Stand up To Racism protesting against the far right in Birmingham last weekend (Picture: Bob Moloney)

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) supporters and others confronted far right groups seeking to whip up hatred of refugees last week. The mobilisations are the latest response on the streets against attacks fuelled by the government’s demonisation of refugees.

Matthew from Birmingham reports, “SUTR called a counter-demonstration against an assortment of local racists and hardcore fascists. Only about 20 racists showed up, and we were about 200.

“The organisers of the racist protest tried to make speeches to their tiny band of ­supporters, but anti-fascist chants and music drowned them out.

“This setback for the far right comes on the back of a series of confrontations between fascist and ­anti‑fascist forces locally, most notably in Cannock, Staffordshire. “It just goes to show that the way to beat the far right is by continually opposing them in the street where we can sap their confidence and isolate them from their softer support.

SUTR North Devon held a march and rally in Barnstaple to oppose the fascist Britain First party that is organising in the area. Dave reports, “Around 150 people marched behind the SUTR banner through the High Street with by-standers clapping the marchers

“There were powerful speeches by people from a range of backgrounds deploring the fascists for their attempts to divide the communities of North Devon.

“We also showed how unity and solidarity will ensure that their ideas will not be allowed to gain traction.

“But there’s no ­complacency. With the general election in 2024 we know the fascists are likely to reappear. It is evident however, that there is opposition to their filth.

“One person on the march said, ‘I felt so less lonely standing with so many other voices’.”

Meanwhile in Scotland the inquiry into the death of Sheku Bayoh continues. A detective told the inquiry last week it was “blindingly obvious” that after Sheku’s death “race was the main factor” in the police response.

Six police officers restrained Bayoh in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in 2015. He died ­handcuffed in hospital.

His body had more than 24 lacerations, cuts and bruises. Bayoh’s family believes he died from positional asphyxia because of the tactics used by police, who they allege overreacted and were motivated by racial bias. An inquiry is investigating the circumstances of his death and whether race was a factor.

Last week retired detective chief superintendent Lesley Boal was asked about a “race hypothesis”. She was line manager for senior investigating officer Pat Campbell.

“Did I sit down and ask Pat that one of these hypotheses was that the officers’ actions were racially motivated? I didn’t. I thought it was blindingly obvious to everybody.

“Why were we all there if this wasn’t one of the key factors? “A man had died in police custody and he was a black man. This was the major issue here.”

Boal said she wanted statements to be taken from officers, but none were given due to legal advice from the Police Federation.

She said there were “tumbleweed moments” at a meeting with lead investigators and her suggestions were met with silence.

For more on the inquiry see

Organising a fightback

The Tories are holding their annual conference in Manchester from Sunday 1 October—and Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) is calling a national demonstration against them.

The People’s Assembly has also called a protest on the day. On Saturday 21 October, SUTR is holding its annual conference, entitled “Resisting the rise of racism and fascism”.

Held in central London and online, the conference will discuss the Tories’ policies and how anti-racists are fighting back.

It will also discuss against new racist laws affecting migrants, black people, Muslims and Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. The conference will also examine institutional racism.

For tickets and information, go to

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