Socialist Worker

Stand Up To Racism gets going as new groups form

Issue No. 2529

Over 1,500 people gathered for the Stand Up To Racism conference in London last month

Over 1,500 people gathered for the Stand Up To Racism conference in London last month (Pic: Guy Smallman)

A movement against racism is taking shape as activists set up local Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) groups across Britain.

The latest in a series of rallies were set to take place in Leeds on Tuesday and Chesterfield on Thursday.

They follow three meetings that drew in around 350 people last week with more to come throughout this month.

Anti-racists in Torrington, north Devon, were set to hold a rally to welcome refugees on Wednesday.

Dave, an activist and volunteer for the Plough Arts Centre, told Socialist Worker they had been “flooded with donations” for refugees.

A group of boys from the “jungle” in Calais are staying near the town while they are processed and reunited with relatives or given foster families.

“Some newspapers said there was ‘fury’ at them coming,” said Dave.

“Several groups have been set up to say they don’t want them, and the mayor has had abuse for supporting the refugees.

“But the response from the people of Torrington has been to say that refugees are welcome. We want to show that we are many and the rotten little racists are few.”


Campaigns including SUTR Scotland protested outside a meeting of Renfrewshire council in Paisley near Glasgow airport on Tuesday.

Councillors were discussing whether to allow new immigration detention facilities to be built near the airport.

These would replace the hated Dungavel detention centre marked for closure next year, and campaigners are determined to block them.

Two new groups emerged on Monday night. Some 30 people attended an organising meeting in Worthing, Sussex, to launch Adur and Worthing SUTR. And in Salford, Greater Manchester, representatives of Salford TUC, Salford Refugee and Asylum Network and others agreed to set up a group.

After the rallies SUTR groups are taking part in Islamophobia Awareness Month alongside Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend).

SUTR and Mend in Newham, east London, plan to hold events at local colleges. Then on Saturday 10 December SUTR has called a winter appeal for refugees. Some groups are planning aid delegations to refugees in France.

Others are holding local events. Artists are set to produce street art around the SUTR stalls in Cambridge town centre.

Alongside these actions are cultural events large and small.

SUTR in south London is hosting a comedy night next Monday and many other groups plan Love Music Hate Racism gigs.One activist in Derby held a sing-along film showing to fundraise for SUTR last Friday.

All the activities need to lead into an enormous turnout for the national demonstrations on Saturday 18 March.

Calais refugees are still homeless

Refugees who fled the destruction of the Calais “jungle” faced new repression in Paris last week.

More than 2,000 people had joined the camps in the Stalingrad area of Paris. Police carried out raids and evictions.

Over 100 refugees and supporters protested on Wednesday of last week, shouting, “No police” and, “We want a home”.

Most of the people who were still in government facilities in Calais after the jungle’s demolition have now been relocated to reception centres around France. So have hundreds more from Stalingrad.

A Tory mayor and councillors in Yvelines near Paris attempted to reject a coach from Stalingrad—even blocking the road with a banner when it arrived.

But over 500 counter-demonstrators confronted an anti-migrant demonstration called by the fascist Front National in Marseille.

Many more migrants are hiding out around Calais or other northern ports in an ever more desperate attempt to reach Britain. As long as the Tories refuse to open the border the refugees’ suffering will continue.

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