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Unions 'must do more' to mobilise against the far right

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UNIONS must do more to mobilise members against rising far-right demonstrations, an anti-racism conference heard at the weekend.

The Stand Up To Racism event in Manchester was held in the shadow of the recent rise in support for the far-right following the jailing of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson and the Windrush scandal.

Trade unions, campaigners and Labour politicians were among the speakers at the conference, which voiced concern about the huge number of people who had signed the petition in support of Mr Robinson.

Fire Brigades Union regional secretary Mark Rowe acknowledged that unions had not done enough to mobilise members to oppose the recent far-right demonstrations and stressed the need to get more out on the streets.

Farheen Raja, a young refugee from Pakistan, made an impassioned speech in which she described being an asylum-seeker as like being in an “open prison.”

She received a standing ovation after finishing with a moving and inspirational poem she had written herself.

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