Socialist Worker

Angry protesters take on Theresa May in Bristol - and chase away the Tories

Issue No. 2552

Part of the protest in Bristol against Theresa May

Part of the protest in Bristol against Theresa May (Pic: Simon Doyle)

A group of noisy protesters gathered to demonstrate against Theresa May when she spoke in Bristol on Tuesday evening.

May had tried to keep the venue of her speech to Tory activists secret until late in the day. But her efforts to hide away from ordinary people failed.

Simon Doyle helped to organise the protest. He told Socialist Worker, "We started off with a small group of people, but it grew to about 50. We only had a few hours' notice of where she was speaking.

"People living in nearby houses came out to join the protest once they realised what was happening. Other people had heard May was coming on Twitter."

Hector, a student at Bristol university, was also on the protest. He told Socialist Worker, "I went because I support Jeremy Corbyn and think we have to denounce Theresa May.

"May represents all the politics of austerity. It's important to show opposition to her."

There was a representative from the People's Assembly on the protest, as well as other campaigners, trade unionists, socialists and local residents.

One woman said she had lived in the area for over seven years and couldn't remember the Tories ever visiting it. "It's just a stunt," she said of May's visit.

Simon said, "May was already in the building when we arrived. But when she came out everyone started chanting and the crowd surged forward.


"People were quite combative and not afraid to step into the road. There was an NUS students' rep there who was a Tory and people were chanting, 'Shame' at him."

May has taken great pains to avoid contact with ordinary people so far in the election campaign. She visited a building in Leeds last week - after most of those who worked in it had left. In Scotland, she decided a dense forest was the perfect place to hold an event.

May knows that many working class people are sick of austerity and don't support her policies. Wherever the Tories show their faces, there should be protests to show they aren't welcome. Everyone should look out for the chance to organise the same kind of protest as people in Bristol did, or bigger.

In Bristol, demonstrators chanted, "Tories out," and "Tory scum" as party activists left the area. "Some of them were chased down the street," said Simon. "People were chanting, 'Get out, Tories'.

"I think they definitely left demoralised."




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