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Anti-racism demo sees thousands take to the streets of London

by Ceren Sagir in central London

THOUSANDS of people in Britain marched in unity against racism and fascism on yesterday following Friday’s murderous attack on Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a far-right adherent.

Demonstrators marched in Cardiff, Glasgow and London along with those in 60 cities across the world on United Nations Anti-Racism Day.

Stand Up To Racism co-convener Sabby Dhalu said the event had “a more sombre tone than previous years because of what happened in Christchurch. These types of hatred, terrorist attacks do not happen in a vacuum.

“There is a link between the hatred peddled by the politicians and the media and hate crimes on the streets and places of worship.”

London’s demonstrators assembled in Park Lane and marched to Downing Street, pausing to lay a wreath at New Zealand House.

Speaking at the rally in Whitehall, Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “We have to fight fascism and white nationalism wherever it rears its head. And we have to fight the enablers of anti-Muslim hatred wherever we see them.

“We’re living through a very dark period, but together we can turn the tide.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady told the throng that “now, more than ever” they must promote values of tolerance and diversity.

“Racism and fascism have no place in our society,” she said. “As trade unionists we’ll continue to stand up to the forces of hatred and division and won’t flinch in our campaign against the far right.”

Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward said that in order to defeat racism, inequality must also be defeated.

“There is a direct connection between the rise of the far right, of racism and fascism, and the rise of inequality in this country, in Europe and across the world,” he said.

“Let’s stay united together. Let’s defeat racism, let’s defeat inequality.

“And the best way of doing that is by joining a trade union, join the Labour Party, and getting behind the greatest anti-racist campaigner this country has seen in mainstream politics: Jeremy Corbyn.”

Mr Ward also read a message from Labour leader Mr Corbyn, which said: “We must stand together to defeat the message of hate that seeks to divide us. An attack on a mosque or a synagogue or a church or a temple is an attack on every single one of us.

“We should never forget the incredible contributions we achieve when communities come together. Then we can address the real problems — challenge poverty, inequality and racism, defeat austerity and tackle climate change.”

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