Men guard Kettering's war memorial during anti-racism protest
About 30 men gathered in Sheep Street as hundreds protested in Meadow Road park
Veterans guarded Kettering's war memorial this afternoon (Friday) because they feared anti-racism protesters might vandalise it.
About 30 men, many of them veterans, surrounded the cenotaph on the corner of Sheep Street for about two hours and were spoken to by police.
A few hundred yards away more than 500 people made their voices heard at the Black Lives Matter protest in Meadow Road park.
One of the men guarding the memorial, who did not want to be named, told the Northants Telegraph: "We are not here to cause any issues or problems.
"We are here to stop a minority from causing any sort of damage to the cenotaph.
"They can have their voice, just as we can have ours."
Some protests in the UK after the death of George Floyd in the USA have resulted in violence but Kettering's was trouble-free.
In Bristol the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled at a protest before it was rolled into the harbour.
Since then statues of figures including Winston Churchill in London have been covered up ahead of Black Lives Matter protests and counter-protests.
The veteran guarding Kettering's war memorial added that they had received some abuse from those who had walked past.
He said: "It's about protecting the cenotaph for the people of Kettering.
"People need to respect it and some will have ideas not to."