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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

UAF demonstration

On 6th of November, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism organised a demonstration against racism, fascism and Islamophobia. The British Caught in the Act of Protest team surveyed the demonstration to enable them to make comparisons with similar demonstrations taking place in Sweden and in Holland.

Seventeen undergraduate and postgraduate students from PAIR helped to survey the demonstration which assembled at 12 noon at Malet Street, in the heart London’s Bloomsbury district. The atmosphere was lively and music was blasting from various stages set up with the help of organisers from Love Music Hate Racism. Over 3,000 people attended the demonstration which was very diverse, involving people from all age groups and parts of the country which had travelled down to London in coaches for the day.

The demonstration was called in reaction to English Defence League’s (EDL) attacks on Islamic cultural centres and growing concerns about a rise in British National Party (BNP) support, particularly in the wake of the economic crisis.

The students successfully handed out 1,000 survey booklets and conducted 180 face-to-face interviews with demonstrators as the march covered almost 4.5km from Malet Street to Millbank, passing through Kingsway, Aldwych, the Strand, Whitehall and Parliament Square. The march was energetic and chants calling for equality and fraternity filled central London as the demonstrators passed by. Passionate speeches concluded the day.

Emily Rainsford and Anjelica Finnegan, PhD candidates in PAIR were amongst our volunteers. They were the “pointers” on two out of four teams of volunteers, responsible for ensuring random selection of respondents for the face-to-face interviews and survey distribution. Chris Shimwell, UG student in PAIR, also helped. He successfully conducted 12 face-to-face interviews and handed out over 70 survey booklets. Chris is analysing UK project team data as part of his undergraduate dissertation on the use of media in protest. Warmest thanks and congratulations to them and the other student volunteers for their excellent professional work on another successful protest survey endeavour!

For details of future research opportunities at the University of Southampton, please contact Dr Clare Saunders at

Audio podcast and student views:

To listen to a podcast introduced by Dr Clare Saunders, Lecturer in Politics & International Relations, and hear the views of participating students, please click on the audio player.



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