THERE was an angry stand-off across a Sunderland street during a controversial demo.
The BNP ploughed ahead with their protest against Pallion’s Subway store selling halal meat, despite party leader Nick Griffin failing to show.
About 200 people lined St Luke’s Terrace as abuse was hurled between the BNP and anti-BNP protesters, which included union members and representatives from Unite Against Fascism.
Chanting through loudspeakers could be heard from each side, with police officers drafted in to prevent clashes.
Simon Kennedy, a regional representative for the teaching union NASUWT, said: “We have come here to show our opposition to the BNP.
“They want to divide our community, but we don’t believe in that and we will not let them divide us.”
He added: “It’s a complete red herring because if you don’t want to eat it then you don’t have to.
“What it’s actually about is racism and fascism.”
The BNP claimed their beef was purely with the way the animals were slaughtered.
David Orr, of the BNP, said: “I want to represent the North of England and I want to tell people who are going into the shop.
“We understand that Muslims have to eat it, but our problem is they are selling it here to people who don’t know.
“It’s a barbaric way to kill animals and it’s not British.
“But we are not targeting Muslims.”
The rally came to an end when officers moved the crowds on.
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, of Sunderland Area Command, said: “Northumbria Police recognises the right to peaceful protest and we worked with the organisers and local community to make sure the event passed smoothly.
“This effective partnership working saw the demonstration pass without any significant disruption to our communities, with the majority of people taking part being good-natured and well-behaved. There were no arrests.
“We worked closely with local residents to ensure they felt reassured and any concerns they had were addressed, and I would like to thank them for their cooperation.
“The policing operation went well and I would like to commend the actions and professionalism of staff involved.”