“A future free from racism” STUC St Andrew’s Day Anti Racism March and Rally SATURDAY 28th NOVEMBER 2009

November 27th 2009

STUC St Andrew’s Day Anti Racism March and Rally

SATURDAY 28th NOVEMBER 2009

Trade unionists, politicians, faith and community groups will today (Saturday 28 November 2009) march through Glasgow’s streets in a visible demonstration against racism and fascism. Organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), the Annual St Andrew’s Day Anti Racism March and Rally will show a Scotland united against racism, and in difficult economic times will remind people of the dangers of allowing prejudice and discrimination to go unchallenged.

Speaking prior to the event the STUC’s General Secretary Grahame Smith said: “There is no place in Scotland for the extremist defence leagues, their vile views and their hatred of our Muslim community. Their attacks on Muslims should not be tolerated in our multi-cultural Scottish society. In fighting for ‘a future free from racism’ we are proud of our record as trade unionists in challenging the racism and bigotry that exists in our society, but we cannot afford to be complacent. The cooperation between the STUC and other organisations that led to ‘Scotland United’ should be developed as we strive for equality and justice for all in our ‘One Scotland of Many Cultures’”

Sofi Taylor, past Chair of the STUC Black Workers’ Committee and the chair of the rally said:

“Scotland is a vibrant and diverse nation. There is no place in Scotland for politics that divide communities, promote hatred, and that whip up intolerance and violence. Scotland rejects racism and fascism.”

The STUC is delighted to have the support of the Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, trade unions, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP, the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP, Scottish politicians, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Refugee Council, students, faith and community groups, for our St Andrew’s Day Anti Racism March.

March Assembles 10.30am St Andrew’s in the Square (off Saltmarket).

March Off 11.00am

Rally 12 noon Glasgow Film Theatre, Rose Street, Glasgow

Speakers:

· Vaughan Gething, President Wales TUC

· Halema Moghul, Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance

· Cathy Pound, Hope not Hate Scotland

· Georgina Wardrop, STUC Youth Committee

Chair: Sofi Taylor, past Chair of the STUC Black Workers’ Committee

The STUC has received supportive statements from politicians and community leaders in Scotland and the UK. The full statements from individuals are published in the St Andrew’s Day Anti Racism Event Programme:

“The trade union movement has always been at the forefront of fighting racism and I am glad to see that the STUC continues to lead the way in Scotland. Standing together in the face of injustice is the defining ideal of our labour movement and everyone who is marching today is demonstrating their defiance of the politics of division preached by the BNP.”

Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister

“The march continues to go from strength to strength and provides an ideal opportunity for all Scots, no matter their race or faith, to come together and send a strong and clear message that racism will not be tolerated in modern Scotland”.

Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister

“The STUC’s Annual St Andrew’s Day event and its theme of ‘a future free from racism’ is more important than ever. Our laws now make it an offence to discriminate against someone on racial grounds. Racism has to be challenged wherever and whenever it surfaces. Where we stand on such issues defines us as a country and a people.”

Iain Gray MSP, Scottish Labour Leader.

“I believe that, if we don’t challenge the deceptions and deceits of extremists, then their poisonous arguments go unquestioned. We should shine the sunlight of honesty on the shadow of racism. That way leads to a Scotland that is truly open, truly welcoming, and one that we can continue to be proud of. ”

Annabel Goldie MSP, Leader Scottish Conservatives

“The message we need to get across at the St Andrew’s Day march and rally and in our daily lives, is that the cultural and racial diversity of today’s Scots should not be seen as a threat, instead it should be seen for what it is – something that makes Scotland strong and a great place to live.”

Tavish Scott MSP, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

“This St Andrew’s Day the Scottish Green Party is proud to stand once again alongside the STUC and others from across Scotland, joining progressive voices together from throughout our society to renew a shared commitment to a future free from racism.”

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-Convenor Scottish Green Party.

“Today is about looking squarely into Scotland’s future. How do we achieve a future free from racism? It is not enough to say that time changes things. We have to change them ourselves”.

Ros Micklem, Director, Equality and Human Rights Commission (Scotland).

The STUC has also received supportive statements from:

John Wilkes, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council

Liam Burns, President, National Union of Students Scotland

Osama Saeed, Chief Executive, Scottish-Islamic Foundation

Vaughan Gething, President, Wales TUC.

ENDS

For further information

Ian Tasker, STUC tel: 0141 337 8100

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