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(en) Asylum protesters chase Anne Widdecombe in the Edinburgh Festival

From John O <ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk>
Date Sun, 27 Aug 2000 08:52:53 -0400


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     Shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombes, visit to the Edinburgh 
Festival, on Saturday 26th August, was hounded by angry protesters 
enraged by her attitude towards asylum seekers.
     The protest happened at the Edinburgh Book Festival, where she 
had been invited to read from her novel 'The Clematis Tree.'
     Protesters  heckled  Widdecombe throughout the reading from her 
novel, chanting: "Jail the racists not the refugees" and "Refugees 
are welcome, Widdecombe is not."
    After the reading ended, protesters surrounded the Tory MP's group 
and she was forced to leave the marquee by a back entrance, 
surrounded by police officers and security staff.
     They got Widdecombe into a taxi, which pulled away without 
incident but then got caught in a traffic jam.
      Protesters quickly surrounded the vehicle and attacked it, some 
striking it with placards while others thumped windows and door 
panels.
     Police officers struggled to clear a path for the taxi, but 
eventually did so and arrested some protesters.

     A spokesperson for 'Refugees are Welcome Here'  Bill Scott,said: 
"We thought it was really ironic that Amnesty International have a 
workshop here on imprisoned writers and if Ann Widdecombe had her way 
they would all be thrown into jail.
     "Everybody has the right to free speech here but surely we should 
be defending other rights as well.
     "We do not have links to the other groups who threw the custard 
pie* at her but we would like to get their recipe."

End

*Anne Widdecombe Pied by Asylum Seekers Support Group in Anti-Racist Protest
http://www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/letters/news19/anne.html

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
110 Hamstead  Road
Birmingham B20 2QS
Phone: 0121-554-6947  Fax:  0870-055-4570
E-mail ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk
Web site:  http://www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/

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