By Thomas Foster
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Clacton protest stands up to Farage and fights racism

Anti-racist activists are protesting against Nigel Farage's election campaign—but the fight must continue beyond the election
Issue 2911
Stand Up To Racism demonstrators in Clacton, Essex, protesting Nigel Farage

Stand Up To Racism demonstrators protest against Nigel Farage in Clacton, Essex

A small group of local activists took to the streets of Clacton, Essex, on Saturday. They were campaigning against Nigel Farage, leader of Reform UK, who is standing to be the MP for Clacton.

Anti-racists held a Stand Up To Racism campaign stall and leafleted people passing by, arguing not to vote for the racist Reform UK party.

Gracie, from Southend, said she was campaigning “to stop Farage because he’s a vile racist”.

Tim, a resident in Essex, agreed, saying he was campaigning “to show the truth about Farage’s disgusting views and show that there are a number of people who oppose him”.

Danielle, an activist who grew up in Frinton, a town in the constituency of Clacton, said, “Clacton doesn’t need Farage. He has no connection to the area. He’s a career politician who was quoted as saying he’d dread coming here.”

And she slammed his disgusting politics. “He’s racist, homophobic, Islamophobic—he’s every phobic under the sun.

“He’s picking this town as an easy target. Clacton deserves better. If he’s elected he’ll never come here. He won’t do anything but rile people up.”

This was echoed by Jane, an activist and member of the Unite union, who lives locally. “Farage is using the people of Clacton. He has a veneer of honesty but if you scratch the surface that’s not who he is,” she said.

“He made a huge amount of money in the European Parliament and will do the same thing if he gets elected here.

“Walking through Clacton, people have been left out with no investment in seaside towns. We need better social services, housing and support,” she explained.

Jane argued that Farage would deliver nothing for the people of Clacton. “The reason there’s no social care isn’t because of migrants but because the state has failed.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of migrants but the people flying in on private jets and people owning newspapers and spreading lies.” 

Tim agreed, saying, “Clacton has its problems. People don’t want to vote for establishment parties but we need to get another message across.

“There’s a high degree of racism behind Farage. He tries to blame real problems on the wrong answer—it creates divisions,” he said.

“If we want to save the NHS, then the last thing we want to do is scapegoat migrants.”

Tim added, “We are showing that people will stand up to the crap the media says and the image of Farage as an ordinary bloke.”

But Farage has been given a platform by the Tories. Thomas, a school worker in Clacton, attacked the failures of the Tories which have enabled Farage.

“The right pull money out of vulnerable places to the point where they are so frustrated that they look for easy answers. It’s communities that are suffering.

“Farage is a trickster and a chancer who’s taking the piss out of us. He’s trying to take advantage of us and is foul,” he said.

“We need to unite against Farage, not splinter and fragment. We don’t want the far right in Britain.”

And Danielle argued that to beat Farage we can’t rely on Labour. “Politics doesn’t stop in the voting booth. It’s about taking to the streets,” she said.

Gracie said that engaging people is “important because they can be convinced, as racism is taught and flows from the top.”

But after the election, she said “We need to continue the fight”.

“The Tories are failing, and Labour isn’t offering anything. Fighting from below is the best strategy. We need ordinary people working together to stand up for themselves and each other,” she added. 

It was promising to see activists opposing Farage in Clacton with principled anti-racism. But we need bigger mobilisations and resistance. There is another SUTR event next Saturday in Clacton and a demonstration against fascist Tommy Robinson in London on 27 July.

The far right could be on the verge of a breakthrough. The fightback against it must start now.

  • For Stand Up To Racism campaign materials and details of the days of action on 22 and 29 June and the demonstration on 27 July go to standuptoracism.org.uk

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