Socialist Worker

Doncaster stands up to Ukip as 1,000 join anti-racist march

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2422

On the march in Doncaster

Front of the protest in Doncaster (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A thousand anti-racists filled the streets of Doncaster today, Saturday. They were marching against Ukip, which is holding its conference in the South Yorkshire town.

The diverse and confident march represented everything that Ukip hates. There were dozens of trade union banners from across Britain. Muslim women marched alongside white teenagers and ex-miners from Doncaster joined the protest.

Demonstrators chanted, "Ukip no way - immigrants are here to stay," and "Nigel Farage is a banker and his party serves the rich".

Parveen, from Unison in Doncaster, told Socialist Worker, "I'm marching because I'm a worker. Ukip is playing on people's fears about not finding work and telling them it's about immigration.

"We've got to stop them or we'll end up with racism."

Student Rhiannon travelled to the protest from Leicester. "Whenever there's been an economic downturn the right has got more followers," she told Socialist Worker.

"We have to bring what they're doing to light."

The Stand up to Ukip group called the protest. Shaun Jeffery, a Unite union member from Great Yarmouth, is helping set up a local group in his area.

"It's a target seat for Ukip," he explained. "They're pouring in resources. The region is very polarised. You've got the landed class, but at the coast you've got working class areas.

"Wages are low and people feel abandoned by other parties, especially Labour. So we want to get out campaigning."

Doncaster anti Ukip march

On the march (Pic: Guy Smallman)

At a rally outside the conference speakers pointed to the racism and homophobia of Ukip's members - and its anti-working class policies.

News that a second Tory MP had defected to UKIP added extra urgency to the calls for action. Mark Reckless of Rochester and Stroud follows Douglas Carswell of Clacton.

That means Ukip will be contesting three by-elections in the coming weeks.

Zachariah of the NUS Black Students Campaign said, "All of us, whether you're black or white or whatever you are, we have to organise. We have to fight together against this common enemy. Let us rise up against the racists."

Marchers stood up to a small group of English Defence League supporters who tried to harangue the demonstration.

Jo Cardwell of Stand up to Ukip said, "Ukip's strategy is to use a series of by-elections to make sure that their anti-immigrant racism is at the top of the agenda. We have to show that it is not welcome."

She called for more trade unions to join the campaign, saying, "One of the biggest lies Nigel Farage will be telling in the run-up to the general election is that he stands up for working people. And the best way to show that he doesn't is to get the organisations of working people out on the streets against him."

Stand up to Ukip has called a day of action in Clacton and in Middleton next Saturday 4 October. More information at

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