March Against Racism: Huge crowds in London protest against Brexit and Donald Trump 'anti-migrant hysteria'

Mark Chandler

Huge crowds of protesters gathered to march through the streets of London on Saturday in a demonstration against racism.

Protesters carrying brightly coloured placards gathered outside the BBC offices in Portland Place, near Oxford Street, shortly after noon on Saturday.

Organisers Stand Up to Racism said the march was to combat "anti-migrant hysteria" following the Brexit vote.

Many of those taking part also clutched placards slamming Donald Trump for his immigration ban, while others featured the "Black Lives Matter" slogan.

Crowds gathered at Portland Place before heading off into Westminster holding aloft banners and chanting.

March: The protest was organised by Stand Up To Racism (Stand Up To Racism)

They headed towards Parliament Square, where guest speakers including former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mozzam Begg and shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti wee set to address the crowd.

The event saw protesters of all ages take to the streets, with children scrawling "Stand up to racism" on the pavements in coloured chalk.

Ether Onatskaia, 17, a Cambridge sixth form student who is originally from New York, said: "I think racism is a problem in the US and UK and we need to speak out against it.

"I feel like, because I'm white, I'm not so affected by it, so I need to make a stand."

Gerry Ford, 61, from Islington, who carried a placard through Piccadilly Circus, said she believed the decision to break from the European Union had been driven by racism.

Protest: Large crowds gathered in London (Siema Iqbal)

She said: "This is a racist issue. People don't realise it, but it is."

Ms Ford said she believed Britain should start amending its approach to migrants by agreeing to take on more child refugees from Syria.

She added: "First of all, I'd like to let the refugee children through - more children from Syria - and we want to oppose Donald Trump.

"He's just disgusting."

As the crowds began the march down Regent Street, small groups led the chant "Say it loud and say it clear, refugees are welcome here", while drumming groups beat out a rhythm behind them.

The march comes after a series of demonstrations against hatred of migrants and the presidency of Donald Trump in February.

Saturday's march was echoed elsewhere, with rallies also taking palce in Cardiff and Glasgow, co-inciding with UN Anti-Racism Day.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes