If you aren’t aware, there was a large amount of concentration over the Lewisham East seat in London over the last month. This owed to their recent by-election, triggered by the resignation of Heidi Alexander, their former MP, who became Sadiq Khan’s deputy Mayor.
This isn’t about the by-election in general or campaigning but rather a specific event during it. That being the (probably now) infamous hustings that occurred on the 12th of June, whereby various fools from Stand Up To Racism (that wonderful bunch) showed up to protest against the For Britain candidate Anne Marie Waters.
You’ve heard the stories; a bunch of angry cretins were protesting (AKA yelling incoherently, violently blocking and pushing people to stop them from getting in), one cohort managed to get inside and disrupt the event and the hustings was shut down very early because the police had instructed it be so. This is a personal recounting of those events.
So, as I said, I attended the hustings to support Anne Marie Waters and her party For Britain, which were located at a Salvation Army hub in Catford. After arriving at the local train station, I was wondering where it was. I didn’t want to use my mobile phone to find the address, fearing it would be snatched by a moped gang or something like that.
Thankfully it didn’t take me long and one specific indicator helped dramatically. That indicator? Various SUTR campaigners outside the location yelling slogans about showing solidarity with their Muslim neighbours and how racist Anne Marie Waters was, with the latter turning to dust if it had been put under any scrutiny.
Getting in the main entrance was a no-win situation as not only were the protestors blocking it, the door had been locked anyway. I joked with a fellow FB supporter about potentially using a battering ram to get inside. So, as I was standing there feeling rather amused by the surroundings with fellow For Britain supporters, the burning question came; how would one be able to get in exactly?
Thankfully, there was another entrance one could enter, which others were using. The problem was that these campaigners were blocking that entrance too and shoving those daring to get in.
Despite this, I decided I would at least try to get in. I didn’t come all the way I had travelled for nothing, and wanted to enter the event, and wasn’t going to let a bunch of millennial thugs stop me. As I and some others were waiting in a fine but squashed queue, one could see the true nastiness of this group. There were people shoving those trying to get in with no impunity, and the police weren’t doing much to calm the group or stop their behaviour.
There was a demented millennial soyboy yelling at people directly in their faces when entering that they were fascists or something of the like. And there was also a black man criticising another for attending, feeling that he was supporting those who would deplatform him, like what had happened in the past, and the one being criticised wasn’t buying it and acknowledged what had happened before, feeling as though the people he was supporting wasn’t anything like what was being described to him.
To make matters worse, entering was (unsurprisingly) a real pain. A guy in front of me had already been pushed rather violently and I was subsequently pushed in the knock-on effect, which nearly led me to break the fence of someone’s house behind me. Thankfully I mostly kept my balance, which stopped that from occurring.
I then saw that instead of being let in one at a time, the people in front of me were simply playing chicken as to who was going to try to run and shove their way in there next. It became rather laughable when even the Libertarian candidate in front of me (a nice guy it seemed who was rather happy despite the situation he was in) was being called a fascist by this group, who had some large object on him too, which I jokingly thought could be used as a battering ram against these fools.
Then it was reluctantly my turn. I made a quick dash and those people tried their best to shove and push me away. Adrenalin was pumping throughout me like there was no tomorrow. Thankfully this will and a black supporter of For Britain (who I recognised from leafletting) aided me in.
To the people behind, they were yelling about me being fascist and that I should be ashamed of myself and the like. I gave them a middle finger in response and told them to ‘kiss my **s’. I felt smugly proud that I had managed to beat these fascists at their own game.
This however didn’t last. When arriving in the hustings, it was pretty typical. People were conversing, eating (I helped myself to free food too) and getting ready for the event to start.
Then the event started. It was a good start; essentially the host explained that he was formerly of 38 Degrees and now was a part of Bring Back Democracy, the latter group hosting the event. He then explained the rules of event. Again, perfectly typical. He explained why the Labour and Conservative candidates for the area hadn’t decided to show up (according to him the former didn’t even respond to the group at all – which he called ‘arrogance’ on her part – and the latter had ‘other commitments’) and then started the hustings.
All was going well, but something rather bothered me; Waters hadn’t shown yet. At this point, I had assumed she was running late. This had happened at UKIP leadership (the far more peaceful I might add) hustings in London last year, where she showed up a few minutes late. Either that or she was trying to get in with having to shove through the ridiculous lot outside. At one point later on in the hustings, I heard louder shouting from them, which I had assumed had been her showing up and trying to enter, but to no avail.
So, all of the candidates made their individual speeches. It was mostly the sort of politician small talk that one would expect about helping the area, the people and fighting for specific rights, based on the group (like the Womens’ Equality Party fighting for women and UKIP fighting for Brexiteers, as you would expect).
There were a few highlights though. The Monster Raving Loony Party candidate was rather funny and joked about voting for him to attack the politicians where it hurts (the ‘ballot box’) which got a few chuckles from the audience, including me. The UKIP candidate David Kurten had to deal with an annoying heckler, supposedly one from the Lewisham Anti-Racist Group, who whinged and moaned about racism and then tore Waters’ paper identification up, giving us a very bad Sinead O’Connor impression. The inevitable boos and anger she received from the crowd coupled with the applause and cheers she got when a police officer escorted her outside was nice to see.
It was good that despite differing political alignings, no one cared about the mad ravings of a mad loon who should have been in the most nearest retirement home. No wonder Kurten’s response (about how funny he found it when white people lectured him, a black man, about racism) received cheers and laughs from the audience alike. The Libertarian candidate sticking up for Waters by saying how it proved his point about how ‘we can’t exercise our free speech’ (who it turned out couldn’t be there tonight as the police had advised her not to come) earned similar sympathy.
But then the curtain dropped. The organiser of the event then sadly told us that the police had been told by higher ups to pull the event. No specific reason was given (surprise, surprise). The disappointment was immense, especially since we all walked out after only half an hour or so of the hustings. Only the introductions for each candidate who had attended were done at this point.
People were mostly disappointed, but also disgusted and rightly so. How could the police let these lunatics on the outside win? How dare they let that outside dictate who should and shouldn’t show up. And I don’t blame individual officers for this. I blame the higher ups for allowing the event to be called off at all. Maybe their higher ups have agendas of their own. Who knows?
So, after seeing the disappointed faces upon leaving (including some candidates, like the Monster Raving Loony Party one giving a wry grin) and talking with another millennial from the area (who had been sitting next to me and had been discussing how he was planning to vote for either UKIP or For Britain in the upcoming by-election), I decided to head off. Despite overhearing that most had gone to the nearest pub, I had no intention of staying. I was so fed up and disheartened and I wasn’t planning to have a solemn drink over it, especially with people I mostly don’t know, and besides, I wasn’t excited for the inevitable fallout from the SUTR that was eventually going to come our way, so I headed off.
It all should have ended there, but oh no. This mob had one more trick up their sleeves. While on my way back to the nearest train station, I was singing very loudly along to the Killing Joke song Pandemonium which I had recently heard and one of the SUTR mob saw me across the street. If you have seen previous videos about this group, including our own, you know who I’m on about. The tall bald guy who looks like an Eastenders reject and does security for them (presumably because the soyboys in SUTR wouldn’t be able to handle an actual fight on their own individually, despite provoking them so frequently).
Already having spooked me last year when the MBGA News team infiltrated their event and found out I was an infiltrator, I decided to cut my losses and not look at him. All was going well. I was nearing the station and about to go when he yelled ‘oi’ and attempted to take a picture of me, presumably thinking that I was a FB supporter, which I was, but he didn’t know that at the time.
The fact that he assumed this without any impunity (like say I was a Liberal Democrat supporter for example, who were going down the same street as I was) speaks very much of his worldview. I looked away as quickly as possible. They cackled like the evil people they were, and I entered the station. I then went to the other platform and hid, simply because it had looked like they were still following me (and my appropriate train was there too, which didn’t hurt).
Forgive me, but I wasn’t wanting to get into a shouting match or a potential fight against a few Nazi scum (isn’t that what they fight against? Oh well). I then left, but felt extremely paranoid about it afterwards. Overhearing some people on the train back initially made me think that they were a part of them, but then was relieved to find out that they weren’t on their side. I then was in a state of paranoia for the remainder of the night, and it still slightly haunted me for days afterwards.
So that is my story. All I can say is that not only was the behaviour of the supposed anti fascists and anti racists truly something to behold and was rather bitter that the event had been closed down, what really bugged me was that the authorities allowed it to happen. Not only had they let this mob be aggressive and violent towards their political opponents, they handed a victory to them. What does shutting down this event indicate for them? That they’re winning. If stuff like this continues to happen, it will only get worse for the state of free speech in this country to those who lean right and even those who lean left but have one or two anti PC views. It was a shambles.
Shame on the higher ups of the police for shutting the event down.
Shame on the Labour Party for not condemning this sort of behaviour and encouraging it by portraying their opponents as fascists and Nazis and subsequently boycotting events to justify their actions.
Shame on those involved in these idiotic protests who don’t have a thought of their own and are so scared of differing opinions, they resort to violence and intimidation to silence opposition, like the cowards they are.
And shame on those who could have done something but didn’t. They didn’t stop these protestors from getting out of control. They didn’t stop their passive aggressive behaviour. They didn’t allow free speech to take place, one of our sacred rights that we lose at our peril. If their right to protest can be defended (even though to my knowledge anti social behaviour didn’t constitute protest – unless you find shoving people, yelling in their face and being generally aggressive not such behaviour not to mention violating the Public Order Act 1986 which prohibits such behaviour), why can’t we have the right to conduct peaceful assembly?
A total shame that this was allowed to happen. I guess when you listen to fools, the mob rules.
Disclaimer: The content of this post reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of MBGA News.
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