EXCLUSIVE: New Brighton march of solidarity shows attack thugs there’s no place for racism in Merseyside.
Alex May leads the march in New Brighton earlier this afternoon. Picture: Paul Heaps
A PEACEFUL march of solidarity took place in New Brighton in support of a man injured during a suspected racial attack on the resort’s promenade.
More than 50 well-wishers made their way from the Floral Pavilion to Marine Point, near the spot where a gang set about their victim last Saturday night.
The victim – who at his request we are naming only as Bashi – was beaten with a metal bar as he tried to prevent them from assaulting his family.
The attack, which left a wound that required 22 stitches, caused an outcry since the Globe exclusively reported it on Wednesday.
Today’s march was organised within two days. Its message was clear: “racism will not be tolerated”.
Addressing the crowd, which had swelled to around 100 people by the time it reached Marine Point, Bashi said: “I want to say thanks for all the support. I’m overwhelmed by it all.
“What happened was unfortunate, but it’s not deterred me or my family from coming into New Brighton today.”
March organiser Alex May said: “I’ve lived in New Brighton for five years and I’ve never seen any evidence of racism in all the time I’ve been here.
“Then we have a situation where a family are attacked while out enjoying the evening sunshine.
“We are with Bashi and his family to let them know we will not let them stand alone. We are here to back Bashi.”
Also among those taking part in the march was New Brighton Labour councillor Rob Gregson. He said: “It’s sending out a clear message that this sort of behaviour is not tolerated.
“New Brighton is a family resort. There is no colour or creed. People come here with their families and, hopefully, go away with happy memories of their visit. They don’t want to be subjected to scenes like those of last Saturday.”
Bashi was at home last Saturday night when he received a call from his brother who was out with other family members on the promenade and were being attacked by a gang of youths.
The 52-year-old civil servant ran to the scene and tried to protect his family. He was then surrounded by up to 15 members of the gang who began raining blows down on him.
One hit him above the eye with a metal bar and the gang then ran off.
Police have launched a full investigation.
A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated assault and is being questioned by police.
Wallasey MP Angela Eagle wrote to Wirral Chief Superintendent Jon Martin earlier this week, calling on him to step up the search for those responsible.
Ms Eagle said: “I trust the police will investigate this thoroughly.
“This is an appalling attack and my thoughts are with the family who have undergone this traumatic incident.
“Racism has no place in our society and this must be taken extremely seriously.
“We need to stop this intimidating behaviour and all residents must feel safe anywhere in our community.”
Detective Inspector Toni Tate said: “This was a very serious attack on a man who had intervened in an attempt to diffuse the situation.
“We are treating this as a racially aggravated assault. The victim has suffered serious injuries to his eye as a result of being hit in the head with a metal bar.
“The assault took place during daylight hours on the promenade and it is possible people in the area saw what happened.
“I am sure the local community would agree that this type of behaviour has no place on Merseyside and I would like to reassure the public that we will do everything possible to find those responsible.
“Information from the public is really important for our investigations and every piece of information is looked into so please come forward if you know anything about this matter.”
Anyone with information should call detectives in the Wirral SIGMA team on 0151 777 2884 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
From The Wirral Globe . Report by Craig Manning, Chief Reporter. 25.07.15.
Liveraf Comment. This has proved to be a bit of a red face article for Liveraf, we’re afraid. The fact is that we didn’t know about this attack, which happened right on our own doorstep, until the march was over. Even so, all power to the people who organised it. New Brighton is hardly a hotbed of radical politics. To get that number of people onto the streets at such short notice was a truly amazing feat. Well done to everyone who took part. Our sympathy goes out to Bashi and his family.