An update regarding the proposed Asatru Folk Assembly Winter Nights event at Stonehenge 

On the 11th of September 2023 the Police Pagan Association (PPA) was informed that the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) was planning to host its first Winter Nights event at Stonehenge on 28th of October 2023 at 7pm. The event was publicised by AFA ‘folk builder’ James Saunders on Twitter/X. 

The AFA are an American white supremacist hate group who claim to practice the religion of Asatru, however, the AFA openly and proudly promote a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and antisemitic interpretation of contemporary Germanic Paganism that is abhorrent to the law-abiding and inclusive Pagans and Heathens of the UK; having been emboldened by an increasingly conservative and traditionalist political landscape, racially exclusive right-wing extremist groups such as the AFA continue their attempts to establish a foothold and some semblance of validity in the UK. 

As a result, the various agencies linked to the management and security of Stonehenge were notified of the potential security and reputational risk that the AFA posed if they were permitted to pursue their plans. Subsequently, the liaison with these key stakeholders was effectively managed by the Pagan Federation using their experience and extensive network of contacts to do so, whilst the PPA concentrated on working with security, policing, and counter-extremism agencies, and Asatru UK reached out to their national conglomeration of contemporary Germanic Pagan and Heathen groups to ready a community wide response. 

These, and many other Pagan and Heathen organisations from across the UK were invited to ratify a Call to Action that was drafted and agreed upon by over 40 separate groups representing inclusive British Paganism and Heathenry who formed a united front against the attempted appropriation of a symbol of spiritual significance and British cultural heritage site by far-right extremists. This document was widely circulated on many websites and social media platforms, resulting in a national display of solidarity. 

A copy of the Call to Action can be found here: A response to the proposed Asatru Folk Assembly Winter Nights event at Stonehenge.docx 

In addition, a petition against the event was created, and those same organisations distributed it among their networks, communities, and members, resulting in over 2,400 signatures at the time of writing this document, in just over 10 hours. 

The petition can be found here:  

As a result of this display of solidarity by the entirety of the UK’s inclusive Pagan and Heathen faith communities, the AFA have now cancelled the event and will no longer attempt their efforts to co-opt a symbol of our national heritage as a platform on which they can promote their hateful and exclusive narratives. 

The many Pagan and Heathen organisations who worked in unity in this matter, and the thousands of Pagans, Heathens and others who signed the petition and made their opinions very clear, would like to thank the AFA for providing an opportunity for the Pagan and Heathen faith communities of the UK to show how well they work together in solidarity against an organisation which threatens the reputation of our religion and continues to dishonour us by promoting racism, misogyny, homophobia, and antisemitism under the guise of Asatru. 

In addition, we will state here, that any further attempts to establish a significant presence in the UK will be met with a similar display of solidarity, in which the many inclusive Pagan and Heathen organisations and the thousands who responded herein, will once again unite and stand up against you in order to protect the Pagan faiths of our country from your hateful interpretation of Heathenry, an interpretation that shares nothing with the true faith which you claim to practice, and which is fundamentally incompatible with the wonderfully diverse multicultural communities of the UK. 

This correspondence is endorsed by representatives of the following inclusive Pagan and Heathen organisations, on behalf of the UK Pagan and Heathen religious community:  

The Police Pagan Association
The Pagan Federation
Asatru UK
Vanatru UK
The Defence Pagan Network
Clan Dolmen
The Confederation of UK Heathen Kindreds
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids
Pagan Seminary
Pagan Aid
Life Rites
The British Druid Order
Hendon Heathens
Kith of the Tree and the Well
Dawn of the Oak
The Doreen Valiente Foundation
Children of Artemis
Pagans of the North
Coven of Gaia
Heathen Women United
Witches of Gaia
Pagan Chaplains Association
Scottish Pagan Federation
Essex and Harts Heathen Kindred
Tamesis Grove
Sacred Earth Activism
Norse Wicca UK
Heathens of Mercia
Heart of Brigantia Coven
The Druid Network
The Druid Camp Association
The Heathen Harlots
Banbury Pagan Circle
The Asherah Grove
The Order of Celtic Wolves
Northampton Pagans
Pagan Pride
Coven of the Moon and Tide
West Byfleet and Woking Moot
Heathens of Yorkshire
The Grove of Aletheia
Anglesey Druid Order
Bedfordshire Pagans
Guernsey Pagan Alliance
Berkshire Witches and Wiccans
Ring of Ghosti
Temple of Inanna
Hedge Witchery UK
North West Heathens
Cotswold Order of Druids
Isle of Wight Order of Druids
Nwyfre Earth