Socialist Worker

Activists organise solidarity after Muslims and Jews suffer attacks

Issue No. 2576

 

Labour MP Rupa Huq speaks at a Stand Up To Racism rally in west London

Labour MP Rupa Huq speaks at a Stand Up To Racism rally in west London


Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) activists responded to attacks in Wigan and Leeds last week.

A masked man with a samurai sword shouted racist abuse, hit the counter and threatened staff in the Bombay Blaze curry house in Atherton, Wigan, last week.

Mohsi Afad Nanna said the man “called me a ‘fucking Muslim’” and “told me to ‘fuck off’ back to my country”.

SUTR activists did a stall in Atherton on Saturday asking passers-by to sign a card.

Scapegoating in the wake of terror attacks and the Tories’ draconian Prevent strategy turns Muslims in Britain into a suspect “enemy within”.

The Etz Chaim Synogogue in Alwoodley in Leeds was defaced with a swastika and a racist word for Jews.

Leeds SUTR responded with a statement which rapidly gained dozens of signatures including a local MP, local trade unionists, as well as a councillor and imam.

It’s important to build an anti-racist movement that can respond when attacks occur—and to take on the toxic policies that fuel them.

Rallies

SUTR held big rallies in five different places last week. Around 70 people attended in Birmingham.

Kadisha Brown-Burrell talked about the death of her brother Kingsley after contact with the police.

Other speakers included Tahir Alam, formerly a governor of a school caught up in the “Trojan Horse” Islamophobic witch hunt, and Unison union assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie.

Up to 80 people attended in Glasgow, preparing for a packed calendar of anti-racist activities in Scotland.

Other rallies took place in the London boroughs of Islington, Ealing and Newham.

And around 80 joined a refugee solidarity march in Barnstaple, North Devon, last Saturday.

The national SUTR conference was set to take place in London this Saturday.

Kevin Courtney, NEU education union joint general secretary, is one of the speakers.

“Racism is a major threat—whether it’s anti-migrant racism, Islamophobia or antisemitism,” he told Socialist Worker.

The conference is an essential opportunity to build the movement to confront it.


Far right could try to regroup

Former Ukip member Anne Marie Waters launched a far right party called For Britain last week.

Waters is hoping to find a new vehicle for her Islamophobic agenda after she lost the racist Ukip party’s leadership election.

As a parliamentary candidate in south east London in the general election, Waters called on people to “insult Islam”.

Waters is also founder of Sharia Watch and has supported Nazi Toni Bugle’s Mothers Against Radical Islam and Sharia group.

The right is in flux—and could regroup around a new formation. The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) march on 7 October hammered the danger home.

Anti-racists need to take the threat of the far right seriously.


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