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Anne Marie Waters today attacked the “extreme left” Labour Party and claimed people no longer have freedom of association in Britain since an “explosion” of hard-left hatred inspired by the rise of Jeremy Corbyn.
The leader of For Britain also confirmed that her new party has halted public meetings for the foreseeable future and will instead “refocus on a greater online presence.” The decision comes after increasing intimidation from far-left Antifa-inspired groups who have disrupted public meetings and left members and supporters “terrified”.
Talking to Shy Society, the director of Sharia Watch UK, said: “I’ve been travelling around the country for close to 15 years. I’ve always had the odd protest and you’d have students dotted outside if you went to a university with little banners. But now, I truly have never seen it like this.
“We tried to do the first public meeting in Plymouth – and the first venue cancelled telling us it was to do with the police, then they denied having cancelled it at all. The police denied having had contact with anyone, we have absolutely no idea what is going on. And the second venue was cancelled as well. I’m reading in the papers things about whether or not my event is going ahead – it’s crazy. And local activists and people in For Britain are just getting overwhelmed and terrified especially with mention of the police. It’s a real shock to the system to see.
“Same thing happened in Hartlepool. We decided to keep the venue secret and just let members know on the day, and it was probably about midday we emailed members and immediately it was cancelled. I was on the train on the way up, I get a phone call to say it is cancelled. It’s difficult to give you a really concrete picture – it is just an atmosphere that I’ve never known before. People are terrified.
“We also had an event booked up in Leeds which was cancelled. They said the police had contacted them, but the police said they had never said such thing. The bigger picture is that in practice, if you speak negatively about mass immigration or Islam, you no longer have freedom of association. That is the reality. And all I’m trying to do is give a speech – I’m not calling for violence, I’m not calling for repatriation, I’m not calling for anything outrageous or outlandish. I simply want us to tell the truth about many things but particularly – the one that causes the problem – is telling the truth about this religion. And that’s all I’ve ever done and want to do.”
Anne Marie firmly believes her former party is behind the rise in hard-left intimidation and says she has even had Tory members writing to her about their local branch meetings being targeted.
“A woman member from the Conservative Party wrote to me this week to tell me that the local branch party meetings were being disrupted by Antifa,” she said. “This is the party of government being harassed and shut down in this way – this is really serious stuff. I mean when any party is shut down like that it is serious, but when it’s the party of government something is really, really wrong here.
“While these things have always happened, they’ve usually happened in isolation. Now it’s happening nearly every time I go somewhere. We have a new Labour Party: an extreme left Labour Party, and a party unashamed at calling for the disruption of their main opponents, emboldened by the likes of John McDonnell using inflammatory language.
“These bullying, masked tactics that they are using is coming straight from the top of the Labour Party – and that’s why I think there’s been such a huge explosion. Since Corbyn has come to power it has got far, far worse – and they’ve got a lot of control, they are very effective and are cutting off all sorts of avenues. Labour is encouraging the disruption of discussion by their political opponents through bullying and intimidatory means and that’s a serious situation to be in.”
Nonetheless the Irishwoman says she is pleased with the progress made since launching in October with a dozen branches set up and another dozen in the pipeline. But she admits For Britain was forced into taking a strategic decision about hosting public meetings moving forward.
“We are still going to have meetings, just not public ones,” she adds. “A refocus to a greater online presence is going to be the immediate future. I simply won’t put For Britain members and supporters through this anymore, they’ve been really inconvenienced by these tactics and we can’t keep doing it to them because they’re going to lose spirit.
“You have to look at it philosophically and overall I’m happy with the progress we are making. We were feeding Antifa and allowing them to flex their muscles and have these little moral victories but not anymore.
“I know we’re on a journey and what keeps me going is knowing that our perseverance will win out – all they have is a façade, we have the hammer of truth.”
Standing up for those without a voice in Britain