Recently, it was reported by the Metro that far-right group Britain First have set up what they’re calling ‘patriot patrols’ on the beaches of South England.

The purpose of these so-called ‘patrols’ is to stop migrants who undertake the hazardous journey from France to Britain. The operation – named Operation White Cliff – is designed to stop migrants from ‘landing on our shores’, says the organisation.

Members of the fascist-political party have taken to Britain’s beaches in high-vis jackets carrying torches and binoculars to spot migrants. In a recent statement, the party highlighted the Samphire Hoe Beach near Devon for being a frequent location for ‘multiple illegal migrant crossings.’ They also stated that if any migrants were spotted, they would alert both the police and coastguard.

Many have called out the organisation as ‘racist vigilantes.’ A spokesperson for the organisation Stand Up to Racism emphasised how disturbing and immoral their actions are: “Given the hateful politics of the group, the name of their vile stunt – Operation White Cliff – suggests a chilling echo of the ideologies of Germany in 1930s.”

Britain First, introduced in 2011 by ex-members of the British National Party, has quickly built up a platform of bigotry and hate especially known for its anti-Muslim stance and objections to multiculturism. The group has previously invaded mosques with Bibles, participated in ‘Christian patrols’ and last week, accosted a group of people on Samphire Hoe Beach.

Britain First – A Disgrace to the United Kingdom

One of the most powerful aspects of British society is its multiculturism and diversity. Cities, particularly London, would not be what it is without the celebration of all its differences. However, with anti-immigrant sentiment reaching terrifying levels, bolstered by Brexit, Britain First are tapping into a section of the population that believe immigration is diminishing British culture.

Funnily enough, while extremists worry about immigration, far-right extremism has quickly risen in the ranks to become the UK’s fastest growing threat. According to the Head of Counterterrorism, seven out of twenty-two plots foiled by the police have been linked to far-right ideologies. In addition, 10% of 800 live terror investigations were related to right wing extremism.

The last thing that migrants need after travelling by boat and arriving in a strange land is to be confronted by a bunch of angry men. While many far-righters are worried about what immigrants will do to this country, those same migrants are hoping that they’ll be able to find a better life here. Taking on such a risky journey should prove that.

Aisha Mohamed