Campaigners vow to swamp “racist” demonstration

Scottish defence league

Counter protest planned promising to drown out members of far right group in Ayrshire village 

3rd November 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Anti-fascist groups from across Scotland are vowing to disrupt a planned protest in a sleepy Ayrshire village by a far right group.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) is planning to hold a demonstration outside Adamton Country House Hotel in Monkton on Sunday, 15 November in protest against asylum seekers being lodged there temporarily.

The hotel is run by the Brittania group which takes in refugees on behalf of the Home Office.

But anti-fascist campaigners say they will counteract the demonstration with their own protest, vowing to “swamp out their racist chants”.

Members of the SDL say “secret, dark skinned African males” are congregating in the village “scaring” local people and will support locals make a stand against this “forced invasion”.  

Pete Shearer from the campaign group Scotland Welcomes Refugees said hundreds of people had pledged to oppose the planned demonstration peacefully and expected the counter demonstration to far outnumber SDL protesters.

“These so called SDL supporters have no place in Scottish society; they are racists and we don’t respect any of their views,” he said. “They would be dangerous if they had any intelligence but fortunately most of them don’t. 

The SDL are racists and we don’t respect any of their views

“Our peaceful counter protest will be in support of those who have come to Scotland fleeing persecution and discrimination.

“The vast majority of Scots want an equal, fair society and welcome minorities with open arms. That’s the message we will be promoting.”

Ryan Smith, spokesman for the SDL, said the protest was not racially motivated.

He said: "We are in a strong position to oppose the ones at Adamton hotel because they are fleeing from countries that there's no war in, they've gone through numerous safe African countries to get to Europe, and numerous safe European countries to get to the UK.

“There is no racial undertone in “dark-skinned”, it's just emphasising the clear difference between genuine refugees from Syria and the ones who are economic migrants, country-shopping for the best deal on benefits."

On the SDL’s Facebook page it states: "As you can see these are not the light skinned Arab Syrian refugees that the government has agreed to take from the refugee camps, who are security checked. 

"These are extra, secret, dark skinned African males, the type who arrive in the country illegally from Calais and destroy their documents so there is no way to check if they have been murderers, rapists or paedophiles in their own country."

Gary Christie, head of policy at Scottish Refugee Council, said: "It's incredibly depressing to hear people use racist and aggressive language in an attempt to stir up hatred against others.

"The SDL seems very frightened of refugees but they can be assured that the people we work with every day are very ordinary folk.

"Refugees are not people to be scared of or to protest against, they are just ordinary mums, dads, sons and daughters who happen to have gone through hell in their lives.

"While groups like the SDL stir up racial hatred we've been overwhelmed by offers of support for people seeking safety here."

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed they were aware of plans by the SDL and that the event will be policed accordingly.