A delegation from Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) delivered £10,000 to the Care4Calais refugee support centre in France on Saturday. The money has been raised by the Stand Up to Racism winter appeal, with SUTR groups around the country raising money in support of refugees.
The delegation included a coach organised by Student Stand Up to Racism, with 53 students representing over 10 campuses from across the UK. Trade Union delegations also brought car loads of donated clothes and essential items. The money and donations will be important for Care4Calais in continuing the crucial work they do to support refugees.
In Calais, we held a mass meeting with Care4Calais volunteers, refugees and anti-racist activists in France. Volunteers explained how, despite the French government’s attempts to say otherwise, the refugee crisis has not gone away. Thousands of refugees are scattered across France sleeping in makeshift camps, at risk of arrest and deportation.
The rise of Marine Le Pen and the Front National poses a serious threat to these people. Le Pen is contesting the French Election in March 2017 on a platform of racism, islamophobia and hostility to refugees.
In the era of fascists such as Le Pen and Hofer gaining support, as well as racist populists Trump and Farage scapegoating migrants, the importance of a mass anti-racist movement in Britain couldn’t be clearer. Students on the delegation resolved to make plans next term to mobilise for the protests against Trump on the day of his inauguration and the National Demo on UN anti-racism day on 18 March 2017. Trade Unionists on the trip also pledged to build for teh Stand Up to Racism Trade Union conference on 4 February.
Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up to Racism, closed the day by saying “we need a leadership of anti-racists who can stand up to the Le Pens of this world. Refugees aren’t victims – its because they’ve marched across borders that the world has noticed. We need to respond to their call. We need a dual strategy of Care4Calais supporting refugees in France, and Stand Up to Racism campaigning for them to be let into Britain.”
Stand Up to Racism organises regular convoys to Calais, as well as campaigning against racism here in the UK. If you want to be put in touch with your local Stand Up to Racism group, click on the links on the left hand side of the page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org