Protest held at University of Manchester against influence of far right groups

  • Gorton councillor says communities must unite in response to challenge
  • Union leader says students and workers must stand together

A protest against racism and the far right held at the University of Manchester was attended by city councillors.

Councillor Afzal Khan, who represents Gorton, said he stood with protestors united in the fight against racism and fascism.

The meeting was held in response to Generation Identity posters found within the university’s campus over the past few weeks.

Councillor Khan said that the far right was gaining momentum in Europe, saying that Jeremy Corbyn had been “portrayed a racist while the media perpetuates the image of Tommy Robinson as someone fighting for the freedom of speech, a hero. This is twisted.”

MP Khan urged people  to “strongly unite, while we may have differences”.

He added that “change requires pressure” and that only by putting pressure on the far right would their reach and influence be reduced.

Another speaker at the event was Nita Sanghera, the first black vice-president of the University and College Union (UCU).

She said that with six million trade union members in the UK, “we can immobilise a mighty force against racist groups”.

“It’s not enough to not like racism, we have to get up and stand up to racism,” she said.

She spoke passionately about the fight against racism and the far right saying: “Every time they have a demonstration, there needs to more of us fighting back.

“The student unions play a vital role in mobilising the young. It starts from the bottom up.”

The Northern Quota spoke to Councillor Khan after the talk and he reiterated the fact that fear was being used as a recruiting tool by racist groups.

He said “We are a global village, we will fight racism together.”

Anyone who has been a victim of racism can contact an organisation called Sari