Protesting asylum seekers outnumbered outside the Long Eaton Hotel

Protesters gathered outside a Nottinghamshire border hotel who opposed its hosting asylum seekers were outnumbered by those who said the UK should welcome them. A demonstration had been organized for 12pm on Saturday (February 25) outside the Novotel in Long Eaton, which was taken over by the Home Office last October.

But after learning of the protest, groups including Open Nottingham organized a counter-demonstration which took place from 11 a.m. Those who took part in the counter-demonstration numbered around 100 at one point, with one speaker addressing the gathered crowd saying: “We were clear from the beginning, after what happened in Mansfield, that we were not going to allow asylum seekers and refugees to be harassed by anyone.”

The Mansfield incident referred to took place outside the city’s Midland Hotel on February 4, where people gathered directly outside the hotel gates to protest against immigrant accommodation. Protests against the government’s use of hotels for asylum seekers have taken place across the country in recent weeks.

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At a protest in Merseyside on 10 February a police van was set on fire and stones were thrown. Protests are also taking place in Skegness, with some hoteliers in the seaside town installing fences outside their buildings ahead of the demonstrations.

The latest publicly available data shows that there are currently over 45,500 asylum seekers in UK hotels. One of them is Hange Kautjiziua, 36, who is currently staying at a Derby hotel after traveling to the UK last June from her home country of Namibia.

Kautjiziua said she joined the counter-demonstration on Saturday to show solidarity with the asylum seekers living in the Novotel. He said: “I heard people were coming here today to show solidarity and I wanted to come too because I know what it’s like.


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