Politicians Back Anti-Racism March

28 November 2014, 06:05 | Updated: 28 November 2014, 07:18

Politicians, unions and civic leaders are to unite against racism this weekend.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) will hold its annual St Andrew's Day march and rally in Glasgow on Sunday.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said: "The eyes of the world have been on Scotland this year.

"The Commonwealth Games and the referendum generated unprecedented media attention on our nation and people.

"The engagement of young voters in the political process has been particularly encouraging.

"Our young people, through increased social awareness, are clear that they want to be educated and live and work in a society that puts social justice at its heart and is free from racism.''

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Scotland's civic ethos is an inclusive and progressive one which helps ensure that welcome is extended to all who come here.

"But we must always be on our guard against racism and prejudice when it does rear its head, and the STUC is to be commended on sending out that unequivocal message.''

Interim Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: "The STUC's St Andrew's Day march is an opportunity for the labour movement to look back at what we have achieved in the fight for racial equality here in Scotland.

"But as we remember the significance of battles won, we need to be united together in the fights we still face.''

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "Though it has been such an extraordinary year, we should not be complacent about the direction of politics.

"Scotland is far from free of racism and we must address the big challenges we face.''

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "Whether prompted by skin colour, religion or nationality, discrimination is completely unacceptable in modern Scotland.

"Yet, while we've come far, Scotland's not there yet. Simply put, we cannot be complacent and we mustn't ease up.''

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "We will build a truly liberal, open, welcoming Scotland. A Scotland where individuals are judged on their character, not their colour; on their person, not our prejudice. A country which shows no tolerance to narrow-mindedness and where equality stands front and centre.''

The march will assemble at Glasgow Green at 10.30am, marching off at 11am to a rally at Glasgow Film Theatre at 12pm.

Speakers include STUC president June Minnery; Humza Yousaf, minister for external affairs and international development; Mr Sarwar; Colin Clark from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights TRUE Colours anti-racism project; author Selma James; and human rights author Aamer Anwar.