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Hastings to show support for Anti-Racism Day

Hastings is set to join the rest of the globe in marking the United Nations Anti-Racism day this Saturday March 2o. The day was previewed back on March 2 with an online talk featuring a host of local and national speakers. Local group Hastings Stand Up to Racism issued the following press release detailing how Hastings will be taking part in this global stand against racism and fascism.

On Saturday 20 March 2021, World Against Racism & Fascism – an international coalition of anti-racist movements – will come together for United Nations Anti-Racism Day to oppose all forms of racism and fascism in a global day of action. In Britain, the day of action is being called by Stand Up to Racism and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

On 2 March, an online Hastings launch took place. Chaired by local Hastings creative Anna Maria Nabirye and opened and finished by spoken word poet Paris Grande, there were a range of fascinating speakers, including Nadia Sayed from Stand Up to Racism, Wilf Sullivan, TUC Race Equality Officer, Bella Fashola from the RMT union, Dawn Dublin, Black Butterfly, Ethan who is a former resident of Napier Barracks and Cllr Maya Evans, Voices for Creative Non-Violence.

The need to combat racism, fascism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism was emphasised by all the speakers. Surprise guest at the end was initiator of the Peace and Justice movement, Jeremy Corbyn, who spoke fondly about Hastings and summed up the previous speakers’ powerful testimonies by talking about his lifelong commitment to anti-racism.

Thanks to Hastings Borough Council, there are striking posters all along the seafront advertising the day. The council will also light up bottle alley in purple which is the chosen colour of the Black Lives Matter movement. Everyone is being asked to take the knee at 1pm, wherever you are, and there is an international online rally taking place at 5pm. Window posters have gone up all over town in flats, houses, shops and businesses.

For those planning to walk somewhere along the three miles of seafront from West St Leonards to the Stade around midday, draping a banner on the railings would be a symbolic gesture, while maintaining social distancing. You may also spot bike riders with hi-viz tabards on their back saying: World Against Racism and Stand up to Racism.

Cllr Maya Evans said: “20 March is vital for us in Hastings to express our coming together to oppose racism. We’ll stand in solidarity with refugees and migrants to send a powerful message to those in power that racism will be defeated.
The day of action is happening in the wake of the historic #BlackLivesMatter movement and the Covid-19 pandemic which has exposed institutional racism at the heart of society by its disproportionate impact on BAME communities.

“The fact that we had so many people at our launch and we now have a growing mailing list shows that this is an issue which unites us. We commit ourselves to working alongside Hastings Community of Sanctuary, HCoS Campaigns Team, Hastings Supports Refugees, the Trade Unions and all other organisations locally, nationally and internationally to eliminate racism once and for all.”

This event has created such momentum in a matter of weeks it is not going to end after 20 March. We will be organising further activities in the future, so if you want to get involved with Hastings Stand Up to Racism, email hastingssutr@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook.

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Posted 15:43 Thursday, Mar 18, 2021 In: Campaigns

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