Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Kicking Racism Into Touch
Last Saturday I spoke at the anti-fascist rally held in Cardiff. The reason why I was there, along with hundreds of other like-minded people, was to protest against the presence of the racist English Defence League on our streets.
This divisive band of thugs want to drive a split between white people and anyone else who is not white. They encourage people to hate. Support for far-right racist politics grows during times of economic strife, and this is why they feel strong enough to march through our streets now. It was heartening to see that the anti-fascist protestors heavily outnumbered the EDL, showing that racism is an anathema to the vast majority of Welsh people.
The main message of my contribution to the anti-fascist rally was that Wales has rejected racism time and time again and as yet, the British National Party has not been able to win an election in this country above community council level. These racist hate-mongers, whether they are BNP, EDL or National Front, are not welcome in Wales and I called for solidarity with our “Muslim brothers and sisters,” who have been specifically targetted by these groups.
I also mentioned the Rhondda’s unequivocal response to Oswald Mosley and his black shirts in the 1930s after the area had been identified as a fertile breeding ground for his despicable policies because of the high rates of unemployment. I am proud to say the black shirts were sent packing and were left in no doubt about the views of the South Wales valleys.
A special mention must be made of the Cardiff City supporters who turned up on Saturday to strengthen the anti-fascist gathering. They showed us all that most football supporters abhor racism and want all people in Cardiff to live side by side in harmony.
** Thanks to Plaid Cymru member Andrew Jinks for taking photos at the rally, including the one above. **