Hackney Says Stand Up to Racism & Fascism





A day of action against racism has been called for across Europe to coincide with the marking of UN Anti-Racism Day in 2014, with eyes on the European elections in May.

Already in most European countries parties of the right, centre and even traditional left are allowing the terrain of these elections to be dominated by racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and the scapegoating of minorities – Muslims, immigrants, Roma, Black, Asian, Turkish and Kurdish communities.

Across Europe the fascist and populist racist right are on the rise. From the violent Golden Dawn in Greece, the anti-Roma Jobbik in Hungary, the Islamophobic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to the success of the Front Nationale in France, these currents are encouraging hatred, fear and prejudice in a frightening wave across the continent.

In Britain the far right is hoping for gains in the Euro elections. The British National Party (BNP) in seeking the re-election of Nick Griffin in the North West and Andrew Brons is seeking re-election in Yorkshire and the Humber. The Tories and UKIP look set to try to outdo each other in their calls for draconian ‘anti-immigration’ policies and promoting a ‘Little Englander’ anti-foreign, anti-Europe mentality.

The ‘go-home’ vans sent out by the Home Office over the summer are a sign of things to come. Hostility is already being stirred up towards Bulgarian and Romanian migrant workers who will be able to work here from January.

Such campaigns simply whip up racism in general and induce a ‘blame game’ for falling living standards and squeezed incomes that falls on visible minorities in stepped up discrimination, institutional racism, abuse and violence.

This all encourages currents such as the English Defence League, which turn their Islamophobic prejudices into real attempts to terrorise the Muslim population – attacking Mosques, assaulting veiled women, insulting religious sensitivities with vile slogans and throwing pigs’ heads, and organising intimidating marches into Muslim communities. Fascists continue to attack the Jewish community and deny the Holocaust.

Following the rising violence of Golden Dawn and the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, (also known as Killah P), the Greek anti-fascist and anti-racist movement has proposed that next year’s UN Day Against Race Discrimination on March 21/22 should be the focus for actions against racism and fascism across Europe.
While there is a real threat that openly racist parties may win the 2014 Euro-elections in some countries, this can be prevented by the widest possible unity against them and the mobilisation of the broadest progressive forces.

Unite Against Fascism has therefore initiated this call for a demonstration and rally to Stand Up to Racism in London on Saturday 22nd March. We endorse this proposal and call on all those of goodwill to join us in a riposte to the rise of racism, to show that migrants are welcome and to demonstrate our confidence in a future free of scapegoating and hatred.

Letter in the Hackney Gazette 13 March 2014


Diane Abbott, MP, Meg Hillier, MP, Jean Lambert, MEP, Mayor Jules Pipe, Deputy mayor Sophie Linden, Cllr Luke Akehurst, Cllr Dawood Akhoon, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cllr Michael Jones, Cllr Christopher Kennedy, Cllr Rita Krishna, Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cllr Rick Muir, Cllr Ann Munn, Cllr Deniz Oguzkanli, Cllr Emma Plouviez, Cllr Ian Rathbone, Cllr Geoff Taylor, Cllr Patrick Vernon, Owen Jones, author, Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary NUT, Fr Rob Wickham, Rector of Hackney, Revd Betsy Blatchley, St Luke’s, Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Revd Graham Hunter, St John’s, Revd Elizabeth Welch, Minister Clapton Park UCR, Dr Paul Turp, parish priest, Shoreditch Church

For more information and to see the full list of signatories, visit http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/

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