24 Oct 2009

Quiet flag day for National Front

3:01 pm on 24 October 2009

Anti-fascist groups have stayed away from a far-right gathering at Parliament which in the past has seen violent confrontations.

Last year, up to 120 members of the National Front and opposing anti-fascist groups faced off in the grounds of Parliament, with a scuffle leading to two arrests.

However, opposing groups opted to stay clear of the National Front's annual 'flag day' event on Saturday.

National Front president Colin Ansell says the lack of any protest surprised him a bit and left him with nothing to say.

"You work on a speech (expecting) you're going to have someone screaming and yelling at you, and (there's) no one here to yell at me," he said.

"We were hoping that we could actually demonstrate our love of our country and do it peaceably. Obviously we've got the peaceably side of it anyway."

About a dozen police officers were on hand to monitor the group of about 25 National Front and right-wing supporters.