Socialist Worker

Anti-racism round up—Facing up to Nigel Farage

Issue No. 2660

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'If you voted leave or stay, racism—no way' (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Anti-racists protested against a meeting of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and his far right friends in central London last Thursday.

Demonstrators chanted, “If you voted leave or stay, racism—no way,” and, “Let in every refugee—throw Farage in the sea.”

Farage and Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, were at a dinner near parliament to raise money for Turning Point UK.

Both groups have links with the far right.

Students, trade unionists, campaigners and others joined the small anti-racist demonstration. Gareth from Unite Community in Camden, north London, told Socialist Worker, “Our branch wants to do as much as we can to support Stand Up To Racism.

Student Ibrahim added, “Farage is hiding racism behind a mask of civility. It’s legitimising racist ideas in parliament and all sections of society.”

Jerome, a socialist from Australia, decided to join the protest while on a visit to London.

“We’ve got our own far right problem in Australia,” he told Socialist Worker.

“What we’ve seen is that the right wing always push things even further to the right.”


Anti-racists debate the way forward

Anti-racists debated how to continue taking on the rise of racism and the far right at regional conferences last weekend.

Supporters of Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) held the meetings in Manchester, Sheffield and east London on Sunday.

The Manchester event was joined by around 100 people. Nahella Ashraf from Manchester SUTR slammed the soon-to-be former prime minister Theresa May, who is trying to rehabilitate her legacy.

She said, “It was Theresa May, when she was home secretary, who took those vans that said ‘Go Home’. Those of us who are black, who grew up in the 1970s in Britain, know what that language means.

“When we walked to school we had people shouted ‘go home’ in our faces.” The conference came in the aftermath of Nazi Tommy Robinson’s defeat in the European elections.

Paul Jenkins, SUTR North West organiser, argued that the danger of the far right regrouping remained. He said, “We have to look at Tommy Robinson’s bid as part of a Europe-wide push.

“You see the mainstream right linking up with actual fascists, which is what Robinson and Ukip tried to do.”

Suffered

While the forces of British fascism have suffered setbacks, the Tories are pushing ahead with state-sponsored racism against Muslims, migrants and refugees.

In Sheffield, speakers included Brendan Woodhouse, a member firefighter’s FBU union, who rescues refugees in the Mediterranean.

He said, “I’ve seen the squalor, filth and sense of hopelessness. It’s devastating.”

Brian Richardson from SUTR pointed to the way the Brexit Party, led by the racist Nigel Farage, came top of the European elections. “It’s an indication of just how deeply rooted racism is across continent and the world,” he said.

And he called on people to join the movement against “a world-wide problem” of the rise of far right and racism.


Cops target refugees

Refugees trapped in northern France have suffered more than 800 clearances since last August, according to a report released by charities.

The research by L’Auberge des Migrants describes “relentless harassment of displaced people” after authorities began a 48-hour eviction cycle.

It said, “The cadence of these operations is uncompromising.

“Similarly weather conditions appear to have no impact on the decision to systematically evict these living sites.”

Police harassment is designed to deter refugees from settling in the area by making their daily lives unbearable by forcing them to live in squalid conditions.

Bur far from stopping refugees, the clampdown has forced many to use the more dangerous sea route across the English Channel.

The only solution is to open the border and let them in—and that requires a mass movement against racism that forces the Tory government to do it.


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