The far-right group Scottish Defence League are planning a protest in Alloa over the local council’s decision to house Syrian refugees.
The march, which will take place on March 11, has been organised due to the group’s belief that refugees are being given priority on social housing over native residents.
A petition which was started by local resident Amanda Drysdale, alleged that Clacks Council had told her disabled relative that there was no housing available – it had received more than 2000 signatures.
The petition has since been removed from Change.org, either by Drysdale herself or by the website for violation of their community guidelines.
The SDL allege, falsely, that refugees, primarily from Syria, are being given precedence over Scottish natives for council houses.
Speaking to the Alloa Advertiser, a spokesperson for the Scottish Defence League (SDL) explained that the reason they’re marching is due to “general concerns” which they had been contacted about.
“Public anger and concern ranges from disabled people being stuck in sheltered housing to overcrowded families stuck in small homes to homeless ex-forces [personnel] on the streets to people working hard paying their taxes and saving for years to buy a house on the same development only to find refugees are their neighbours and have been given similar housing for free,” the spokesperson said
They added: “There is also general concern from locals regarding refugees such as several European terror attacks and mass sexual assaults which have been widely reported in the mainstream media.”
Refugees have not been linked to any major terror attacks in Europe.
The SDL have not, as of this writing, applied to Clackmannanshire Council to hold a procession.
A spokesperson for Clackmannanshire Council said: “The [refugee] families have settled well here, and have publicly expressed their grateful thanks to the people of Clackmannanshire who have done so much to welcome them.
“Many partner agencies and ordinary members of the public have helped to support the families and we are grateful for all the efforts that have helped them to become part of the local community.”
Local MSP Mark Ruskell has called on the council to “protect the public” and refuse their permit, declaring that there is “no place for hate on our streets”.
Hearing Scottish Defence League are preparing for a march in Alloa on March 11th. @ClacksCouncil need to protect public and refuse this.
— Mark Ruskell MSP (@markruskell) February 14, 2017
A local branch of the anti-fascist organisation United Against Fascism (UAF) have signaled their intent to hold a counter-demonstration.
The SDL, an off-shoot of the English Defence League (EDL), have held previous demonstrations denouncing the government’s refugee policy in major cities across Scotland.
Brig covered their last march in Glasgow, where the SDL were met with resistance from anti-fascist counter-protesters.