Anti-racists organised solidarity this week after vile Nazi graffiti appeared on buildings and places of worship in Edinburgh, Gravesend and Huntingdon.
Swastikas were graffitied on a Sikh gurdwara in Gravesend, a Chinese takeaway in Huntingdon and an Asian-owned shop in Edinburgh.
In Gravesend, local activists held placards outside the gurdwara in defiance.
Steve from Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) Medway, near Gravesend, told Socialist Worker the Nazi symbol was quickly removed. “Lots of people were upset about it,” he said. “We went to the temple to offer solidarity.
“Racism is on the rise and, as we are in a crisis, the government looks for scapegoats to deflect the blame.”
Steve added there has been a “coordinated campaign in the last 20 years to demonise migrants and refugees”. “This has spilled over into anyone who is an ethnic minority,” he said.
“Racists then assume anyone who doesn’t look or sound ‘English’ is one of these ‘dreadful illegal immigrants’ and whip up hatred.
“Lots of second and third generation migrants are really worried about this.”
Meanwhile, in Edinburgh local people covered up the graffiti with a poster reading, “No place for hate in Leith.”
Steve from SUTR Edinburgh told Socialist Worker, “Clearly there is a lot of casual racism against Asian people. He’s gotten used to brushing this off as it happens to him so often, which is awful.”
“One shopkeeper was even hospitalised,” Steve said, referring to a gang’s racist assault on shop managers Nadeem Akbar and Mudassar Akbar last January.
Steve urged people to join the SUTR day of action next Saturday, 20 March. “We need to have the biggest possible show of resistance on 20 March to show the majority won’t put up with racism,” he said.
“But we can’t just leave it to one day of action. Wherever there are racist attacks, we need to respond to them.”
Paul from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) said that the quick response from anti-racists is a positive sign. “People responded overnight,” he said. “It’s a good thing people are very quick to rally around after the filth attack.
He explained that the fascists, especially online, are drawing people in.“The Capitol riots saw people wearing camp Auschwitz hoodies,” said Paul. “The graffiti will give them more confidence, but the speed of anti-racists’ response to act quickly shows people won’t take it.”
Anti-racists must keep resisting and build for the international day of action on Saturday of next week.