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‘We will not let racists divide us’

Unite’s Susan Matthews speaks out against racism and the far right
Hajera Blagg, Wednesday, September 11th, 2019


Unite delegate and executive council member Susan Matthews gave an impassioned speech at TUC conference in support of a motion on tackling racist ideologies.

 

 

Susan highlighted the horrifying rise of the far-right across Europe, including in the UK.

 

 

“We now have a Prime Minister who comes to office wearing a masquerade mask and who is promoting casual racism, as well as keeping the racist policies of previous governments,” she said.

 

 

“With the increase in racism, we are seeing more insults and negative stereotypes based on prejudice and racism being used – including by our Prime Minister.

 

 

“And he is determined to go along with a US President who has an agenda of promoting the far right around the world.”

 

 

Susan noted that there has been a documented increase in hate crime in the UK and that Black and Asian Minority Ethnic trade union members have reported a significant rise in racism in the workplace.

 

 

“Racism marginalises and denigrates,” she said as she highlighted the work Unite has been doing as part of its Unite over Division training.

 

 

This has “expanded our education work and talking to our reps and members about how racism has no place in our movement, in our workplaces and our communities — and how the far-right have no answers for working people”.

 

 

“We support the work of Show Racism the Red Card, using football as a way of speaking to children about how to end racism and celebrate our diversity,” Susan added.

 

 

“We have been running political courses for our Black and Asian Minority Ethnic members to improve the representation of Black and Asian people in this country.”

 

 

Urging Congress to support the motion, Susan pledged, “We will not let the racists divide us or erase the proud history of Black and Asian trade unionists and socialists in this country.”

 

 

The motion was carried.

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