SHAFAQNA – A HUNDRED human rights campaigners marched on Sunday to protest against the displacement and slaughter of Rohingya muslims in Myanmar.
The march was organised by leaders from Brighton and Hove’s muslim community and started at the Peace Statue on Hove seafront at noon.
The campaigners braved bitter winds to make their way, placards aloft, to The Level where there were speeches made about the plight of the Rohingya.
“We’ve always stood together in solidarity with oppressed people anywhere in the world – whether in muslim countries or not, whether against muslims or not.
“And it’s beautiful – it’s Brighton – it’s great to see the city coming together .”
March organiser Tariq Jung, of the Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum, said: “It’s tremendous. It’s in the blood in Brighton, people coming together to support worthwhile causes.
“This isn’t just a muslim issue – it’s about being involved.
“People in Brighton have the instinct to stand up for the meek and trodden down.”
Dorothy Sheridan, of the Brighton Palestinian Solidarity campaign, said: “I came in support and solidarity with the people suffering and to support the muslim community.
“It’s another instance of where the muslim community has been oppressed and decimated.
“We all have a responsibility to stand up and be counted when people are being annihilated, otherwise you’re complicit.”
Green Party leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, who could not attend, sent a message saying: What we are seeing is ethnic cleansing, which is why turning a blind eye and ignoring the atrocities taking place overseas from the comfort of our sofas, would make us complicit.
“Marches like the one taking place here today are an incredibly powerful way to show the world is watching, and we will not be silenced.
“I’ve met with representatives of the muslim community to discuss the desperate situation. I share their shock and disbelief about the lack of coverage the atrocities taking place have had in the mainstream media.
“And I share the anger that the international community, including our own Government, isn’t doing more to try to prevent them.”
Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle joined the march, which moved in near silence along Kingsway from Hove seafront.
Onlooking police officers said they “could not not have asked for a better-behaved demonstration”.