Anti-immigration protesters halt traffic at port of Dover

·2-min read

Traffic has been brought to a standstill in the busy port of Dover as anti-immigration protesters march in opposition to migrant crossings.

Lorries have lined up along the A20 and are unable to reach the key trade terminal, and a heavy police presence is on the scene.

About 50 people, many carrying England flags, have been loudly demonstrating as they walk along the dual carriageway towards the town.

Dover protest
A large police presence is on the scene in Dover (Andrew Matthews/PA)

There have been chants of “English streets” from the small group of mostly men.

One protester, reclining on the tarmac in front of police, remarked: “If you can’t go abroad, lie in the street in Dover.”

At one point a woman walked into the group of anti-immigration protesters to loudly confront them and was met with shouts.

Officers have detained one man so far, pursuing him past a fun fair and confronting him in a shop.

A large police presence is stationed around the Kent town to oversee the demonstrations, given levels of disorder in the past.

A protest last September saw anti-migrant protesters bring traffic at the busy port to a standstill amid clashes with riot officers.

Suspected migrants
Earlier on Saturday, a group of people thought to be migrants was brought to shore in Dover by the Border Force (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The demonstrations in 2020 – carried out amid the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic – saw 10 people arrested.

The latest protest comes as people continue to make the dangerous journey across the English Channel in small boats.

About 25 people wearing lifejackets and face masks were seen being brought into the port by Border Force earlier on Saturday.

More crossings are anticipated as UK and French authorities continue to operate in the narrow Dover Strait.

The number of people crossing the 21-mile stretch of water has almost doubled so far in 2021, with more than 3,100 reaching the English coast.