Anti-racists in Scotland are gearing up to push back fascists and racists from protesting outside a refugee hotel in Erskine on Sunday.
Patriotic Alternative and Homeland have turned up outside the Muthu Glasgow River Hotel in Erskine every week for over four months against refugees being housed there. Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), trade unionists and local activists have mobilised against them persistently.
Now they plan an even bigger mobilisation to show that refugees are welcome—and fascists aren’t. Alex, an organiser with SUTR Glasgow, told Socialist Worker, “PA and Homeland have been harassing and intimidating asylum seekers outside the hotel.
“Local anti-racists have been consistently opposing them every week and making sure they can’t get anywhere near the hotel. And to make sure others in Erskine know there’s opposition to racism.”
SUTR Scotland said in a statement, “Sunday’s event, which has been called by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and Stand Up to Racism, will prove that Scotland rejects the racist hate-mongering of the Nazis of the Homeland group—a recent split from the fascist outfit known as Patriotic Alternative.
“For months it has sought to intimidate asylum seekers in the hotel and stir up hatred against them.”
Alex said that despite the far right presence “there’s been an outpouring of local support for the refugees.” “People have been donating clothes and spending time with the refugees and getting to know them,” she added.
“On Sunday it’s about bringing together the community, anti-racists and local activists to give a big message to the fascists and racists who seek division.”
The racist protests began 17 weeks ago against plans to house refugees, but continued after the refugees were housed there anyway. “Their campaign hasn’t worked—so now they just want to intimidate. We want to humiliate them and make sure they never come back—we want to drive them off the streets,” Alex said.
“They’ve not got support from anywhere else, they’re feeling humiliated, and their numbers have diminished to a small minority. Their ideas aren’t welcome.
“But the Tory government has given them confidence. They quote what the Tories are saying, and the right wing press. This is evidence of what that bigotry does, which is why we can’t be complacent.”
Alex says coaches are coming from Glasgow, Edinburgh and other Scottish cities. “We’ve outnumbered them consistently,” she said. “The difference in outnumbering has varied, but this Sunday should show who the majority really is.”
The hotel is at least 15 miles outside the city centre. “It’s the middle of nowhere,” Alex added. “The fascists chose that hotel to intimate vulnerable people off the beaten track.”
Around 20 racists and fascists gather outside the hotel every week. Around half are hard core PA and Homeland members. “For us, this is the big one to beat them back,” Alex added. “It shows the importance of building SUTR in every area. PA and Homeland obviously felt confident to come back every week, but we made sure we were there for 17 of the 17 weeks to confront them.”
The demonstration on Sunday will include speeches, music, foodbank and clothing drop collections. SUTR’s also said, “Many of Scotland’s leading cultural figures are among those who have signed a statement in support of the demonstration and community solidarity event in Erskine this coming Sunday.”
This statement condemns the fascists’ actions. It adds, “People fleeing war and conflict should be welcomed here in Scotland. We believe that the decent majority in this country want to do exactly that. The STUC and SUTR demonstration will send a clear message—‘refugees are welcome here’.”
It has been signed by comedian Frankie Boyle, actor David Hayman, poet Hannah Lavery, comedian Susie McCabe, Scottish rapper Loki and singer Eddi Reader.
Author Irvine Welsh, playwright May Sumbwanyambe, STUC black workers’ committee chair Talat Ahmed, and STUC general secretary Roz Foyer have also signed.
Anti-racists should join the protest to drive the fascists back into the gutter—and show refugees are welcome.
Stand Up To Racism Scotland, together with the Scottish TUC, has called a national demonstration to push the far right back. Sunday 21 May, 11am. Assemble outside the Muthu Hotel, Erskine PA8 6AN. For more details go hereOriginal post