Around 700 people marched in Cardiff on Sunday to mark UN anti-racism day. It was a major success and a big step towards strengthening the anti-racist movement in Wales.
Trade unionists, Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, Cardiff Cop Watch and justice campaigners marched from Cardiff City Hall to the Senedd parliament building at Cardiff Bay to a rally. There were trade union banners and flags from the Unison, NASUWT, Unite, CWU, FBU, TSSA, NEU and other unions. Refugee support groups were also present.
After the demonstration, the Wales TUC said, “Today we took to the streets with Stand Up To Racism Wales and our trade union friends to march against racism. Union leaders, Senedd members, and anti-racist activists spoke with passion and fury to condemn racism in society, and push for a better future.”
Mohannad Bashir, brother of Mouayed Bashir, and activists from the Mohamud Hassan Justice Campaign joined the march. Both men were killed by cops last year. Camilla Mngaza, the mother of Siyanda Mngaza who was jailed after defending herself during an attack, spoke alongside refugees who had been kept in the now-closed Penally refugee camp.
Other speakers at the protest included Stand Up to Racism’s Nimi Trivedi and Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price. Nimi said the aim was to “make a stand against racism” and “show we are united”. Price said, “Systemic racism unfortunately is seen right across our society, from our education system to our health system, and in our economy as well. We as a society have said we want to be anti-racist nation here in Wales, well it’s time we turn those words into deeds.”
Hussein Said from Cardiff Stand Up To Racism told Socialist Worker the mobilisation was “really important”. “It was great to have cohesion among different issues and campaigns, all united against racism,” he told Socialist Worker.
“In Cardiff and the surrounding area we’ve had three police deaths in the last year. It’s super important to show we’re bigger than the racists and no matter what we’ll keep fighting until racism ends.” Hussein explained that the outrage at violence from the cops has led to more demonstrations and anger against institutional racism.
“People have set up a Cop Watch group and are actively talking about abolishing the police. They’re far more open to discuss how we live in a racist society and what that means for the police in a system that is aligned to discrimination.”
Protesters chanted, “No borders no nations, stop deportations,” “Refugees are welcome here,” and, “No justice no peace, no racist police,” as they demonstrated. Hussein explained how the “barbaric” Penally Camp shutting shows how fighting back is worthwhile and can win real gains. “This campaign was so important—it shows how people can come together,” he said.
The march can help boost further action. Anti-racists have to confront state racism. They must also prepare to revolt against the imminent implementation of the Nationality and Borders Bill and the protest-smashing police bill. There is also a battle to increase the pressure to open the borders to all refugees—from Ukraine or anywhere else.
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