Thousands Of People Expected To Attend 'Not My Prime Minister' Protests Across The UK

Thousands of people are expected to take part in anti-Boris Johnson protests on Saturday, with demonstrations planned across the UK. 

Action has been planned number of cities – including Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge, Cardiff, Birmingham, York, Liverpool, and Swansea – where activists will take to the streets to say “not my prime minister”. 

Weyman Bennett, co-convener for Stand Up To Racism told HuffPost UK that the protests had been organised by the group as soon as the election result was announced in order to fight the normalisation of racial discrimination. 

“We are protesting because believe that racism and Islamophobia have gone unchallenged over the course of this election, and racist statements made by the prime minister – including references to ‘watermelon smiles’ and ‘piccaninnies’ – have been ignored. 

“There has been no real focus on the fact that racism has been used to divide people. This is not normal, referring to muslim women as ‘letterboxes’ is not normal – it’s language that should be in the gutter, not being used by the leader of the UK. 

“The election is over, but we can’t stand by and let this racist, islamophobic rhetoric be normalised.” 

Protests broke out in London and Glasgow on Friday evening, with some protesters in the capital clashing with Met Police officers and two arrests being made. 

Large crowds of people – surrounded by a heavy police presence –  attended the impromptu demonstrations, with many more expected to turn out onto the streets on Saturday.

Each individual event is anticipating hundreds of attendees, with other organisations and charities such as Extinction Rebellion offering their support at some of the protests. 

The Conservatives won a huge 80-seat majority at Thursday’s general election – gaining support in several seats that had traditionally been seen as Labour strongholds – giving the party a mandate to leave the European Union by January 31. 

Protests broke out in London on Friday evening after the election results were announced.  (Photo: Ollie Millington via Getty Images)

The PM’s campaign to be re-elected as leader was dogged by accusations of racism, with offensive comments he had written or spoken during his time both as a journalist and a politician heavily criticised.  

“It’s not just racism and islamophobia,” Bennett explaned, “The prime minister has condemned anti-Semitism, but congratulated far-right leader Victor Orbán for winning an election when he himself has been widely criticised as an antisemite. 

“It’s clear that racism is being used to divide us. The themes might not be the same, but the scapegoating of migrants to this country echoes that of the 1930s. We are really, really worried. 

“We are standing up against the language that is being used – Trump-isms, ‘go back to your own country’, xenophobic tropes – and saying that these views don’t represent the majority.” 


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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.