“Stand Up To Racism” Demonstration (16th March 2019)
10th March 2019
At a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Solidarity Scotland Party, which was held on 10th March 2019, a lengthy discussion took place regarding the forthcoming Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) demonstration, due to take place in Glasgow on 16th March 2019.
Committee members expressed extreme concern at the involvement of two racist Israeli Zionist groups on previous SUTR anti-racist demonstrations, specifically the Glasgow Friends of Israel (GFI) and Confederation of Friends of Israel (COFIS), both of which are due to attend this year’s demonstration.
These groups support the policies of the Zionist Israeli government and openly support the oppression and apartheid of Palestinians. They also have links with extremist right wing groups in the UK, including Britain First and the EDL. They regularly express their hateful views on their social media platforms.
Only last week, the UN declared the Israeli state as a racist State. It is therefore completely untenable for organisations such as the GFI and COFIS to take part in an anti-racist demonstration. Despite this, however, SUTR will once again welcome them to their planned demonstration. The Committee found this incomprehensible.
It is entirely hypocritical to organise an anti-racist demonstration, and allow such wholly abhorrent racist organisations to take part in it, especially alongside those who are victims of that racism. It is inconceivable for Palestinians to take part in a demonstration that includes groups who support the oppression perpetrated against them and their families.
The SUTR committee’s engagement with these groups; their failure to recognise them as racist organisations; and their refusal to publically express that they are not welcome on their anti-racism demonstration, is leading to the normalisation of their involvement. To help to legitimise these groups, who perpetrate the lie that they are anti-racist and pro-peace, which they are clearly not, is entirely unacceptable. The involvement of these groups can only serve to compromise and dilute the very message the demonstration is trying to convey.
Consequently, the Solidarity Scotland Party regrets that it will not participate in or support the Stand Up To Racism demonstration next week. The Party cannot be associated with a demonstration that has such repugnant groups included as part of it.
The Committee took note of an alternative demonstration taking place in George Square on 16th March 2019, entitled “Zionism is Racism – Scotland Stand Up”.
The Committee agreed to support that demonstration and will mobilise Party members to take part in it.
Solidarity hopes that, after a period of reflection, the SUTR committee sees sense, and does not welcome these heinous groups to any future SUTR events.