Anti-Racism Day


The TUC’s Frances O’Grady was among those holding the main banner

Stand Up To Racism manage to involve a wide range of other organisations in the March Against Racism they organised, including many trade unions and some Muslim groups, and the march and rally on March 18th was one of the larger to take place in London this year. I’m not sure how many the organisers claimed, but I reported ‘tens of thousands’.

As well as sheer numbers, it was also apparent from the many hand-made posters and placards that this is an issue on which many people feel strongly and realise that the situation is a critical one, with both Theresa May and Donald Trump promoting racist measures against immigrants and in particular Muslims, and much of the press promoting hysteria against Islam and against Europeans who have come to live here, as well as a general xenophobia.

Looking at my coverage of the event in Thousands March Against Racism┬áit is clear that I was greatly attracted to the posters and placards, though I also photographed many of the speakers at the rally before the march. There was a larger rally at the end of the march, but like quite a few of the marchers I was pretty tired by the time we reached Parliament Square and didn’t stay for it. I decided I’d taken enough pictures – and you can see well over a hundred of them on the web site.

Of course not everyone in the country shares the views of the marchers, and there was an organised counter-protest by the extreme right ‘Britain First’ who stood behind a large crowd of police at Piccadilly Circus and shouted insults at the passing marchers, many of whom shouted back, although stewards tried to hurry them on. But that small group were outnumbered by a factor of roughly a thousand to one.

There were so many good posters that it was difficult to know which to leave out, and impossible to do justice to them here. Quite a few were rather lengthy and I’ve chosen some of the more visual; a placard isn’t the best place for an essay.

Long texts also present a small problem on the web site, where I like to pick out and put at least some of the text from the banners and placards etc as text on the site, allowing for it to be found in searches.

Thousands March Against Racism



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