An RAF Scampton campaigner recalled how she “feared the worst” as violence erupted at the former base over the weekend. A number of campaigners outside RAF Scampton, where up to 2,000 male asylum seekers could be housed, claim they were attacked by around 12 men during the early hours of Sunday, February 4.
The Home Office revealed last week that asylum seekers could start arriving at the base by April 14, despite an ongoing legal battle with West Lindsey District Council. Tensions have been rising outside the base, with various different campaign groups setting up camps along the fence line.
Sarah Carter, leader of Save Our Scampton campaign group, claims her and her husband were ambushed by a group of “far right” men after the pair set up camp at the main gate. She said: “On Monday (January 29) I went down to visit camp because I’d heard there had been so much friction and people arguing.
“On the Tuesday, so many people walked away and said they’re not doing it anymore. Those left who support me wanted me to come in and get the site tidied up and get its reputation tidied up so people could come and protest somewhere safe.
“We spent a few days tidying up, taking down flags and signs. At 2.20am on Sunday morning, some far-right thugs turned up to boot us out. I was pushed around and I did hit the floor. My legs had gone to jelly, I was trying to run away and ring the police because my husband was being attacked.
“We got off lightly because they went down to gate eight and beat up four guys down there. One of them was still in a sleeping bag when they were attacked. It was nasty. We didn’t know how far they were prepared to go so we feared the worst.”
Lincolnshire Police were called to the incident on Sunday morning. Ms Carter says they are taking down their camps because she “would rather there were no camps than a far-right camp.”
On Sunday, Lincoln’s Labour MP candidate Hamish Falconer said: “I heard this morning that late last night far-right thugs assaulted Scampton residents including a grandmother with a heart condition to try and get control of a camp at one of the gates.
“These people have been hanging around the gates drinking, wearing camouflage, arguing in public about who has stolen from each other, and trying to push their racism on Lincoln. They know who they are and so do we, so let me say it plainly to them: you aren’t patriots or soldiers you’re racist thugs. Hand yourself in to the police, take down your banners, hang your heads in shame and get out of town.”
Lincolnshire Police have been approached for comment.