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Updated: 30 min 41 sec ago

Anti racists protest across Britain in solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Saka, while in Dorset marching to Drax MP demanding slavery justice

Sun, 07/18/2021 - 05:49

The strength of anger at the racism targetted at England players Rashford, Sancho and Saka, and at goverment ministers – in particular Boris Johnson and Priti Patel – who have, as England player Tyronne Mings said, stoked the flames of racism, was reflected in the demonstrations that took place all over Britain on Saturday 17 July. This included a demonstration of hundreds at Downing Street.

Diane Abbott MP on the front of the Stand Up To Racism demonstration outside Downing Street in solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Saka On the Stand Up To Racism protest at Emerites Stadium

In Dorset, a march taking place as part of the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival organised by Stand Up To Racism supported by the TUC saw hundreds marching to the Estate of Richard Drax, Tory MP and beneficiary of the slave trade, demanding slavery justice and opposing insitutionalised racism.

Marching on Drax – demanding slavery justice Taking the Knee in solidarity with Rashford, Sancho and Saka outside Downing street and opposing the racism of Johnson and Patel

The protests were covered widely in the press, including in the Guardian, The Mirror, the Evening Standard (even the Daily Mail and the Sun reported on the protests!) as well as a whole host of local newspapers who covered the #TakeTheKnee actions in their areas (including Leicester, Darlington, Hull)

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PRESS RELEASE: Anti racists protest government who ‘stoked flames’ of racism – solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Sancho – Downing st & across Britain

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 07:33
https://facebook.com/events/s/solidarity-with-rashford-saka-/843560883245130/

Friday 16 July 2021

Anti racists to protest the government who ‘stoked the flames’ of racism, and in solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Sancho – at Downing street and across Britain:

LONDON: Demonstration in solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Saka, assembling outside Downing Street, tomorrow, 3pm 

FRI 16 JULY
Leeds here
Hackney here

SAT 17 JULY
Downing street here
Stratford here
Islington here
Selhurst here
Swansea here
Manchester here
Lancaster here
Cambridge here
Harlow here

SUN 18 JULY
Narberth here

On Saturday 17 July, Stand Up To Racism is organising major protests following events this week in the wake of the racist abuse of England players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka & Jadon Sancho. Saturday’s upcoming events follow a wave of anti racist outrage and protest in response, including Stand Up To Racism’s hundreds-strong protest at the Marcus Rashford mural in Manchester which received across the board press coverage.

Stand Up To Racism has called a demonstration at Downing Street, with local groups holding actions in towns and cities across Britain, aiming to show solidarity with the players who carried out #TakeTheKnee action against racism throughout the tournament, and to point to the hypocrisy by Patel and Johnson, who in the words of Tyrone Mings were “stoking the fire” of racism when they criticised the anti racist action and refused to condemn the booing of #TakeTheKnee.

Anti racists are gathering to say: one year on from the #BlackLivesMatter explosions, we demand action on racism now!

Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said:
“After their attack on the consistent dignified, insistant and brave #TakeTheKnee action by the England team throughout the Euros2020 tournament, and after their refusal to condemn the booing of the players’ stance against racism, many anti racists will have been sickened to see the rank hypocrisy of Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. How dare they come out as if they were supporting the players and give hollow words in the wake of the disgusting racist abuse. Gary Neville is right when he says that the prime minister encouraged it. Tyrone Mings is right when he says Patel and Johnson were stoking the flames of racism.

“And they have been consistent in pushing through a raft of racist policy from the Nationality and Borders bill that attacks refugee and migrants in the most despicable way, to the policing bill that criminalises Black Lives Matter and attempts to drive entire communities out of existence with the attack on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. This government has denied the very existence of institutional racism in Britain. We must take very seriously the need to build a strong current of active anti racism in every sphere of our lives and society. 

“These brilliant young men have taken a bold stand against racism, and in doing sonon the global stage, despite opposition from their own government, they have helped everyone who wants to challenge racism. The outpouring of rage at the racist abuse and heartfelt solidarity for Rashford, Sancho and Saka shows the incredible force we have to take the fight against racism in all its forms forwards.” 

Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said:
“Attempts by Johnson and the government to whip up racism while denying its existence have hit a brick wall. 

“When England footballers, many of whom experience vile racism on a daily basis, take the knee, they represent the majority of society who abhor racism and want action taken. Tyrone Mings was right to condemn Priti Patel for feigning disgust at the very abuse she helped to stoke
.”


 —
For more information, interviews and further quotes:
info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post PRESS RELEASE: Anti racists protest government who ‘stoked flames’ of racism – solidarity with Rashford, Sancho & Sancho – Downing st & across Britain first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

PRESS RELEASE: Anti-racists call demonstration at Rashford mural and say Gary Neville correct in calling out government racism and racist abuse towards, Rashford, Saka and Sancho

Mon, 07/12/2021 - 07:00

Monday 12 July 2021

Anti-racists call demonstration at Rashford mural and say Gary Neville correct in calling out government racism and racist abuse towards, Rashford, Saka and Sancho 

In response to racist vandalism of Marcus Rashford mural Stand up to Racism has called a demonstration at the mural on Tuesday 13 July at 6pm in Withington (details here). 

Following racist abuse towards Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, anti-racists wholeheartedly agree with Gary Neville’s statements to Sky News this morning, calling out the government’s role in encouraging racism. 

In response to Neville’s intervention, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor Sabby Dhalu said

Gary Neville is spot on in calling out the government’s role in this despicable racism. Boris Johnson failed to condemn the booing of England footballers taking the knee and MPs such as Home Secretary Priti Patel, Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith who attacked England for taking the knee. This gave succour to far right racists and fascists. Therefore the torrent of racist abuse since the final is not surprising. Racism starts from the top.” 

Earlier today the former Manchester United Star told Sky News

The taking of the knee was ridiculed by our top ranking government officials. So when we get racist abuse after a football match at the end of a tournament, I expect it. Because it exists and it is actually promoted by the Prime Minister. I knew as soon as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Sako missed last night, I knew we would be waking up to stories of racist abuse.”

In addition to racism towards Rashford, Saka and Sancho, video footage is circulating on social media showing England fans violently attacking, African, Caribbean and Asian England fans and Italy supporters. This follows violence towards Denmark fans on Wednesday. 

Sabby Dhalu further added

We condemn the racist abuse Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho have received since the end of the Euro 2020 Final. This includes the vandalisation of the Rashford mural in Manchester. We also condemn racist violence and abuse by racist England fans towards African, Caribbean and Asian England fans, Italy and Denmark supporters. 

“This racism and xenophobia precisely illustrates why England footballers took the the knee at every match during Euro 2020. 

“Missing penalties is hardly unique to three black footballers. By reaching the final of a major tournament this England team is the most successful since 1966. What underpinned this success is the diverse and multicultural team. We congratulate the team and its commitment to fighting racism.

Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said: 

The England players along with manager Gareth Southgate have made a concerted, conscious and consistent attempt to, in the face of hostility from this racist government, be on the right side of history and insist on continuing to #TakeTheKnee. This has in turn led to other teams joining them on the pitch, on a global stage, to send a message in complete contradiction to racist division this government evokes. It has been extremely uplifting for all who want to see a world without racism and inequality, and rightly many anti racists are immensely proud of the players.

“Because institutional racism very much does exist, it is outrageous that these young men have faced racist abuse, but as Neville says, it is not a suprise. The government have fuelled an environment where racists feel emnoldened to inflict abuse and attacks in a jingoistic fervour. They condemned #TakeTheKnee and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, yet failed to condemn racists and booing of the team.

“We need to keep at building a strong and vocal anti racist current on the terraces, in our workplaces and in our communities. Well done to the players who have stood up to lend their influence to this urgent task, and solidarity with them as they face vile and infuriating racism that does not reflect the majority mood.”

We encourage all teams to take the knee in domestic and international football competitions next season.”

Details of Rashford mural event
https://fb.me/e/2i7gr6C6S

For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post PRESS RELEASE: Anti-racists call demonstration at Rashford mural and say Gary Neville correct in calling out government racism and racist abuse towards, Rashford, Saka and Sancho first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Dorset rally for slavery justice: sat 17 july

Sat, 07/10/2021 - 05:11

Join share and invite to the Facebook event page here

Drax1Download

Dorset march and rally for slavery justice – Saturday 17 July, 11.30am


Richard Drax is said to be the richest MP in the UK. He owns 15,000 acres of Dorset farmland, plus properties across the country. He also owns Drax Hall Estate – a sugar plantation in Barbados established in the 1640s and run with slave labour for over 200 years.

The Caricom Reparations Commission calls on Richard Drax to pass the estate to the people of Barbados, to be used for the benefit of the community. Join anti-racists and trade unions to say: “Time’s up, Mr Drax!”

Assemble: beyond World’s End pub, DT11 9EW (off A31 road). Solidarity with Barbados: Drax Hall plantation for the people!

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England V Italy final is a win for anti-racists

Fri, 07/09/2021 - 14:31

The Euro 2020 football tournament has been exciting for football fans and anti-racists alike, with many teams taking the knee in opposition to racism. Sunday’s England V Italy Euro 2020 final is significant for anti-racists. 

England has consistently taken the knee at all matches during the Euros, along with Wales and Belgium. The following teams took the knee in solidarity when playing either Belgium, England or Wales: Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Switzerland and Turkey. 

A YouGov Poll on 10 June ahead of the tournament showed that there is huge public support in Italy for taking the knee. A staggering 73% support taking the knee, compared to only 19% opposed. The majority of English people surveyed also support taking the knee with 54% in favour and 39% against. 

Taking the knee: what do football fans across Europe make of the symbolic act? | YouGov

A higher proportion of ethnic minority communities in Britain support taking the knee, with 78% supporting and only 12% opposed. In Wales and Scotland 53% and 49% respectively support the gesture, 37% and 42% are opposed. 

Of Western European nations competing in Euro 2020, Portugal had the most support with 79% supporting the anti-racist gesture. 

Indeed the majority of those surveyed supported taking the knee with only the Netherlands narrowly opposing, with 45% against and 44% in favour. YouGov did not survey Belgium nor the Eastern European nations participating in the tournament. 

Racists opposing taking the knee and LGBT Pride

Many were disappointed when France failed to take the knee. The multicultural French team was expected to take the knee, and it is widely believed that its u-turn was due to the far right #BoycottEquipeDeFrance campaign, with French fans threatening to boycott France in the event of the team taking the knee.

Economist journalist Stanley Pignal commented on Twitter: 

“Black, Blanc, Beur” in English translates to “Black, White, Arab,” the phrase emphasises the unity of its diverse team in achieving its historic World Cup win in 1998. Without elite footballer Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Thierry Henry to name a few, it is hard to imagine a French victory that year. 

Far right Hungary supporters demonstrated in Munich against taking the knee and LGBT Pride. European football association UEFA conceded to homophobic pressure from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and prevented the Allianz stadium in Munich being lit up in rainbow colours in solidarity with Pride month, at the Germany V Hungary match.

Haters defeated 

A minority of England fans at matches during Euro 2020 and at friendly matches prior to the tournament booed the England team for taking the knee. During the tournament the boos were progressively drowned out by applause from fans and at the semi final against Denmark the haters were silenced. Only a handful of people turned up to the far right demonstration against the England team taking the knee at England’s opening match against Croatia. 

Statement opposing booing of players’ #TakeTheKnee & government failure to act

England’s take the knee gesture is even more significant given that the team resisted enormous pressure against taking the knee. It’s tough stance forced the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to u-turn and oppose the booing of the team days before the tournament. 

Tories Volte-face 

Johnson has failed to condemn many Tory MPs supporting those booing England taking the knee, including Home Secretary Priti Patel, Lee Anderson MP and Brendan Clarke-Smith MP. Patel said fans had a right to boo. Clarke-Smith disgracefully compared taking the knee to England performing the Nazi salute in 1938 World Cup in Germany. Anderson said he would boycott England matches. 

Now that England has made history by reaching an unprecedented Euro final – the first time it has reached the final of an international tournament since its World Cup win in 1966 – the same Tory MPs now claim they support the England team. 

Opposing Jingoism and Nationalism

The jingoism and nationalism usually associated with the Euros and World Cup has reared its ugly head again. A loud minority of England fans have booed the national anthem of every team England has played. 

In London a family of Denmark fans were brutally attacked on bus after Wednesday’s semi final at Wembley. Xenophobia, racism, fascism and the far right should have no place in football. 

Whatever the result on Sunday’s final, we must reject racism and vehemently oppose violent attacks on Italy supporters or anyone else. We hope the passion and gusto with which the Italian team sings it’s national anthem will be duly applauded. 

We hope Raheem Sterling and co, the diversity of the team and its contribution to England’s achievement in Euro 2020 get the recognition they deserve. 

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MARCH 4 BLACK LIVES – Justice 4 Dalian Atkinson

Thu, 07/08/2021 - 08:55

‘March 4 Black Lives Justice 4 Dalian Atkinson’ demo is taking place on Friday 9 July at 2pm in Victoria Square Birmingham.

PC Ben Monk was convicted on 29 June for the manslaughter of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson. Monk’s conviction is believed to be the first time in modern British criminal justice history that a UK police officer has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a black man, according to Inquest, which supports the bereaved following state-related deaths. This conviction is hugely significant because it is a product of the huge mobilisations of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Lives Matter mobilisations also influenced footballers taking the knee at matches and most recently England players taking the knee at their Euro 2020 matches.

Some campaigners are arguing that the 8 year sentence is unjust and too low for manslaughter. Join the demo to show your solidarity with Atkinson’s family who have experienced this terrible tragedy and have waited so long for justice.

Facebook event page – https://fb.me/e/1v7rlEA6b

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Stand Up To Racism Northwest Regional Conference: Full timetable – 4 July 2021

Sat, 07/03/2021 - 03:23
2021-SUTR-Rgional-Summit-Program-1Download http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/wp-content2015/uploads/2021/07/2021-SUTR-Rgional-Summit-Program-1.pdf

Northwest Conference Stand Up To Racism and TUC Northwest

Register here

Northwest Regional Conference

Hosted by Stand Up To Racism, and sponsored by the northwest TUC

Conference will be online.

Register for free -or buy a £5 ticket.

We will shortly send Zoom log in details to you.

1pm-4pm, Sunday 4th July



Opening session. (1pm) – 
Black Lives Matter


Interactive workshops. (2pm- 2.50pm)

  1. Racism and the Criminal Justice System
  2. Decolonising Education
  3. Disproportionate impact of Covid and Racism


Final plenary (3pm) The fight against racism today
…………………………
Speakers at Conference include:

Elise Bryant from the USA Black Lives Matter movement, Elise Bryant is president of the Coalition of Labor Union, actor, theatre director & singer, a labour union activist, teacher, and civil rights leader

Shirin Hirsch, will talk about the Moss Side ‘rising’ of forty years when youth fought back against police violence and racism. Shirin Hirsch is a historian, and author In the shadow of Enoch Powell

Pete Middleman, speaks for the Northwest TUC who are co-sponsors of this Conference. ‘As well as opposing racism and fascism the TUC are also opposed to the racism that underpins why black, Asian, and people from minority ethnic communities experience a significantly disproportionate impact of Covid on their lives’

Pinar Aksu and Mohammed Asif, are Anti-deportation protesters who were at the heart of the resistance that stopped Priti Patel’s deportation squad at the Polloksheilds, Glasgow last month

Chantelle Lunt, founder of the Merseyside Black Lives Matter Coalition, whether it is marching against the Tories or for Trans rights, Chantelle is always at the heart of the struggle to make

Keziah Major, the Northwest manager of Show Racism The Red Card: ‘The Black Lives Matter movement was and is a cry across society for fundamental change. Show Racism the Red Card supports this cry and those who Take The Knee in solidarity with it.’

Peta Bulmer, has been on strike at Liverpool University, the UCU is fighting to defend jobs, and for the decolonisation of the curriculum

Anna Rothery, long time anti-racist campaigner, helped keep the northwest a ‘fascist free zone’, a fighter for Justice for the Windrush generation, Anna is a Liverpool councillor

Lamin Touray, from Hulme Manchester where they ‘Took The Knee’ every week for a year, an actor Lamin helped with a play about the black boxer and anti racist campaigner Len Johnson

Julia Mwaluke, front line care worker Julia has been fighting for worker safety and against racism and low pay, she has just been elected to the National Executive of the Unison union

Mohammed Shafiq, ‘We took on the narrative of the far right, over Islamophobia and antisemitism. The northwest is a fascist free zone’, Mohammed is chair of PCS Black Members Committee, ‘may the vision of George Floyd live on in the work that we do in the weeks to come. Now is the time for action’

Clare Moseley, Care4Calais was founded by Clare Moseley to support refugees seeking asylum; ’In these desperate cases, the lack of a safe, alternative pathway is making a dangerous trip in an unsuitable boat the only viable alternative’

Dawn Taylor, the NEU campaigned for the teaching of ‘Britain’s colonial past to be part of the UK’s compulsory curriculum’, Dawn represents the union executive in the northwest

Karen Reissmann, campaigner who was fined £10,000 for organising a NHS Pay demo, Karen says ‘you are more likely to be treated by a migrant than be behind a migrant in a queue for health care.’

Weyman Bennett, is the National Co Convenor Stand Up To Racism

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PRESS RELEASE: Anti racists celebrate German teams decision to #TakeTheKnee with England

Tue, 06/29/2021 - 08:19

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Anti racists celebrate German teams decision to #TakeTheKnee with England

Anti racists are celebrating the decision of the German team to #TakeTheKnee against racism and in solidarity with the England team at today’s Euro 2020 clash.

England have faced booing from a minority of so called ‘supporters’ for making the antiracist statement at international games.

The British government has defended the ‘right’ of this minority to attack the team despite Wales and Scotland also taking the knee and the vast majority of supporters backing the players. 

England’s players have knelt before each of their three group stage games in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and against racial injustice.

German manager Joachim Low said “We stand for all these values and think it’s right to stand up for such values.”

Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said

“Despite the intense rivalry between the two teams the solidarity being expressed by the German players is fantastic. It’s great that they are taking this action together racism.”

Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said

“We’re delighted both England and Germany will be taking the knee in opposition to racism this afternoon, especially in light of intense pressure against this. During the Euro 2020 tournament we’ve seen racist demonstrations by Hungary fans against taking the knee backed by its far right government.

“France did a u-turn on the issue, after giving a commitment to take the knee the team conceded to pressure from the far right #BoycottEquipeDeFrance campaign and decided against taking the knee. So it’s all the more significant that both England and Germany will be taking the knee. We hope fans of both applaud the players.”


For more information, interviews and further quotes:
info@standuptoracism.org.uk

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PRESS RELEASE: Anti-racists slam Home Secretary’s defence of England fans booing take the knee as deliberate distraction from covid crisis & giving succour to far right

Mon, 06/14/2021 - 08:33

Monday 14 June 2021

Anti-racists slam Home Secretary’s defence of England fans booing take the knee as deliberate distraction from covid crisis & giving succour to far right

Anti racists have criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel for stating England fans have a right to boo the England team taking the knee. Campaigners say the intervention is deliberately timed to distract from the government’s delaying of covid unlocking and an approaching third wave. 

The Home Secretary’s intervention comes after England won a historic victory over Croatia yesterday. The majority of fans applauded the England team for taking the knee before kick off. 

Outside Wembley stadium a tiny group of far right activists demonstrated against taking the knee. Campaigners say Patel’s statements are giving succour to the far right who are using football to build support. 

Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said: 

“After England’s historic victory in winning an opening match against Croatia at Euro 2020, the majority of fans applauding England players taking the knee and a pathetic protest by the far right at Wembley Stadium, Priti Patel’s agenda is clear. This issue was settled yesterday. It is no accident that Patel’s intervention coincides with news that full unlocking of economy will be delayed. Patel is putting the taking the knee back on the agenda to distract from the emerging Covid 3rd wave and the government’s appalling handling of the crisis. This dangerous intervention will encourage the far right. We urge fans to get behind the England team, applaud the team and sign our statement.”

Former footballer Shaka Hislop, poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Mike Rosen, Unite the Union General Secretary Len McCluskey, Unison General Secretary Christina McAnea, Diane Abbott MP, John McDonnell MP were among the signatories of a statement condemning the far right protest yesterday at Wembley Stadium against the England team taking the knee. The protest was promoted by Steven Yaxley-Lennon AKA ‘Tommy Robinson’ and others on the far right. 

The statement urges fans to applaud the players when they take the knee: 

“We reject racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and attempts by the far right to use football to build support. We stand in solidarity with all teams who choose to #TakeTheKnee in support of #BlackLivesMatter and in opposition to racism. We call on all fans to show their solidarity with their teams taking the knee before kick off by applauding the players.”

The statement also slams the Tories for failing to take a stronger line against fans booing England footballers when taking the knee.”

Weyman Bennett, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said:

“Players are being condemned for opposing racism and saying that Black Lives Matter. It’s not the #TakeTheKnee that is divisive but those that boo this clear statement of anti-racism.

“Boris Johnson should have been as clear and unrestrained in his support for the players and the team’s anti-racist statement as England’s manager Gareth Southgate has been. Just as with his misleading comments about the Churchill statue last summer Johnson is giving succor and confidence to the far right, and to leave nothing in doubt, Priti Patel’s disgraceful comments today have made crystal clear that this goverment would unequivocally rather give a green light to the danger and division of racism in the terraces and in society than miss an opportunity to attack the anti racist movement.”


For more information, interviews and further quotes:
info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post PRESS RELEASE: Anti-racists slam Home Secretary’s defence of England fans booing take the knee as deliberate distraction from covid crisis & giving succour to far right first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Statement signed by politicians, union leaders and campaigners opposing the booing of players’ #TakeTheKnee & government failure to act

Sun, 06/13/2021 - 02:50

We express our solidarity with those teams who show their opposition to racism by taking the knee at Euro 2020. We believe Boris Johnson should have forcefully condemned the booing of England players by a small minority of so-called supporters.

Johnson’s statement said he “fully respects the right of those who choose to peacefully protest and make their feelings known” and “on taking the knee, specifically, the prime minister is more focused on action rather than gestures’.

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith repugnantly compared taking the knee to England footballers performing the Nazi salute during a 1938 match with Germany. Another Tory MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire has stated he will boycott England games because of Take The Knee. Johnson failed to condemn these MPs which is giving succour to the far right.

A host of right wing figures including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage & former actor and right wing politician Lawrence Fox have joined in the attacks on the players, England’s manager Gareth Southgate and BBC pundit Gary Lineker who has publicly opposed the booing and supported the teams anti-racist stance.

Now videos are circulating calling for protests against taking the knee at Wembley stadium coinciding with England’s first game against Croatia on Sunday. These videos are being promoted by convicted criminal Tommy Robinson and others.

We reject racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and attempts by the far right to use football to build support. We stand in solidarity with all teams who choose to #TakeTheKnee in support of #BlackLivesMatter and in opposition to racism. We call on all fans to show their solidarity with their teams taking the knee before kick off by applauding the players.

Signed,

Diane Abbott MP

John McDonnell MP

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Richard Burgon MP

Claudia Webbe MP

Zarah Sultana MP

Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the PFA

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union

Christina McAnea, General Secretary of UNISON

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of NEU

Dave Ward, General Secretary of CWU

Shavanah Taj, General Secretary of WTUC

Shaka Hislop, Honorary President of Show Racism the Red Card

Mike Rosen, Poet & Writer

Mick Lynch, General Secretary RMT

Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF

Lord Hain

Baroness Blower

Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, co-convenors Stand Up To Racism

Patrick Vernon OBE, social commentator and Windrush campaigner

Mohammed Kozbar, Chairman Finsbury Park Mosque

Raghad Altikriti, Muslim Association of Britain President

Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation

Azhar Qayum, CEO of MEND

Daniel Kebede, Senior Vice President of National Education Union

Jane Loftus, President of CWU

Gloria Mills, TUC Race Relations Committee chair/ Unison National Secretary & Head of Equality

Aamer Anwar, Human Rights Lawyer

Ben Chacko, Morning Star Editor

Lindsey German, Stop the War Convenor

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of CND

David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialists’ Group

CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE STATEMENT

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Geffrye Must Fall Protest – Diane abbott MP Statement

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 07:11

Stand Up To Racism Hackney has planned a protest outside the Museum of the Home as it re-opens, after the failure to follow the outcome of their own consultation and remove the statue of the 17th century slave trader, Robert Geffrye.

Labour MP Diane Abbott said, “The protests against the statue at the former Geffrye Museum are entirely legitimate and peaceful and I support them.  Robert Geffrye was a slave trader. Honouring his memory in this way is an affront to his victims and offensive to all of us who abhor slavery. 

The renamed Museum of Home should recognise the need for change and resist pressure from central government. It should remove the statue, just as the majority of residents said when they were polled.  Museums should be places of learning about our history, among other things.  Removing the statue should be an opportunity to highlight and learn from this shameful period of British history.” 

More information about the protests can be found here

The post Geffrye Must Fall Protest – Diane abbott MP Statement first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Anti-racist slam Boris Johnson’s failure to condemn the booing of England players taking the knee and for conceding to the far right

Wed, 06/09/2021 - 01:19

For immediate release…
Tuesday 8 June 2021

Anti-racists have condemned Boris Johnson’s failure to call out the minority of England supporters who have booed the team for taking the knee at the two recent international friendlies against Austria and Romania.

Johnson’s statement said he “fully respects the right of those who choose to peacefully protest and make their feelings known” and  “On taking the knee, specifically, the prime minister is more focused on action rather than gestures’. However these so-called actions include the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) which has been widely condemned by anti-racists who say that far from taking action against racism the CRED report concedes to racism.

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith has rightly been under fire after comparing Take The Knee to England footballers performing the Nazi salute during a 1938 match with Germany.

Another Tory MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire has stated he will boycott England games because of Take The Knee. Neither MP has been condemned by Boris Johnson.

Now videos are circulating calling for protests at England’s first game at Euro 2021 against Croatia on Sunday – from 1pm at Wembley stadium.

These videos are being promoted by fascist thug Tommy Robinson.

A host of right wing figures including former UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who said ‘fans’ have a right to boo when players take the knee for Marxist BLM’.

Former actor and right wing politician Lawrence Fox joined in the attacks on the players, England’s manager Gareth Southgate and BBC pundit Gary Linekar who had opposed the booing and supported the teams anti-racist stance.

Weyman Bennett, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said:

“Players are being condemned for opposing racism and saying that Black Lives Matter. It’s not the #TakeTheKnee that is divisive but those that boo this clear statement of anti-racism’.

Boris Johnson should have been as clear and unrestrained in his support for the players and the team’s anti-racist statement as England’s manager Gareth Southgate has been. Just as with his misleading comments about the Churchill statue last summer Johnson is giving succor and confidence to the Far Right.”

Sabby Dhalu, Stand up to Racism Co-Convenor said:

“Albert Einstein said ‘The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.’ England players taking the knee in opposition to racism are good people saying no to the evils of racism and must be applauded.

Boris Johnson should have condemned abominable Tory MP’s attacking England players and comparing taking the knee to Nazi salutes, and those booing the footballers at matches. Johnson’s failure to do so is conceding to the far right with Tommy Robinson circulating details of a demonstration at Wembley stadium opposing the players taking the knee. The lesson of history is that racists and fascists must be robustly condemned and opposed.”


For more information, interviews and further quotes:
info@standuptoracism.org.uk

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Orbán visit condemned by anti-racists, Jewish, Roma and Muslim groups as protest takes place outside Downing Street

Fri, 05/28/2021 - 05:55

News release – Fri 28 May 2021


The welcoming by Boris Johnson of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to Downing Street was condemned today by figures representing many of the groups targeted by his regime along with anti-racists, human rights campaigners and trade unionists.

A protest took place outside Downing Street organised by Stand Up To Racism, Jewish Socialists’ Group & GR8, representing Gypsy, roma and 8 other ethnic groups, and supported by MEND, PCS, CWU & ASLEF among others. Protestors included Hungarian activist Olivia Virag, who condemed the shutting down of democracy in Hungary through rule by decree, describing Orbàn as a ‘dictator’ who can now do ‘anything he wants.’

Others opposing the visit include Roma activist Virgil Bitu who described Orbàn as  “One of the worst Antigypsyist politicians in Europe” and David Landau of the Jewish Socialists’ Group who condemned Orban for “fueling antisemitism.”

In 2018 Orbàn ran an antisemitic election campaign based on “defending Hungary” from becoming an “immigrant nation”. He said Hungary was under threat from what “George Soros’ workshops have planned for us”. He has described Muslim refugees and “invaders” and refused to obey a compensation order for Roma children harmed by segregation, stating the case was an attempt to  “grab money and attack the majority”.

The visit comes as the British government has set out anti-refugee legislation condemned by human rights organisations as violating the UN convention on refugees, and follows a report on Conservative Islamophobia. MEND CEO Azhar Qayum drew attention to Conservative promises to clamp down on Islamophobia in their party, and said the visit of Orban “highlights the lack of commitment our Government has to upholding any such ‘zero tolerance approach’ to Islamophobia.”

Campaigners have warned that the visit of Orbán is reflective of the British Government’s turn towards racist populism and the scapegoating of communities to consolidate political power.

Sandor Szöke, Roma civil rights campaigner from Hungary said:

Present-time Hungary under Orban’s rule is not a real parliamentary republic, not a real state of law anymore. Above all -it is a racist regime. That is why we consider his invitation to Downing Street a political mistake and a provocation, and we strongly condemn it.

“The so called “Stop Soros “campaign justifying the LEXNGO 2018 legislation featured some not-so-hidden anti-Semitic undertones using antisemitic tropes targeted against Hungarian-American stock market billionaire George Soros, a Holocaust survivor, who has since become a divisive figure in Hungary for his philanthropic work through the Open Society.

“Orbán has attempted to rewrite history. He has praised Miklos Horthy for reconquering lost territories. Several towns have erected statues or placed plaques on buildings in the wartime leader’s honour. Busts of Horthy still stand across the country, despite his record of virulent anti-Semitism. According to Shapiro, Miklos Horthy wrote “with pride to his Prime Minister in 1940, ‘I have been an anti-Semite my whole life.
 
“Victor Orban’s government has repeatedly stereotyped the Roma minority who has lived in Hungary for roughly 600 years as “alien, work-shy and criminal” In recent statements he has openly defended racially segregated education and attempted to stop the court-mandated payment of compensation to former pupils in the village of Gyöngyöspata who had been subjected to segregated and substandard education.
 
“Victor Orban’s government stereotyped refugees from Syria and Afghanistan as terrorists, criminals, rapists and carriers of deadly diseases. ‘We don’t see these people as Muslim refugees. We see them as Muslim invaders’ he told German tabloid Bild.”

Azhar Qayum, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) CEO said:

‘In recent days the Conservative party said it would take ‘a zero tolerance approach to discrimination of any kind’ in reference to the recent Singh inquiry into Islamophobia. Clearly these were empty words as Orban’s visit highlights the lack of commitment our Government has to upholding any such ‘zero tolerance approach’ to Islamophobia.

David Landau, Jewish Socialists’ Group said:

“Orbán is a far-right populist who stays in power by scapegoating sections of society. He stirs up hatred against Roma people, against migrants and refugees, and fuels antisemitism.

“When Johnson was Tory Foreign Minister, he warmly welcomed Orbán’s re-election. Later that year, Tory MEPs lined up with the far right to try to defend Orbán from EU censure. Today the Tories are in a bloc with Fidesz in the Council of Europe.

“Here in Britain the Tories continue to build a hostile environment for migrants and stir up hatred against them, with a new tranche of anti-migrant and refugee legislation on its way. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill increases the powers of the state against the people.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group condemns this meeting and calls on anti-racists, Jewish, Muslim, GRT organisations and the Labour Party to do so too.


Virgil Bitu, GR8, representing Gypsy, roma and 8 other ethnic groups, said:Viktor Orbán is one of the worst Antigypsyist politicians in Europe. I home he didn’t come here to teach Boris Johnson how to better implement Antigypsy policies.

Labour MP Diane Abbott said, “

“Boris Johnson should not be meeting Viktor Orban at all. Bigotry, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and mistreatment of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities should not be rewarded but condemned.  Authoritarians and reactionary nationalists always need scapegoats to cover for their own failings, and are desperate to be seen as international statesmen. That is what is going on here.”


Sabby Dhalu, Stand Up To Racism Co-Convenor said:

Victor Orbán rose to power through an antisemitic campaign against George Soros, has built a racist power base through scapegoating Muslim refugees and the Roma community, and is now a virtual dictator after enabling himself to rule by decree.

It is an outrage that Orbán is being welcomed to Downing Street by Boris Johnson, but entirely inkeeping with a Government that is itself targeting refugees, spreading Islamophobia, clamping down on protest and leading a racist divide and rule offensive. We must stand together against the rise of racist populism in Britain and across Europe.


Ulrike Schmidt,  Amnesty International UK country coordinator for Hungary and Central Europe said:

“Amnesty International has grave concerns regarding the Human Rights situation in  Hungary since Victor Orbán’s Fidez Party took power in 2010.

“A major concern is the discriminatory treatment and hate speech directed against minorities : against Roma who have lived in Hungary for over 600 years and against refugees and migrants claiming the universal Human Right to asylum from persecution. We have further grave concerns about the near total government control of the media, the government attempts at curtailing the independence of the judiciary and the criminalisation of civil society, particularly the criminalisation of those who help the most vulnerable ; refugees and the homeless.”


Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Up To Racism, said:

Orbàn is a racist, and has been a prominent spokesperson for the far right from a position of power as a prime minister of Hungary. He has been a galvaniser for the far right and fascist forces we have seen across Europe, the US and wider, seeking to grow out of the chaos of the political crisis. Orbàn has combined vicious Islamophobia, and attacks on migrants and Roma communities, with articulating antisemitism as a world view. 

We in the anti racist movement are not suprised to see Johnson welcome this racist. It is a reflection of Johnson’s cabinet’s conscious efforts to turn back the clock on racism. This is a prime minister and a cabinet who denied institutional racism in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and who are implementing horrific and cruel immigration policy with the return of dawn raids in our communities. They have just been found to be institutionally racist in the report from the enquiry on Islamophobia in the Tory party. 

We oppose this visit and resolve to stand up against all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism and to oppose the far right.”


Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP said:“Britain should not be rolling out the red carpet for authoritarian leaders who erode democratic norms and make racism a pillar of their policies.
Entertaining Viktor Orban at Downing Street is an insult to the GRT, Jewish and Muslim communities under attack by his Government.”

Claudia Webbe MP said:

“It is appalling that the Prime Minister is laying out the Downing Street red carpet for Viktor Orban, who is responsible for Islamophobia, anti-roma racism, antisemitic conspiracy theories and migrant scapegoating.

“Yet sadly, it is not surprising. After all, Boris Johnson himself has a long history of racist, Islamophobic and anti-migrant comments.

“This is the Prime Minister showing his true colours. We must oppose Orban’s visit and protest Britain’s role in a right-wing, racist global coalition. Ultimately, we must reject all attempts to divide us up and continue to fight for a world free of hatred, inequity and injustice.”


TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said:

“On no account should Viktor Orbán be made welcome in Downing Street. Boris Johnson is showing his true colours by rolling out the red carpet for this bigot who is responsible for fueling hate against Jewish, Muslim, Romani and LGBT+ communities in Hungary and attacks on civil liberties and press freedoms.  

“Our Prime Minister should be speaking out against Orbán rather than welcoming him with open arms. Johnson is acting against the British interest by cuddling up to the vile politics of the Hungarian leader.”


Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary said:

“Such a visit should not have been allowed unless it was to challenge Mr Orban on his racism, human rights practices and to advise of him what sanctions will be applied if there is no change.”


Mohammed Shafiq – PCS Union National Black Members Committee said:

The welcoming of Victor Orbán to Downing street should be condemned by all. This far right politician has demonised Muslims, Roma community, refugees, Jews and the LGBTI community.

He should not be welcomed to our country with a red carpet. PCS Union supports the Stand up to Racism protest and offers solidarity to all those standing up against racism and bigotry.


Daniel Kebede, NEU Senior Vice President said:“Orbán won his election peddling antisemitic conspiracy theories on billboards. He has referred to refugees as “Muslim Invaders”, called migration “poison”, attacked the rights of Trans people through his “corona bill” and undermined democracy in Hungary.“We need unity in action against Orbán. Whether you are Jewish, Muslim, LGBT, black or white we all have a shared interest in opposing his visit. Boris Johnson should not be legitimising him by hosting him in Downing Street.

A spokesperson for Searchlight Magazine said:

“Searchlight echoes the concerns of others that Johnson has the confidence to openly host Orbán at no 10. It says a lot about the current government given Orbán’s record of anti-semitism, anti-Islam and anti-Roma. “


Andrew Boateng,  said:

The visit of Viktor Orbán Prime minister of Hungry to be hosted by Boris Johnson today should be met with great caution in light of the Hungarian prime minister’s abysmal track-record on race relations and discrimination.
 
Given the current climate and existing tensions where anti-Semitism, islamophobia and hate crime is on the rise it is imperative that leaders and figures such as Orbán are held to account and ministerial visits should only take place where the addressing of discrimination history and solutions for change are high on the agenda.
 
With the recent high profile of the anti-racist movement it is now more important than ever for all to stand shoulder to shoulder in unity in the fight against all forms of racism including antisemitism, islamophobia and anti-roma discrimination providing hope for the next generation and beyond.


Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition said:

Orbán is known for his reactionary racism against Jews, Roma and Muslims. He should be a pariah across Europe, not feted in Downing St. In a week when Boris Johnson’s party has been indicted for Islamophobia, the government is only adding insult to injury in hosting this man. Solidarity to those opposing him here in London and in Hungary.

Anthony Conway, Morning Star Journalist said:“Orban and his government is antisemitic. This Government is giving support to antisemites by welcoming him. “



For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post Orbán visit condemned by anti-racists, Jewish, Roma and Muslim groups as protest takes place outside Downing Street first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Oppose far right Islamophobe & antisemite Viktor Orbán’s visit to Downing Street

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 13:14
Protest from 10am Friday 28 October – click here for details

Hungary’s far right, antisemitic and Islamophic leader is being welcomed to Downing Street this Friday, 28 May, by Boris Johnson.

Orbán has targetted the Muslim community, describing them as “invaders”.

He has stirred up hatred against the Roma community.

He has talked of an international conspiracy allegedly headed by George Soros – a statement with obvious antisemitic conotations.

He led an election campaign in 2018 calling to defend Hungary from becoming and “immigrant nation”.

We do not believe any British prime minister should be meeting Orbán the racist.

The fact that Johnson is going ahead with the meeting reflects the racist populism being pushed by his administration – and just as the Tory party is found in an enquiry to have a serious problem with Islamophobia.

Stand Up To Racism is organising a protest outside Downing street along with organisations such as the Jewish Socialists’ Group and GR8, representing Gypsy, roma and 8 other ethnic groups, MEND, the CWU and ASLEF.

Details & a description of the event can be found here.

The post Oppose far right Islamophobe & antisemite Viktor Orbán’s visit to Downing Street first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Anti racists to protest visit by antisemitic Islamophobic Hungarian leader Viktor Orbàn: Friday 28 May, Downing Street

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 08:12

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Anti racists to protest visit by antisemitic Islamophobic Hungarian leader Viktor Orbàn: Friday 28 May, Downing Street

Supporters of Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) plan to protest outside Downing Street on Friday when Boris Johnson welcomes Hungary’s far right prime minister Viktor Orbàn. 

Orbàn is a known antisemite who has pushed the idea of a world Jewish conspiracy, using banker George Soros’s name – a widely recognised antisemitic trope.

In 2018 Orbàn ran an antisemitic election campaign based on “defending Hungary” from becoming an “immigrant nation”. He said Hungary was under threat from what “George Soros’ workshops have planned for us”. 

Orbàn combines his antisemitism with racism towards Roma people and Islamophobia—referring to Muslims as “invaders” and refugees as “poison”.

Anti racists are protesting Orbàn’s visit and say that Hungary’s far right, antisemitic and Islamophic leader is not welcome, and that 
no British prime minister should be welcoming Orbàn. Anti racists point to the fact that Johnson is going ahead with the meeting as reflecting the racist populism being pushed by his administration – and just as the Tory party is found in an enquiry to have a serious problem with Islamophobia.

Weyman Bennett, co convenor Stand Uo To Racism, said
Orbàn is a racist, and has been a prominent spokesperson for the far right from a position of power as a prime minister of Hungary. He has been a galvaniser for the far right and fascist forces we have seen across Europe, the US and wider, seeking to grow out of the chaos of the political crisis. Orbàn has combined vicious Islamophobia, and attacks on migrants and Roma communities, with articulating antisemitism as a world view. 

We in the anti racist movement – who have just organised mass #TakeTheKnee action yesterday to commemorate George Floyd a year on from his racist murder, and said that the #UKisNotInnocent and we must fight institutional racism – are not suprised to see Johnson welcome this racist. It is a reflection of Johnson’s cabinet’s conscious efforts to turn back the clock on racism. This is a prime minister and a cabinet who denied institutional racism in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, and who are implementing horrific and cruel immigration policy with the return of dawn raids in our communities. They have just been found to be institutionally racist in the report from the enquiry on Islamophobia in the Tory party. 

So we are not suprised to see Johnson welcome this dangerous far right antisemite and Islamophobe. But we are determined to oppose this visit and to stand up against all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism and to oppose the far right.”  

For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

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Tory Islamophobia report: Anti-racists call for serious action to address grave problem

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 08:22

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Anti-racists call for serious action on Tory Islamophobia in wake of Singh investigation report

Anti-racists have criticised Singh investigation report into the Conservative party for downplaying the extreme levels of Islamophobia in the party, while calling for more serious action to address the issues raised.

The report was immediately criticised by Muslim organisations for failing to recognise the widely accepted definition of Islamophobia, instead describing the term as “deeply contested” — an error campaigners say is all the more serious in the context of a serious rise in Islamophobic hate crime and the ramping-up of government-led institutional Islamophobia through the Prevent strategy.

A YouGov poll last September found nearly half of Tory members believe Islam is a “a threat to the British way of life”. As well as comments by Boris Johnson, high level examples of Islamophobia in the party include Tory MPs such as Bob Blackman and Nadine Dorries spreading Islamophobic smears on social media.

Campaigners believe the seriousness of Islamophobia in the Conservative party warrants a more thorough inquiry which recognises the existence of Islamophobia and mandates concrete action to address the shocking levels of this form of racism in Britain’s governing party.

Sabby Dhalu, Co-Convenor of Stand Up To Racism, said:

“Boris Johson’s comments about women who wear the Burka happened in the context of a wave of violent Islamophobia, and were followed by Islamophobic attacks against Muslim women where his comments were parroted. For the report to say they gave the impression of being “insensitive to Muslim communities” is to completely miss the point – Islamophobia is a problem because it seriously affects peoples lives – not because of the impression it gives of those who express it.”

“The fact that the governing party contains such levels of racism is an incredibly serious issue because of the direct effect on government policy and the prevalence of Islamophobia in society. These issues must be urgently addressed, and maximum pressure brought on the Tories to respect Muslim communities and listen to their experience.”


Weyman Bennett, Co-Convenor of Stand Up To Racism, said:

“Islamophobia is not a “deeply contested” concept, it is a concrete reality for millions of Muslims, and evidence for shocking levels of Islamophobia in the Tory party is overwhelming.”

“Despite attempts in this report to downplay Islamophobia, it is vital we increase pressure to address it. The government must listen to Muslim organisations such as MEND who are calling for an EHRC investigation, and the MCB who are calling for the APPG definition of Islamophobia to be adopted.”


For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

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PRESS RELEASE: TUC backed week of action to CULMINATE in #TakeTheKnee across Britain, Tue 25 May: 1 Year on from George Floyd’s Murder – We Need Action

Mon, 05/24/2021 - 04:06

For immediate release…
Monday 24 May 2021

TUC backed week of action will culminate in mass #TakeTheKnee action across Britain, Tuesday 25 May1 Year on from George Floyd’s Murder – We Need Action

#BlackLivesMatter #UKisNotInnocent

#SayTheirNames #TakeTheKnee

Organised by Stand Up To Racism & The TUC
 

Stand Up To Racism and the Trade Union Congress have called a week of action that is set to culminate in a mass #TakeTheKnee action on 25 May, with evening events taking place in towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales, with TUC and trade union organised workplace #TakeTheKnee actions throughout the day. 

The week of action is to commemorate George Floyd’s death one year on, in the spirit of the #BlacklivesMatter movement.

You can see the list and details of #TakeTheKnee #UKisNotInnocent actions planned for Tuesday 25 May here, including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy  Elgin, Bristol, Southampton, Bournemouth, Derby, Eastbourne, Swansea, Brighton, York, Kent, Essex and more.   

A central focus of the events will be highlighting that the #UKisNotInnocent, with anti racists raising the need for action on institutional racism, justice for families still campaigning after the deaths in custody of their loved ones and no charge brought against the police as well as those in black and ethnic minority communities who have died disproportionately during the Covid pandemic.


On Tuesday 25 May, anti racists will #TakeTheKnee everywhere across the country. More details here.

The TUC and Stand Up To Racism are organising across unions in every workplace to #TakeTheKnee during the day at work, and then take part in the 6pm Twitterstorm and social media blitz as communities all over Britain #TakeTheKnee and those unable to join collective workplace or community actions will take part by doing #TakeTheKnee wherever they are.

Content from actions at 6pm, as well as earlier recorded content from workplace actions will all be shared at 6pm using #TakeTheKnee and #UKisNotInnocent

Two major rallies – a trade union mobilising meeting on Monday evening last week of over 300, and a major international rally on Saturday evening of up to 300 – took place to organise amd galvanise for Tuesday’s #TakeTheKnee across Britain.

TUC & SUTR letter to unions here


Diane Abbott MP, said
“Those images of George Floyd being murdered went around the world, and it wasn’t the first time a black man has died at the hands of the state either in America or even here in Britain, but the video that young girl took was absolutely incontrovertible evidence of what had happened. They couldn’t say he was resisting arrest, they couldn’t say he was exaggerating, they couldn’t say the usual things they say when a person of colour suffers violence at the hand of the state. In the trial it was posed: ‘Do you believe what your eyes show you?’ It sparked a global Black Lives Matter movement because every country has the experience of state violence and injustice against minorities.

“Although the death of George Floyd sparked a new international movement for racial justice, it also sparked a backlash. The main vehicle of the backlash here in Britain was the government’s commission on race and ethnic disparities led by a man called Tony Sewell. It was a deliberate counter-attack on the movement for racial justice, and had people on it who had been handpicked because they didn’t believe there was such a thing as institutional racism.  

“How can the government have the face to produce a commission which says there’s no such thing as systemic racism? Sadly they did and that’s because if they accepted there was such a thing as systemic racism they would actually have to do something about it, and this government is determined not to do so.  

“We have to learn from each other and learn what is happening up and down the country. We also have to keep fighting and support each other – one of the most positive things that I have seen in recent weeks was the response of the community in Glasgow in Pollokshields, who came out to defend their asylum seeker neighbours from a dawn raid. We have to keep fighting we have to go forward.”

 
Zainab Hassan, Justice for Mohamud Hassan campaign, said
“Mohamud was a healthy 24 year old young man. He was arrested, kept overnight, released the next morning battered black and blue, and died around nine hours later at his home in bed. It has been four and a half months since my nephew died and we are still not any closer to actually knowing what happened to him. We still have no answers. I don’t feel that we are any closer today than we were the night he passed away. Which is very, very sad.

“A lot of things need to change in order for us to move forward. I believe the whole system has to scrapped . The way the police deal with people of colour in custody definitely has to be looked at. The police have so much power and so much protection, and they have had it for too long. In their eyes why should anything change, they can get away with killing innocent people. My nephew was released without charge. Why did they feel that they needed to hurt him in such a way –  those bruises that he had will stay with me for the rest of my life. No family should ever have to go through what my family has gone through and what we are going through every single day. He was a young healthy 24 year old man, looking forward to his life, about to become a first time dad. It’s horrible. I hope no other family has to go through what we, and many other families, are having to go through at the moment.

“Unless there is change, unless this system has a complete overhaul then there will be a lot more families grieving, mothers crying at graveyards. There has to be change.”


Mohannad Bashir, Justice for Mouayed Bashir campaign
“My brother Mouayed Bashir was sadly murdered by the Gwent police on 7 February… We are gathering together remembering George Floyd after the long awaited trial that everyone has been watching, I have, day in and day out, and even though the laws in the US are different, it was a huge learning curve for me, and I’m sure for others. I’m sure with Mouyayed’s case, when that time comes there might be a lot of similarities there, but there are a lot of things that we have to make sure with regards to police brutality that are looked into.

“As a family member, what my family is going through right now, it is quite huge, and I would never wish anyone to go through this, not even my worst enemy

“Definitely within the police force, there could be more education with regards to mental health awareness, educating the police with regards to the use of force, and learning a bit more about ethnic minorities in their area of the country. Black history training should be in there.


“Numbers don’t lie. It has been 96 days since my brother passed away, and so far we have 6,543 signatures from people out there demanding the release of the body cam. footage which we are still waiting for. We want to know exactly what happened to my brother. That is more than the 1,204 Gwent officers that are currently still working there. We need to stand up together”.

Bell Ribeiro Addy MP said
“George Floyd death instigated protests across the world… reigniting the Black Lives Matter movement and setting about a sea change, something I haven’t seen in my lifetime. There have been many mass movements that I know,  but none so large and none that have gone on to make such significant change. For the first time ever we saw people having very real conversations about racism… taking an interest in a way that some have not before. Even though we have seen for the first time a police officer actually face the consequences of their actions murdering a black person, now is certainly not the time to let up, the backlashes will continue to come and the more we demand justice, the more we will face challenges.

“Now is the time to reignite our commitment to the anti racist movement, to make sure that we are not just being passive.”

 
Kehinde Andrews, author of The new age of Empire & professor of Black Studies,  said
“There is something about the anniversary, something about ‘happy anniversary’, the day George Floyd was murdered…  something that doesn’t seem right to me… where we are a year after his murder, what has changed? In the UK unfortunately it has largely changed for the worse… the government’s response is part of this bigger backlash, we have that so called report. In terms of policy we are actually worse now than it was last year because the backlash has been so clear, “there is no racism in the schools, society, the police force, anywhere, and not only is there ‘no racism’ but that ‘Britain is a beacon for the world’… They are saying things now that they couldn’t have, or wouldn’t have said a year ago…

“The positive is that it is a welcome reminder of where we are. We should talk about it, we should stay angry. That report actually was a good thing in the long run because it kept us all angry. That anger and that fire that we felt a year ago is exactly the anger and the fire that we need now. To get the change we need, it can only come about when we continue to mobilise in big numbers”.
 
Elise Bryant, Coalition of Labor Women & United Against Hate, Washington  DC (US), said
“I want to give honour to Ella Baker, civil rights activist and pioneer, who said ‘We who believe in freedom cannot rest’… I’ll tell you what’s happening with the BLM movement – we are moving forward… because we who believe in freedom cannot rest, cannot rest, until it comes… so we are gathered to join together and honour the life of George Floyd and to remember his murder. Not to live in the past, but to remember the lessons learned so that we move forward. We cannot take time or step aside because of fatigue… George Floyd is but one… you know them… the ones whose names we don’t know, who don’t make it to the newspapers or to social media.

“I join with you across the waters, across geographical boundaries, to envisage an end to the racist attacks on people of colour around the world… it must stop. That is the work we are called to do… to demand justice for all. On May 25th let us all stand together wherever we are, or take a knee, in the honour of the memory of George Floyd and the work we are called to do to bring an end to racist attacks.”

 
Anna Rothery, Liverpool councillor and Lord Mayor, said
“It is a very sad occasion that we are coming together for another brother who has died at the hands of the police. Unfortunately George Floyd was not the last black man – we have got many George Floyds and Georgina Floyds – suffering from this racism and discrimination.

“We had the murder of George Floyd and Covid-19 at the same time, and it gave us the space to tap into our emotional intelligence and start looking and unpicking just exactly racism is… for those who didn’t understand, during the Covid-19 period those discussions, debates, conversations that took place—really the rabbit was out of the hat and it was not going to go back. Nobody can plead ignorance anymore. Now is the time for action.

“We still have a very long way to go but at least we have opened up that dialogue. These are basic human rights we are asking for, we are asking not to be killed. That’s the reality. My patience is wearing very thin – we don’t need any more reports or research, we need action”.

 
Natasha Johnson, All Black Lives UK, said
“A year on from George Floyd it has made young people a lot more political and they are beginning to see the injustices that are going on within this country. There is a lot more that has to be done and it has to come from the bottom upwards, we can’t expect people in government to give black people their liberation and freedom so there needs to be a lot more work on the ground with grassroots organisations where people are joining together.

“What we need to do next is make sure young black and brown people in this country have a voice, because they are living the experience of economic decline, racial injustice. This year has changed the course of history probably forever.”

 
Lawrence Davies, laywer for the Justice for Belly Mujinga campaign
“The coroner ruled last week that there should be an inquest into Belly Mujinga’s death – that was the first step forwards in the campaign for justice. If you go back in time between the 1970s and 2010 when the racial equality act came in, we all thought to some extent we were making progress against race discrimination… Certainly in the workplace there were less cases of overt racism and less visible racism, some sort of stigma developed where somebody was found to be racist. Superficially things were changing… but racial harassment according to the TUC doubled between 2016 and 2020, from 16 to 31 percent.

“For Belly, she had put a complaint of racism against her supervisor, that was just completely ignored. Employers were becoming more and more empowered to not process race grievances. That was the same supervisor who sent her out onto the platform that day on 21 March, she was assaulted twice on that platform by a white male for no apparent reason, hopefully the inquest will look into why he acted with such anger towards her, pointed at her, coughed and shouted and covered her in Spittle. And she died later on 5 April.

“Despite the Black Lives Matter movement which her case was very much part of in the UK, and the 2.1 million people who signed her petition, we have seen a lot of protest but actually there has been no change in the economic situation, no change in the disproportionalities in our society. That’s a problem. So we have at the moment 99 percent of people who suffer racism at work, and that has doubled, are not complaining. People are still afraid, and the economic situation is still as it was before. We have a race pay gap that is still at 37 percent. The race pay gap, the debt is about £300 billion. So I say if you transfer £300 billion to black workers in the UK that would be the first significant step in tackling race inequality in the UK.”
 
Reverend Kobi Little, NAACP president Baltimore (US), said
“One year on following the televised murder of George Floyd, the question is where are we and where should we be going? Yes we are glad to see that Derek Chauvin has been convicted of murder. On August 23rd the trial for the remaining suspects will commence and we will continue to track that. But at the heart of the work that we must do is the recognition of the colonial impact on our communities that result in hate, that result in the denial of white supremacy in corporate spaces… it is important for us to challenge those who deny institutional racism, that we reject the CRED report and that we stand up in the face of those deniers and draw the connection between racism and institutional inequity, and police violence and government sanctioned hate and violence.”
 

Roger McKenzie, Unison assistant general secretary, said
“The fundamental question here for all of us is how are we going to build this movement, how are we going to make sure that what happens next week is part of this process of making sure that we have a movement that is fit for purpose when it comes to deing with racism.”

Margaret Greer, Unison National Black Members’ Officer, said
“In our fight for freedom, we are not going to continue to die without justice.”

Mark Serwotka, Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union general secretary, said

“We all have to ensure that next week in our workplaces we do everything we can to ensure people #TakeTheKnee and commit themselves to the fight against racism.

“If anyone needs inspiration, let me say as the trade union leader who represents workers in government who sometimes do an unpleasant job including in the Home Office, that nothing gladdened my heart more than to see the inspiration of black and white people coming together to stop the deportation of our neighbours, our comrades and our black citizens in Glasgow. That shows the power of a united movement and let’s see many more Glasgow’s stopping other deportations, and committing all of us to fight to root out racism that is systemic in Britain.”



Kevin Courtney, National Education Union (NEU) joint general secretary, said

“It is one year since George Floyd was murdered, and if you go back a few months before that we had all those pictures of black NHS workers in this country who had died in the start of the pandemic. And we are celebrating and commemorating them as well and saying there has to be struggle against racism in our society.

“We are doing it in the spirit of what we have seen since the murder of George Floyd – those huge mobilisations that happened in America and spread across the world of black people but black and white people on demonstrations demanding change. The people in Bristol who, whatever you think of it, that mass mobilisation which ended up tearing down the statue of a slave owner, people one the streets saying they are not putting up with racism anymore, and the mobilisation in Glasgow last week against those deportations and as well as these, we want mobilisations in the workplace. 

“So what can you get your workmates to do next Tuesday? Will they take a photograph together, will they do a #TakeTheKnee action together? If you are a teacher, can you get an assembly in your school that day? Can there be a union meeting which sends a message of suppport? We want things happening in as many workplaces as possible.”




For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post PRESS RELEASE: TUC backed week of action to CULMINATE in #TakeTheKnee across Britain, Tue 25 May: 1 Year on from George Floyd’s Murder – We Need Action first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

Online rally: 1 Year On From George Floyd’s Murder – We Need Action Now

Thu, 05/20/2021 - 05:54
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ON EVENTBRITE Saturday, 22 May 2021 | 5PM BST

With leading anti-racists & justice campaigners from Britain & the US including:

Diane Abbott MPVictor Sylvester, Roger Sylvester Justice Campaign • Elise Bryant, Coalition of Labour Women President & United Against Hate (US) • Aman Ali, Head of Community Engagement & Development at MEND • Bell Ribiero-Addy MP Cammilla Mngaza, Free Siyanda Campaign • Lawrence Davies, Equal Justice solicitor for Belly Mujinga case • Shaka Hislop, ex footballer & Show Racism The Red Card ambassador • Andrew Boateng, campaigner who was accosted by police while cycling with his son • Rev. Kobi Little, President of the Baltimore NAACP • Ryan Colaço, campaigner and target of racist stop & search • Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, Co-convenors of Stand Up to Racism

The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer a year ago sparked a historic wave of global protests and a massive upsurge in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Without that movement, Derek Chauvin would likely have never appeared in court, and George Floyd’s family would never have obtained justice. The movement also played a major role in the defeat of Donald Trump, the world’s no 1 racist.

But structural racism and police violence is far from over.

In Britain, Black people are nine times more likely to face stop and search than white people – 18 times more likely under Section 60, where no reasonable suspicion is required.

The COVID-19 Crisis has disproportionately affected BAME communities in a huge way medically and economically, with thousands of preventable deaths and hundreds of thousands more forced into poverty.

Most shamefully, there is the endless list of deaths in police custody – where no British police officer has ever faced prosecution.

Instead of addressing this, the British Government responded to the #blacklivesmatter movement by launching a major racist offensive with a ‘Race Report’ that denies the reality of institutional racism, a Police and Crime bill targeting antiracists and a wave of legislation attacking refugee and migrant rights.

Tuesday 25 May 6PM – #TakeTheKnee everywhere across the country – in local communities, in your workplace, college or school, on your doorstep…

Stand Up To Racism has called a week of action across Britain to commemorate George Floyd’s death one year on, and in the spirit of the #BlacklivesMatter movement.

This is to both offer solidarity with the BLM movement in the US and highlight the reality of institutional racism and disproportionate policing in Britain.

Derek Chauvin may have been prosecuted but that only happened because of the BLM movement. In Britain no police officer has ever been prosecuted following a death in custody.

Share pictures, reports and videos of your actions with #UKisNotInnocent #BlackLivesMatter #TakeTheKnee #SayTheirNames

The post Online rally: 1 Year On From George Floyd’s Murder – We Need Action Now first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

All in a day’s work: how the people of Glasgow beat home office dawn raid

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 01:56
The incredible moment when Pollokshields residents Lakhvir Singh and Sumit Sehdev – who have lived in Glasgow for 10 years – emerged from the Home Office detention van after eight hours after thousands stopped the van from leaving and the community took action to force their release

A mass, determined community response successfully stopped the Home Office Immigration Enforcement dawn raid detention of two neighbours in Pollokshields, Glasgow. Lakhvir Singh and Sumit Sehdev were taken from their home at around 9.30am by six immigration officers, and detained in the home office van – for what ended up over eight hours. But the van did not move for that time, because the community turned out in an unflinching force of solidarity. First dozens, including one neighbour who went underneath the van to stop it departing, then hundreds there by 11am, and the crowd just kept growing throughout the day.

There were thousands surrounding the van, erupting into cheers, claps and chants in the incredible emotional moment their two neighbours were released and emerged from the van.

Police Scotland, who lay seige to the area, on Eid where the majority of residents in the community were trying to peacefully celebrate and worship, descended somewhere in the region of 50 police vans and cars into Pollokshields, there were even some police horses, almost every street you turned onto appeared occupied by them.

This was despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeting, “As constituency MSP, I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office, especially today in the heart of a community celebrating Eid. My office is making urgent enquiries and stands ready to offer any necessary assistance to those detained.” Several other MPs condemned Police Scotland’s presence in the area and called for them to disperse. Police Scotland claimed they were not supporting Home Office Immigration Enforcement in the dentention, but rather were “policing the community”. The inspiring mass action by the multicultural community coming together forced the police to release Lakhvir and Sumit as an “operational decision on grounds of public safety”.

The crowd was jubilant, proud, emotional and united as human rights campaigner and Stand Up To Racism activist Pinar Aksu announced to the crowd the news that the police had been forced to back down. The police tried to then disperse the community, saying they would escort the men to the Mosque where they would reach safety. But the community refused, insisting that they would march their neighbours to the Mosque and then disperse. The spirit of the day was very much staunch opposition to the governement’s racist hostile environment, and the feeling of that moment as the men thanked the crowds in Punjabi as they entered the mosque was summed up: “Glasgow 1 – Home Office 0”. But this was not just Glasgow’s victory, it was a victory celebrated by anti racists everywhere.

Watch the incredible scenes of thousands marching their neighbours to the safety of the Mosque here

Protest works! Get involved by:
1) Supporting Care4Calais #FarFromFair initiative against the govt’s attacks on refugees
2) Signing up for the week of action marking one year since the Murder of George Floyd

Pinar Aksu, human rights campaigner and Stand Up To Racism activist, speaking on the Glasgow protest said

“Only two weeks ago we have seen a friend of ours experiencing a dawn raid, and we have just sent a letter with 79 signatures to the home secretary  and published it today. This is horrifying to see another raid taking place in Glasgow on the day of Eid where this community comes together for celebration. We condemn these actions and want immediate response from the Home Office and Police Scotland. Dawn raids are not acceptable in our city”.

Ruby Hirsch, Stand Up To Racism Glasgow, said

“This is a united multicultural community and we have shown up in our hundreds to defend our neighbours and we are not going to leave until they are released. In Glasgow we have defeated the tactic before and there is no way we are going to let in return”.

Weyman Bennett, co convenor, Stand Up To Racism, said

“This government is pushing hard to undermine the incredible anti racist spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement, and push racist division in our communities amidst the pandemic and crisis.

“They have commissioned a whitewash report denying the existence of institutional racism, attacked the BLM movement as “awful”, pushed a policing bill that targets anti racist protest, and their new plans for immigration are a part of this general racist assault on our rights.

“We stand with all those who want to fight the new racist plans and defend the rights of all those seeking asylum. We say loud and clear, you are welcome here. We need to mobilise that solidarity to drive back the government’s racist, dangerous and sickening attack on people seeking only to live in safety.”


For more information, interviews and further quotes:

info@standuptoracism.org.uk

The post All in a day’s work: how the people of Glasgow beat home office dawn raid first appeared on Stand Up To Racism.

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