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March will say no to racism: refugees welcome

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A march through Glasgow is set to spell out the message: no to racism: refugees are welcome here

A march through Glasgow will spell out the message: no to racism: refugees are welcome here.

The Scottish TUC annual St Andrew’s Day march, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday, 28 November), will take on extra meaning this year in light of the refugee crisis.

Grahame Smith, STUC general secretary, said: "With a humanitarian tragedy unfolding, it seems appropriate to use the annual anti-racist St Andrew’s Day march and rally to send a clear message that Scotland welcomes refugees and that we are ready to provide space in our country for all those who need it.

“With more than 700,000 refugees having entered Europe this year alone and millions of refugees fleeing Syria and other conflicts and crises around the world, our government needs to face the enormity of this issue and show the compassion that people so desperately need.

We need to do more to support refugees at home and abroad and challenge racist attitudes in our communities and workplaces

“We applaud the Scottish Government and civil society for the support they have already shown refugees coming to Scotland. We also call on all agencies and tiers of government in Scotland to make clear their willingness both to welcome further refugees and to commit to accommodating a disproportionate share of the UK’s dismally small pledge of 20,000 refugees over five years.

“This would have the effect of increasing the pressure, UK-wide, for a higher number of refugees at a faster pace to be allowed to come to Britain as well as making real the pledges we have made in Scotland.

“We need to do more to support refugees at home and abroad. We must also challenge racist attitudes that exist in our community and in our workplaces. The violence directed against Scotland’s Muslim community after the Paris attacks shows just how much work still needs to be done.”

The rally will be used to hear the voices of refugees who have made Scotland their home.

Amal Azzudin, of Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, said: “The current refugee crisis is the worst of its kind since the Second World War. No one leaves their home country for no reason. People flee because they want to survive and to live a life free from war, torture and persecution.

“As a refugee, I am very grateful for everything Scotland has provided for me and my family. I know that many people would love to have the opportunity to have an education and a chance to have a brighter future. Scotland has a great history of welcoming refugees and I am proud to be part of a community that is compassionate and humanitarian."

The march will assemble on Saturday, 28 November at Glasgow Green (Green Dyke Street entrance) from 10.30am, marching off at 11.00am to a rally at Glasgow Film Theatre at noon.

Syrian refugees come to the UK as a last resort - TFN spoke to Mercy Corps' programme director for Jordan on why refugees leave for Europe