2 May 2017
Linda Freeman, Secretary of Tameside Green Party, was forcibly ejected from last night’s Greater Manchester mayoral hustings, organised by Citizens UK at Salford’s Lowry Centre.
Ms Freeman said: “The Citizens UK so-called Mayoral Assembly only invited three of the eight candidates, i.e. Lab, Con and Lib Dem. I decided to go along to the event; tickets were openly available to the public on Eventbrite.
“Greater Manchester Green Parties decided to give out Will4Mayor leaflets to those attending the event since we had been excluded and I was one of the people outside the Lowry before the event giving out leaflets and explaining why. “When I went in for the event, the tickets were not checked, people were ushered to the general seating areas. I was singled out and asked what institution I belonged to, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me; the person asking me wouldn’t tell me who he was. He went away so I went to take a seat but was prevented and another person who said she was one of the organisers said it wasn’t a public event so I had to leave - she wasn’t interested that I had a ticket legitimately obtained on Eventbrite. I refused to leave, I hadn’t had a reasonable reason as to why I should, so she called security. The security officer said I was to leave quietly or they would forcibly remove me, although they didn’t want to. I explained that I had a valid ticket and no proper reason had been given for me to leave and I refused again so I was taken by the arm and ushered out. I screamed, which led to me being pushed out more quickly. “I wasn’t hurt but I was very shaken. The event organisers had clearly seen me outside with the Green Party leaflet givers and decided on that basis to remove me. It wasn’t a members-only event, they made that up.”
Speaking at the protest outside, Green Party mayoral candidate Will Patterson said: “It’s an event that’s supposed to be about opening up devolution out to the people ... and yet - frustratingly - we’ve actually not been invited to this to put our case across to how we can deliver the transformational change that will deliver that.”
Citizens UK have a history of excluding the Green Party and others from their events
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