THE Vale fought hate with love when members of a far-right group descended on the Llantwit Major to protest against plans to house Ukrainian refugees in the town.

The right-wing group Patriotic Alternative and counter protesters from socialist revolutionary group the Welsh Underground Network came town and there were clashes with police.

Meanwhile a number of locals gathered for a calmer counter-protest chanting “people should be welcomed here and not shunned away”.

It comes after Vale of Glamorgan council confirmed in January that an old primary school would be turned into temporary accommodation for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

A South Wales Police officer told the Argus that two people have been arrested.

Locals gathered in the town centre holding signs saying: “The heart of democracy beats here”, “Llantwit Major refugees welcome fascists not!" and “Llantwit Major together for peace, love, kindness and compassion.”

Locals held a two-minute silence at midday for people who have suffered oppression and hatred.

Richard Parry, who was dressed as a Welsh cake said: “Welsh cakes are a sign of hospitality and being welcoming.

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A scene from the protest. Picture: Gareth Llewelyn Evans

“Our message is 'would you like a Welsh cake?'

“We are celebrating that this is a good place and we have come together in kindness.

“There is many more of us than them.”

Sisters Mena de Gama Creber, 19, and Nelle de Gama Creber, 17, (below) held a placard saying “Llantwit 24 together in kindness."

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Nelle said: “We are here to fight the horrible views that fascists have.”

There were tensions between the far right and far left groups and as one group marched towards the railway station, a fight broke out in the street and punches were thrown.

Police wrestled with the protestors, one officer was punched in the face and left with a bloody nose.

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A scene from the protest. Picture: Gareth Llewelyn Evans

St Illtud’s Church in Llantwit Major held an overnight vigil last night as a space to think, pray, and be with other members of the community for food and activities.

Fr Edwin said there is a feeling that the group are ‘muscling in’ on a strictly local matter, funding was only secured for the temporary housing scheme in mid-December 2022.

It was reported that many in the area felt the site was suited for a local medical centre, however the council is proposing to build 90 units of temporary accommodation.

The decision sparked debate in the area, creating what has been described as "unwelcome interest" from the far-right group, Patriotic Alternative.

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A scene from the protest. Picture: Gareth Llewelyn Evans

Speaking after the protest, Inspector Mark Henderson, from South Wales Police, said: “Officers have been present in Llantwit Major today to facilitate peaceful protest and minimise disruption to the wider community.

“The protest was in the main peaceful however two protesters were arrested.

“A 20-year-old man from Swansea was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

“A 23-year-old woman from the Gwynedd area was arrested on suspicion of assault.

“Both were taken to custody.

“There are no other reported injuries and the protesters eventually dispersed without any further incident.”