Disgust as 'hateful' far-right leaflets posted through city letterboxes

A leaflet from Patriotic Alternative posted in city letterboxes this week

A leaflet from Patriotic Alternative posted in city letterboxes this week - Credit: Contributed

City folk have resoundingly rejected "disgusting" leaflets posted through letterboxes by an extremist group.

Patriotic Alternative is a far-right, white nationalist group based in West Yorkshire whose leader Mark Collett is the former leader of the BNP's youth wing. 

He has also recommended Hitler’s Mein Kampf to his followers.

Folk living in the NR2 area of Norwich received letters this week from Mr Collett's group entitled 'White Britons To Be A Minority by the 2060s - or sooner'. 

BNP Party Leader Nick Griffin(left) and Mark Collett open champagne as they were cleared of race hat

Mark Collett (centre) opens champagne as he was cleared of race hate charges at Leeds Crown Court in 2006. - Credit: PA

The leaflet - which has previously been sent to homes in the NR3 area, Taverham and other parts of the county - calls for an end to immigration and is attempting to stoke up anti-migrant sentiment.

Sirajul Islam is secretary at the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre in Aylsham Road and has previously seen anti-Islamic graffiti sprayed on the pavement close to the religious centre as well as arson.

Sirajul Islam, secretary at the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre where fire damag

Sirajul Islam, secretary at the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Centre where fire damaged a storage area and the roof of a wash room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

He fears the Patriotic Alternative leaflets could lead to further hate crimes against ethnic minorities in the city.

Mr Islam said: "It's not acceptable. We live life normally, we do integrate and try to contribute to the city. 

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"It's not just disgusting, but harmful and it should not be allowed. Generally we find people are OK but there are a few pockets of people causing trouble."

The Patriotic Alternative leaflet

The Patriotic Alternative leaflet - Credit: Contributed

Vijay Jetani, owner of the Namaste Village in Queens Road, believes the leaflet is out of touch with his experience of the people of Norwich.

He first moved here in September 2006 to study at the University of East Anglia from Bhavnagar in the Indian state of Gujarat. 

Mr Jetani said: "I do not think the leaflet will have a bad impact because the people in NR2 are very educated." 

Vijay Jetani of Namaste India, with a vegetarian, vegan and gluten free curry and samosas at the Veg

Vijay Jetani of Namaste Village - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith (Cons) believes the leaflet and the group will be "roundly rejected by people in our friendly and welcoming Norwich". 

She added: “The leaflet is full of really dreadful arguments. It’s sad to see it." 

South Norwich MP Clive Lewis (Lab) likened the leaflets to "Nazi-style propaganda circulated in the 20s and 30s".

He added: "The views in this leaflet are not shared by the vast majority of people in this city.

"I recognise this vile propaganda as trying to whip up racial disharmony by telling people they are going to be replaced by increasing numbers of immigrants and 'aliens'.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

"We must recognise this for the racist, disgusting propaganda that it is."

Beatrice Humarau is the coordinator of The Bridge Plus, a Norfolk-based black, Asian and minority ethnic organisation created in 2012 aimed at improving community cohesion. 

She said: "We have been discussing how this kind of thing does happen even in Norfolk. Racism and hate crime in Norwich is also very underreported to the police." 

Gee Cook, chief executive of Norwich-based refugee support group New Routes Integration said: "The circulation of these insidiously racist leaflets paints a misleading impression of how migrants are perceived in our city.

Gee Cook, chief executive of New Routes Integration

Gee Cook, chief executive of New Routes Integration - Credit: Gee Cook

"It does a disservice to the citizens of Norwich who have demonstrated unwavering generosity and willingness to welcome those fleeing persecution and wars in recent years.

"We urge anyone who receives such leaflets to report them as hate incidents to Norfolk Police."

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said officers are aware of the leaflet and are monitoring any community tensions as a result.

City councillor for the Nelson ward Denise Carlo (Green) recently received one of the leaflets at her home in College Road. 

Denise Carlo. Photo: Dan Grimmer

Denise Carlo. Photo: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

She said: "People are very anti-racist in the Nelson ward and this would not be a very good area for generating support for that particular organisation.

"I think most people will put it in the bin like myself. Norwich is very diverse and supportive of people from ethnic minorities." 

Fellow Nelson ward councillor Lucy Galvin (Green) has reported the leaflet to the city council as racist literature. 

Green Party city councillor Lucy Galvin

Green Party city councillor Lucy Galvin - Credit: Contributed

The councillor received reports of the leaflet being distributed in Stafford Street and the Earlham Road area on Wednesday night.

She added: "It has been extremely badly received."

Patriotic Alternative has been contacted for comment.