The protest at Nigel Farage's local pub yesterday was all that I had hoped for and more.
We held a joyful and light hearted cabaret of diversity inside the Ukip leader's local. It included migrants, HIV activists, disabled people, gay people and breastfeeding mums; all groups who have been targeted by UKIP in the last few years.
For example, earlier this year Farage attempted to blame immigration for traffic on the M4. He also said that HIV positive migrants should be kept out of Britain. A section of a Ukip manifesto from last year effectively called disabled people “parasitic underclass of scroungers”, and one of their candidates called gay people "fascist perverts". I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the list could go on.
What we wanted to do was to show Farage, and anyone thinking of voting UKIP, that we're not people who anyone should be scared of. This was the point of our little day out.
As our cabaret got under way, the atmosphere at the George and Dragon was calm, and in the words of the pub landlord: “everyone was very well behaved”. We were all enjoying chatting to the people who were in the pub with us, and there was a fantastic atmosphere. Locals got involved with the talks, participated in the classes, and we were all having a great old time.
Nigel had other plans unfortunately. After learning that he was sitting in another pub across the road, we took our all singing and all dancing conga line over to the pub where he was drinking. He was not interested in engaging with us, and soon drove off in a hurry.
An hour later we saw headlines on the news about his kids "going missing”. This seemed odd to us as at no point did anyone see him with any kids. He was sitting on his own and left on his own.
Since then, a a freelance photographer who was in the pub has said: “As some protesters and the press entered the rear of the pub, I saw a blond-haired woman leaving with two children. At the time, the scene was calm, although she seemed very keen to get out of the pub, possibly not wanting them to be identified. At no time were any children seen to be scared or running away."
Since yesterday’s events I have received at least 100 abusive messages and phone calls, including death threats. Some have attacked me for being gay and, ironically, others have even called me a Nazi. These messages clearly show the vile support base that Ukip thrives upon.
However, I do sympathise with people who feel alienated with the political system. But if you want to protest against the state of this country, a vote for UKIP really is the worst thing you can do. And you don't have to be a breastfeeding mother or an HIV positive migrant to realise this.
Dan Glass is an award-winning activist, educator, academic, performer, consultant and writer. He blogs at: http://www.theglassishalffull.co.uk/
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