Socialist Worker

Build demonstrations on 21 March as the right ramps up racism

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2439

staff and students in Newham Sixth Form College, east London, organised a unity statement against Islamophobia and racism after the Charlie Hebdo killings last month

Staff and students in Newham Sixth Form College, east London, organised a unity statement against Islamophobia and racism after the Charlie Hebdo killings last month


The mainstream parties and media are continuing to ramp up racist scapegoating ahead of May’s general election.

Their attacks underline the importance of the Stand up to Racism and Fascism demonstrations on 21 March.

The Tories and Ukip are targeting Muslims and migrant workers. David Cameron claimed last week that Britain would be a “better, stronger country” if less migrants came here.

The Labour Party has produced a leaflet promising to be tough on immigration.

Our rulers are using last month’s Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris as an excuse to increase repressive state powers. 

The British government is pushing a new terror bill through parliament. It is a rehashed version of the “snooper’s  charter”, which would give spooks powers to snoop on people’s online communications. 

The police are demanding that all officers be issued with tasers.

But the campaign to build the 21 March demonstrations was boosted by a meeting held in the House of Commons last week. 

Left wing Labour MP Diane Abbott called on people to support the demonstrations.

Important

She said, “It’s never been more important to remind our friends, our neighbours, our children and our children’s friends that issues about racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism are not issues of the past.

“These issues are very much present and with us.” 

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett reminded the meeting, “Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League (EDL) did not give up because he realised the EDL was racist and Nazi. 

“It was because we stopped him in Tower Hamlets and Walthamstow and elsewhere. 

“Black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, gay, straight—we stopped him together.

“That is a tradition we have to build on.” 

Leon Silver from the East London Central Synagogue also spoke at the meeting. 

He said, “If you read the press and listened to the media, you would believe that I as a Jew still living in Tower Hamlets am somehow frightened to walk down the streets.”

But he said, “Our diversity is our strength, this is our glory. We don’t go in fear of each other.”

Momentum is beginning to grow. Local meetings are taking place around Britain to prepare for the demonstrations and campaigners are booking coaches. 

The EIS teachers’ and FBU firefighters unions were the latest groups to back the demonstration in Glasgow last week. 

Weyman said, “Six weeks before the election, we have to have rage on the streets. We represent the majority of people.”


Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demonstrations on 21 March 

  • London - 12 noon, central London. Followed by a rally in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN 
  • Glasgow - 11am, George Square, G2 1DU. Facebook #M21Scot Stand up to Racism and Fascism—Stand up to Ukip —all Scotland march and rally
  • Cardiff - 11.30am, Clare Gardens, Riverside, CF11. Followed by a march to City Hall in Cathays Park CF10 3ND

For a list of transport go to standuptoracism.org.uk


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News
Tue 3 Feb 2015, 18:33 GMT
Issue No. 2439
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