Racist attacks, border controls, Islamophobia and the threat of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) underline the importance of fighting racism in all its forms in 2018.
The FLA has called its next demonstration on 24 March in Birmingham.
There is no longer any doubt it is a racist organisation. In the FLA’s private Facebook group London mayor Sadiq Khan is racially abused. “Behead the c***,” wrote Mark Scargill.
And FLA founder John Meighan recently posted a picture of himself endorsing an Islamophobic book co-authored by Nazi Tommy Robinson.
The FLA is also supporting a racist Veterans Against Terrorism rally in Newcastle on 17 February.
The FLA protest in Birmingham will come a week after the Stand Up To Racism national demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 17 March. These are central for all anti-racists.
The racism at the top of society fuels attacks and division.
In Durham a Palestinian university student was attacked by two men outside the Happy Wanderer pub on Christmas Eve.
Ihsan Abualrob told the Northern Echo newspaper that he and his friends were approached and asked where they were from.
Ihsan said, “My friends said from Egypt and myself from Palestine. He said, ‘Egypt, Palestine. You Muslims. Are you suicide bombers?’” Three men followed and attacked them.
Meanwhile, anti-racists in Oxford are calling for full disclosure and justice after the death of Nuno Cardoso in police custody.
And the racist attacks on migrants also mean deaths at Britain’s borders. Over the past two weeks three people have died trying to reach Britain from northern France.
One was 15 years old. He died on a motorway trying to reach his family who are already in Britain.
In a separate incident a 22 year old was killed when a lorry crashed. And a 31 year old Eritrean was crushed to death last Friday near Calais port.
The Home Office has also confirmed it plans to introduce “Border Force Special Volunteers”. It is an invitation to have-a-go racists to get involved in policing Britain’s borders.
PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka said, “The government are making our borders weaker with the use of casual labour.”
But the real issue is that borders are killing people who are fleeing wars created by Britain or who just want a better life. They should be allowed to do both.
All of this news comes as racist US president Donald Trump’s team prepares his visit to Britain. Before Christmas they said the date of the visit would be announced “soon”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said people should turn out to send the president “a clear message”.
There must be huge demonstrations when Trump comes.
Some of the key dates for Stand Up To Racism activists in 2018
- 27 January—Holocaust Memorial Day
- 10 February—Stand Up To Racism trade union conference
- 26-27 February—possible dates of a Trump visit to Britain
- 17 March—Stand Up To Racism demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow
For more details go to standuptoracism.org.uk