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UK: Thousands demonstrate across country against racism and Islamophobia

18th Mar 2018
UK: Thousands demonstrate across country against racism and Islamophobia

By Muhammad Mussa

London (AA) – Tens of thousands braved the freezing weather Saturday to demonstrate against the rise of racism, Islamophobia and Donald Trump’s presidency across the country.

Organised by the activist group Stand Up To Racism, over 20,000 people marched across cities in the U.K. including London, Cardiff and Glasgow, ahead of the UN’s Elimination of Racial Discrimination day on March 21.

“The marches were a show of unity against the rise in racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and in support of refugee and migrant rights” the organisation said in a press statement.

“In the wake of the ‘Punish a Muslim’ campaign which targetted Muslim MPs and households around the country, speakers demanded action from the government against Islamophobic hate crime and a pledge to stand up to Islamophobia on April 3rd” the press statement continued, referring to another protest planned for April next month.

Attending the marches were Labour MPs David Lammy and Diane Abbot, both of whom were subject to online racist abuse.

“The far right are rising across Europe – they are anti-migrant, anti Muslim, anti semitic and homophobic. We stand with all communities they target and must oppose the politics of hatred” Abbot said in a statement.

“We will not be cowed. We will fight, fight and fight again for what we believe in – we will stand up for the women in Yarl’s Wood, we will fight Theresa May’s Hostile Environments policy” Lammy said regarding the march.

In Glasgow, Scotland, Labour MSP [Member of Scottish Parliament] Anas Sarwar said, “We’re going to send a message to those that say there is no bias and prejudice in our institutions here in Scotland, wake up, wake up, there are racists in our institutions here at home, there are sexists in our institutions here at home, there are homophobes in our institutions here at home, there are Islamophobes in our institutions here at home, there are anti-Semites in our institutions here at home.”

The protests are a part of ‘The March Against Racism’ which marks the United Nations International Anti-Racism Day.

Additional report by The Muslim News

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