October 31, 2007

Anti-racism group growing fast

A group formed in March to fight racism in Carlisle already has 85 supporters.

Carlisle Against Racism is holding a public meeting in the Tithebarn, West Walls, tonight in an attempt to reach an even wider audience. Since its inception, it has had stalls at events such as the Festival of Nations and continental market, and leafleted spectators at Brunton Park football ground. Its biggest event so far was “Love Music, Hate Racism!”, a gig at the Brickyard in Fisher Street earlier this month, which attracted 300 people.

Spokesman Brent Kennedy said: “We set up in March when we heard that racist candidates were standing in six wards in Carlisle for the city council elections. We answered the lies and myths they were putting out with facts and figures. We put out 18,000 leaflets, one through every door in wards where the British National Party stood.”

The group is adamant that it is here to stay and is planning an annual general meeting to elect officers and draw up a constitution.

Mr Kennedy added: “Racism is most dangerous when used for political ends. It divides people and diverts attention from the real problems. For example, racists blame immigrants for a shortage of rented housing. The real reason why there are 1.5m people on the housing waiting list is that council-house building is one per cent of its level in the 1970s. The facts are that immigrants make up seven to eight per cent of the working population but contribute 10 per cent of economic growth. Immigrant workers pay £2.5bn a year more in taxes than they claim in benefits and overseas students contribute £3bn to the British economy. Without immigrants, the NHS would collapse.”

Mr Kennedy is one of the speakers at tonight’s meeting alongside Paul Jenkins of Unite Against Fascism. The meeting begins at 7.30pm and admission is free.

Cumbria News and Star

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good on them, any support we can give from London we will.