Far-right group targets Yorkshire village ahead of asylum seeker center plans

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The UK’s largest far-right group is targeting a village in northern England where the Home Office plans to house 1,500 male asylum seekers.

Patriotic Alternative, which has been described as an anti-Semitic British party, has visited the North Yorkshire village of Linton-on-Ouse twice in recent days.

Locals have taken legal action against the decision to turn its former Royal Air Force base, which closed in 2020, into a processing center for asylum seekers.

Advocacy group Hope Not Hate, which campaigns against racism, said the far-right group was struggling to gain credibility and issued warnings about its true intentions.

In videos posted on YouTube and posts on the social media site Telegram, members of Patriotic Alternative filmed themselves in the village and said they visited all the residents.

“Patriotic Alternative is a fascist, anti-Semitic white nationalist organization launched in Britain in September 2019,” Hope Not Hate said.

“Its founder is Mark Collett, former publicity director for the British National Party and one of the UK’s most notorious fascist figures.

“Although the Patriotic Alternative is the largest fascist organization in the UK, it remains firmly confined to the political fringes, with a few hundred members. The group is therefore desperate for media attention, performing stunts and propaganda campaigns in hopes of provoking outrage.

Linton is the latest area targeted by far-right groups protesting asylum seekers.

Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, southern England, which is currently used as a place of detention for people seeking asylum in the UK, has faced a number of racist incidents.

Last year, the Home Office revealed it had recorded more than 70 racist incidents committed by far-right supporters against asylum seekers in barracks and hotel rooms across the Kingdom -United.

A petition launched by the Linton community against the plans, which now has more than 2,500 signatures, cites concerns over far-right protests as one of the reasons residents don’t want the centre.

“Such centers have been heavily criticized in the past, with a court ruling on the site of Napier Barracks and Pennaly Barracks [in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales] are not fit for purpose, leading to arson, violence, poor mental health among refugees, suicide attempts and anti-social behavior,” he says.

“Additionally, the site has seen demonstrations by right-wing parties resulting in a number of arrests and additional police action. These sites do not benefit asylum seekers or the general public.

“Despite this, a new site has been allowed to open in Linton-on-Ouse and on a much larger scale.

“The center is not fenced and therefore presents a risk that right-wing parties can access the site. Right-wing protests and arrests have been a theme at all such centers to date.

“It is important to note that the old sites were fenced and closed, this center is not. Since the announcement of the news, representatives of the right have been making appearances in the village.

“The Home Office was unaware that a far-right group had recently gained access to a hotel for asylum seekers nearby.”

A recent report from York City Council revealed that a far-right group stormed an asylum hotel in the city and said security measures to protect migrants were inadequate.

The local council is now asking for legal action to try to stop the asylum center from opening.

Updated: April 29, 2022, 12:47 p.m.

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