RACISM and intolerance are always wrong and must continue to be challenged, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stormed yesterday.
He was speaking at a rally to mark the 40th anniversary of the “Battle of Wood Green” in north London where locals halted a march by the fascist National Front.
Mr Corbyn was a Haringey councillor at the time of the 1977 march and played a leading role in organising the counter-demonstration, along with others including the late Bernie Grant, who would go on to be MP for Tottenham.
“In 1977 the National Front were a rising force in London and they decided to mount a march here,” the Labour leader told the crowds at Ducketts Common.
Mr Corbyn said he was warned not to get involved in challenging the National Front, that they were irrelevant and would go away.
But he said: “The message of division, hate and racism, the message of racial supremacy, the message of discrimination, is wrong, wrong and wrong at any time in history.”
He explained how “thousands came to oppose the fascists and in a peaceful way said: ‘They shall not pass,’ as my parents generation did at Cable Street.
“By standing here that day to say ‘they shall not pass,’ the tide turned against the rise of the far right.”
Mr Corbyn said that it emboldened a whole young generation, particularly the black community as they came together with the message: “There is no future in racism, there is no future in division, there is no future in discrimination.”
And he warned: “You cannot compromise with intolerance. You cannot compromise with racism. You cannot compromise with those forces.
“Our strength together … makes our communities stronger and gives us hope and strength for the future for the kind of world we can create together.”