Socialist Worker

'We need to stand up to racism and fascism in Europe'

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2438

Thousands protested against racism in London on last year’s demonstration

Thousands protested against racism in London on last year’s demonstration (Pic: Guy Smallman)

When anti-racists march in Britain on Saturday 21 March, they will be joining an international movement—particularly important in Greece.

Katerina Thoidou of the Greek anti-fascist coalition Keerfa explained, “We will need international solidarity on 21 March. 

“We expect the international anti-fascist movement to support our fight, but also to stand against Islamophobia and racism elsewhere in Europe. 

“It will be very important to show that we don’t want governments to divide people between Muslims and non-Muslims. 

“We want to fight together against austerity.”

More than 20,000 marched in Athens last year and around 10,000 people joined the demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. 

This year it’s more important than ever that more people stand up to racism, as politicians ramp up  scapegoating and Islamophobia in the run-up to the general election. 

Birmingham resident Shabina Bano was involved in the campaign against the Trojan Horse witch hunt. It was centred on lies about a “Muslim plot” to take over local schools. 


She told Socialist Worker, “Some Muslim shops in Birmingham’s Sparkhill area had bricks thrown through their windows after the Paris attacks. 

“I know Muslim women who wear the hijab and have been spat on. But people from Birmingham are going to the anti-racist demonstration in London on 21 March.

“We need to stand united,” said Shabina. “We need to work together regardless of colour or religion. And when someone’s in need, we need to come together.”

The Stand Up to Racism campaign issued a statement on the Paris attacks.

It said, “We strongly identify with the response in London after the 7/7 bombings and in Norway after Anders Breivik’s murderous attacks.

“The call was for unity, a defence of freedom and civil liberties, for diverse communities of faith and none to stand together.”

Tory home secretary Theresa May are trying to push a new terror bill through parliament, which would give intelligence services more powers to snoop on people. 

But support for the 21 March demonstrations is growing all the time. 

US civil rights activist Al Sharpton showed his support last week. He was pictured alongside Labour MP Diane Abbott, shadow minister Chuka Umunna and PCS union and Black Activists Rising Against Cuts activist Zita Holbourne. 

Stand Up to Racism is holding a public meeting this Thursday.  “After France: Unity—no to fascism, Antisemitism, Islamophobia—defend civil liberties”. 7-9pm, Thursday 29 January, Committee Room 11, House of Commons. London SW1A 0AA

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