Socialist Worker

Defend refugees, organise against the rise in racist attacks

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2523

Over 200 people joined joined a solidarity protest at Edinburgh Central Mosque last Tuesday following  a petrol bomb attack

Over 200 people joined joined a solidarity protest at Edinburgh Central Mosque last Tuesday following a petrol bomb attack (Pic: Stephen McBroom)


Anti-racists are organising solidarity with migrant workers and Muslims under attack.

Around 100 people rallied in Bletchley in Milton Keynes last Saturday in solidarity with a Muslim woman who was attacked on 6 August. The woman miscarried in hospital after the attack outside the Co-Op on Water Eaton Road.

A man was arrested on suspicion of racially?aggravated assault, but has been released on police bail until November.

When news of the attack was released last month, it sent fear through many Muslim people and migrants in the area.

It took place in the context of a rise in racist attacks.

But the rally was an important show of unity in the town.

As Labour councillor Mohamed Khan told Socialist Worker, “The rally brought people together in Milton Keynes—lots of people now feel welcomed in the town because of it.

Chased

He added, “When I went to school in the 1980s I was sometimes chased by the National Front, but it is different here now.”

The rally was organised by Stand Up to Racism and supported by the CWU, TSSA and Unite unions, among others.

Kate Hunter from Milton Keynes Stand Up to Racism also stressed that the rally showed the majority of people in Milton Keynes are not racist.

“There’s a minority of people who have destructive views,” she said.

“But we want our voice heard to appeal to the best in people. We want a united, diverse Milton Keynes.”

Zdenek Makar, a Czech migrant, was killed outside All Saints Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Tower Hamlets, east London, last Wednesday. A man has been charged with murder and two teenagers who were arrested have been released on police bail.

Some 20 people joined a vigil organised by Stand Up to Racism outside the DLR station on Monday night.

People rallied in Tower Hamlets on Monday night

People rallied in Tower Hamlets on Monday night (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Racist

Khan said, “I think since there’s been heightened racist attacks since Brexit. We have a lot of Polish and Romanian people in the area”.

A minority of racists are acting on the belief that the Brexit vote means the majority of people support their ideas.

But the majority of working class people remain hostile to racism.

That racism has been whipped up by years of scapegoating of migrants and Muslims.

Now the Tories are planning fresh attacks and Labour right wingers want to clamp down on the free movement of labour (see page 17).

Khan said, “The government needs to do more to reduce any tensions throughout the country.

“People are worried that they’re not welcome anymore or that they won’t be able here.

“The government needs to carry forward a message of peace and unity and tell them they have right to stay.”


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