With the European elections looming, Saraka Keating warns that openly-racist parties must be challenged
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is currently mobilising for a Europe-wide day of action against racism which will take place on 22 March, in the build-up to the European elections in May.
The CSP, along with other trade unions, is a long-time supporter of the UAF.
The demonstrations mark the weekend of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In the UK the call for a London demonstration has been backed by Labour and Green politicians, as well as trade union leaders.
The CSP, via director Lesley Mercer, has agreed support for this demonstration.
Already in most European countries parties of the right, centre and even the traditional left are allowing the terrain of the European elections to be dominated by racism, xenophobia and the scapegoating of minorities – Muslims, Jews, immigrants, Roma, and black and Asian communities.
There is a real threat that openly racist parties may make gains in the 2014 Euro elections in some countries, for example Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands and France.
The threat of openly racist parties gaining ground in this year’s elections is made all the more real by the launch late last year of a pan-European alliance of far-right parties, led by the French National Front and the Dutch Freedom party headed by Geert Wilders.
In Britain the far right British National Party is fielding candidates. Some mainstream political parties are making concessions to an anti-foreigner and anti-Europe agenda, for example hostility is already being whipped up across the political spectrum against Romanian and Bulgarian migrant workers.
While there is a real threat that openly racist parties may gain seats in the 2014 Euro elections, this can be prevented by the coming together of all those opposed to racism and fascism.
UAF is calling on people to join the demonstration to help halt the rise of racism, to show that migrants are welcome and demonstrate confidence in a future free of scapegoating and hatred.
There will be a CSP presence on this march. For details, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A rally and demonstration marking UN Anti-Racism Day will be held in London on 22 March. Visit the UAF website Saraka Keating is a CSP national officer (equalities)
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