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Statue of Dr Martin Luther King has been unveiled in Newcastle by his great friend

A bronze statue of Dr Martin Luther King has been unveiled at Newcastle University by a man who knew him better than most.

Ambassador Andrew Young, now 85, was a friend and colleague of the American civil rights leader and accompanied him to Newcastle on November 13, 1967 when he received an honorary degree from the university.

Read David Whetstone’s article here

TWAFA Comment:  Great to see Andrew Young here in Newcastle to unveil the statue of Martin Luther King.  Let us all be strengthened in our determination to end the scourges of war, poverty and racism.

(c) TWAFA November 2017

Why were the words of Martin Luther King being read out on the Metro?

To mark the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s visit to Newcastle, the Metro played recordings from his honorary degree speech

The message of Martin Luther King was shared with Metro commuters to mark the 50th anniversary of his visit to Newcastle.

The words of Dr King’s speech at Newcastle University on November 13 1967 were played on the tannoy across all 60 Metro stations throughout Monday.

Extracts from the speech were voiced by 15 year-old Excelsior Academy pupil Yuri Neves and four recordings an hour were broadcast across the Metro system.  Read Kathryn Riddell’s article here

TWAFA Comment: Another reminder of a great day in the history of Newcastle. But how sad that the scourges of war, poverty and racism, which Dr. King highlighted in his speech in Newcastle, are still with us. We have much to do to continue Martin’s great work.

(c) TWAF November 2017

Martin Luther King and me – former Newcastle student shares memories of special meeting

It may have been 50 years ago, but the day Martin Luther King Jr came to Newcastle is still remembered vividly by a student that met him.

The Students’ Union Treasurer Tony Sorenson, then 22 and in the second year of a geography doctorate, volunteered to be one of two students to meet with the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Dr King came to the city to be made… Read Jessica Cripps’ article here

TWAFA Comment: Yet another reminder of the stature of Martin Luther King, as Newcastle continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his visit to the city on 13th November 1967.

(c) TWAFA November 2017

North East revealed as having highest number of youngsters with far-right sympathies

Hundreds of teenagers in the North East have been reported to the Government for holding extremist views.

And a community leader “fears for the future” as it’s revealed the region has more children at risk of far right radicalisation than anywhere else in the country.

Teachers, police officers and council workers in the North East flagged up the people most at risk of radicalisation by right wing ideology to the Home Office’s Prevent programme, which aims to stop people being drawn in to terrorism, last year. Read Hannah Graham’s article here

TWAFA Comment:  This is both very disappointing and very disturbing news.  It is disappointing, because it flies in the face of the well-documented traditions of tolerance, fairness and solidarity, for which Northeast England is rightly renowned. It is disturbing, not only because a rise in hatred and right-wing views generally, will inevitably cause suffering to innocent people, but also because as, has been proved time and time again, involvement in right-wing politics solves no problems and so often the only place it gets its participants is prison. It is therefore disturbing that so many young people feel that getting involved in something that is clearly such a waste of their lives is a reasonable thing to be doing.

(c) TWAFA November 2017

See archive footage of Martin Luther King’s speech at Newcastle University 50 years on

On this day Martin Luther King ‘had a dream’ – the reality is this festival in his honour

“That is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war.”

Dr King was commended by the university for his significant contribution towards equality and fairness.

Aged 38 at the time, the baptist minister had risen to lead the civil rights movement in the US.

He was assassinated just a few months later on April 4, 1968. Read Mike Fuller’s article here

TWAFA Comment:  Another reminder of one of the great days in our history in Northeast England.  Another reminder of our great anti-racist heritage in Northeast England.

(C) TWAFA November 2017


Disgust as Swastika and anti-Islam slurs sprayed on Newcastle walls

A Newcastle councillor has warned that religious hatred is on the rise as Nazi symbols are found daubed in a Newcastle street.

Vile graffiti, which read “f*** Muslims”, next to a Swastika symbol, was discovered on a street in Sandyford, east of the city centre.

Councillor Dipu Ahad says the disgusting image was flagged up to him by concerned residents.

He claimed it was an extreme symptom of the Islamophobia and antisemitism which he believes has increased over recent years. Read Hannah Graham’s article here

TWAFA Comment: Many Northeast men gave their lives fighting the Nazis and indeed it was a Northeast regiment, the Durham Light Infantry, which liberated the Belsen concentration camp, sadly too late to save many of those who were imprisoned there, including Anne Frank.

It speaks volumes about the far-right and those who would denigrate Muslims, that somebody should choose the symbol of the swastika to accompany their racist slurs. What on earth would those men from Northeast England who died fighting those racists who had the swastika as their symbol think?

(c) TWAFA November 2017