As the country came to terms with Boris Johnson's first day in office on Wednesday, hundreds gathered in Russell Square, central London for the 'Fck Govt Fck Boris' protest, a march against a Prime Minister who came to power with the votes of less than 100,000 people. On one of the hottest days of the year, protestors carried homemade signs ("Ovie 4 PM", we must simply stan) and headed towards Westminster, blocking roads, lighting colourful flares and joining in chants of 'Fuck Boris'.
Organised via a Facebook event, hosted by 12 activist groups and figures, including the Women’s Strike Assembly, Sisters Uncut and Owen Jones, the peaceful protest stated its aim as the rejection of “a proudly racist, sexist, homophobic prick” who “will take hold of a government defined by its violent cruelties to people of colour, migrants, women.” Protestors even had their own red bus, a reference perhaps to the notorious '£350 million a week' bus used by Johnson during his Brexit campaign.
VICE headed down to Russell Square to ask the Fck Govt Fck Boris protesters what they hate most about our [full body shudder, screaming into the abyss] new Prime Minister.
“The fact that he has a track record of being racist, homophobic and sexist but has barely been held to account for that. Also, for me it's about the party he represents as much as it is him. It's the decade or so of austerity and cuts to public services. He is someone I have no doubt will continue to decimate what little of these services we have left, with very little care for those affected at all.”
“I believe there's something incredibly dangerous about people like Boris Johnson and Trump. Fascism comes in different shapes and sizes, but Boris' views and policy support have always been very fascist. He's used horrific and racist terms in the past, but is now leading a very fucking multi-cultural country: that inherently feels wrong to me. Of course, the Conservatives are generally racist and sexist, there's no doubt about that. Their austerity has landed most heavily on women, trans and non-binary people of colour too. For me, he embodies all the caustic qualities of the Conservative government, which I also hate.”
“I hate that he represents everything we, and I, are trying to change: a racist, oppressive system that is bent on othering minorities and the disadvantaged. Boris has proven himself to be consistently racist and misogynistic, he is the antithesis of the positive, modernistic, inclusive Britain I want, and we need. So, fuck him.”
“What I hate the most about Boris is literally everything he stands for. I can't begin to pin it down to one thing. Everything about him is revolting, and on a moral level, disgusting. He represents everything that is wrong with the current political climate globally, not just here. He is a racist, Islamophobic, misogynistic – to repeat, racist – cunt. He is trash.”
“The Prime Minister has been selected by a fraction-of-a-fraction of the population. And a homogenous slice of the population at that: they're rich, they're white, they're male, they're conservative – how is that the best solution? How does that even work?
Look, there's going to be things that a person in power believes that I disagree with – that's fair, that happens. But everyone who had a chance to vote for him are the same type of person. There's no democracy.”
“I hate his lack of knowledge regarding the people who don't have financial security: the normal people. And beyond this, he seems incapable of understanding things – devoid of empathy, horrifically close-minded. I think that having someone in power that isn't able to be open-minded about having a progressive society, moving with the times, and avoiding elitist, traditional tendencies is awful. Being ignorant of these issues is the last thing we need right now, and that's exactly what he is – ignorant. That's what I dislike most about him.”
“I'm a nurse, working for the NHS. I think one of the most concerning things about Boris is what he's likely to do to the health service. With Boris, we're only going to see a further erosion to people's access to healthcare, their basic human rights expected in a country like ours. We only have to look at how migrants have to pay upfront for UK health care now to see the issues that could transpire. There'll likely be further cuts to the healthcare professionals too, so everyone from nurses to doctors, psychologists to radiologists will be much worse off.
Ultimately, as someone who works in healthcare, I feel we're already at breaking point and will end up much worse off with him in power. It'll be a complete collapse of one of the most important institutions the world has ever seen.”