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Anti-racists outnumber far-right hooligans who target Leeds hotel housing refugees

ANTI-RACISTS far outnumbered far-right hooligans who targeted a Leeds hotel housing refugees yesterday.

The former Old Windmill Hotel at Seacroft in East Leeds is owned by the Britannia chain which cashes in on refugees’ plight through government contracts.

Far-right groups, including Patriotic Alternative and the Yorkshire Patriots, are targeting the hotels in an attempt to whip up hatred of refugees and asylum seekers — particularly in struggling working-class communities.

Around 40 racists were confronted by about 120 anti-fascists yesterday, including Stand Up to Racism and local trade unionists.

Anti-racists were addressed by Leeds East Labour MP Richard Burgon, local clergy and councillors.

Following the action, Mr Burgon said: “The far right travelled to Seacroft in East Leeds to target refugees and try to whip up racism and division.

“I was proud to be part of our local community response – a demonstration showing unity with everyone in our community.

“As the economic crisis hits our community hard the far-right will intensify their efforts to scapegoat migrants and minorities.

“Racism is the far-right’s weapon of mass distraction. Our response has to be working to unite the working-class majority in all its diversity against racism and fascism and for a better society for all.”

Seacroft Labour councillor David Jenkins said: “Refugees and migrants are being stigmatised as an easy target and we have to fight back.

“The government is using divide and rule at every possible opportunity, demonising asylum-seekers who have to live on £8.24 a week.”

Anti-racists in West Yorkshire will mobilise again on Saturday September 15, when far-right groups plan to target the Cedar Court Hotel in Wakefield.

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