Vigil to be staged in Portsmouth to honour the victims of the Christchurch terror attack in New Zealand

PEACE campaigners and anti-fascists will be staging a vigil in Portsmouth to honour the 50 Muslims murdered in a terror attack in New Zealand.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 9:56 am
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 10:01 am
A mourner lights a candle during a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday's shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Activists will be rallying in Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square from 6.30pm tonight to honour those killed in last week’s atrocity, which saw a gunman – believed to be a far-right, white supremascist – attack two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Portsmouth’s vigil is being staged by city’s wing of Stand Up to Racism. Simon Magorian, of the group, said he hoped it would send out a strong message.

He said: ‘This is yet another atrocity amongst so many. 

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Mourners lay flowers on a wall outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, March 18, 2019. Three days after Friday's attack, New Zealand's deadliest shooting in modern history, relatives were anxiously waiting for word on when they can bury their loved ones. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

‘We are seeing the rise of white supremacism and fascism across the globe.

‘In Europe, antisemitism is back with a vengeance, and old school Nazism is rearing its head.’

Speaking of the Christchurch attack, he added: ‘We must see this as part of a murderous campaign against Muslims. Join us as we stand in solidarity with Christchurch.’

Friday’s mosque massacre saw 50 people killed and dozens more wounded.

The attack was only stopped after two police officers, one of them armed with only a handgun, chased and arrested Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28.

The accused gunman had explosives in his car and was planning more attacks that day, said New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

She described the killings as an ‘act of terror' and has vowed to lobby for changes in the country’s gun laws.

The New Zealand PM also demanded stricter controls from social media giants after the gunman live streamed the massacre on Facebook.

Bosses at Facebook have been working to remove the graphic content, taking down thousands of videos shared on the network.

Meanwhile, two people have been charged after a taxi driver from Rochdale was allegedly abused by passengers referencing the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Sean Allen, 33, and Natalie Rudman, 34, are charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

The pair are due to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on April 9. 

It comes after a separate incident, which saw a woman – also from Rochdale – being arrested for online comments about the Christchurch terror attack.

In a similar incident, a 24-year-old man from Oldham was arrested over a malicious social media post. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.