Anti-fascist activists march through Edinburgh In times of austerity and social crisis, right wing activists try to stir up hate. Anti-fascists in Edinburgh took to the streets to say No Pasaran! – By Unite Against Fascism, Edinburgh Well done lovely p …
In times of austerity and social crisis, right wing activists try to stir up hate. Anti-fascists in Edinburgh took to the streets to say No Pasaran!
Well done lovely people of Edinburgh and beyond, you did an amazing job! Over 800 anti-fascists from across Scotland joined a UAF march to oppose 80 members of the racist Scottish Defence League in Edinburgh on Saturday 17th August.
The racist SDL march was supposed to be their big event in Scotland, a two finger insult to the largest and most diverse multi-cultural festival in Scotland. However, on the day the racist SDL had to bus in their pals from the Sunderland Div of the Edl and the North West Infidels to make up the numbers. As the racist SDL trailed past City of Edinburgh Council offices, supporters openly gave Nazi salutes (please see attached photo).
Green Councillor Maggie Chapman commented ‘Edinburgh is a wonderful, welcoming and diverse city. I’m glad we were there to stand up against the hatred and bigotry of those claiming to speak for Scotland. I think it speaks clearly that their demo was fronted by the EDL Sunderland Division. Clearly the SDL does not have the support in Scotland that it would believe it has.’
Labour Councillor Gordon Munro commented ‘We should not have been there as they should not have been here. But we were and always will be because this is our city and this trouble being brought into our city. I doubt if even a handful were from Edinburgh.’
Thanks to all who came and helped build the demo on the day, thanks to the Festival visitors and performers who joined us on the march. A truly international crowd joined our march as it passed down to the Scottish Parliament to stand united against the racist SDL and EDL.
Local Labour MSP, Malcolm Chisholm spoke at the closing rally. Local Councillors Maggie Chapman, Gordon Munro, Cammy Day and Vicky Redpath also supported the UAF march. Sam Rankin spoke for LGBT rights group ‘The Equality Network’ and Catherine Lyons from Sukkat Shalom also made a speech.
Trade unions including EIS, UCU, PCS, UNISON, RMT and Unite the Union encouraged union reps and members to mobilise their union branches, their workmates and community campaigns to attend the march.
Larry Flanagan, General Secretary of Scotland’s largest teaching union, EIS had encouraged union members to attend the march, ‘EIS resolutely opposes racism in all its forms. As a profession, teachers engage with young minds to develop a shared commitment to values such as fairness and equality, self respect and respect for others. Racist ideologies such as those pedaled by the SDL and EDL are an assault on those values and need to be challenged through events such as the counter demonstration planned for this Saturday.’
UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch encouraged its members to attend adding ‘It beggars belief that whilst on one hand we welcome millions of people of different race, colour, sexual orientation and religion to our city whilst on the other hand we allow a far right organisation that prejudices against the very people to which we extend our hospitality.’
Dumfries Trades Council and Berwick Trades Council joined the march to show solidarity and marched with us to the Scottish Parliament. Faith organizations such as the Muslim Woman’s Association of Edinburgh, Sukkat Shalom and Christian groups came out to oppose the SDL. Edinburgh College Students Association and other Student Associations supported the march too.
UAF speakers emphasised the need to mobilize large numbers of people from our trade unions, community and faith organisations to oppose racist and fascist groups whenever they try to take to the streets.
We showed the racist SDL that we are the many and they the few. We showed that they are not welcome on our streets, our city or our Festival!
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