ISD’s Head of Communications & Editorial, Tim Squirrell, contributed to a BBC article discussing a Welsh town’s pushback against the influence of white nationalist group Patriotic Alternative.
The town of Llantwit (Wales, UK) has become a target for the national far-right group due to debates about the local council’s plans to build temporary housing for refugees on the site of a closed-down primary school. Patriotic Alternative delivered leaflets around the town claiming that “Wales is full,” among other slogans.
Local residents have resisted attempts by Patriotic Alternative to latch on to local unease about the plans, organising events to show that racism and xenophobia “have no place” in their town. These include a vigil at the church and a Welsh cake giveaway, a “symbol of hospitality”.
Tim spoke specifically on Patriotic Alternative’s tactics. Refugees and migrants are a “wedge issue” that they seek to exploit to “boost their profile and gain recruits,” he said. They see this as a “winning issue that will gain them local support and allow them to introduce people to their more overtly extreme beliefs.”