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Worldwide anti-racism demos ‘come at a critical moment’

A WORLDWIDE anti-racism demonstration tomorrow “comes at a critical moment” as it will fall a day after the massacre of 49 Muslims in New Zealand, an organiser of the British protests has said.

Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) co-convenor Weyman Bennett said that the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch is a result of long-term “demonisation” of migrants and Muslims.

“The global protests are about saying we have had enough, we will not allow a rise in racism and fascism to go unchallenged,” he added.

Protests will take place in 22 countries and more than 60 cities including London, Cardiff and Glasgow. Numbers are expected to swell following the horror of Friday’s terror attacks by white supremacists.

“We must robustly stand up to Islamophobia, in solidarity with Muslim communities,” SUTR co-convenor Sabby Dhalu said.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who will be at the London protest, said: “Deepest sympathies to the people of New Zealand following this horrendous terrorist attack.

“It has never been more important to mobilise here and link up with our supporters abroad to fight all forms of racism.” 

Trade unions also made a call for anti-fascists to join the protests.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The far-right are a growing menace in Britain, bolstered by a global network they are taking their hate-filled messages onto our streets and into our communities.

“As trade unionists we will continue to stand up to the forces of hatred and division and to promote our values of tolerance and diversity.”

Mick Cash, general secretary of transport union RMT, said: “For RMT members racism and associated hate crimes are a daily reality. All of the statistics show a rise in violence, abuse and threats across the transport network with racism an ever-present issue.”

Maswood Ahmed, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Although much progress has been made, the crippling poison of racism, fascism and Islamophobia still persists.

“This national demonstration is an excellent example of solidarity for achieving the common good.”

David Rosenberg, on behalf of various Jewish groups who will march as a Jewish bloc during the protest, said the British government cannot escape criticism for being “openly allied” with far-right governments in other European nations and for having policies such as its own “hostile environment” for migrants.

 

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