ON Wednesday 3rd October Stand up to Racism Harlow held a public meeting at Harlow College to discuss the community response to the rise in racism in recent years.
Over 50 people attended from different trade unions, political parties and faith groups.
The speakers included:
Riccardo la Torre (Fire Brigades Union eastern regional secretary) who spoke on behalf of firefighters who have had a raft of cuts to their service. He spoke of the importance of resisting attempts by the government to scapegoat migrants to divert attention away from austerity.
Miriam Scharf (a Jewish anti racist activist) who spoke of the parallels between anti-semitism in the 1930s and the current rise in other forms of racism such as islamophobia.
Laura Mcalpine (Labour ppc) who spoke of the need to offer a politics of hope for ordinary people as a way of challenging the politics of fear and division.
and Adam Cochrane who warned that the far right are using the cutting edge of racism – islamophobia and anti migrant xenophobia- to take us back to the days when racism was mainstream.
However, the star of the show was undoubtedly local school student Joshua who spoke about his shocking experiences of racism and his desire to stop it happening to others.
Everyone at the meeting agreed on the need to get active to resist the recent rise of racism and the shocking rise in hate crime in Essex.
Stand up to Racism Harlow have arranged a coach to the National Unity demonstration against racism on 17 November. Tickets can be purchased by contacting them via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), their Facebook page or via Eventbrite.
They will hold a day of action in the town centre on Saturday 27 October to publicise the National Unity demonstration.
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