Group of young Christchurch locals are urging people to stand up to racism

Source: 1News

A group of young people in Christchurch are calling on people to stand up to racism by hosting a series of events tackling the issue in the city. 

A powerful image is being used to promote Stand the F*** Up Ōtautahi, a series of events to educate Christchurch.

"Whenever I do look at the photo and I can see how sad my eyes are," Yasmin Ali told 1 NEWS.

"It’s just such a striking photo and I think that it will sit with people and it will be really memorable,” sustainable and ethical events organiser The Conscious Club’s Selina Faimalo added.

Ali recalls being the target of racist attacks on multiple occasions in the city.

“Sometimes, I'd be spat on while I was walking around in town, I'd be called the n word and I'd get my headscarf taken off me.”

A powerful image of Yasmin Ali is being used to highlight racism in Christchurch.

Ali’s uncle was injured in the mass shooting at Al Noor Mosque on March 15 2019, which saw 47 lose their lives. A further seven people died in the shooting at Linwood Mosque.

She says the attack hasn't lessened the racism she experiences, and she's considered leaving the city.

“Christchurch always experiences casual racism and since the shootings, I have felt and I've seen, from my own observations, that people do want to put it under the carpet,” she said.

Ali says she’s not the only one who’s decided to take a stand.

“Let’s empower everybody, let's educate people; let’s let people know what’s happening here in Ōtautahi,” she said.

The group wants as many people as possible to wear a t-shirt with the words "Stand the f*** up" emblazoned across the front.

A t-shirt with the words "Stand the F*** Up" written across the front.

“I'm over people asking why I wear a headscarf, why I take it off and why I wear my cultural clothes,” Ali explained.

She says education and acceptance are the key to change.

“It’s not just one thing to say ‘stand up Ōtautahi,’ it’s a thing - you need to stand up often, every day.”

The anti-racism event is being held at 12 Bar tonight, with speakers of different ethnicities sharing their experiences with racism.