Pro-refugee and anti-immigration groups protest in Dover

Pro-refugee and anti-immigration groups protest in Dover”

Anti-immigration protesters have blocked the A20 dual carriageway into Dover in both directions to demonstrate over thousands of migrants reaching the United Kingdom in small boats.

The arrests followed dozens of demonstrators blocking a four-lane road near Dover, and as pro-migrant protesters held their own rally in the southeast English city.

A group of about 60 people shouting "freedom" has been moving along Dover seafront, with many wearing Union flag masks and carrying flags.

Over 1,450 migrants arrived in the United Kingdom by small boats in August - believed to be the record for a single month - according to reports.

Several officers were seen restraining one person on the ground and police confirmed they had made an arrest.

Traffic on the A20 was at a standstill in both directions after protesters assembled on the road in large numbers.

The individual was later arrested, police told the PA new agency.

Some protesters scuffled with police near the entrance to the town's harbor.

There have been other sporadic clashes, with at least 100 police officers at the scene by the A20.

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Officers on horseback were among those monitoring the situation.

The incidents come as the number of migrants crossing the Straits of Dover - which is 21 miles (33.8 kilometres) at the closest point - in small inflatable boats has spiralled over the summer.

"Enquiries are ongoing to identify any further offences".

Organised by Kent Anti Racism Network, the crowd assembled in Market Square to listen to speeches.

"We are standing up and welcoming people who are in desperate circumstances fleeing from bad situations", said Peter Keenan, from the Kent Refugee Help group.

He continued: "We are not those people". "We are standing up and welcoming people who are in desperate circumstances fleeing from terrible situations". "Refugees welcome" onto the White Cliffs of Dover overlooking the English Channel.

Image copyright Marine Nationale Image caption At least 5,196 people have crossed the English Channel in about 318 boats in 2020.

The humanitarian charity Freedom from Torture projected a message onto the famous white cliffs of Dover on Friday night, with the words "Rise above fear".

It said: "Rest in peace Alan Kurdi".

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