Activists and anti-racists are building for Stand Up To Racism’s day of action this Saturday to mark UN anti-racism day. Protests in London, Glasgow and Cardiff will be joined by international protests to hit back against racist attacks.
Tchevy is the president of STAR—Student Action for Refugees—at Liverpool John Moores University. She told Socialist Worker she’ll be on the 18 March demonstration because the Tories have “created conflict”. “What happened recently in Knowsley was a trigger. The Tories know if they cause division, then no one is listening to each other.
“That’s why we need to build a mass of individuals to join us—people can see there’s power in numbers. We can make changes.”
“We have a voice and we should always use that—on 18 March we’re showcasing where we stand,” she added. “If we don’t act and stay in the same place nothing will improve. That’s why I’ll be at the demonstration in London supporting refugees, but also to support a bigger message—standing against all sorts of racism.”
Tchevy said the demonstration is an opportunity to link all oppressed people together, and to educate those on it and who see it about the issues of racism. “The bigger the demonstration the more people are going to hear about it. Even if they haven’t heard what we’re saying before, it could press them to understand more about it.
“It’ll be great to see other people supporting each other and coming together. And it’ll make the politicians look twice.” Mohammed Asif from the Afghan Human Rights Foundations will be at the demonstration in Glasgow. He said the day is “now more important than ever” given the Tories’ relentless attacks on refugees.
“A lot of people are angry. The Tories are blaming people for all of Britain’s problems on the people with no voice.” “Every time I open my mouth people say to ‘go back home’—but I don’t have one,” he said. “After 20 years of Britain, the US and Nato’s war in Afghanistan my home has been destroyed.
“White asylum seekers are welcome in this country by boat, Eurostar or aeroplane. But Muslim, brown or black people who have had their country destroyed by Britain are not allowed to come here or will be imprisoned and deported. “Don’t tell us your country welcomes refugees.”
Mohammed says the Tories know refugees are an easy target to pass the blame for the crises in Britain. “Not even 0.6 percent of refugees come to Europe. They stay in the poorest and neighbouring countries.
“And down the list in Europe, Britain isn’t near the top. They’re talking rubbish that there’s safe and legal routes—you can’t even get here from Afghanistan. “If they stopped bombing other countries fewer refugees would come.”
Nimi Trivedi is from Swansea SUTR. She said the demonstration in Cardiff has received a lot of support from the Wales Trades Union Council and other major unions and anti-racist organisations. Coaches will be joining the demonstration from Swansea and West Wales. The Just for Cardiff Five campaign—who were wrongly accused of murder in the 1980s—is also relaunching, alongside speakers from trade unions and campaign groups.
Nimi explained it’s important that as many people as possible head to the demonstration because “the hostile environment pushed by the Tories is outrageous.” “And it’s feeding into the far right against refugees and migrants,” she added.
“That’s why it’s important there’s a maximum turnout on the day in Cardiff to mobilise the anti-racist majority. We need to stand united against all forms of racism—anti-semitism, Islamophobia, anti-refugees racism—and build solidarity.”
With strikes being called off in Wales thanks to rubbish deals by the Welsh Labour government, the resistance “could be weakened”. “The strikes have shown workers’ strength, and the picket lines have been black and white. The fight against the cost of living isn’t separate from the fight against racism.”
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