Green Party MEP Jean Lambert addressed an anti-racism rally in Trafalgar Square tomorrow yesterday to mark UN Anti-Racism Day.
Ms Lambert, who is speaking as Vice President of the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism Intergroup, will say racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise across Europe – and urged voters to back progressive candidates in May’s European election to combat right-wing extremism.
Jean Lambert spoke at the rally alongside other politicians, as well as musicians and comedians – allspeaking out for diversity and against the politics of hate.
“Racism is on the rise across Europe – and we need to embrace an international approach to solving economic, social and environmental problems and stop scapegoating immigrants if we are to reverse this trend.
“But thereis a real risk that we will see exactly the opposite, with a rise in the number of xenophobic and racist politicians elected to the next European Parliament in May,“she said.
“To make sure this doesn’t happen we need everyone – and their families and friends – to go out and vote for progressive candidates to reduce the political space for those that don’t believe in equality. Your vote counts.”
The rally, which is entitled ‘Stand Up to Racism and Fascism’, will start at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square at 11am before marching to Trafalgar Square for speeches.
Jean Lambert said “We need all governments, and EU institutions, to make clear their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion if we are to see much-needed progress on reducing hate-based behaviour, whether directed at people because of their faith, race – or just hatred of ‘the other’.
“But here in the UK we are seeing exactly the opposite to what is needed: barely a day goes by without this government saying it will deny health-care, or welfare benefits, or even the right to free movement or a private family life, to citizens of some nationality or another.
“The Government has to stop dealing in numbers and start seeing people.”