Anti-refugee protesters are preparing for more demonstrations after the Home Office confirmed refugees are to be moved to the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, “over the coming weeks”.
Hotel owners Gryphon Leisure Ltd have secured a High Court injunction against anti-refugee protesters blocking the entrance. The protesters have set up camp, with gazebos, tents, racist banners and flags, to stop anyone entering or leaving the site, and placed boulders at the entrance.
An injunction last week means a 12-foot gap will be opened to the entrance from the main road. Last Saturday Stand Up To Racism Llanelli organised a pro‑refugee event in the town with leafleting and speeches. Around 30 people took part in the ‘Speak Out’ in the town centre.
Some 240 refugees are now set to be moved to the hotel. Protests against the refugees have been led by fascists Voice of Wales, as well as a variety of local refugee haters.
This has also included teachers, nurses and local councillors calling themselves “concerned locals’’. The police are now expected to clear the protesters to allow entry to the site. But the police—who also arrest climate protesters and anti-racists—are no friends of refugees.
They, and other state forces, implement the policies designed to keep people out of Britain and act in a systematically racist manner. And the injunction from the state—the same racist state that is dumping refugees in hotels and barges across Britain—isn’t enough to stop the fascists and local racists.
Currently, the trade union presence on the anti-refugee side has been minimal. Local unions must take up the issue of defending refugees—not painting them as the enemy of local workers. What’s needed is a strong anti-racist presence in Llanelli to show that refugees are welcome, dispel the myths pumped by the Tories and fascists, and push the protesters off the streets.
Larger numbers will make it possible to achieve what has been done elsewhere in Britain—outnumbering and confronting the racists and showing a clear welcome for refugees. This will become even more urgent if refugees are brought to the hotel.
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