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Denied my Right to Vote by Raven Nightshade


Denied my Right to Vote by Raven Nightshade

In May 2010, I had lived in my own flat in South East London for just 10 months and I was looking forward to my first opportunity to participate in politics as a citizen; before getting my own place, my circumstances had not afforded me the ability to register to vote. I was volunteering with Children’s Social Services in Dagenham – I remember in that area there was a lot of concern about the BNP gaining power in the upcoming General Election – this meant leaving my home at 7am and stepping off the train home at 7pm. I was exhausted from my 12 hour day, but did not want to miss this. I walked to the polling station and took my place in the line – knowing it was voting day, I took my card with me to work so I didn’t have to go home first. The line was very long, I guess people were not pleased with the way New Labour handled foreign policy or the country’s economy, lucky I always had a book with me as my journey to and from work was long. I did not notice how long I was waiting – so engrossed in reading – until I heard people moaning and starting to leave, it did not take long for me to discover that it was 10pm and the doors to the polling station were closed.

I went home and paid very close attention to the news over the next few days. It turned out that what had happened here had happened all over, and at some polling station there were almost riots. What was going to happen? People wanted to vote but were being told they can’t ‘sorry, time’s up, should of got here sooner, oh you were at work, that’s too bad’.

We have had this coalition government for 4 years now, and every time people ask me about my political views I tell them how I was denied my right to participate in this so called democracy. No one voted for this government, even those who had the time to get to the polling stations, but for those of us who went and were turned away the sting is worse. If we were allowed to vote what kind of government would we have had for the past 4 years?

This year I registered to vote by post, my voice will be heard this time.


About Obi_Live

Occupier at OccupyLSX Camp. Then an Occupy Nomad. The revolution will be Livestreamed.

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