Those carrying out protests against asylum seekers represent nobody, Alliance Councillors say

Those carrying out protests against asylum seekers on the north coast represent nobody except “an extremely small minority”, Alliance Councillors have said.

Asylum Seekers Richard Stewart Peter McCully

Councillor Richard Stewart and Councillor Peter McCully were speaking following a protest by a group at the war memorial in Portrush this past weekend. A National Front flag was erected on the fence surrounding the war memorial, with a former leader of the organisation arrested during the protest.

“This protest was organised on social media, complete with horrifying racist, transphobic, xenophobic and homophobic posts, along with posts inciting violence,” said Councillor Stewart.

“The vast majority of people in Portrush and on the north coast utterly condemn this rhetoric and protest, which saw many people hiding behind balaclavas while scaring passers-by and displaying far-right imagery. They represent nobody except an extremely small minority.”

“All political representatives need to unite to call for an ending to such protests,” added Councillor McCully.

“The north coast is an open and welcoming place, where those seeking asylum have made their home, showcasing diversity as a strength and rejecting racism, fascism and violence. It is deeply disappointing to see many of the usual tropes about refugees bandied about by some.

“Protests such as these do nothing but cause intimidation and fear to those seeking to make Northern Ireland their home and create a better life for themselves after going through horrors in order to come here in the first place.”