FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf is set to address Scotland’s national anti-racism rally on Saturday as the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) prepares for their annual St Andrew’s Day march.

The STUC, Scotland’s largest trade union body, hold their annual St Andrew’s Day march and rally in solidarity with those impacted by racism and racial discrimination throughout Scotland.

The theme of this year’s rally is “From Erskine to Elgin: the far-right is not welcome”, in response to an increasing number of “fascist” groups assembling in the UK.

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The First Minister said he was “honoured” to lead the rally and “repay some of the love and support of the STUC”.

The National:

Yousaf continued: “Scotland’s diversity is something to be celebrated and embraced – yet racism and bigotry sadly persists in our communities and in our workplaces.

“Now more than ever, with the events in Gaza and Israel raising tensions and anxiety in many of our communities, we must stand as one against those who try to spread hatred in our welcoming and progressive nation.”

The demonstration comes as both the STUC and First Minister pledged their solidarity for Jewish and Muslim communities in Scotland in a joint statement released last Wednesday.

The First Minister said that the STUC’s “unwavering solidarity with marginalised communities” inspired him to get involved with politics.

He added: “When Islamophobia was prevalent in Scotland in the early 2000s – the trade union movement’s unwavering solidarity with marginalised communities inspired me to become involved in politics.

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“I will be incredibly proud to speak at the St Andrew’s Day rally on Saturday to repay some of the love and support the STUC offered me when I needed it most.”

Commenting, STUC general secretary Roz Foyer (below) said: “Our St Andrew’s Day march and rally is Scotland’s national demonstration against racism and fascism, sending a clear message to those who spread their hatred and bile that they will not divide us.

The National: Members from various trade unions gather for a pay protest rally at the Buchanan Street steps, Glasgow. Pictured is Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC...Photograph by Colin Mearns.26 August 2022.

“Now more than ever, the trade union movement stands solidly beside those facing discrimination and persecution. From Erskine to Elgin, the length and breadth of Scotland, we will root out racism from our communities and hold to account those who spread it.

“We are pleased the First Minister will lead our rally. We look forward to working with him and his government as we build a tolerant, inclusive, welcoming nation that has a zero-tolerance approach to racism and fascism.”