Socialist Worker

Thousands in Britain join the global anti-racist day of action

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2646

Thousands rally in central London

Thousands rally in central London (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Thousands of people have joined a march against the rise of racism and the far right in central London on Saturday. 

Organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), the national demonstration is part of a global day of action. 

Marches are planned today or in the next few days in New York, Washington DC and Florida, in Brazil, Turkey and across Europe including Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Catalonia, Ireland, France, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Sweden and Canada and Australia. There will be demonstrations in over 60 cities.

The marches came in the wake of the fascist mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.

In London. Fazlelch, joint secretary of the Greater Sylet Development and Welfare Council, told Socialist Worker, “We are very angry—people are killing people and they have no regret. 

“But we are united to show solidarity to the world and we will fight together." 

A speaker from East London mosque told the crowd, “There was a racist attack near our mosque last night. It shows that these kinds of instances are inspiring others.” 

The rise of the fascist and far right forces has been fuelled by racism against Muslims, migrants and refugees that's pushed by mainstream politicians and the media. 

Festas from Wolverhampton said that “there is no doubt that immigration policies are helping far right groups. When you sit down and think about what's happening, you see why protests like this are necessary,” he said. 

“We're going to keep doing it until the people in authority get the message.” 

Coachloads of people came from across Britain.

Delegation

Bev, who works for South Yorkshire Women's Aid, came as part of the delegation from Doncaster. “As people go into supermarkets they see all the headlines and derogatory comments implying we should hate people being in this country,” she told Socialist Worker. 

“The newspapers, the TV and the BBC are all biased.”

She added, “We need a new media, we need a new government, we need to support Jeremy Corbyn.” 

Marching in Glasgow

Marching in Glasgow (Pic: Andrew McGowan)


Trade unions mobilised for the demonstration, with an impressive bloc from the CWU communication workers' union. 

Usha, a CWU member from Southampton said, “we are all equal and we should all be working together against racism. The union supports everyone.” 

Jashbirsingh, another CWU member, said “With all that's going on in society we have to stand up to far right and their ideas.

“There have always been industrialists that want to divide and rule—and they are behind these smaller far right groups today.” 

“The unions need to raise awareness about racism and these groups and unite people against them”, he added.

The march is due to rally outside Downing Street, where it will be addressed by speakers including Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

In atrocious weather conditions around 1,000 people joined the anti-racism march in Glasgow. There were banners from the Unite, Unison, EIS, RMT and FBU unions as well as the Scottish TUC federation.

There were student and refugee groups as well as Extinction Rebellion activists.


Voices on the London march

Sajid Shaikh: "I'm the chair of the CWU union's race advisory committee. We're here as trade union reps to stand against racism and fascism and show solidarity with the victims in Christchurch.

"It's time now for trade unionists to take the lead in the fight against racism. Before trade unions left it to the NGOs. But trade unions have to show we can rise to the challenge.

"Racism affects our members in their workplaces, homes and communities. We need to be a trade union that fights for our members"

Gillian Bordesi: "We've got to stop the likes of Donald Trump from stirring up hatred and division around the world.

"He's pandering to his voters and scapegoating immigrants, saying they're to blame for the ills on society.

"Something like this is a solid united front that shows that we stand together and won't be divided"

Jane: "I was invited here by a friend. It's good to be here standing with so many people against racism in all its forms.

"After events like Christchurch, with so many people sharing footage of the massacre it can feel like the world is full of racists.

"But it feels good to be here, with non-Jews standing with Jews against antisemitism, and white people standing with black people against anti-black racism"

 


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