Protests hijacked by groups intent on "creating chaos," says professor of criminology

13 June 2020, 17:28

By Seán Hickey

An expert in far-right activism has told LBC that groups have marred otherwise peaceful protests in an attempt to cause chaos.

As demonstrations across the UK took place today, violence broke out between some protesters and police. Alberto Testa is a Professor of Applied Criminology at the University of West London, who specialises in studying far-right activists.

Professor Testa began by telling Ian that there are some pockets of the protesters that associate with the far-right and "they are there because they want to attack police and journalists and they want to create chaos."

He noted that there has been a lot of organising of these groups done online and "they're exploiting the situation to pursue their own...violent agenda."

Professor Testa saw these people as opportunistic and dangerous and in his own view "they should be viewed as domestic terrorists."

Clashes between police and some demonstrators showed to Professor Testa that some pockets were trying to cause chaos
Clashes between police and some demonstrators showed to Professor Testa that some pockets were trying to cause chaos. Picture: PA

Ian wondered that if "this is an organised far-right political movement" then how are they operating in the open and what are their motivations. Professor Testa insisted that their motives are purely to cause unrest in society.

He added that "conspiracy theories are perfect for them to cause civil unrest" and such theories they've been fed revolve around the anti-racism protests, which has led to their apparent presence in counter-protests today.

Earlier, police in London told those planning on joining demonstrations that they must be off the streets by 5pm on Saturday.

Black Lives Matter protests planned for today in London were cancelled amid fears of clashes with members of right wing groups who turned up to surround landmarks in Central London.

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