'Racism won't win in Sheffield' - Campaigners' message at summit held in city

Racism is on the rise but hate will not win - that was the message from organisers and speakers at an anti-racism summit in Sheffield.

Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd June 2018, 1:57 pm
The panel at the Stand Up To Racism Summit.

Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Yorkshire held its regional summit at Theatre Deli, on Eyre Street, on Saturday.

Coun Magid Magid, who was recently sworn in as the The Lord of Mayor of Sheffield, former TUC president Daniel Kebede and Nadeem Murtuja were among the speakers at the event.

The panel at the Stand Up To Racism Summit.

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Maxine Bowler, Stand Up to Racism co-ordinator, said: "I think there has been a really massive rise in racism and we need to raise awareness and get together to figure out how we tackle it.

"The election of Trump and the Brexit vote have contributed and there has been a wave of Islamophobia where all Muslims are blamed for the actions of tiny minority. It's not just here in the UK but across Europe."

Ms Bowler said the conference didn't have as many attendees as organisers would have hoped as she said SUTR members were in Manchester to counter-protest the Democratic Football Lads Alliance rally calling for former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson to be freed.

Robinson was jailed for 13 months for breaking contempt of court laws with a Facebook Live video in which he broadcast details of a trial which was subject to blanket reporting restrictions.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun Magid Magid gives his speech at the Stand Up to Racism summit.

Ms Bowler added: "We think this is the politics of hate and we are not prepared to allow it maintain the agenda.

"We are very well organised in Sheffield and quite well represented in all the communities, which leads to a diverse event."

During his speech Coun Magid, who himself came to the UK as a Somalian refugee, said 'racism really needed to be fought' and added that 'we must say at every opportunity that refugees are welcome' in the UK.

He added: "We all know what is happening around the world but even in our universities we have got a lot of students that have suffered racist abuse affecting mainly black and minority ethnic students.

"We have heard about Nottingham Trent, Bournemouth but also within our own universities we've had a lot of issues in Sheffield. In reality, I can't be help but think we really shouldn't be surprised by racism existing especially within and especially in 2018 as it lives in all honesty in every corner of our society.

"We must translate that into action by addressing and taking on the structures that have allowed this racism to exist."

The event also included workshops, a film screening of Calais Children: A Case to Answer and an acoustic session hosted by Love Music Hate Racism.