On the day the attention of police and media focused on dozens of far-right neo-nazis in Dover, another neo-nazi group turned up unannounced in the heart of Golders Green on Shabbat to protest against the local Shomrim community group.
In Kent their presence resulted in clashes with police in an angry protest over immigration and ISIS which brought Dover to a standstill.
The march by the East Kent Alliance and a counter protest from Kent Anti Racism Network saw supporters of the far-right groups English Defence League and the National Front join forces.
Police arrested 12 people for offences, including for failing to remove a mask. Hundreds of officers in riot gear were deployed.
Meanwhile, in London a small number of them turned up with banners containing photographs of Shomrim members complaining that, “This is London not Tel Aviv”. Another had a photograph of the Shomrim patrol vehicle and a slogan that read, “One rule for them another for us” and that, “Police impersonation is a crime, no exceptions”.
It was a short-lived demonstration that drew little community or police reaction. Even so, some of the neo-nazis felt obliged to cover their faces.
Shomrim is a street patrol organization, a sort of Neighbourhood Watch-plus, and has been operating against what it calls “quality-of-life nuisance crimes” since 2008. There are such voluntary groups operating in Golders Green and Stamford Hill.
The anti-Shomrim protest was similar to another small-scale protest held in Stamford Hill in April 2015. The original proponent of these anti-Shomrim focused events, Joshua Bonehill. is a neo-nazi who now finds himself serving a lengthy prison sentence. One can only hope that a similar fate befalls the remainder of them!