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Watch: The day a community ran a far-right group out of town

26 Mar 2023 4 minute read

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These were the scenes yesterday when hundreds gathered in Llantwit Major to voice their opposition to a demonstration by far right group Patriotic Alternative.

The group which is led by former BNP publicity officer Mark Collett, were in the town to oppose Vale of Glamorgan council’s plans to house Ukrainian refugees at an old school.

A very small number of their supporters with banners proclaiming ‘Wales is not a migrant camp!’ and ‘Britain is full’ were drowned out by a counter demonstration from locals who had previously said they would greet the far-right demonstrators with Welsh cakes – as a symbol of Welsh hospitality.

Resident Aled Roberts told Newyddion S4C: “We as a nation welcome people. To see a protest like this against housing Ukrainians here. It’s repugnant to me as a Welshman.

“I’ve heard that people have being trying to influence youngsters and people and that’s unacceptable. They have a right to protest as do we.

“It looks like there’s a lot more of us than them. I just hope the protest remains peaceful.”

Fellow demonstrator Sam Coates who also opposed the Patriotic Alternative presence in the town.

“I am here because I don’t want fascists on our streets. I want to ensure people who seek to divide us, feel they can’t return,” he told Newyddion S4C.

“My priority is to make people who’ve made Wales their home feel welcome here.”

Residents organised a number of community events to show that refugees are welcome and the far-right protesters weren’t.

An overnight vigil was held at St Illtyd’s Church, attended by local MS Jane Hutt and in the town’s square, dozens gathered to distribute Welsh cakes.

One of the organisers, Richard Parry, told Newyddion S4C: “People have come together to celebrate the welcome in the town and kindness of the town.

“The people of the town have said there’s no place for provoking hatred and perpetrating anger. This is a town that can do its own political dialogue.

“Kindness is the basis of community. We’ll sort out the political issues around the town. We don’t need outside interference.”

South Wales Police’s Insp Mark Henderson said the protest was mainly peaceful but two people were arrested after skirmishes with police: “Officers have been present in Llantwit Major today to facilitate peaceful protest and minimise disruption to the wider community.

“The protest was in the main peaceful however two protesters were arrested.

“There are no other reported injuries and the protesters eventually dispersed without any further incident.”

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 year ago

No doubt that group are english far right pretending they represent everyone in the uk.

Brechdan Wncomunco
1 year ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Thought the people arrested were from Wales.

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 year ago

Da iawn chi i gyd yn Llanilltud Fawr! ~ Well done all of you in Llantwit Major!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 year ago

I am delighted to hear that decent Welsh patriots were there in Llanilltud Fawr to counter protest and face down the so called ‘patriotic alternative’ which shows equal intolerance to Ukrainian refugees and Welsh people living in their own country or in fact existing anywhere. After all , those of us who do not conform to their idea of British nationalist racism and xenophobia are all designated second class citizens and outside of the fold. That they would bring their protest to the streets anywhere in Cymru, despite their right to do it, is an affront to our nation.

Lord Montague Flange.
Lord Montague Flange.
1 year ago

A very good example of Karl Poppers paradox of tolerance,

and always smash the fash.

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