Category Archives: Racism

How Newcastle overcame race hate and inspired other cities – a new book tells the story

A book detailing how Newcastle overcame race hate to become a city offering inspiration to others has been released.

It has been written by Dr Hari Shukla and also documents his personal journey after arriving in the city in 1974.

He said the inspiration for his book, The Art Of Giving, was how often visitors would remark to him how well the different ethnic communities seemed to live together in Newcastle.

“Nobody asks how this happened,” he said. “I thought it would be nice if I write about race relations since 1974 when I came and when the situation was totally different. Read Mike Kelly’s article here

TWAFA Comment:  Another timely reminder of the great human rights heritage of Newcastle and the Northeast, from the anti-slavery campaigns, to the development of trade unions, to suffragettes linked to the city like Emily Davison, to the visit of Martin Luther King in 1967, to the anti-racism activities of today and so much more besides.

But, sadly, Hari Shukla  is right to  say we can’t be complacent. There are indeed many new challenges as we face the future. It is, however, helpful to know how much great  inspiration we can draw from our collective past

(c) TWAFA January 2018

Muslim man says he was beaten in Durham for saying ‘Merry Christmas’

A PALESTINIAN graduate who says he was savagely beaten for being a Muslim after wishing someone a merry Christmas has spoken of his shock.

Ihsan Abualrob described how he was repeatedly kicked in his head and body by three men as he lay cowering on the ground, and said at one point he thought he was going to die. Read Gavin Engelbrecht’s article here

TWAFA Comment: How many times have we had to comment on a story like this, on how appalling it is, on how inappropriate and unacceptable it is? Yet again, racists have cast a shadow on our proud region.  Let us be clear on one thing here; Mr Abualrob had far more of the true Christmas spirit about him and was acting far more in the Christian spirit of peace and goodwill than his assailants.  Hopefully those guilty of this terrible assault will be found guilty and sentences accordingly.

(c) TWAFA December 2017

Comment: Is the North-East racist?

RACISM has never been more socially unacceptable in Britain. Three quarters of Britons claim to have no racial prejudice whatsoever.

Racial slurs commonly heard in streets, pubs and workplaces a few decades ago have all but disappeared, but discrimination hasn’t gone completely. In some cases it’s been driven underground to simmer, seethe and occasionally burst forth. Read The Northern Echo article here

TWAFA Comment: The Northeast is indeed known for its friendliness and has traditionally been welcoming to incomers and has had many institutions and individuals who have worked against racism.  Let us indeed talk about racism, but let us also not lose sight of the fact that it has no place in a civilised society…and that is what we hope the Northeast will always be.

(c) TWAFA December 2017


Three prominent British neo-nazis have been sent to prison tonight.

The weekend started early, with news that three of Britain’s most notorious and violent neo-Nazis were today handed down custodial sentences in court.

The convictions relate to an attempt by (now-banned) nazi terror group National Action to hold a second demonstration in the city of Liverpool.  Read the Hope not hate article here

TWAFA Comment: It is not surprising to see a member of the Sunderland Defence League going to prison.  Sadly, that seems to be the only appropriate place for many of the SDL and their fellow travellers.

(c) TWAFA November 2017

Police in Durham to ensure demonstrations by far-right extremists and anti-fascists stay peaceful

POLICE will be in Durham to ensure demonstrations between opposing far right activists and anti-racists passes peacefully this weekend.

Bishop Auckland Against Islam announced it will join the North East Infidels for a protest in Millennium Place at 1pm, on Saturday, in response to the provision of housing for Syrian refugees in the county.

They will be opposed by the County Durham Anti-Racist Coalition and Unite Against Fascism North East. Read Gavin Engelbrecht’s article here

TWAFA Comment: Anybody who has seriously studied the brutal and vicious civil war in Syria or looked properly at the pictures of children shivering in freezing refugee camps during the cold winter months, or seen the nightmare images of those parts of Syria which the despicable so-called Islamic State were able to take over, would not begrudge County Durham Council housing a couple of hundred survivors from that terrible conflict. It appears that  members of Northeast Infidels and Bishop Auckland against Islam haven’t done so or have not understood what they show us. Our shared common humanity surely compels us to help refugees from Syria.

(c) TWAFA November 2017

‘This is England, my country’: Thug’s sickening racist tirade at Newcastle Metro worker

James Lee, of Jarrow, made disgusting remarks to the employee and spat at him after being told he was not allowed to drink alcohol on the Metro… Read Bob Kennedy’s article here

TWAFA Comment: Another totally unnecessary incident of racial abuse from somebody who will now have to pay the price. We have seen this so many times before, but there two other points to make here.

Firstly, it is noticeable that those committing crimes such as these often use similar phrases. One has to ask who, in the political and media worlds, is promoting these kinds of racist thoughts in the first place and begs the question of whether they should be dealt with by the law as well.

Secondly the story yet again shows the true spirit of the Northeast as the other passengers on the Metro train, who had had to endure listening to Lee’s appalling rant,   applauded when he was dealt with by staff at the Central Station Metro station.

Quite simply racist, vile behaviour like that shown by Lee is not wanted in our region.

© TWAFA September 2017