Socialist Worker

TUC calls for workers to join Stand Up To Racism protest on 18 March

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2540

Wilf Sullivan, TUC race equality officer

Wilf Sullivan, TUC race equality officer (Pic: Socialist Worker )


A TUC official has called for “one of the biggest turnouts of trade unionists on an anti-racism demonstration there’s ever been” on Saturday 18 March.

“Anyone who says they are against racism has to be there,” said Wilf Sullivan, the TUC’s race equality officer.

“It’s crucial we get everyone we can.”

Sullivan was speaking at the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) trade union conference in London last Saturday. Over 250 activists from across Britain took part after the anti-Trump march.

Susan Matthews, chair of the Unite union’s BME workers committee, said the trade union tradition of international solidarity could help resist the right.

“While they are building borders and walls we will stand up for unity for all,” she said.

Bfawu union president Ronnie Draper laid into the “rubbish” claims used to scapegoat migrants.

“No migrant has ever driven down wages in this country,” he said. “It’s the employers, and the government that supports them.”

Buying 

But unfortunately many leading trade unionists are buying into such myths.

Sullivan said, “We have to struggle with our comrades when they are led astray by nonsense about controlling our borders.”

Four of the Unison union’s 12 regions have now affiliated to SUTR. Janet Maiden, a nurse and member of Unison’s service group executive vowed to oppose new measures against “health tourism” (see page 8).

“We're health workers, not border guards,” she said. “We’re saying no to passport checks and we’re not going to be part of it.”

She added, “They want to charge migrants for healthcare because they want to start charging all of us.”

Sullivan agreed, accusing the Tories of passing legislation “that institutionalises divide and rule”. He said, “It’s creating an atmosphere of fear and division.

“We as workers are being co-opted into a security state. We have to recognise that and fight back.”

Refugees and Migrants Welcome—Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & antisemitism. Protest Saturday 18 March in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. Go to standuptoracism.org.uk

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