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Build protests to beat back Tory racism

Tory racism is rampant, we must mobilise for anti-racist demonstrations
Issue 2792
Stand Up To Racism activists protest to welcome refugees.

Stand Up To Racism activists protest to welcome refugees in central London. (Peter/Flickr)

Anti-racists, activists and trade unionists must be on the streets of London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 19 and 20 March. Those demonstrations will be part of global mobilisations against racism. 

In Britain protests called by Stand Up To Racism, supported by the TUC union federation, will focus their anger on the Tories, state racism and the threat from the far right.

It’s an urgent moment. We can guarantee that Tories in trouble will redouble their efforts to fracture opposition by ratcheting up racism. Home secretary Priti Patel’s attacks on migrants and refugees with her abhorrent Nationality and Borders bill will rip up Britain’s asylum system.

It will criminalise undocumented migrants forced to use dangerous methods to reach Britain. And citizenship could be stripped from those living here without warning.

Meanwhile attacks on Gypsy, Roma and Travellers in the policing and crime bill will criminalise the nomadic way of life, and greater police powers will lead to a rise in racist policing.

The Tories plan more detention centres, to process asylum seekers in foreign countries, and more deportations and harsher treatment of people fleeing war, poverty and climate collapse.

Already new information this week showed that two-thirds of refugees arriving in Britain in small boats between January and June last year suffered from hypothermia. Fighting against racism is an integral part of the struggles over rising prices, falling wages and the soaring cost of living. 

We need a united working class to combat the government, not one set against itself by racist myths and divisions. And it’s also true that a higher level of class struggle can help to corrode the grip of racism. 

As Gary Walker, a striker at Chep UK in Manchester rightly said last week, “I’ve got more in common with an African or an eastern European cleaner than someone from Eton.”  

Mass movements can turn the tide on Patel’s racist narrative. The TUI airline was this week forced to stop operating deportation flights—showing how resistance can be powerful. Taking to the streets on the 19 and 20 March is a vital way of fighting back against the Tories by showing the size and strength of the anti-racist movement.

That’s important not just for anti-racism but also for every part of the resistance.  The Black Lives Matter movement, protests for Palestine and the climate, as well as after the murder of Sarah Everard show the impact mass movements can have. And a bigger fightback can fuel the battle against the capitalist system that produces racism. 

With a month to go, we ask all our readers to build the anti-racist demonstrations.

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