Socialist Worker

Muslim woman who disrupted Ukip’s election launch says, ‘Take on the racists’

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2552

Naima disrupted Ukips press conference today in London

Naima disrupted Ukip's press conference today in London (Pic: PA)


A Muslim woman who disrupted the racist Ukip party’s general election launch today has called on people to “protest against the racists wherever they go”.

Naima Omar, a student from south London, told Socialist Worker, “Ukip is targeting Muslims. They don’t want people to look at the real issues in the general election, whether that’s the NHS or housing.

“They want people to scapegoat migrants, Muslims and refugees. But they are just racist people—and we’re showing that.”

A group of Stand Up To Racism campaigners stormed Ukip’s press launch at the Marriott County Hall in central London this morning, Friday. Three protesters got into the press area—and were quickly bundled out.

Naima said, “They were clearly targeting the only Muslim black woman on the protest. It was nervewracking—but it was necessary.”

Protesters were escorted out after shouting, “Ukip is a racist party.” But their protest continued to disrupt the press conference as Ukip wouldn’t allow other journalists in while they remained in the building.

Force

The protest came after party leader Paul Nuttall announced that Ukip would campaign to ban the burqa. Ukip also wants to force schoolgirls it deems to be at risk of female genital mutilation to undergo compulsory medical checks.

But Nuttall is already under pressure over his Islamophobia—and the party is going through internal turmoil after failing to break through in the polls.

At the press conference Nuttall was forced to distance himself from Ukip’s parliamentary candidate in Lewisham East in south east London. Anne Marie Waters tweeted that “the only evil we have legalised is Islam” and called on people to “insult Islam”.

It’s not just Ukip that is stoking racism in the election campaign—the Tories are too.

Naima said, “Wherever they go, people have to protest and rally against them, like we did this morning. It’s about showing them and the media that ordinary people are not racist and don’t share their beliefs.”


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