19th March 2022 was UN Anti Racism Day, and PCS supported the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) marches and rallies in both London and Glasgow, with a further march and rally in Cardiff on 20th March.
Thousands of people took to the streets of London on Saturday on the Stand Up To Racism national demonstration.
We chanted, “Say it Loud, say it Clear, Refugees are Welcome Here!” and danced along to the PCS samba band marching with us.
Banners from all the major trade unions showed the breadth of support for the demonstration, after the successful TUC / SUTR trade union conference in February.
The war in Ukraine has highlighted the refugee crisis and protestors demanded that all refugees are welcome here.
The lack of a safe route to Britain means refugees have to risk their lives on trucks and flimsy dinghies to have any chance to get here.
In the worsening the cost of living crisis, we can expect the government and mainstream media to scapegoat refugees, migrants and many other members of our community to try to divide us. But we can push this racism back with a vibrant anti racist movement and stop it from poisoning our communities and workplaces.
In 2019 I started working with Glasgow SUTR on behalf of the PCS Scotland Committee, helping with organising their conference held in February 2020 and building for the march and rally that was due to be held in March of that year. However the pandemic had put this on hold and this weekend’s events were 2 years in the making.
With the sun shining on us, I led the march in Glasgow alongside other speakers from trade unions, local campaign groups and MPs/MSPs. Around 2000 people marched from Kelvingrove Park to George Square where we held a rally.
I addressed the rally on behalf of both the PCS Scotland Committee and the NEC, where I spoke of our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the hypocrisy of the government’s support of other illegal wars, and our joint legal action with Care 4 Calais against the Home Office’s pushback policy.
I called on the government to support refugees from all countries, a sentiment shared by all speakers on the day, and for everyone in attendance to challenge racism and inequality wherever they see it.
I also sent solidarity to RMT and Nautilus unions. On a day when PCS and our members were dealing with the fallout of the announcement of 43 office closures, their members in P&O were being sacked by video call. I let them know that their fight is our fight.