November 29, 2009

Anti racism rally takes place in Glasgow

Protestors take to the streets in an anti racism march

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Glasgow to call for an end to racism. The annual St Andrew's Day march was attended by politicians, trade unionists and faith groups.

The march and rally were organised to remind people of the dangers of allowing prejudice and discrimination to go unchallenged. The march follows a similar event two weeks ago when protestors gathered in Glasgow city centre to oppose a demonstration by the Scottish Defence League – a right wing organisation said to have links with the BNP.

The theme of the event was equality and diversity and was attended by Scottish secretary Jim Murphy. The rally was organised by the STUC with speakers from Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, Unison and Hope not hate Scotland.

Mr Murphy said: "Racism has no place in a modern society and the vast majority of people in Scotland embrace equality and diversity openly. But it is a sad fact that a very small minority insist on judging people by the colour of their skin and their ethnic background. I have been saying for some time that we need to watch the BNP. Their foothold in Scotland has grown and we cannot become complacent.

"Ten years ago the number of people voting BNP in Scotland numbered just over 3,000. In June of this year that increased ten-fold to 29,000 people in Scotland who decided to put their cross in the BNP box. It was complacency that allowed them to win two seats at the last European elections and it will be complacency that could allow them to win more seats in the future. If that happens it will be a very sad day for politics in this country and will only further legitimise their sickening ideology.

"Their support is now sufficiently large that only the largest stadiums in the country could now accommodate all Scottish BNP voters at once. If this thought doesn't concern people then the problem is only going to get worse."

Demonstrators marched from St Andrew's in the Square ahead of a rally which was held on Rose Street. Speakers included representatives from the Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, Hope Not Hate Scotland and the STUC.First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister Gordon Brown also voiced their support for the rally.

Mr Salmond said: "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."

Mr Brown said: "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."

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray also backed the march along with the Conservatives' Annabel Goldie, Tavish Scott of the Liberal Democrats and Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie.


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