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Far right thugs attack refugee protest

This news post is over 1 year old

A demonstration calling for better housing for asylum seekers was hit by a counter protest by a fascist mob claiming to "protect statues"

Racist thugs went on the rampage and launched attacks on a peaceful demonstration by refugees demanding better living conditions.

Several arrests were made in and around Glasgow's George Square last night (Wednesday 17 June) after a group calling themselves the National Defence League attacked a planned protest by the No Evictions Group in George Square.

The No Evictions Group were protesting in the city centre over conditions facing those in the asylum system, but said their demonstration was hi-jacked by the far right, loyalist-linked mob, who claimed to be protecting statues.

Attacks were launched on the asylum seekers, and the fascists also shouted racist and sectarian abuse.

A statement from the No Evictions Network said the demo had be arranged after originally being targeted by the far right the previous Saturday (13 June), and pledged asylum seekers will not be silenced.

“The decision was taken to continue with the demo as planned in order to not be silenced by the threat of fascist opponents,” the statement said.

“The far right presence at the square was clearly not there to protect statues but to intimidate and attack non-white people and their allies. We need to be more prepared for mobilisations of this nature in the near future.

“Despite the attempts at disruption, people from the hotels were able to make their voices and demands heard, loud and clear, throughout the square. We will not be scared off from highlighting the horrific conditions in Glasgow’s asylum accommodation, and encourage anyone who supports us to rally for this cause.”

"We strongly condemn the violence and organised targeting of this evening’s peaceful protest in George Square," a statement from the Scottish Refugee Council said.

"The small demonstration was initially organised by people who have been living in in hotel accommodation during Covid-19, to protest their conditions, lack of any money and the recent death of their friend Adnan Olbeh. These voices will now be lost in the noise.

"Let’s be blunt: those spreading hate care far more about intimidation and violence than engaging with the actual issues of those who are desperately struggling to get by right now. Glasgow, Scotland, we say we are a welcoming city and nation.

"We cannot allow this hatred, racism, and thuggery to seep onto our streets. Today shows how much work there is still to be done."

The scenes sparked widespread condemnation from politicians and representatives of the city.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow tonight. Racist thugs shame Scotland.

"If they break the law, they should face the full force of it. And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are."

The network also criticised the police’s handling of the demonstrations, saying they were boxed into a small space in the square.

Ahead of the protests, chief superintendent Mark Hargreaves urged people not to attend the events but follow government coronavirus lockdown guidelines.

Afterwards, he said Police Scotland had an "appropriate" presence to ensure public safety.

"So far, six men have been arrested for minor public order offences and reports will be submitted to the procurator fiscal," he added.

"The majority of protesters have now left George Square and officers remain in the area for public reassurance.

"A review will be undertaken and should any further criminality be identified appropriate action will be taken."

Four of the protestors who were arrested said they were in the square as part of the far right mob, while the other two men said they were attending the protest calling for better housing for asylum seekers.



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