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Letters: How we’re turning the tide on racism on the South coast

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Issue 2534
Stand Up To Racism is growing across Britain
Stand Up To Racism is growing across Britain (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

The Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) campaign has really caught the mood of people wanting to fight racism here on the West Sussex coast.

A meeting of around 30 people launched Adur & Worthing SUTR in early November, and last Monday we held our first public meeting.

Almost 70 people attended on a freezing cold Monday night. A large community arts centre hosted the meeting, donated the venue for free and stayed open late especially.

Speakers included Nahella Ashraf from SUTR, Delaine LeBas, a well-known local artist from a Roma background, and MK Miah, a prominent local Muslim.

The audience was very diverse and many people spoke from the floor. They included a council housing activist, a refugee, teachers, young people, a local CWU union rep and a Catholic abbot.

Several speakers emphasised the necessity of linking fighting racism with the fight against cuts.

Some argued for prioritising activities enabling consistent discussion with people pulled by racist ideas.

Luke, who organised SUTR town centre stalls to promote the meeting, said, “It’s been better than we expected.

“People thanked us for campaigning on racism. While social media has been great for promoting, there were a good few at the meeting we met at the stalls.

“People at the meeting said it is important to speak to people face to face. Stalls are an ideal way to do this. We’ve already sold out of SUTR badges, and ‘Refugees Welcome Here’ posters are going up in shops and venues.”

A local promoter put on a big Love Music Hate Racism gig last weekend, and gigs are planned in the new year.

The local Unison branch initiated the SUTR group. It has attracted support from Labour and Green Party activists, Worthing District Trades Council, arts and music groups, DJs and musicians.

Lee Billingham, Adur & Worthing SUTR

Labour’s Iraq shame

Labour MPs are saving their own backs too (Cowardly Labour MPs vote to protect Tony Blair over war in Iraq, Socialist Worker online).

They backed Blair’s illegal war—so they’re associated with someone who should be a convicted war criminal.

That’s why they voted to take the heat off Blair so they can talk about “collective responsibility”, and ponder on “the lessons to be learned”.

That really means taking no responsibility and serving no justice at all.

It’s as bad as saying, regards Jimmy Savile, let’s not play the blame game this was “society’s problem”. It’s a total and utter cowardly cop-out.

Labour needs purging of its careerist, selfseeking elements. How else can it become an effective force again?

Brad Bradshaw, on Facebook

  • I wish the Blairites would form a breakaway party. Otherwise perhaps it’s time for a new credible workers’ opposition party.

Ciarrai Mag Fhionnghaile, on Facebook

Casey’s report reflects an imperialist mindset

Louise Casey’s review on segregation is a blow to Muslims in Britain.

Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) was right to say it was yet another report that talked about Muslims without talking to them.

It feels like another example of officials looking down on people and asking, “How are the brown people doing now?”

The report will only add to the Islamophobia and racism that Muslims already face.

It comes at a time when there is a lot of talk about “Great Britain” and “Making America great again”. It’s a very imperialist mindset.

The idea of being “great” means looking down on others who supposedly are not great. It means ghettoising some parts of society.

Muserat Sujawal, Leeds

Save trees in Sheffield

Anybody who thinks Labour is good on the environment should see what Sheffield Labour council is doing down my street.

Western Road, Crookes, has an avenue of 50-odd mature trees. They were planted in 1919 in remembrance of scholars from the local school killed in the First World War.

These trees are of immense historical and social importance.

They also help combat pollution, provide habitats for wildlife, and help peoples’ wellbeing.

The council wants to cut half of them down.

Support Sheffield Trees Action Group (STAG) to protest against this.

And contact council leader Julie Dore at [email protected]

Arthur Baker, Sheffield

Closures hurt poor

Terrible news that closures of Sure Start centres doubled in England last year.

Shutting centres meant for disadvantaged children makes a mockery of Theresa May’s talk of helping the poor.

Kathy Light, West London

RAR gives us lessons today

I was there! (Remembering Rock Against Racism, Socialist Worker, 7 December).

We need more anti-racist music on demos today.

Linda Jones, on Facebook

Single market blocks revolt

The single market also stifles change (Socialist Worker, 7 December).

It allows local cultural sclerosis such as monarchy, non-democratic governments, etc.

This helps build the power of the unelected centre. A cross-Europe revolution would be crushed.

If Britain were a sovereign state again, a real socialism would become a possibility.

Aaron Aalborg, on Facebook

Where was Farage march?

The Grand Old Duke of York may indeed have had no idea where to march his 10,000 men.

Nonetheless, he had 10,000 men.

As Socialist Worker reported (30 November), Nigel Farage threatened to march 100,000. The 100,000 didn’t materialise.

John Curtis, Suffolk

No to Merkel ban on burka

ngela Merkel’s call for a burka ban is very worrying.

It will encourage racists here to say the same. We have to stand with Muslims against it.

Karen Eaves, Bradford

Help to save disability gym

I am running a campaign to save the last place that offers long term rehabilitation in London.

The closest similar service is in Birmingham.

This is the service that helps people with nerve damage from strokes or broken backs to walk again.

It’s an absolutely critical service.

Richard Amm, South East London

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