This weekend, thousands of people from all over the UK marched against racism and fascism in Central London. The protest was an inspiring show of solidarity between people of all backgrounds, and proved that an estimated 15.000 are in strong opposition to bigotry and discrimination.
At the height of deep unrest after recent attacks on French Newspaper Charlie Hebdo and ongoing protests in Ferguson, the marchers sent a clear message of unification to passing-by Londoners, that whether black, white, muslim, christian, heterosexual or homosexual, everyone is accepted in the UK.
Organised by Stand Up To Racism, the demonstration started off at BBC Portland place at 12, and ended just a few hours later at Trafalgar Square, at which point speakers took to the stage to share their personal stories and bring forth their own messages of solidarity.
Pro-racists tried their best to hijack the demonstration mid way, by standing on the streets waving British flags, but these small groups were effortlessly outnumbered by the thousands marching.
Speakers included MP and anti-war activist George Galloway, prominent writer and journalist Owen Jones, British musician and founder of ‘Artists Against Apartheid’ Jerry Dammers, who composed the 1984 global hit song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’, Omer el Hamdoon, President of the Muslim Association of Britain and many more who spoke movingly about ending sectarianism and nationalism once and for all in the 21st Century.
Banners containing stronger messages included the phrases ‘Stand Up to UKIP’ and ‘Stop this Racist’, which of course were referring to the Leader of Britain’s Nationalist Party, Nigel Farage, who suggested only last week that children of immigrants to the UK should not have access to state education until they have lived in the country for at least five years. The controversial Leader, to say the least, was at the receiving end of many outraged protesters at the march.
Social media platform Twitter subsequently exploded with the hashtags #m21 and #SayNOtoRACISM, in which people from around the globe joined in to share their messages to end racism, proving the day as extremely successful.
Written by Iara Kaiser