Flush UKIP out of Bath!
Recently, UKIP were invited by a Green Party candidate to attend a protest in Bath against the closure of public toilets. If you object to UKIP being invited to, or attending anti-cuts events, please read, sign and share the open letter below. If UKIP are not disinvited, there will be a pro-public toilets, anti-UKIP presence at the protest. We hope you can make it.
The campaign can be contacted at flushUKIPbath@gmail.com. Please add your name to the letter either using the comments feature, or by emailing us at the above address.
Flush UKIP out of Bath!
This open letter has been written by a group of activists local to the Bath area who have been involved in anti-cuts and anti-fascist campaigning and refuse to accept that UKIP be given a platform at anti-cuts (or any) events;
We are shocked and alarmed to note that UKIP have been invited to attend a local protest against the closure of public toilets in Bath. The organiser of the event, a local Green Party activist, has contacted them, asking them to attend the protest, which will be held on Friday August 15th, 2pm at Parade Gardens. They have confirmed that they will attend.
While we fully support any campaign to defend essential public services against an increasingly brutal agenda of austerity and budget cuts, we feel uncomfortable with the involvement of UKIP for several reasons.
Firstly, the event has been billed as ‘inclusive’. The presence of UKIP whose elected representatives have repeatedly and unapologetically attacked immigrant, ethnic minority, religious, disabled, traveller and LGBTQ groups and individuals, with both comments and party policy will leave many in those groups and their supporters reluctant, or even intimidated out of attending.
Secondly, we reject the idea that UKIP are a party that stand for the rights or welfare of working people, and see their inclusion in the event as naive in the extreme on the part of the organisers and a cynical publicity grab on the part of UKIP. Why would we trust a party who support the dismantling of the NHS, an end to maternity leave, massive cuts to welfare and a significant tax hike for the poorest in the country to stand up for the very services they have been clear they wish to destroy? UKIP should not be allowed to piggyback off legitimate campaigns to curry local favour; especially when they show such commitment to worsening the lot of ordinary people in every other sphere of their campaigning.
Thirdly, we believe UKIP is a racist, xenophobic and far-right party. We believe as a point of principle that progressive groups should not afford them the oxygen of publicity. We believe in a ‘no platform’ approach in response to UKIP and similar groups.
We congratulate the organisers of the protest on standing up for a very important cause and look forward to supporting the campaign. However, we do call on them to immediately retract their invitation to UKIP and make it clear that no xenophobic, racist, anti-worker and anti-immigrant groups will be welcome. If it remains clear that UKIP have not been disinvited, we will be attending both in support of the campaign, but also in an active anti-UKIP capacity, and will be calling on other groups and individuals to do the same.