Sheffield activists launch campaign to tackle racist abuse on public transport

Campaigners are set to launch a campaign to tackle racist abuse on public transport in Sheffield.

By Michael Broomhead
Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 4:39 pm

Members of Sheffield Stand Up To Racism will this week start a leafleting drive in the city to raise awareness about the crime – and spread the message that it is unacceptable.

The action comes after a Sheffield schoolgirl said she was throttled with her own hijab in a racially aggravated attack on a bus.

Ebru Garnett, co-chair of Sheffield Stand Up To Racism, said: “For some time now, our group of activists has been hearing from people about their experiences of racism on public transport, in particular on buses.

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Schoolgirl Redana Al-Hadi was injured in a racially aggravated assault in Sheffield.

“There is an issue of reports not being taken seriously and even ignored.

“People are regularly verbally abused and now, as we saw last week, a child has been attacked with physical violence.

“We decided to take positive action on this issue a short time ago and this latest incident has pushed us to start it now.

“Our aim is to raise awareness in the public that this behaviour is not acceptable and to give fellow passengers the confidence to stand in support with the victim against the abuser.”

On Thursday, December 12, Sheffield Stand Up To Racism will launch its campaign on the 88 bus from Bents Green into the city centre at the end of the school day.

Mr Garnett added: “We will be with the schoolchildren while we hand out our leaflets and hopefully engage with them and other passengers.”

Police are investigating after Redana Al-Hadi reported that she was punched and strangled with her hijab while was travelling home with her sister and a group of friends from Silverdale School.

The 14-year-old, from Upperthorpe, was on a single decker bus bound for Ecclesfield when the attack happened shortly after 4.30pm on Wednesday, December 4.

Mobile phone footage was shared online and appears to show a woman embroiled in a row with the sisters and their friends before the argument spills out of the bus on to Ecclesall Road.

The woman can be seen on top of Redana as they are both on the ground.

Redana said the row initially started after a man on the bus began to mock the group’s accents and because the girls were wearing a hijab.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the Baitul Afiyat Mosque, Sheffield, have spoken out about the incident.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said an investigation into the crime is ongoing.

A 40-year-old woman, arrested at the scene, was given a caution for assault, while a 44-year-old man arrested over the incident remains on police bail.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 601 of December 4.