Aberystwyth shows it stands together against racism
A PROTEST was held in Aberystwyth on Saturday (Jun 26), which organisers said was to stand in solidarity with those who experience racist abuse.
Aberystwyth Together: We Say No To Racism, took place in the Castle Grounds and was attended by around 50 people.
Organised by Rhodri Ffrancis, among the speakers were Aberystwyth mayor Cllr Alun Williams, Black Lives Matter activist Bianca Ali and Stand up to Racism Wales’ Nimi Trivedi.
Last week, Mr Francis told the Ceredigion Herald “It’s an opportunity for us to support people, like Rosedona Williams, and to give our love and compassion to them. And to tell people we object to racism.”
Last month student said she felt “trapped” in her seat as a group directed racist chanting and Nazi salutes towards her on a train.
Rose Williams said she and others were subjected to a stream of abuse after a group got on the Aberystwyth-bound train at Borth, Ceredigion, on Sunday.
The microbiology student said the “heinous attack” came out of nowhere.
British Transport Police (BTP) said it was treating it as a racist incident and transport bosses say they “utterly condemn this abhorrent behaviour”.
In a post widely shared on social media, Ms Williams shared video footage of a man pointing and laughing at her while shouting racist slurs in the carriage.
Speaking to BBC Wales, she described in detail the language and abuse she had been subjected to.
The student, who has lived in Aberystwyth for six years, said she was travelling back from a weekend away in Manchester with friends when the incident happened.
She explained her friends had just got off, when a group of men and women came into the carriage at Borth and one of the men started pointing at her, calling her a “big black dog”.
“It shocked me, it took me by surprise,” she said.
“His friends joined in and they were all chanting, ‘There’s a dog on the train’, raising their hands in the air like, jumping off their seats and laughing about it.”
At the time spokesperson for Transport for Wales, who run the service, told The Ceredigion Herald that the force was working closely with police with their investigations and urged anyone on the train to contact officers.
“We utterly condemn this abhorrent behaviour and are treating this report very seriously,” they said. “We encourage victims and those who witness such crimes to report it immediately – we will do all we can to help.
“We are proud of the diversity within Transport for Wales and the diversity of the customers we serve, and we stand together alongside our industry partners to say loud and clear that any form of hate crime will not be tolerated on our services.”
A BTP spokesperson said they were investigating a report of a racist incident on board a train between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth.
They urged anyone who had witnessed the incident to contact them.
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