Image credit: Jackson Yamba, Twitter
Two of Salford’s most senior politicians say the city still has a racism problem and have condemned the latest hate crime.
MP for Salford and Eccles, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and Salford Mayor Paul Dennett have issued a joint statement criticising a racist graffiti attack on the home of Jackson Yamba and his 10-year-old son, as well as the planned demonstration in Media City by far-right activist Tommy Robinson on Saturday.
Mr Yamba, 38, and his son were left shocked after their front door was sprayed with the words “no blacks” only days after they moved in on February 3.
Similar graffiti were found in the communal areas of their block of flats, sparking outrage across the city and beyond. The police response was criticised as slow.
Mr Yamba had reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police immediately but, a week later, he says they still had not investigated the incident.
Mr Yamba took to Twitter to express his anger and his tweet was retweeted 13,000 times.
My front door in Salford was painted over a week ago with this abhorrent racist graffiti – after reporting it to @gmpolice they still haven't been here to investigate. How do I assure my traumatised 10 year old that he is safe in his home? @BBCBreaking @RLong_Bailey @guardian pic.twitter.com/WjGEz9rT7e
— Jackson Yamba (@JacksonYamba) February 16, 2019
In light of the Yamba attack, and with Tommy Robinson due in the city on Saturday to protest outside the BBC studios, Ms Long-Bailey and Mr Dennett have joined forces to repeat that racism in Salford will not be tolerated.
And their joint statement also admitted that the city has a long way to go to combat the issue.
They said: “The recent vandalism of Jackson Yamba’s home in Salford was an abhorrent act of racial intimidation, and we condemn it in the strongest possible sense.
“The appalling attack on members of our community represents an unwelcome reminder that racism is still prevalent in our society today.
“This attack unfortunately highlights that there is still a lot of work to be done to drive racism, in all its forms, from our much loved city and society in general.”
The pair also expressed their opposition to Mr Robinson’s planned protest.
Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is a former member of the British National Party, and the founder of the English Defense League, both far-right nationalist factions.
The statement said: “We have a rich and diverse community here in Salford.
“We oppose anti-semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism.
“These attacks and rallies have no place in Salford and we will fight to drive hate and racism from our communities here in Salford, and across the UK.”
“Salford is a place of love, community and solidarity. All forms of racism, anti-semitism or islamophobia have no place here”- Joint statement on behalf of myself and @salford_mayor pic.twitter.com/8enmzeKUGU
— Rebecca Long-Bailey (@RLong_Bailey) February 19, 2019
The Robinson-led event on Saturday has also been vigorously opposed by leading anti-fascism groups who have vowed to protest his presence in Media City.
A spokesperson for Unite Against Fascism said: “We are calling on as many people as possible to join us on the 23rd of February to outnumber Tommy Robinson’s supporters and to send a clear message that fascists are not welcome in Salford, and indeed anywhere else.
“He is trying to whip up racism, and is now trying to attack media workers and trade unionists.”
Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism, added: “Robinson regularly consorts with far right individuals like Steve Bannon who seek to divide Muslims and Jews, black and white, and often support violence to further their aims.
“We should not allow the fascist Tommy Robinson to be normalised. It is important we stand together and defend our democracy against the far right.”