A speech by Home Secretary Priti Patel was disrupted Friday night after pro-refugee activists infiltrated a Conservative party ‘spring dinner’.
Eight young social justice and climate campaigners from Green New Deal Rising disrupted the Bassetlaw Conservative Association’s spring dinner and demanded that it drop controversial plans for offshore asylum seekers to Rwanda.
As Patel began addressing party supporters, activists rose one by one to condemn the offshoring plans and called on Patel to abandon them.
“As young people who want to live in a fair and compassionate society, we are disgusted by your treatment of refugees,” said one of the activists, as plainclothes security personnel quickly appeared and cleared the protesters from the building.
Attendees at the conservative dinner could be heard on video footage of the incident chanting, “Out, out, out.”
The group targets politicians and other established figures and disrupts meetings they attend to challenge their stance on social justice and climate change issues. they have recently disturbed HSBC’s AGM sings a variation of Abba’s Money, Money, Money, changing the words to “money, money, money, it’s so scummy, in HSBC’s world”.
Hannah Martin, of Green New Deal Rising, said: “The plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is inhumane and will lead to the destruction of people’s lives and further harm those people seeking safety.”
“Those who champion climate justice are also against Priti Patel’s vicious plans that demonize people who escape terrifying situations while bearing the brunt of the multiple crises of war, poverty and the climate catastrophe. We want Priti Patel to drop the dangerous Rwanda migration plan and provide support and security to migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.”
Plans to offshore asylum seekers to Rwanda were announced on April 14 and are subject to several legal challenges. Initially, the government suggested the first removals would take place very soon, but the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has now indicated that it will likely be several months before anyone is forcibly removed to the African country. Many asylum seekers have indicated that they are terrified of being sent to Rwanda.
Bassetlaw Conservatives and the Home Office have been approached for comment.