Leading the anti-racist struggleUnion Matters, Equalities March 16 2019
Central London caught its first sight of our union’s ‘Hopemobile’, and saw the best flares since the 1970s at today’s anti-racism march in central London.
Hundreds of CWU members and activists from branches around the UK provided the biggest and the best union delegation on the protest.
And our general secretary Dave Ward praised them for their efforts, saying that he was “so pleased how many of our CWU people have turned out.
“As we did on last year’s New Deal for Workers protest, our union has once again mobilised in huge numbers to show our support and solidarity.”
With flares sending bright CWU-Pink smoke into the sky, we headed off marching down Park Lane and our massed flags caught the wind from Hyde Park and created a shimmering sea of colour in the breeze as the ranks of the CWU marched onward.
With our specially modified golf-buggy doubling up as a mobile live-streaming studio and sound system lively sounds from Jackie Wilson, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and the Sex Pistols blared out from our Hopemobile sound system.
But it wasn’t all classics, our marchers also being entertained by top tunes from Daft Punk, Faithless and Shy Effect, as we stepped along Piccadilly, while the White Stripes’ rousing “Seven Nation Army” once again sparked cheerful choruses of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn.”
But the good humour and high spirits were also tinged with sadness, sorrow and anger at news of Friday’s nazi terrorist atrocity in New Zealand and, at the bottom end of Haymarket, the demonstration kept a respectful and dignified silence while passing New Zealand House on the way the Whitehall.
Outside the entrance to Downing Street, marchers gathered in the road to hear speeches from a whole range of trade union and Labour Party activists and equality campaigners, and Dave Ward won enthusiastic cheers when he pledged the CWU’s “solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers” as he condemned the “racist ideology” behind the Christchurch massacre.
This was exactly the same “warped and hatred-fuelled” mindset that had committed the Holocaust, he continued, going onto connect the rise in racism with rising inequality and called for the maximum unity to fight against and defeat both.
Dave also read out a solidarity message from the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which he thanked everyone for coming to the demonstration and said that “an attack on a mosque, or on a synagogue or on a church or a temple is an attack on all of us”
The Labour leader’s message called on people everywhere to ” challenge inequality and racism, in order to defeat inequality and prejudice.”
Other speakers to the rally included local MP Emma Dent Coad, anti-racism campaigner Salma Yaqoob and representatives from Britain’s Jewish Council and Muslim Council.
Speaking later, Dave Ward said that “it’s been a great day for the anti-racist movement and also for the CWU – now we need to keep our unity and step up the fight against the evils of racism and prejudice.”