5 Sep 2018

Nigel Farage's fans greeted by boos, cheers at Auckland event

10:18 am on 5 September 2018

Ticket holders who showed up to Nigel Farage's speaking event in Auckland last night were met with a crowd of screaming protesters.

Comedian Guy Williams at the protest.

Comedian Guy Williams at the protest. Photo: RNZ/Anneke Smith.

The former Ukip leader spoke at Auckland's Pullman Hotel as part of his week-long speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The British politician, well-known for his immigration conservatism, has been credited with kick-starting Brexit.

Protesters camped outside the hotel entrance last night and screamed "shame" and "traitor" at those who entered.

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman told the crowd his views weren't welcome in New Zealand.

"When people like Nigel Farage come here, and they want to tell us who gets to have rights here and who gets to be included, I just want to remind him, and I might have to use a dirty old C word, that we've already suffered under the kind of vile rhetoric that politicians like him espouse. That word is colonisation."

Booing erupted when New Conservative Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei, who took part in last month's free speech debate with Don Brash, arrived at the event.

New Conservative Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei.

New Conservative Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei. Photo: RNZ/Anneke Smith.

Many ticket holders laughed and clapped as they walked through the protest.

A handful pulled the finger or yelled profanities and one woman furiously waved English flag at the crowd.

Joe Goodin from New Plymouth was the only ticket holder who stopped to speak with the protesters, interrupting Golriz Ghahraman's speech at one point.

"I don't care what religion you're from, what planet you're from or what race you're from. It doesn't matter a damn. My concern is around population as a whole. That's what these people [the protestors] don't want to talk about.

"One of the things, as I understand, Nigel Farage is talking about is population control and he's talking about sovereignty. He's saying that England's identity is disappearing because of multiculturalism."

Azad Khan, from the South Auckland Muslim Association, said he was protesting for an inclusive society.

"When you talk about Nigel Farage his rhetoric is based on homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-migrant policies. We don't need that type of rhetoric here."

Protesters at Nigel Farage even, including Green MP Golriz Ghahraman (R).

Protesters at Nigel Farage even, including Green MP Golriz Ghahraman (R). Photo: RNZ/Anneke Smith.

Ms Ghahraman thanked those who turned up to protest, organised by Tāmaki Anti-Fascist Action.

"It matters to the communities that are under attack from the kind of rhetoric, from the kind of hate, that Nigel Farage profits from, that Donald Trump profits from. It matters to us that you're here for inclusion, equality and love."

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