum-seeker-hotel-ends-in-15-arrests/ Protests outside UK asylum seekers hotel end with 15 arrests