UGLY scenes broke out at a protest against Da Vinci rapist Robert Greens as BNP activists clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators.
Some reports said BNP chief Nick Griffin, who attended Saturday’s rally in Dalkeith Country Park, had been spat on – and that the 20-strong group from the far-right party had eventually been forced to flee the scene after a two-hour stand off.
A 35-year old man was charged with breach of the peace. The BNP have been accused of attempting to hijack a community protest against the controversial rehoming of Greens in Midlothian, after his release from prison for the brutal rape of a Dutch student in 2005.
Members of the Get Robert Greens Out of Midlothian campaign have been quick to distance themselves from the BNP, although a small number of organisers attended Saturday’s protest to keep a watching brief over the event.
Campaign leader Kelly Parry said members of Griffin’s security entourage had clashed with an anti-fascist demonstrator who had approached Griffin.
“They were really quite violent,” she said. “He did something and they went over the top. There wasn’t any of our normal protesters there, it was a guy connected with the anti-fascists.”
She added: “I think the BNP has hijacked a campaign that has received quite a lot of publicity and are trying to manipulate the public. They’re just cashing in on it.
“It’s a community movement and we want it to stay that way. I don’t think we’ll be seeing Nick Griffin back in Dalkeith any time soon – I hope not, anyway.”
Lothian and Borders Police said “an extensive police operation” had been put in place to minimise disorder and maintain public safety.
Ms Parry also branded Griffin’s comments in a Sunday newspaper as “ridiculous”. The MEP for north west England was quoted as saying yesterday: “It’s a shame protesters will not walk with us. We could have gone up one side of the street and them the other.
“I hope the people who are protesting us feel ashamed if their daughter or granddaughter is raped next – maybe they would change their minds.”
Meanwhile, a “go slow” protest, which will see cars slowly circle Dalkeith to object to the rehoming of Greens, is to take place today at 10am.
It follows a similar protest last week when traffic was forced to slow down for two hours by 30 cars. The community campaign has attracted more than 14,000 online supporters.