Socialist Worker

Meetings build support for Saturday's anti-racism protests

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2495

Socialist Sarah Tomlinson addresses a Stand up to Racism meeting in Brixton

Socialist Sarah Tomlinson addresses a Stand up to Racism meeting in Brixton (Pic: Aiden Lawler)

Campaigners across Britain are pulling out all the stops to build Saturday’s Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.

Meetings continued in different towns throughout this week.

Around 60 people rallied in Portsmouth on Monday. They discussed how to intensify the campaign to welcome refugees after the demonstration, including a new convoy to Calais in June.

In Chesterfield more than 40 people heard speakers including Fortress Europe author Marr Carr on Tuesday. Lisa Tunnell of the NUT union talked about the Islamophobic Prevent strategy and Unite union activists described their campaign to organise eastern European workers in nearby Shirebrook.

Meetings in Glasgow on Tuesday and Dundee on Wednesday added to the momentum for the Glasgow demonstration. A letter signed by leading campaigners and politicians in the Herald newspaper has also raised the demonstration's profile.

Scottish National Party candidate Nadia El-Nakia told the Dundee meeting of racist abuse she had experienced—and the danger represented by Donald Trump in the US. Labour councillor Richard McCready spoke of the history of solidarity with refugees in the city.

In Glasgow speakers included human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, Sandra White MSP, and Susan Quinn from the EIS teaching union, on strike today against cuts.

Eyewitnesses gave a moving account of their visit to the refugees in Calais, and campaigners discussed leafletting of the city’s mosques, universities, schools and train stations.

Around 50 people met in Coventry on Wednesday from a range of political parties. At the beginning of the meeting the coach they had booked to the London march was almost empty—by the end it was fully booked.

Another 50 came to the second meeting in Brixton, south London, to hear trade unionists including socialist teacher Sara Tomlinson report from Calais.

Local Imam Suliman Gani said, "I call on every Muslim and non-Muslim to join the demonstration on Saturday to send a clear message that refugees are welcome here”.

Thanks to Jon Woods, James Eaden, Liz Allison, Dave Sherry, Ken Olende, Aiden Lawler

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