March 29, 2023 11.00 am This story is over 15 months old

Another migrant protest in Skegness – this time saying “Refugees Welcome”

Organisers want the rhetoric around refugees to be changed

By Local Democracy Reporter

A Skegness protest is calling people to “Stand Up To Racism” and support refugees.

The Lincoln Trades Council hope to mobilise opposition to the government’s controversial immigration bill, which aims to reducing the number of small boat Channel crossings.

Far-right organisation Patriotic Alternative took to the streets of Skegness in February for a protest against the government’s housing of migrants at hotels.

The counter protest will be at Skegness Town Centre on Saturday, April 15, where they say they will be “myth busting” on narratives about refugees from 11am onwards.

People from all backgrounds are invited to join the demonstration, which has been coined as an opportunity to say refugees are indeed welcome in Lincolnshire and racism must not be tolerated.

From the Patriotic Alternative rally in Skegness last month. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln Trades Council say the bill was “designed to deflect from a cost of living crisis”, saying public service crises are caused by “billionaires, bankers and successive governments” rather than refugees and migrants.

A spokesperson for the trades council said: “We condemn any attempt to divide working people by the demonisation of refugees and migrants and the government’s use of inflammatory language such as ‘invasion’ and ‘illegal’.

“This demonisation only gives confidence to Nazi organisations like Patriotic Alternative to target Lincolnshire to spread their politics of hate and fear.

“Lincoln Trades Council reject this division and welcome refugees. Lincolnshire has a strong and proud history of diversity, anti-fascism and of welcoming refugees.”

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It comes as the government plans to house hundreds of asylum seekers on the former RAF Scampton airbase.

Lincoln Trades Council called the scheme a “glorified prison camp” and said the government needed to act “in line with international law.

Huge public condemnation has come from the local community, with over 50,000 people signing a petition demanding it not happen.

Lincoln Trades Council added: “We condemn the immigration bill and we condemn refugees being housed in glorified prison camps, such as the government’s proposed use of Scampton airbase in containers, as inhumane.

“We also believe that any petition against the use of RAF Scampton as a detention centre should include reference to supporting refugees right to asylum, demand safe routes, condemn the use of racism to demonise refugees and migrants and oppose the illegal Immigration Bill and the conservative government’s hostile environment policies.

“Ukrainian, Afghani, Iraqi refugees and more are welcome to Lincoln and Lincolnshire, and we call on the government to open up safe routes, house them appropriately and safely, and hear their asylum claims fairly; in line with international law.”

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