Priti Patel Heckled Over 'Racist' Rwanda Policy Which Will 'Ruin People's Lives'

In less than 12 hours, the clip showing the home secretary being interrupted by protesters has accumulated more than four million views.
Priti Patel was heckled during a speech by protesters from the Green New Deal Rising
Priti Patel was heckled during a speech by protesters from the Green New Deal Rising

Priti Patel’s speech at a Conservative Party “spring dinner” was interrupted by demonstrators calling the home secretary out for her treatment of refugees on Friday.

Eight climate campaigners from the group Green New Deal Rising called for Patel to drop the home office’s divisive plans to send asylum seekers who arrive to the UK via so-called “illegal means” off to Rwanda.

One after another, the activists stood up and criticised the home secretary – before being escorted out by security.

“Priti Patel, your racist policies are killing people,” the first demonstrator began, just as the home secretary started her speech.

Those attending the Bassetlaw Conservative Association Spring Dinner began to boo the activists, and shout, “out out out” – but the demonstrators continued unperturbed.

“Your plans to send seeking asylum to Rwanda, are inhumane and are going to ruin people’s lives,” the protester said before being carried out by plain-clothed guards.

Another person immediately stood up and said: “Priti Patel, as a young person who wants to live in a fair and compassionate society, we are disgusted by your treatment of refugees in the UK.”

The protesters continued to jump up from various places around the room, each picking up from where the last person finished.

The next person cried: “At every opportunity, we will stand against your cruel plans and stand with migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. ”

“We want to live in a just and fair society that cares and respects people, wherever they come from,” an activist standing on a chair shouted over the rebuttals from the other attendees.

“We want to be open and welcoming and tackle these crises in a just a way.”

Another person said: “Priti Patel, we demand you drop your racist and problematic Rwanda migration policy. We demand that you treat people of this world fairly, and you treat them with respect.

“Whether you’re from Rwanda, wherever you’re from, you deserve to be treated with respect!” The protester continued shouting even as he was dragged out of the venue.

A chorus then began among the remaining activists: ″Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here.”

The one-minute video, shared on social media by the social justice group, then stops as all the demonstrators are pushed outside of the room.

Writing for The Guardian on Monday, Green New Deal Rising organiser Holly Hudson explained that the climate activists confronted the home secretary because housing refugees amid soaring global temperatures are connected.

“Many of the crises in the global south are the direct result of centuries of colonial exploitation by wealthy countries such as the UK. We believe it is the responsibility of our government to provide safety for people facing these situations. The ‘Rwanda plan’ and the nationality and borders bill must continue to be challenged and scrutinised in parliament and in public.”

The activist added: “No matter what the repercussions, history shows that if enough of us stand up and say, ‘No more’, we can make a difference.”

The group is known for targeting politicians to put pressure on the establishment related to the climate crisis and to pressing social issues.

Patel’s offshoring plan was announced in April, and is already facing legal challenges, as the government has openly admitted.

Downing Street has since confessed that it might take several months before anyone is even sent to Rwanda, although it maintains: “Our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda fully complies with international and national law.”


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