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Vigil for Sri Lanka bomb victims held at Stand Up to Racism event

IT was another busy Saturday (Apr 27) for Swansea’s Castle Square as multiple groups set up in and around Swansea.

While volunteers pitched a tent to host speakers and musical acts at the Stand Up to Racism event lots of conversation flowed, while those who hadn’t met yet introduced themselves and chatted. Stand Up to Racism’s event  was a counter-protest  to the For Brexit protest taking place near the castle.

A vigil was held for the victims of the Sri Lankan bombings, and curious members of the public were encouraged to stay and watch.

Those attending expressed frustration at being unable to take their cause further and into the universities, and the need for young people to get involved.

The local advocacy group were clear on their stance of repelling Islamaphobia, racially motivated vandalism and crime, and more pointedly, hate groups who masqueraded as political movements.

In the past For Brexit has posted propaganda against racial integration, called political opponents traitors and argued for a traditional Britain, claim members of Stand Up To Racism.

On Friday (Apr 26), a Muslim family in  Blaen y Maes suffered racist graffiti against them. As the activities commenced, a condolence card to them circulated around the growing crowd of people.

Among others, a Sri Lankan family spoke emotionally to the congregation about how the recent terror affects had affected them, and expressed gratitude at having so much support in Swansea. They were followed by Rob Stewart, head of Swansea City Council, who publicly denounced the For Brexit gathering that had been confined to the area around Swansea Castle.

The rapper-activist Neezo also spoke out, emphasizing that the issue was not Leave or Remain, but about being against ‘bigots, racists, and fascists’.

Organizers for the event said this wasn’t the first time the alt-right had tried to make their presence felt in Swansea – referring largely to White Pride, a radical far-right group – though the turnout for both Stand Up To Racism and Swansea Young Socialists was so significant that it didn’t seem to matter.

The event drew supporters from all parts, including Cardiff and Pembrokeshire, as well as children, students, parents and elderly people from all sorts of backgrounds.

Stand Up To Racism host a meeting on the second Tuesday of every month (next one, May 7) at Units B & C, 11 St Helen’s Road, SA1 4AB and invite anyone who wants to get involved or lend their support to drop in. They can also be found on Facebook at ‘Stand Up To Racism Swansea’.

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