Socialist Worker

Protests hound Johnson's campaign efforts

Issue No. 2684

Anti-racist campaigners went out on the LMHR battle bus

Anti-racist campaigners went out on the LMHR battle bus (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Protesters forced Boris Johnson to cancel several campaign events in the days running up to the election.

The anger against his visits is one sign of the deep bitterness in society.

Jeannie Robinson reported, “At a few hours’ notice last Thursday we had a tip off that Boris Johnson was coming to a knitwear factory—Smedleys—in a small village in Derbyshire. 

“About 50 people turned up to protest against the visit. They included Labour Party members and Socialist Worker supporters, climate activists and local people.

“We had to split forces to watch two entrances. Masses of journalists also arrived.

“Many of the workers inside waved and gave us the thumbs up. Then the Tory battle bus arrived and we chased it up a lane to a carpark chanting, ‘Boris Johnson has to go.’

“Over 30 angry people got up the lane and up close. We were the first item on the television news.”

The next day, reports Steve Wilkins, “Around 100 Tory supporters gathered at the back of the Jolly Knight pub in Rochester to meet Johnson.

“He was touring Kent in advance of the leaders’ debate in Maidstone that evening.


“But Johnson failed to appear because of the presence of protesters from Stand Up To Racism and Extinction Rebellion.

“We joined a young woman with a homemade placard that read, ‘Austerity Killed 130,000. You Have Blood On Your Hands.’

“It was announced that Johnson had been delayed and then that he was not coming to Rochester after all due to ‘logistical reasons’”.

And Johnson’s problems continued the next day.

ITV news reported, “Johnson was forced to abandon a walkabout in Westhoughton, Lancashire, after dozens of protesters took to the town’s high street.

“The prime minister had planned to meet voters in the marginal Bolton West constituency,” it said.

“Around 100 demonstrators, some selling Socialist Worker newspaper and holding banners saying ‘No to Racism, No to Boris Johnson’, had lined both sides of the high street where Mr Johnson had planned to go on a walkabout.

“Instead the prime minister travelled back to London by car and his battle bus also headed south, ending his whirlwind visit to North West marginal seats on Saturday.”

Last Saturday trade unionists, Labour Party members and other socialists held a march through Wigan in north west England.

It mobilised against the Tories in defence of the NHS and celebrated recent strike successes in the area.

More protesters greeted Boris Johnson when he visited a fish market in Grimsby, east Yorkshire, on Monday.

Some market workers holding placards heckled him while he chatted to merchants and posed with fish.

One campaigner held a sign which read, “Hope Not Tories.”

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