CAMPAIGNERS are hoping thousands of people will take to the streets of Boston next month in a protest opposing the numbers of migrants who have moved into the town in recent years.
A group set up on social networking site Facebook has called for Bostonians to join the march – and so far 2,448 people, from across the country, have already pledged their support.
Members claim townspeople have become ‘second class citizens’ since migration has increased in the town, and are now calling for a stop to immigration.
Organiser Dean Everitt, who set up the group, said he hopes upwards of 2,000 will attend.
He told The Standard: “The town is not the place I grew up in. We are local town people and we are fed up of being second class citizens in our own town. The British person is being discriminated against in their own country and it’s something that needs to be looked at.”
Mr Everitt said he was inspired to take action after he was angered by Boston Borough Council leader Peter Bedford’s response to a scathing article about immigration in Boston which appeared in the Mail on Sunday.
He claimed Coun Bedford was brushing the town’s problems under the carpet.
He added: “We are not racist. We are not against these migrants making a better life, but we are saying this place is now full and we should not have any more.”
The aim of the march, which is planned to take place on November 19, is to make clear to politicians that there is a problem with immigration in Boston, Mr Everitt said.
He added that he was taking all necessary precautions to make sure the demonstration was peaceful – something which the authorities are also pressing for.
Police have been informed of the protest and say they are working with the council to make sure it is lawful.
Protesters have been warned against inciting racial hatred during the march opposing the number of migrants in Boston.
Police have said that while the group planning a protest march through the town is legally entitled to highlight their views in this way, they should be careful of what they say so they cannot be seen to be stirring up racial trouble in the town.
Boston’s Chief Inspector Lee Pache said: “We are aware of the Facebook page and have been notified by a member of the public of their wish to hold a protest march in Boston.
“Police are working with Boston Borough Council and other partners to ensure any planned protest or assembly within Boston is lawful and peaceful.
“Everyone in the community has a democratic right to have their voice heard but any demonstration or comment on social media must not incite racial hatred or criminal activity as this is an offence and any such offences will be dealt with by police accordingly.”
Mr Everitt stated on the site that the issue at hand was not race, but immigration.
Councillors have urged protesters to make sure that the march is peaceful and lawful.
Council leader Peter Bedford added: “Freedom of movement means that EU citizens have a legal right to be here. They come to work. Boston Borough Council works hard to deal with the issues their presence has generated. We continue to work hard with the migrant workers, their families, community groups and other partner agencies to aid successful integration and to deal with the pressure which such large numbers have presented.”
Coun Mike Gilbert, council portfolio for community development, said: “Individuals have a right to be here and, with only a few exceptions, make a positive contribution to the town – a town that has experienced waves of migration over the last 700 years.”
One man has set up a petition against the proposed protest.
At the beginning of the online petition he said: “The basis for this march is ill-informed, and it should not be permitted to go ahead. It serves no purpose.”
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