A far right activist linked to a banned neo-Nazi terror group gave a speech at a secretive event last weekend in Stirling organised by the white nationalist group, Patriotic Alternative Scotland.
Melia – from Yorkshire – was among a group of 58 people who attended PA Scotland’s event at Stirling Highland Hotel.
Others attending the Stirling event included Simon Crane, from West Lothian, who hosted a podcast condemned by anti-racism campaigners after it featured convicted far right criminals and extremists.
We also revealed that PA Scotland had compiled a list of around 60 organisations and individuals in Scotland who oppose racism and fascism.
Last year two women formerly involved with PA told The Ferret they had suffered suicidal thoughts after abuse and threats by PA supporters.
Concerns have now been raised about the PA event in Stirling.
Gregory Davies, a researcher with Hope not Hate, said PA is an “extreme and dangerous group”.
He added: “As well as those drawn from the banned Nazi terror group National Action, other leaders were formerly active in the BNP (British National Party) and English Defence League.
“While the group is worrying due to its targeting of young people for radicalisation, there is little hope of their disturbing ideology being taken up by the wider public, who overwhelmingly reject their fascist worldview.”
A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said that any links to National Action are “very concerning” and must be fully investigated.
“Patriotic Alternative may be a fringe movement, but we can never be complacent when it comes to the far right,” a spokesperson added.
“It is a bigoted and reactionary organisation that spreads misinformation and bile wherever it goes. Its values are the antithesis of the fairer, greener and better Scotland that we want to see.”
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) Scotland said it was “very disturbing” that the far right can organise a conference in Scotland.
“It shows the level of sophistication and privacy that they have using social media. We cannot allow these white supremacists to get even a toe hold in this country,” a UAF spokesperson added.
“With the election in the last month of new far right governments in Italy and Sweden we cannot be complacent in Scotland. The seeds for far right ideas are bubbling under the surface with scapegoating of immigrants on the rise and unfounded conspiracy theories circulating the internet.”
PA’s Kenny Smith – a former member of the British National Party and self-described “racial nationalist” – said: “It is clear from looking at the delegates that PA is exactly the opposite of how they portray us. Anti-Whites lie and label us extremists, but we only accept within our ranks those who engage in positive community politics. They fear us because we only fight by legal means for our people.”
A spokesperson for Stirling Highland Hotel said: “We were unaware of the nature of the event or the organisation which made this booking, as they provided an acronym at the time of booking.
“Had we known, we would not have accepted the booking.”
Photo credit: Hope not hate and PA