By Richard Rose
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Anti-racists in Cambridge and Manchester take action after Islamophobic abuse

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Issue 2563


Part of the Solidarity Walking Bus in Cambridge last week
Part of the ‘Solidarity Walking Bus’ in Cambridge last week (Pic: Richard Rose/Flickr)

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) activists mobilised last week in response to racist attacks in Manchester and Cambridge.

Around 80 children, parents, local councillors and anti-racists joined Cambridge SUTR’s “Solidarity Walking Bus” to a primary school on Thursday.

It was organised quickly after a Muslim woman was abused as she went to collect her child from the school. People who came to help her were also abused.

Kevin Blencowe, deputy leader of Cambridge City Council, said, “Attacks on people because of the religion or the colour of their skin are the lowest of the low.”

SUTR activist Zareen Taj, a parent governor at the school, vowed that Cambridge SUTR would continue to oppose racism.

Manchester SUTR also held a vigil on Sunday opposite Southern Cemetery in Chorlton, where a Muslim man was racially abused and punched in the face last week.

The attacks were the latest in a spate of racist incidents in both cities.

Nahella Ashraf, a leading SUTR activist, told the Manchester vigil, “I point the finger at the politicians and also some of the press who choose to criminalise the Muslim community collectively.”

Nahella suffered racist abuse earlier this year. She said mobilising helps support victims and defy the racists.

“It is very important we come out and show solidarity with victims of racist attacks to show to them that they are not on their own,” she said.

“We are the majority in Britain. We are the ones that stand together against racism, against hate, and we won’t allow those people to divide us.”

Stand Up To Racism will hold its annual conference in London on Saturday 21 October. To find out more or to get involved go to

Stop the Nazis in Rochdale

Anti-fascists are preparing to protest in Rochdale on Saturday against the Nazis of Britain First. The protest is organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and local trade unionists.

A Rochdale Unity Statement produced by UAF has won broad support.

Signatories include the CWU North West Region and GMB North West & Irish Region along with individual trade unionists and Labour Party activists.

Britain First hopes to use a child sexual exploitation scandal in the town to whip up racism and Islamophobia.

The UAF statement said, “Sexual exploitation is an appalling crime but it is not linked to ethnicity or religion.

“Join us in opposing the fascists of Britain First.”

Assemble 12 noon, Saturday 22 July at The Butts, opposite Wetherspoons, Rochdale town centre. Go to for more, email [email protected] to add your name to the statement

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