Across Europe the fascist and populist racist right are on the rise. From the violent Golden Dawn in Greece, the anti-Roma Jobbik in Hungary, the Islamophobic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands to the success of the Front National in France, these currents are encouraging hatred, fear and prejudice in a frightening wave across the continent.
In Britain the far Right is hoping for gains in the Euro elections. The British National Party (BNP) is seeking the re-election of Nick Griffin in the North West and Andrew Brons is seeking re-election in Yorkshire and the Humber. The mainstream political parties look set to capitulate to Ukip in their calls for draconian anti-immigration policies and promoting a “Little Englander” anti-foreign, anti-Europe mentality.
While in Scotland the BNP and organisations like the Scottish Defence League have had less success to date, there is no room for complacency. The racist abuse of a young black musician shown in the recent TV programme The Street and the barracking of MSP Humza Yousaf while selling the Big Issue in solidarity with homeless people shows the potential for racist ideas to spread here too.
Following the rising violence of Golden Dawn and the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, (also known as Killah P), the Greek anti-fascist and anti-racist movement has proposed that the UN Day Against Race Discrimination on March 22 should be the focus for actions against racism and fascism across Europe. We endorse this proposal and call on all those of goodwill to join us in a demonstration at 10.30am in Glasgow’s George Square on that day as a riposte to the rise of racism.
The Glasgow Girls Campaign (Amal Azzudin, Emma Clifford, Roza Salih, Agnesa Murselaj, Ewelina Siwak, Jennifer McCarron, Toni-lee Henderson); James Kelman; Tom Leonard; Bernard and Madeline MacLaverty; John McFadden, Chair, Unite Agai nst Fascism Scotland; Aamer Anwar; Robina Qureshi, Positive Action in Housing; Jock Morris, Chair, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees; Muslim Council of Scotland; Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh; Radio Ramadan; Edinburgh Central Mosque; Bob Thompson, former Chair, Scottish Labour Party; Alyn Smith, MEP; Humza Yousaf, MSP; Christina McKelvie, MSP; John Finnie, MSP; Bob Doris, MSP; Councillors Norman McLeod, Kieran Wild, Mhairi Hunter, Jahangir Hanif, Matt Kerr, Martha Wardrop; Dr Nina Baker, Scottish Green Party group co-convenor; Jackson Cullinane, Unite Scotland Political Officer; Lynn Henderson, PCS Scottish Secretary; John Dennis, Secretary Dumfries TUC & Secretary EIS Dumfries & Galloway Local Association; Professor Andrew Watterson, University of Stirling; Professor Geraldine Smyth, University of Strathclyde; Professor Philip Taylor, University of Strathclyde; Professor Iain Ferguson, University of the West of Scotland; Professor Henry Maitles, University of the West of Scotland; Bill Scott, Director of Policy Inclusion Scotland; WFWP Scotland (all in a personal capacity).