Just saying racism is bad or wrong is not good enough

This is the text of a platform speech I made in Parliament Square at the UN Anti-Racism Day march and rally, organised by Stand Up to Racism on Saturday 18th March 2017

IMG_1697.JPGA great anti-fascist, Marek Edelman, said “to be a Jew means always being with the oppressed never with the oppressors”. His words echoed for me two days ago when I took two American “Black Lives Matter” activists to Cable Street, scene of the victory over Mosley’s fascists in 1936. They wanted to learn what happened to Jews then. And I learnt about their struggles against another filthy rich, populist, racist, demagogue – Donald Trump

I told them that a grassroots movement – the Jewish People’s Council – understood that you defeat antisemitism and fascism by building an anti-fascist majority. By turning by-standers into up-standers. By convincing even those starting to fall for racist ideas.

We need to take our ideas into every arena – work, college, our neighbours,– to build that anti-racist majority today.

On the day that Paul Nuttall became leader of UKIP he said: “We are now the patriotic party of the working class”. If Mosley was alive he could have done him for copyright. He said the exact same words in 1936.

Labour crushed UKIP in Stoke. But UKIP are not finished yet. They still win protest votes among people, struggling economically, clutching at racist explanations. Saying to them racism is bad, or wrong, is not good enough. We have to show how a multicultural society and immigration benefit us all, and make the fight against racism a fight for proper jobs, better housing, better education, for all communities

Antisemitism is rising again alongside daily Islamophobic attacks. It has been decades since Britain’s Far Right publicly displayed banners saying “Hitler was Right”. That happened here last year.

The Daily Mail, which supported Hitler all through the 1930s, falsely accuses Corbyn of antisemitism, but Jewish socialists knows who the real antisemites are and who our allies are.

Our allies are in every minority community that is a victim of race hate and among everyone, like Jeremy Corbyn, who unites against race hate, mysoginy and homophobia.

Racists accumulate and switch targets easily – from Muslims, to Polish workers, to Jews. We have to defend all communities under attack. Unconditionally. With solidarity we will win. No Pasaran!


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