Hate crime has no place in schools, colleges or society at large

Brenda Aitchison
Brenda Aitchison

#stuc2017 The STUC will act to tackle racial and religious prejudice and bigotry in schools colleges and society.

It will press the Scottish Government, local authorities and colleges to introduce mechanisms to monitor incidents of hate crimes and will lobby for full compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Supporting the motion, UNISON’s Brenda Aitchison spoke of a four day study tour to Krakow that she had attended, to see evidence of the horrors of the holocaust. She highlighted the importance of keeping that history alive.

Because, she warned, “Man’s inhumanity to man – on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality – continues today. Unjust, unkind and unacceptable.”

However, education and engagement are powerful tools to defeat ignorance and bigotry, she added.

Emphasising the need for all of us to play a part in tackling prejudice and bigotry, Brenda quoted Pastor Martin Niemoller:

“First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.

“Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionists.

“Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”
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