Refugee shelter bomb hoax proves platform racism is far from harmless, anti-racists warn


A BOMB scare at a hotel welcoming refugees is proof that giving a platform to a racist and misogynist comedy is far from trivial, anti-racist activists said today.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed that a bomb threat at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, which houses refugees, turned out to be a hoax on Monday.

Caitlin Webb-Ellis of the Whitby Says No campaign was forced to call off a peaceful protest against a performance of comedian Roy Chubby Brown, known for his “jokes” widely labeled as racist, sexist and homophobic, in the nearby town as a result threats of violence. .

And a day before the bomb threat, far-right activists posted leaflets with “No Afghan migrants, put the British first” in big red letters in mailboxes.

Residents of the hotel were evacuated after someone called at 10:15 am, telling a staff member that a bomb had been planted.

A search was carried out in the building and its surroundings.

An investigation into this appeal is ongoing but no arrests have been made.

The Whitby Says No campaign said it believed there was a credible threat of physical violence at the protest following conversations with police and monitoring of comments on social media.

One of the comments said, “It would be worth seeing. Protesters beaten to death by loyal fans. “

Another comment read: “Let us [sic] I hope the Whitby ambulances will have enough gasoline for the incident to come.

“Hope she enjoys the hospitable food,” wrote another person.

A Scarborough Stand Up to Racism spokesperson told The Star: “Chubby Brown and his supporters have made a big fuss about their right to enjoy ‘harmless comedy’ behind closed doors.

“Corn [Monday’s] the bomb threats in local refugee hotels, the distribution of anti-Afghan leaflets made at 5 a.m. Sunday morning by the far-right group Patriotic Alternative – all these things prove that it is far from harmless .

“This is why we are protesting people like Chubby Brown. Because his supposedly harmless jokes encourage violence and intimidation.

“They left the right off leash. In any healthy society, he would be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred. “

In the aftermath of the events, Ms. Webb-Ellis declared herself more convinced than ever of the importance of opposing figures who propagate hatred and division within communities.

She told The Star: “When our council-run sites give her a platform, they make her followers feel that popular opinion is theirs and that it’s okay to harass and victimize people. .

“The threats of violence that led us to call off the protest in Whitby on Saturday, and the bomb threats at Scarborough hotels, appear to be part of the same culture of fear spread by the far right.

“It seems risky to speak out against the people, groups and institutions that support and promote racism in this area – we cannot give in to it, however. We cannot rely solely on the big national anti-racist organizations to improve the situation here.

“We need to organize at the local level to create networks of solidarity and act in any way we can before this hatred and division escalates or takes root even deeper. “

Ms Webb-Ellis said working together is a good way to tackle the fear of violence and that creating a unified anti-racist and anti-discrimination group is the next step.

She called on national campaign groups to spread the word and urged the public to contact Scarborough council to denounce what she called its “institutional racist stance and hold them accountable for their decision to sow the seeds of the hatred in our district “.

Scarborough council declined to comment.

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