Trade unionists, students, refugee solidarity volunteers, politicians, socialists and campaigners from all over Britain are queueing up for a landmark conference to launch a mass anti-racist movement.
More than 1,500 people had registered in advance. More people signed up throughout the last week in the wake of a chillingly xenophobic Tory party conference.
Musician and socialist Elva Stevenson, who is organising a Love Music Hate Racism relaunch event in Bristol, is one of a coachload on their way from the city.
“I’m really looking forward to the conference—it should be a step forward in getting people together against racism,” she told Socialist Worker. “The government is attacking our class with austerity. But to beat austerity you have to fight the scapegoating and prejudice they use.”
Labour councillor Michelline Safi Ngongo came to Britain as a refugee and now runs educational charity Light Project International in Islington, north London.
She told Socialist Worker, “There has been an increase in hate crime and abuse towards people because of their race, or due to Islamophobia or antisemitism. This conference can help us support them, and respond to that hate on another level.“
At the front of the queue to join the conference were school students Ruth and Hannah.
Ruth, from Lambeth, "I saw the conference on Facebook while I was scrolling down and thought I should come - I'm interested in politics and particularly anti-racism."
Hannah, "I feel like I haven't been involved enough in anti-racism so I decided to come today."