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London march for Anti-Racism Day

People will march through the streets of London today to mark the United Nations International Anti-Racism Day. The march will begin at 11am at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament square and move towards Trafalgar Square.

A number of politicians and cultural groups will take part to highlight the contributions made by migrants. Jerry Dammers, the writer of the song 'Free Nelson Mandela' will also attend the event.

Tram abuse woman 'mentally ill'

A mother whose tirade of racist abuse at fellow passengers on a tram received millions of viewings on YouTube was bound over to keep the peace today.

Emma West's defence lawyer said he had heard figures quoted that the footage had received either 11 or 25 million viewings online. Credit: Youtube

A judge said that Emma West, 36, was clearly suffering from mental health problems at the time of the outburst on board the tram in Croydon, south London, and had unwittenly overdosed on the medication she took for depression.

The mother-of-two was also handed a 24-month community order for offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against her partner and assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty as she appeared for sentencing at Croydon Crown Court.

The court heard witnesses described West "reeking of alcohol" when she carried out the verbal attack.

Prosecutor Julius Capon said: "She in essence persecuted a number of passengers on the tram, subjecting them to some disgusting racial abuse."

Prosecutor Julius Capon said: "She in essence persecuted a number of passengers on the tram, subjecting them to some disgusting racial abuse."

He said the things she said included "you're not English", "none of you are English", "f*** off" and "get back to your own countries".

Mr Capon said many of the passengers were "upset" by West's behaviour.

"Some of them described themselves as being disgusted, shocked and horrified," he said.

But he added that it was not them who complained to police, rather that it came to their attention after a passenger who had filmed it posted it on the internet.

David Martin-Sperry, defending West, said the defendant's offending was out of character and she does not harbour any racist views.

Mr Martin-Sperry told the court he had heard figures quoted that the footage had received either 11 million or 25 million viewings on YouTube.

The publicity the case generated led her to attempt suicide and she had become reclusive due to the abuse she received when she left the house, he said.

It also led her to receive flowers and messages of support from far right supporters. Some have even sent her cheques.

"People gave support to what they thought was a noble cause - they could not be more wrong," he said.

Mr Martin-Sperry said before the tram incident took place West had admitted herself to an institution attached to the psychiatric Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, south London.

On the day of the incident, in late 2011, she had again felt "overheated" and went to see her psychiatrist who increased her dose of citalopram.

After collecting her prescription she took one pill after having already taken one that day and drank a large glass of wine before taking the tram home.

Mr Martin-Sperry said that not only had she taken twice her usual dosage, five days later the maximum limit was reduced from 60mg to 40mg, and so she had in fact taken two and a half times the recommended dose when that was taken into account.


Ferdinand brothers issue statement on racism

Anton Ferdinand warming up for QPR Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand and his brother Rio of Manchester United have released a statement saying they have been disappointed by the FA and Professional Footballer's Association actions during the John Terry racism row.

Terry is currently serving a four-match ban after shouting a racial insult at Anton during a game last year. Since then, the football authorities have come under criticism for the way they dealt with the incident.

However, the Ferdinands have now said they want to work with the organisations to improve matters. They have also expressed their support for the Kick It Out campaign which tackles racism in football, though they added it may have to change to make it more relevant.

Terry will be asked to wear anti-racism armband

John Terry in action for Chelsea. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Chelsea captain John Terry will be asked to wear an anti-racism armband if he leads the team against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League tomorrow. Terry is currently serving a domestic ban for shouting a racial insult at an opponent but he is eligible to play in tomorrow's game in Ukraine.

The European governing body UEFA is using this week's European matches to promote the 'United Against Racism' campaign after a series of racist incidents at matches. All club captains will be asked to wear the armbands during the games.

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