Monday, 9 November 2015

Refugees Welcome Here

The St Andrew's Day Anti-Racism March and Rally this year has the theme 'No Racism: Refugees Welcome Here.' The rally will take place on Sat 28th Nov, Assemble 10:30am Glasgow Green. Below is a Guest Blog from John Wilkes, Scottish Refugee Council on the importance of this March.  

Scottish Refugee Council is proud to support the STUC’s important annual Anti-Racism march.

The theme of this year; No Racism: Refugees Welcome Here tells the story of how the refugee crisis in the Middle East and the Mediterranean has become a central issue for Europe in the last few weeks.

Until recently, the refugee crisis wasn’t on many people’s radar. That was until the heartbreaking image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi whose lifeless body was found washed up on a Turkish beach was shown across the world.
Alan’s [inaccurately reported as Aylan] five-year-old brother and mother also drowned on that perilous trip across the Mediterranean.

This Syrian family is not the first and sadly will not be the last victims of what is the worst global humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Desperate men, women and children are risking their lives every day in a bid to reach safety.

However this image has galvanised public support and empathy and forced the UK Government into long overdue action. Scotland has been central to this and the Scottish Parliament and Government have shown great leadership on the response that is needed and continue to put pressure on the UK Government to do more. Scottish Refugee Council has experienced much of the positive compassion, generosity and support from the Scottish public at a scale rarely seen in our 30 year history.

Thousands of people across this country are saying loud and clear that they welcome refugees. These are not just empty words, but are being put into action.
But we’re also very aware of those who wish to play on people’s fears and who are using this as an opportunity to voice their racist views towards those seeking safety on our shores.

We need to speak up for refugees, address people’s genuine concerns, and stand up to those exploiting this refugee crisis to spread racism and divide people.

Scotland is ready and willing to play its part in welcoming refugees. We must remember that they are people just like us with their own hopes and fears. They are ordinary people living through extraordinary circumstances. Let’s make sure that all refugees are welcomed irrespective of race.

Scotland can be a beacon for how we treat refugees. Say no racism: refugees are welcome here.
Thank you for showing your solidarity with refugees today.

For more information on the developments on the crisis and to register your own offers of help please visit

John Wilkes
CEO of Scottish Refugee Council

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