Sandwiches and Solidarity

hThis coming Sunday at 2pm there is going to be an event in Vivary Park in Taunton to celebrate tolerance, diversity and unity in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. It is a non-partisan event and all are welcome to come along and show their support. The event is hosted by three of the candidates for Taunton Deane at the last General Election – Neil Guild (Labour), Clive Martin (Green Party) and Mike Rigby (Independent).

Neil Guild said:”We wanted to show a clear commitment to a more tolerant and diverse society – which we felt was under threat since the Brexit vote – by holding a public event. We also wanted to show solidarity with EU nationals living in the UK and other groups that will feel threatened. It is worth noting that since the EU Referendum there has been a 60% increase in reports of racial hatred.”  

Rise in ‘Hate Crime’

“For many of us who supported the Remain vote in the EU Referendum it’s been a difficult month and I am personally still finding it hard to come to terms with. The campaign was the hardest I have been involved with in my political life. Remain campaigners were called traitors and worse. One pro-Brexit member of the public performed a Nazi salute at a Remain campaigner in Taunton High Street. I had dog faeces thrown at my house and car for having the temerity to put up a Remain poster. That’s just here in Taunton Deane. The sort of bigotry and racism that had been made unacceptable in public debate through the hard work of the Labour movement was given licence by senior politicians in order to further their own agendas.”  

Immigration and English Nationalism

Much of what has happened since was predicted. While I’m conscious that some colleagues in the party and wider Left supported Brexit the reality is that the EU Referendum was won on a hard-Right platform – that put immigration, English nationalism and pro-market and anti-state policies at the heart of their arguments.” 

“The task of resisting efforts to weaken workers protections, a race to the bottom in the job market, the further selling off of state assets, and increased privatisation in the public sector rests with the Labour party. This will be our task in the coming years of this parliament – to ensure that Brexit is not used as a charter by the Tories to remould the UK further in their image.”  

“That is our task over the coming weeks, months and years, but for this Sunday it is mostly an opportunity to meet with colleagues, friends and comrades and show our solidarity and reflect on the past few weeks and where we go from here.”



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