Standing up to racism is a key challenge for students. Across Europe refugees have been left to drown, locked out by border fences or left in squalid camps such as in Calais.
From Unity, anti-racist and anti-fascist magazine September-October 2016, issue 17. Email UAF to ask for printed copies firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve also seen racism come to the fore elsewhere—from Donald Trump and police brutality in the US to the rise in reported race hate crimes in Britain.
Student Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) aims to bring together students who want to confront racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
Last year, we organised several convoys to the refugee camp in Calais, raising thousands of pounds for refugees in the process. We’ve also been involved in the Black Lives Matter protests in Britain, as well as mobilising for the UN anti-racism day demonstrations.
Both the NUS and NUS Black Students conferences voted to work with SUTR to confront racism.
Our campuses and colleges have been crucial places to challenge racism and Islamophobia—from the large number of students who have shown solidarity with refugees, to resistance to the Prevent agenda that targets Muslim students.
Penny Gower, a trade unionist at Edinburgh College, explains how students and staff can play a key role in driving back the Islamophobic agenda:
“In August this year, staff at Edinburgh College won an important victory by forcing the management to remove references to Prevent from staff training, after we had threatened a boycott.
“We don’t want to turn our students into suspects. There should be the space for them to raise concerns about such things as British foreign policy without fear. It’s important we’ve stopped Prevent for now but we need other places to follow suit.”
Throughout this academic year, we are planning a diary of action to strengthen the fight against racism. If you are a student who wants to get involved with SUTR, you can set up a society on your campus.
We want to create a network of anti-racists who can respond quickly to racism—whether it’s the drowning of refugees in the Mediterranean or the Burkini ban in France.
Email us at email@example.com and contact us on Facebook.
The more students we have working together on campuses, the more successfully we can Stand Up to Racism. Get involved today!
The response of governments across Europe to the refugee crisis continues to horrify anti-racists everywhere—whether it was David Cameron’s “bunch of migrants” slur, or the daily violence meted out to refugees across Europe.
Thousands have died trying to cross the seas towards Europe—fleeing war, poverty and repression. Since the photo of the dead three-year-old Alan Kurdi shook the world, rather than helping refugees reach safety, Europe’s leaders have sought to block the routes and ramp up racism at home.
However, the movement in solidarity with refugees has involved hundreds of thousands of people.
Last year on 18th June, we co‑organised an aid convoy to Calais—over 250 vehicles took part, and thousands of pounds in aid was collected. Disgracefully the British and French authorities colluded to stop us crossing the border. They said we would “aid the intrusion of migrants”.
But we won’t give up—join the Student Stand up to Racism convoy to Calais on Saturday 3rd December.
8th October 10.30am-4.30pm: Student Session at SUTR conference (see advert on back page)
October: Black History Month
November: Islamophobia Awareness Month
Thursday 3rd – Monday 7th November: Unite Against Fascism educational trip to Auschwitz concentration camp (see advert page 8)
Saturday 19th November: Stand Up to Racism bloc at United for Education national demo organised by UCU and NUS
Saturday 3rd December: Winter convoy to Calais organised by Stand Up to Racism
Friday 27th January 2017: Holocaust Memorial Day