On the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Glasgow strengthens the fight against racism and fascism

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by Juliana Penha

In 1903, the Afro-American, social scientist, writer and activist W. E.B Du Bois defined the main issue of the 20the century: “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colour line — the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.”
However, in the 21th century we witness the same. Institutional racism enlarges inequalities between white and non-white people and endangers inclusion and wellbeing of ethnic minorities. Europe is witnessing the increase of xenophobia with far right and fascist organizations expanding their power. Politicians are blaming immigrants for the crisis that they and businessmen are responsible for. Islamophobic and anti-Semitic backlashes are putting Muslim and other religions communities in danger.

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Racism is a global issue. We should create collective strategies to destroy it. And that´s why around 2.500 people marched at the demonstration in Glasgow city centre on the 21th of March to say loud and clear: “No to scapegoating immigrants. No to Islamophobia. No to anti-Semitism. Yes to diversity”. Organized by Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), Stand up to Racism and other groups, the event gathers different people from civil society, parliamentarians, trade unionist, community leaders, faith representatives, Human rights activists and students. This event is part of the UN Anti-Racism Day and people around UK and worldwide went to streets to challenge one of the most difficult problems of our society.

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The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was first designated and established by the UN in 1960, in response to the murder of 69 anti-apartheid demonstrators in South Africa. The United Nations General Assembly later proclaimed the day in 1966 and urged the global community to do its utmost to uproot all forms of racial discrimination.

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“I think it is important to raise awareness that Glasgow is a multicultural city and there is no place to racism and fascism here.” Pinar Aksu, community worker and Human Rights and International Politics student

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“We need to make sure that we will stand unity in this event, to stay strong against racism and fascism, to send a signal that refugees and migrants are welcoming here and racism and fascism are not.”Joshua Brown

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“This march is important to say that Glasgow is an anti-racist place, we have solidarity here and we will not take the racism and lay down we will stand up whatever and however.” Graham Campbell, African Caribbean Cultures, Glasgow

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“Politicians throughout Europe including UK continue to use hate speech against Roma and other migrants which in turn creates a climate in which racist violence is thought acceptable. Some online comments under the articles about Romani people or migrants or immigrants or I better don’t read because it seems like that Hitler’s ideology is still here. However, we are here today to remind to everyone that we are all people who have different skin colour, people who may belong to different religious, have different beliefs, but we all belong to one race which is the human race.” Marcela Adamova, Friends of Romano Lav

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“Let me say on behalf of the Scottish government if you are a refugee or asylum seeker, thank you for make Scotland your home. When they say this is not your country, this is your country. When they say this is not your home, this is your home. When they tell you you are not welcome here, you are welcome here. When they tell you this is not your land, this is your land and we will stand you every step at the way. No pasaran.” Humza Yousaf MSP

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“I think the demonstration is important becauseit show that people in Glasgow will not going to toleratethe riseof far right ideas and the Islamophobia that seems to be developing in Britain today. This event is organized by trade union, civil society organizations and a large number of young people to show that racism you find hard to get hold in this city” Professor Henry Maitles, University of West of Scotland

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