By Paul Sillett
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 1967

Merseyside unites after racist murder

This article is over 16 years, 4 months old
The Unity Against Racism festival in Liverpool on Sunday was truly a day to remember.
Issue 1967
Together against racism in LIverpool last week (Pic: Rob Bremner)
Together against racism in LIverpool last week (Pic: Rob Bremner)

The Unity Against Racism festival in Liverpool on Sunday was truly a day to remember.

About 10,000 people from all sections of the community turned out for an exhilarating eight hours of rocking against racism.

Hip-hop, reggae, punk and garage acts pumped out sounds and showed what integration is all about.

The event was dedicated to the memory of Anthony Walker, murdered by racist thugs in July.

Anthony’s father and other family members attended and were overwhelmed by the solidarity and strength of feeling about what had happened to Anthony.

Hundreds of wristbands in Anthony’s name were sold. Anthony’s uncle, Shyla, played a set with his reggae band. 

All the artists belted out that we have to curb the cancer of racism and oppose filth like the British National Party.

John Rees, speaking for the Stop the War Coalition, argued that the stench of racism pervades the world when George Bush can move mountains to protect oil in Iraq, yet moves at a snail’s pace when Hurricane Katrina kills so many people — poor and largely black — in the US.

The anti-war message was extremely popular and there were cheers at calls to attend the 24 September demonstration.

Many acts also made references to Bush and Blair’s dirty oil war, Islamophobia and the need for resistance.

A fantastic day was highlighted by a stunning set by Pete Wylie who made repeated calls to the media to show the positive side of Liverpool, shown so strongly on the day by the diversity of audience and acts.

There were no national mainstream press or TV there, even though they had been invited. MPs and councillors were also notable by their absence.

That did not spoil the day and many people are saying this has to be an annual fixture.

As John Stone, a key player in making it happen said, “This was organised in a few weeks. The response has been incredible.

“So many musicians and activists rallied round to ensure it was a success. We came together to say racism should be made history.”

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