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Anti-fascist campaigners struck a blow against the far-right yesterday by kettling supporters of the Hungarian neonazi party Jobbik inside Holborn Tube station.
A planned rally in Camden with Jobbik leader Gabor Vona, scheduled on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, was cancelled as more than 70 fascists were surrounded by protesters and forced to shelter in the station ticket hall.
After two hours they had to get back on the underground and reconvene at a dismal and last-minute gathering in Hyde Park.
Hundreds of anti-fascists gathered in the pouring rain outside the station at 12.30pm to protest against the arrival of Mr Vona, whose racist and anti-semitic political party is now the third biggest in Hungary.
There were tense scenes as fascists dressed in Hungarian colours and carrying flags attempted to leave to attend the rally but were pushed back by demonstrators.
The stand-off lasted around two hours with police forming a line separating the two groups.
The fascists' numbers swelled as small groups appeared outside the station to attend the rally, which was supposed to start outside Holborn station. Police officers escorted them inside as protesters shouting "nazi scum - off our streets" surrounded them.
Hungarian Marta Berai attended the protest.
She said: "I am against this fascist development in Hungary. It's terrible that it has developed like this. I was surprised - I didn't know there were so many fascists in Hungary.
"The Hungarian community in London are outraged."
London Assembly member and former Labour MP Andrew Dismore spoke outside Holborn station after hearing that the meeting had been cancelled. Earlier this week he wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May demanding that Mr Vona be banned from holding the event.
He told the Star: "I think it's been magnificent that we've been able to stop them. We've been able to stop the nazis peacefully and that's what it's about.
"We don't want to get into fights with nazis we simply want them off our streets."
After being forced to get back on the underground the Jobbik supporters re-emerged at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, where police allowed a 100-person rally with Mr Vona to go ahead.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) said the disruption of Mr Vona's plans was a "good day for anti-nazis."
The organisation's joint national secretary Sabby Dhalu said: "UAF has played a central role in driving back fascism in Britain. Jobbik's fascist hatred has no place in a modern society here or in the rest of Europe.
"Wherever fascists have a presence, racist, anti-semitic and Islamophobic attacks increase."
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