Europe is facing the most severe refugee crisis for generations, and as winter sets in the human toll is already unbearably heavy. Yet in the UK and many other countries, the voices of racism and xenophobia are heard, including in government, denying the human dignity of those seeking refuge and seeking to close the door on them.
All too often people are encouraged to view refugees as a burden, rather than as fellow human beings. In reality, it is those who are forced to leave their homes, often undertaking perilous journeys, who bear a burden. Wealthy countries such as ours are in a privileged position in being able to help, and it is vital that we resist and oppose the hostility, selfishness and racism which is intended to undermine the empathy and compassion which should guide our actions.
I believe that most of Scottish society, and the majority of Scotland’s political landscape, does reject those racist attitudes. But we can never relent in making that clear and in challenging racism where it continues to exist, whether in a position of power or anywhere in our society. So the Scottish Green Party is proud to support the STUC’s St Andrew’s Day march and rally, and we will work with you to ensure that Scotland is united in offering refugees the welcome and the security which they need and deserve.