The protest also saw criticism of proposed government legislation pertaining to protest restrictions RICHARD HUMPHREY/GEOGRAPH

Content note: brief mentions of racism and police violence

Cambridge residents gathered on Parkers’ Piece yesterday (20/03) for a protest held by Cambridge Stand Up to Racism (SUTR), with SUTR telling Varsity that the crowd numbered around 350, according to their estimates.

National celebrations were organised by Stand Up to Racism and the Trade Union Conference (TUC) to coincide with the UN’s ‘International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ today (21/03).

The protest also incorporated recent backlash surrounding the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which many have criticised for indicating greater restrictions on the right to protest.

Convenor of Cambridge SUTR, Roger Green, told Varsity: “The protest bill that Priti Patel has tried to pass was clearly directed against the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests and the more recent protests after the murder of Sarah Everard [...] We call for the bill not to be postponed, but scrapped altogether.”

Protestors were invited to ‘Take the Knee’, an action which has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement. They also chanted the slogan “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.


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The organisers of the Cambridge event said they “recognise that the issue of racism and also the threat of the far right is a global issue that needs international solidarity to fight.”

The in-person protest required attendees to maintain social distancing and wear face coverings. Green said that while safety measures were important, “we recognise that we are more powerful when able to assemble together.”

Speakers at the Cambridge protest, almost all women, spoke of a wide range of racial issues, including tragedies like the death of Mohamud Hassan, who died in January shortly after leaving police custody. They also denounced the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, shared testimony of alleged racial profiling by Cambridgeshire police, and advocated support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“There is no vaccination against racism” said Green, “it can only be combated by mass international antiracist mobilisations like those we have seen through the fantastic Black Lives Matter Movement.” He saw this protest as “a real opportunity to express our deep loathing of racism in all its forms.”