AFTER nearly four months of counter-protests by anti-racist activists - a celebration was had as no-one from a fascist group appeared at the MGM Muthu Glasgow River Hotel.
Around 400 people joined the Sunday community solidarity event at the Muthu hotel in Erskine where asylum seekers are being housed.
The anti-fascist demonstration organised by Stand Up to Racism Scotland (SUTR) and the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) became a celebration when for the first time since early February, nobody showed up from the fascist group Homeland.
Members of the fascist group Patriotic Alternative (PA) recently formed the new group called Homeland which was described as “a distillation” of the former’s “most dangerous elements into something harder, more serious and better organised”.
Huge turnout of Erskine residents, trade unionists, activists, charities, families and church members to make it clear: 'Refugees are welcome here.' #ErskineSaysYes#RefugeesWelcome pic.twitter.com/KKJZYA5F2Y— STUC (@ScottishTUC) May 21, 2023
Coaches from Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh brought anti-racist activists and trade unionists to join in with local residents to counter-protest PA and Homeland to combat the “hate, misinformation and lies” being spread in the local community, hijacking the presence of asylum seekers at the hotel.
STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: "We're standing in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers, who are going through a really diffcult time at the moment. The approach we take is that an injury to one, is an injury to all.
"We will stand against fascism and those who sow the seeds of hatred in our communities, whether that be here in Erskine, Elgin, or anywhere else in Scotland.
"Solidarity is our superpower, refugees are welcome here."
A spokesperson for the Hope Not Hate anti-fascist group previously said PA admitted that they’re keen to “jump on local issues” because their “true agenda of racism and extremism is one that has no appeal outside of a small fringe of online cranks”.
This has led to nearly four months of protests and counter-protests.
Speakers included Foyer, local Erskine residents, representatives from unions including UCU, EIS, NASUWT, FBU, Paisley Trades Council, faith groups such as the Catholic church and refugee rights campaigners, as well as a statement from human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar.
A SUTR spokesperson said: "The huge turnout from the local community has shown that those opposing the presence of asylum seekers in the community are a minority and have no authority to claim to represent Erskine. This is a defeat for the hateful politics of the Homeland party, leaders of which have been prominent in the Erskine protests.
“The British Nazis want to feed off the racist climate created by home secretary Suella Braverman to have a breakthrough. But continuous antifascist opposition wherever they raise their head has stopped them."
A call was made for anti-racists to continue to oppose the Homeland group mobilisation if they continue following this weekend.