Open borders activists carried placards proclaiming “migrants & refugees welcome here” at a vigil to protest a hate crime in which a “non-British” sounding man spat on a Muslim woman.
Veteran left-wing campaigner and former Respect Party election candidate Nasheela Ashraf was eating dinner with friends in Hammersmith last week when a fellow diner launched an ‘Islamophobic’ attack, a crowd of far-left activists were told at the vigil held Wednesday night.
Get West London reported that Ashraf was at a takeaway when a man told her she “shouldn’t be here”. The assailant reportedly then grabbed her coat and tried to drag the Manchester resident outside, shouting that he “wasn’t going to tolerate it” before other people at the establishment intervened.
“Then he spat on me as he was pushed out of the takeaway”, Ashraf told the website. The man fled the scene before officers arrived, and the incident is being treated as a racially motivated hate crime.
The suspect is of Arab appearance, in his 30s and about 5ft 9ins tall, police said, adding that he had facial hair and spoke with a non-British accent.
The demonstration at Lyric Square, at which Londoners were urged to “Say No to Racism” and “Say Yes to Diversity” according to promotional flyers, was organised by Stand Up to Racism.
The organisation’s John Baker, who helped arrange the vigil, described the incident in the takeaway as “outrageous” and “intolerable”. “We need to nip this kind of incident locally,” he said.
“If it goes unchallenged this will embolden them and there will be more and more of it.”
Jonah Malika, from Hammersmith, said: “I think it’s disgusting. I support this vigil. As soon as it happens to one person to happens to everyone and that has to stop.
“We all have to stick together.”
Stand Up to Racism, who are backed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and peer Lord Dubs, who campaigns to bring more migrants to the UK, has planned demonstrations in cities across the country for next Wednesday to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the U.S.
The group condemn what they say is “a racist offensive sweeping Europe”, and hold marches demanding open borders and an end to criticism of mass immigration.