Anti-racism campaigners and Scottish MPs have condemned a "poisonous" white pride rally that is due to take place in Edinburgh this weekend, just days after the Westminster terror attack.
The far-right National Front group has invited "all white nationalists" to march in the Scottish capital for a so-called "white pride day" on Saturday, which will coincide with a Sikh religious festival that will see hundreds take to the streets.
The Unite Against Fascism group has organised a counter-rally where campaigners and MPs from Edinburgh will speak out against what has been described as "a tiny and vicious group of fascists".
The SNP MP for Edinburgh East, Tommy Sheppard, told BuzzFeed News he will speak at the counter-rally to send a clear message to the white pride marchers that they're not welcome in Scotland's "liberal and progressive" capital city.
"I’ll be talking about the importance to confront racist ideology wherever it raises its head," said Sheppard. "We need more tolerance and a regrettable part of the Brexit campaign was pandering to people's prejudices against migrants, refugees, and anybody who is other.
"Actually, in this city, our diversity is our strength – we’re a mongrel nation and proud and the Aryans can fuck off."
The Labour MP for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, told BuzzFeed News he will be talking to the crowd about the murdered MP Jo Cox and this week's attack in Westminster to warn them about the dangers of division.
"We should stand united together against any form of racism, fascism, and intolerance in all its forms," said Murray. "We are at a crossroads in history where, now more than ever, we must redouble our efforts to defend the rights and values of what we all believe in – equality, tolerance, and mutual respect."
Sheppard added that he expects the white pride march to be a "damp squib" because there will be no support in Edinburgh, but he believes that it’s important that the local people "let them know they’re not welcome".
According to Wales Online, a similar white pride event was held in Swansea on the same day last year, where around 25 National Front activists were drowned out by hundreds of anti-racism campaigners.
A spokesperson for Unite Against Facism said: "In light of the terrible attacks that have taken place in London this week, it's important that we come together and unite together against those that seek to peddle racism."
A Police Scotland spokesperson said police were "aware" of the demonstration that is planned to take place on Saturday, and assured the public that "appropriate resources" will be in place to keep them safe.
Edinburgh City Council said they had received no request for permission for the white pride march and that the event was a matter for police.
The National Front did not respond to a request for comment.
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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