Monday, 14 November 2016

We must not be cowed by the successes of Trump or others- Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green Party

Scotland’s anti-racist movement comprises trade unions, voluntary organisations, community and religious groups, and political parties and many other activists. Working together, that movement has built a long track record of defending communities, protecting people’s rights, and making the case for a strong, diverse and inclusive society. But this movement also knows that its work will never be complete – we will always have more work to do if we’re determined to safeguard what’s already been achieved, and tackle the prejudice and hatred which still exists.

Now, with the racist far right undergoing a resurgence, that determination must be stronger than ever. Donald Trump’s election in the US has not only exposed his own personal racism; it has been brought about with the explicit support of white supremacists old and new. Across Europe we see the far right gaining ground, and in the coming months we must stand together with those opposing it in Austria, the Netherlands, France and many other countries. 

And in this country, the Brexit campaign unleashed hatred, prejudice and intolerance at a frightening level, making those who harbour racist views feel legitimised. The result of the referendum threatens to undermine those bonds of solidarity and common action on human rights and equality which an internationalist anti-racist movement must be based on. 

We must not relent. We must not be cowed by the successes of Trump or others. Above all, we must not treat them as a normal and legitimate part of the political process. The St Andrew’s Day march and rally gives us an annual opportunity to recommit ourselves to our shared task, not merely to oppose racism but to inspire in our fellow citizens a mutual understanding, respect and celebration which racism can never overcome.

Patrick Harvie, MSP
Co-Convenor Scottish Green Party

For details of the St Andrew's Day Anti-Racism March see the STUC Website or the St Andrew's Day Facebook Page

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