Today people are marching in cities across Europe, in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, to protect those who need our care
by Paddy McGuffin and Peter Lazenby
TENS of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of London, Glasgow and Cardiff today in opposition to the Tory government’s xenophobic policies and the racism of the Trump administration in Washington.
The March Against Racism will be part of a swathe of demonstrations across Europe coinciding with UN Anti-Racism Day.
The event is in opposition to “racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism and in support of refugee and migrant rights in a celebration of the diversity of our society,” organisers Stand Up to Racism (STUR) said yesterday.
SUTR president and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “There are so many reasons to come out on the march: The long shadow of Trump and his anti-immigrant politics, the rise in hate-crime post-Brexit and the pressing need for us all to stand shoulder to shoulder against racism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism.”
The demonstrations are seeking to further mobilise the significant “Refugees Welcome” movement in a bid to force the Tories into a U-turn over their shameful decision to ditch government promises that 3,000 lone child refugees would be found homes in Britain.
Instead, the government shut down the Dubs scheme after granting asylum to a mere 350 children.
The event — supported by the TUC, Unite, Unison as well as other trade unions, faith and community groups — is calling on those who oppose racism in Britain and the US to speak out against Tory and Trump administration plans to deny basic human rights to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
It takes place the day after a TUC report found that one in three black and minority ethnic Britons have been racially abused since the EU referendum.
It also comes after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that security company G4S was justified in sacking a woman in Belgium for wearing a headscarf to work.
SUTR co-convenor Sabby Dhalu said: “The scapegoating of migrants for the problems caused by austerity and the demonisation of Muslims led by the Trump administration must be met by a global show of unity against racism.”
In Scotland, Tasneem Ali of the Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh said the group has been pushed to back the march by the ECJ ruling.
She said that “in effect [the ruling] tells minorities like Muslim women wearing headscarves and, by extrapolation, Jewish men wearing kippah and Sikhs wearing turbans, that if they wear such clothing and identify as a member of a religious group then they are not welcome in the workplace.”
RMT Scotland organiser Gordon Martin said that racism is the “cancer” within society that needs to be exposed and opposed by the labour and trade union movement.
David Rosenberg of the Jewish Socialist Group said: “Racism is versatile. Racists accumulate rather than replace enemies. They can attack several enemies at once and switch main enemies quickly.
“One day it is Muslims, another day Polish workers, another day Jews. We have to be just as versatile in defending all our communities.”
The London demonstration will assemble at noon in Portland Place before marching to Parliament Square between 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Speeches will take place at both the start and end points.
The Glasgow demo starts at 11am on Holland Street n The Cardiff demo will start at 11am in Grange Gardens.