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Counter the far right rise at anti-racist conference

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Socialist Worker speaks to Stand Up To Racism co-convenor, Weyman Bennett about the importance of mobilising to confront the threat
Issue 2825
Diane Abbot

Stand Up To Racism president Diane Abbott speaks to anti-racists in 2017. (Picture: SUTR)

The Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) international conference on Saturday 15 October will bring together anti-racist activists from across Britain and the world. It takes place at a crucial time as the Tories ramp up racism, and far right and fascist forces gain electoral strength across the world.

Co-conveyor of SUTR, Weyman Bennett, told Socialist Worker that the conference will confront Tory attempts to divide people. “Liz Truss has entered ­government, pushing through attacks on working people,” he said. “It seems likely that those in power will use divide and rule tactics, including racism, to try and crush resistance.

“Along with this, every one of the candidates in the race to become Tory prime minister pushed for more attacks on refugees and migrants.  The Black Lives Matter ­movement brought huge numbers onto the streets to call for an end to institutional racism. Yet it has largely been ignored by the Tories. 

“The police killing of Chris Kaba, as well as the racist strip search of the black child, known as Child Q, has brought questions about institutional racism to the fore once again. And, of course, we are seeing the worrying rise of fascists and the far right entering governments globally. 

“The election of fascist Giorgia Meloni as Italy’s prime minister, as well as electoral gains made by Marine Le Pen in France and the Sweden Democrats led by Jimmie Akesson, are all warnings. They show that the far right threat is still there, and we need to be ready.” 

Weyman added that unity around all of these issues is vital. “The ­conference will bring together ­leading trade unionists to discuss how to fight racism in Britain,” he said. It will also bring together activists from Europe and the US to discuss how we fight back against the far right threat. We need to grow the levels of resistance in order to counteract the scapegoating that will be used by the Tories and those in power to divide us.” 

Sessions at the conference will include, From Child Q to Chris Kaba—Resisting Institutional Racism and #StopRwanda offshoring—opposing the Racist Hostile Environment. Alongside those topics, speakers will hold panels on unity during the Cost of Living Crisis and how best to stop the racist and fascist right.

Speakers will include Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, joint NEU union general secretary Kevin Courtney, founder of Care4Calais Clare Moseley and South African ­anti-apartheid and environmental campaigner Trevor Ngwane.

As the right make gains and become emboldened across the world the anti-racist movement must mobilise. The conference on 15 October is a must for all ­anti-racist activists in Britain. 

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