Anti-Brexit protesters attempted to block a road leading to a Brexit Party rally in Merthyr Tydfil Wednesday in order to try and prevent the rally from taking place.
Around a dozen campaigners blocked the route to the rally, lining cars up in the middle of the road in an attempt to stop Brexit Party supporters from being able to reach the venue.
Christoper Hope of the Telegraph wrote of the attempted disruption: “It’s all happening in Merthyr Tydfil. Nigel Farage is preparing to give a speech tonight to his supporters in a supermarket car park and now anti-Brexit campaigners have blocked the roads so the Brexiteers cannot get in.”
Today in Merthyr Tydfil we fought through remainers who AGAIN wanted to deny our voice by blocking the road.
We will be heard. Vote for The Brexit Party on May 23rd. pic.twitter.com/QLNw9lwK2E
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) May 15, 2019
Mr Farage and supporters were eventually able to pass the blockade and hold the rally as planned. Addressing the crowd, Brexit Party leader Farage said protesters were not able to debate the politics so were attacking the democratic right of others to meet and speak instead, telling the crowd: “Would we try and stop other political parties, people with other points of view? We’d never consider that, we beleive in democracy, we believe it’s the most important freedom. So shame on them, is what I say.”
Leane Wood, the leader of the Welsh Nationalist party Plaid Cymru appeared to be in full support of the protests, going so far as to compare the pro-democracy Brexit Party to 1930s fascists, and was even compelled to deny that she had been calling for violence against Brexit supporters in her comments.
The controversy over the Welsh nationalist’s remarks started after she wrote online: “Proud of our history. In 1936 Oswald Moseley and his blackshirts were turfed out of the Rhondda in the traditional working-class way. Will Merthyr people do the same again tonight?” She then went on to describe the Brexit Party as the “modern-day far right” and said they should be fought with.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 16, 2019
At the 1936 event Ms Wood was referring to, the crowds of anti-Fascist protestors turned violent and the police had to step in to prevent attacks.
Richard Tice, Chairman of the Brexit Party, spoke out to condemn the protesters by saying “Remainers have run out of arguments so they’re now resorting to physically blocking us – but they won’t succeed.” Party candidate Annunziata Rees-Mogg joined the condemnation, calling the protest an appalling reflection on the state of British democracy.
The protests come amid a huge surge in support for the Brexit Party which, it appears, has Remain campaigners worried. As it stands, the Brexit Party are leading the polls ahead of the European elections due on May 23rd, giving the party as much as one-third of the popular vote — well ahead of the Conservative party which is polling as low as half that.