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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Jean tells Stand Up To Racism rally: “Extremists build their movements on lies and fear”

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14 July 2018

Yesterday up to 250,000 people took to the streets of London to protest against the arrival of President Trump.

Today, we’re seeing a very different sort of political rally, as the far-right congregate in London in support of the President’s racist agenda.

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, will today be speaking at a unity protest against Tommy Robinson, Trump and the far-right organised by Stand Up To Racism.

Watch Jean’s video in support of the march here, and read her full speech below:

“Across the EU we are seeing the rise of hardline right-wing parties who hate diversity – particularly people of colour or of a different faith. These hardliners are filled with a narrow view of nationalism which rejects anyone who does not look like them or think like them.

They have ramped up the rhetoric of hatred and suspicion to feed a toxic politics which is challenging our values and our future. Where the vote to leave the EU has been used by many as permission to tell neighbours to ‘go home’ when they are home, deny people the right to speak their mother-tongue and even attack complete strangers for being ‘different’.

These extremists build their movements on lies and fear.

They tell us we should fear refugees as an attack on our way of life but the refugees who have fled the bombs and gas attacks of Syria’s regime to save their families and themselves are fleeing totalitarianism to find peace and security.

We are told those coming do not share our values, but those who have escaped the horrendous atrocities inflicted by Da’esh reject that brutal perversion of belief and want freedom.

We are told this is an invasion – but those who risk their lives to seek a future in Europe come with the clothes on their backs, not bombs and tanks: they want to contribute.

People who want peace, freedom and the possibility to build a better life sound to me like people who share our values: they don’t threaten them.

This movement of hate is organised. They work together to spread their view of white supremacy, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. They amplify each other’s lies and conspiracies

A few weeks ago, in the European Parliament, UK MEP Janice Atkinson, along with Front National and others from the ENF Group which she helped set up, held a press conference to defend Tommy Robinson, as a political prisoner. This is the man who knowingly broke the law and put at risk the possible conviction of men accused of serial child abuse. He chose to put his politics ahead of the chance of justice for the victims of child sex-abuse. Do not let his supporters tell you that he cares about the rights of children and the rights of victims: he does not.

Cross-border cooperation and support on pushing this case run beyond the EU, in to the United States – even in to the family of the President. It is being used to spread messages of hate, fear and division.

We need to join forces with those in other countries standing up for universal human rights, for the right of children to be their parents and the right to flee persecution and oppression and be protected. For the right of people of different backgrounds, sexuality, faith or no faith, to be able to live peacefully together in an inclusive, more equal society.

We need to stand up here to stop the spread of hatred and division in our communities. This is not just about opposing hate crime and hate speech but building strong and inclusive communities, where we stand together to build a better future for all.”