Socialist Worker

Go all out to build for the 18 March anti-racist demonstrations

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2545

David Lammy MP joined the leafeting at Finsbury Park Tube

David Lammy MP joined the leafeting at Finsbury Park Tube (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Stand up to Racism (SUTR) campaigners across London and in other parts of Britain had a coordinated push last night, Thursday, to build the turnout for the Saturday 18 March demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow.

Around 100 people attended a rally in Hammersmith, west London, where SUTR campaigner Nahella Ashraf was returning after being subject to a racist attack in the area in January.

"There is racism, and it's manifested in what happened to me on the streets of London," she said. "That's why we have to go out and be vocal and mobilise."

Local Labour MP Andy Slaughter warned of a rise in racism since last year's referendum, fueled by a long period of tightening restrictions on immigrants' rights. "We have to fight this," he said, "and we have to make it our number one priority."

Elsewhere in London, 37 people attended the first meeting of Leytonstone SUTR in east London.

Heeley Development Trust learners, volunteers and staff in Sheffield building the demonstration

Heeley Development Trust learners, volunteers and staff in Sheffield building the demonstration


There were leafleting sessions in many areas. Activists, including some in Theresa May and Donald Trump masks, gave out 1,000 leaflets at Mile End tube station.

Workers assembled for selfies with SUTR posters at Mile End hospital. Others rallied outside Islington town hall.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott joined a meeting of Camden Unison to promote the demonstration and Labour MP David Lammy joined activists leafleting in Haringey.

Thursday also saw meetings in Worthing in Sussex and Paisley near Glasgow, and this weekend will see leafleting on high streets across Britain.

Islington in north London united to support the anti-racist march

Islington in north London united to support the anti-racist march (Pic: Islington Stand Up To Racism)


Trade unions and workplace activists are an important part of the demonstration. Roger McKenzie, assistant general secretary of the Unison union, told Socialist Worker, "Every anti-racist campaigner should be on it. I'm proud to be representing Unison members there.

"We won't accept racism riddling our society and we want refugees to be welcomed. We are mobilising as much support as possible for the demonstration and beyond it.

"What we need is to build a movement. We can't win change for working class people unless we confront the racism that's used against us."

Stand up to racism demonstrations, Saturday 18 March, London: assemble 12 noon, Portland Place, Glasgow: assemble 11am, HollandSt, Cardiff: assemble 11am, Grange Gardens. For transport details and publicity to download and print, go to bit.ly/2mqhPHZ 

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