Message sent by Caroline Lucas to the meeting held by UAF on Thursday 11th April in support of the protests against March for England:
Thank you for inviting me to join you tonight – I’m sorry that previous commitments mean that I can’t be with you in person.
Spring is finally in the air, but sadly, once again, the far-right will soon be marching through our streets – despite the local community demonstrating that their bigoted views are not welcome in our city.
The far-right thrives on causing divisions– and history is littered with examples of just how destructive these divisions can be. We all have a responsibility to resist those divisions, the scapegoating, the stereotyping. And we all have a responsibility to counter the lies and myths that are peddled by the far right – and by some parts of the media – with the truth.
Despite what you can read in some newspapers, for example, a recent cross-party parliamentary inquiry into asylum support for children and young people found that many families in the UK, who have fled persecution and war, are forced to live in unsafe, cramped, dirty accommodation where they are likely to be subjected to racial abuse. That’s why I’ve signed the Early Day Motion calling for asylum support rates to increase so they are at least equal to 70 per cent of income support and to up-rate support rates annually, and why I will continue to oppose racism, facism and all other forms of destructive and divisive policies. I am proud to do that in Parliament and proud to do that in Brighton and Hove.
Being part of a multicultural society is a cause for pride too and should be celebrated. I hope to see some of you on the 21st April and join you in peaceful action opposing racism and fascism in our city.
Caroline is the MP for Brighton Pavilion. She served as Leader of the Green Party of England & Wales from 2008 to 2012.