After crashing his bus into Portsmouth and Southsea train station and hinting at standing in a potential Portsmouth South by-election, Nigel Farage ended his day by the sea by speaking at a UKIP meeting held in Guildhall.
He was greeted by over 60 people protested outside Guildhall.
The crowd chanted “UKIP go home! Migrants are welcome here!” and “You’re BNP in blazers” at UKIP councillors, and members who tried to confront the protest.
Alongside local people, a number of trade unionists, Green Party and Labour members joined the protest. It was also fantastic to see a significant student contingent come and bring a real energy to opposing Farage.
Conversely, the make-up of the UKIP meeting was white, middle class and overwhelmingly from rural Hampshire.
The demo was markedly more rowdy than recent demos in Portsmouth, and its presence was certainly noticed with UKIP officials inside cowering at windows in the upper floors of Guildhall.
Farage wisely chose to enter the venue over 2 hours before the meeting was due to start, otherwise he would certainly have had trouble making the door.
Lisa Fletcher, Chair of Portsmouth UNITE Community joined the demo and attended the meeting. She was forcibly removed from the meeting after heckling Farage’s speech. (Video and interview below).
As the protest wound down a group of 9 fascists attempted to counter the demo. They had pledged to come defend Farage online earlier in the week. They quickly holed up in the Weatherspoons pub they (and Farage) had been drinking in, after the demo turned and marched towards them. Passers-by also joined in confronting the Nazis.
With all the media hype surrounding UKIP and Farage in the local press, this demo showed that there are those in Portsmouth who oppose their cancerous politics.
You can watch Lisa’s action here:
And here is our quick interview: