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To: Tom Stables, Managing Director (UK Coaches), National Express

National Express: Racist?

Update 22/02/17
National Express met with the victim and committed to reviewing their training procedures. Marvin Rees, now our elected mayor, was involved and oversaw the relationship with National Express. Thank you to everyone involved.

National Express: Racist?

Launch a full investigation into the allegations of racist behavior on a Bristol to London National Express coach, as outlined in multiple national and local papers, on Thursday 3rd December. And then publish the results to the general public.

We demand that you take this matter seriously by; fully reviewing all available CCTV footage, taking witness statements and using all other appropriate methods of investigation.

We then insist that you take appropriate disciplinary action and/or retraining if necessary.

Why is this important?

It's completely unacceptable that someone has, allegedly, been denied access to travel because of the colour of their skin. From Rosa Parks to Bristol's own Paul Stephenson, activists have struggled to ensure, and maintain, equal access to public transport for everyone regardless of their skin colour.

Not tackling this head-on sets a dangerous precedent and will surely lead to more incidents of discrimination. National Express needs to address this serious allegation and win back public confidence. It should take this opportunity to become an industry leader and set an example in this time of tension when discrimination against Muslims is on the rise.

Labour Councillor for Easton, Afzal Shah, said: “Have we really returned to days where people are kicked off buses because of the colour of skin, their appearance or religion? National Express has a lot of questions to answer. Yes, people who are behaving suspiciously on public transport should be challenged, but when someone is apparently asked to leave a bus because they are a Muslim carrying a bag, that is unacceptable and Islamophobic.”

The allegations are serious and could amount to a criminal offence under the discrimination act. This petition is supported by ACORN Bristol, Bristol Somali Forum and Bristol Green Party.

Links:
- B24/7 Marvin Rees' article: http://www.bristol247.com/channel/opinion/your-say/politics/mayor-should-confront-national-express
- Bristol Post - latest article about the protest: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-bus-station-protest-way-Muslim-treated/story-28387134-detail/story.html
- Bristol Cable: https://thebristolcable.org/2015/12/muslim-man-thrown-off-bus-full-inquiry-demanded/
- The Mirror - http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/muslim-man-thrown-national-express-6967457
- Bristol Post - witness statements: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Man-thrown-National-Express-coach-Bristol/story-28312057-detail/story.html
- Bristol Post - Ibrahim Mohamed Ismail's statement: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Kicked-National-Express-coach-m-Muslim-Bristol/story-28320122-detail/story.html
- The Independent - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/national-express-muslim-passenger-thrown-off-bus-was-asked-to-leave-due-to-concerns-over-excess-a6763571.html
- A similar incident on National Express in June 2015: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/25/national-express-investigates-claim-of-drivers-racist-and-islamophobic-tirade
- 'Muslim man forced off London Underground after commuter accuses him of acting 'suspiciously' with an iPad' (10th Dec 2015): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/muslim-man-forced-off-london-underground-after-commuter-accuses-him-of-acting-suspiciously-with-an-a6766941.html


Reasons for signing

  • It is imperative that this is investigated and explanations are given. I use National Express. I have read some reports about this case that suggest there were complaints about this man's baggage - did he have extra large bags that needed to be stowed in the luggage compartment? The media reports say he was thrown off the coach. Why?
  • How would you like the humiliation of being ordered off a coach or bus without valid reason?
  • By all accounts it was just racism pure and simple. Whoever responsable should lose their job imediately.

Updates

2017-08-29 15:00:38 +0100

Petition is successful with 6,573 signatures

2017-02-22 13:16:15 +0000

Petition is successful with 6,570 signatures

2015-12-20 22:03:05 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2015-12-13 23:50:04 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2015-12-08 21:37:53 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-12-08 10:56:54 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-12-08 09:09:07 +0000

50 signatures reached

2015-12-08 08:09:56 +0000

25 signatures reached

2015-12-08 00:52:11 +0000

10 signatures reached