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'When you don't vote it's not rebellion, it's surrender'

ACTIVIST: Lee Jasper is encouraging Black Britons to vote

MILLIONS OF people across England and Northern Ireland will take a trip to their local polling stations to vote in the European and local council elections today (May 22).

While these types of elections have historically low voter turnout – rarely rising above 40 per cent - community activist Lee Jasper has urged the black electorate to cast their ballots.

The former race advisor to Ken Livingstone took to Twitter on Thursday morning (May 22) and posted a series of messages intended to inspire the community to vote: "When you don't vote it's not rebellion, it's surrender”, he wrote on the social networking site.

MESSAGE: Lee Jasper's rallying cry on Twitter

Jasper, who was responsible for the development, enactment and promotion of equalities policies at City Hall also tweeted: "Are you voting today? Remember the elite fear militant democracy?”

The Brixton-based community activist remained resolute in his rallying cry as he highlighted what he considers to be the consequences of vote dodging: “No such thing as not voting. Not voting is a vote for the status quo: more bedroom tax, welfare cuts and racism."

In London, every seat on all 32 boroughs is up for election - the first time this has happened since the day of the 2010 general election.

Voters will also directly elect mayors in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Watford, in Hertfordshire.

The local council and European elections will be a crucial indicator of public opinion before 2015's general election.

Results for the local elections will come on Friday, while the European election results will be announced late on Sunday.

Polling stations are open for voting between 7am and 10pm.

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