Hundreds march in Cardiff against racism to show Black Lives Matter is 'a movement not a moment'

  • Nimi Trivedi, one of the organisers of the Stand Up To Racism rally in Cardiff, said this march has helped the continued effort to build an anti-racism movement.

Around 300 people have marched from City Hall to the Senedd in Cardiff to fight against racism.

The rally marks the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The day was established by the United Nations to remember when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against Apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.

The rally started at midday outside City Hall in Cardiff. Credit: ITV Wales

Nimi Trivedi, one of the organisers, said: “Protests have been happening in London, Glasgow and other parts of Europe and today we are part of that, to come together united to say, 'we stand up to racism.'

“We will be saying no to anti semitism and Islamophobia.

“We will be saying that all Ukrainian refugees are welcome here as are all refugees.”

People involved in the demonstration include family justice groups, football fans against racism, climate campaigners fighting for climate justice, representatives of Wales’s Roma community, refugees and asylum seekers, trade unionists, and politicians.

The march signifies solidarity against racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism internationally. Credit: ITV Wales

Minister For Social Justice, Jane Hutt MS, was also in attendance.

She said, "We're very concerned in Wales to make sure we are open and welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers.

"We have to look at ourselves in Wales and say, 'we have more to do to make sure there is race equality, that we are an anti-racist country and make sure that that's reflected in every aspect of government from education to health to housing and to support people who've come here today who stand up against racism."

When it comes to addressing what Welsh Government is doing to implement change, Ms Hutt said, "We've always been passionate about race equality, we think we are a compassionate, welcoming country but there is still racism and people have come here together to tell us about their experience.

"This actually affects their everyday lives, opportunities for employment, opportunities in terms of housing and education, and Coronavirus, the pandemic has shone a light on how many black, Asian, and minority ethnic people have suffered, not just because of the pandemic, but also their circumstances.

She continued, "We have to tackle for example health inequalities, we're going to have to make sure that actually we recognise that many black, Asian, and minority ethnic people do not have the access perhaps to the health services that they need, in terms of housing as well, and recognising that we talk about equal pay for women but there isn't equal pay in terms of race either.

"It's about not just saying what's wrong, it's actually saying, let's see what's right and giving our black, Asian, and minority ethnic people - especially our young people growing up - a sense of pride that they live in Wales."

Rallies at the beginning and end of the march were led by the Wales TUC GeneralSecretary Shavanah Taj, the first person to hold that position from a black, Asianand minority ethnic background.

Shavanah said: "Saying you are anti-racist, simply isn't enough. Action speaks louder than words."

Speaking at the rallies and leading the march were the families and supporters ofMouayed Bashir, Siyanda Mngaza, Christopher Kapessa, and Mohamud Hassan.

Mouayed’s brother, Mohannad said, “It will good to see you there all of us together, united as one against racism.”

Credit: ITV Wales

Many trade union members also spoke at the march.

Cerith Griffiths is a firefighter from the FBU who said he and the firefighters were marching in solidarity with those fleeing wars and persecution.

Cerith said, “The only difference between any of us is where we are born. No person should live their life in fear because that is what many have endured.

"Close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine having to pack as much as you can carry and just leave what you have known for most of your life."

The march concluded with a moving poem by spoken word artist, Nelly Adam (Queen Niche).