Yesterday a small group of protesters were set upon by a mob drawn from fascist and loyalist groupings. These disgusting scenes, targeted at people campaigning against the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees during Refugee Week, were the latest reminder that well-organised racist formations continue to perpetuate hatred in Scotland’s communities.
We have faced down this sort of intimidation before. A decade ago, the Scottish Defence League tried and failed to take over our streets. Then, as now, their targets were Scotland’s Black and minority ethnic community, people of Irish descent, travellers, migrants and asylum seekers. Then, as now, our demand was for effective policing and the denial of space to those who wish to perpetuate violence and intimidation.
The trade union movement is in solemn solidarity with all those targeted by the far-right. Just as we condemn the overt racism witnessed yesterday, we condemn the dog-whistle politics and misjudged policing which has given it oxygen, and the institutional racism which hinders an effective society-wide response.
Far-right groupings are seeking to capitalise on current lock-down measures. Police need to respond immediately and effectively to these provocations and deny far-right groupings access to public spaces including George Square. Courts likewise should deny bail to those who are charged with aggravated public order offences.
Trades unionists will be continuing to monitor and prepare for the proliferation of organised racism in Scotland's streets, and calls on communities across the country to do the same. We also say that now is time for solidarity and support. Below are links to just a few of the campaigns you might choose to donate to: