Newham anti-racists show solidarity with Rashford, Sancho and Saka
- Credit: Newham SUTR
A stand has been taken against the racist abuse of black footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
People took the knee at St John's Church in Stratford in a show of solidarity for the England football teammates who were targeted after the Euro 2020 final.
The event - hosted by Newham Stand Up to Racism - formed part of a national effort on Saturday, July 17, which included a demonstration outside Downing Street.
Revd Robert Otule spoke out against hate and emphasised the need to share a common humanity.
Black Lives Matter activist Lois Browne; Imam Ammaar from Ibrahim Mosque; Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for City and East; anti-racist campaigner Zain Miah; and comedian Quincy attended along with National Education Union members.
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Imam Ammaar said: "Today’s gathering shows our community of brothers and sisters is stronger than ever. We won’t be threatened in our own community."
Newham MPs - Stephen Timms for East Ham and Lyn Brown for West Ham - sent messages of support.
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Ms Brown said in her message: "I am so pleased and proud Newham is today showing its support and standing together with black and Asian people from across the country, as well as with our footballers.
"We have the power to raise our voices so they drown out those who want to promote racism and divide our communities."
Mr Desai said: "The fight against hate crime has to continue. I am proud to take the knee."
Teacher Coral McKenzie said: "One child at our school asked – how can this be happening in 2021?
"My son is a professional footballer and has had monkey chants shouted at him.
"Now black children are thinking twice about following their dreams – racism like we’ve just seen has taken away their desire to aspire. Things have got to change."
Quincy said that after the missed penalties, everyone knew what would happen and unfortunately they were proven right.
"It’s sickening to think some of those people booing when the team took the knee and posting abuse on social media might be from families getting food because of Rashford’s campaign on school meals," he added.
"They are cowards. What we should be booing is the race report and the police bill, not footballers taking the knee against racism."