Sunday 27 November 2016

St Andrew's Day March and Rally - celebrating the multicultural voices of the North East

Hundreds of people from many different ethnic backgrounds - trade unionists, activists, politicians and citizens - came together at this year’s St Andrews Day March and Rally in Aberdeen in a celebration of diversity in the North East of Scotland and to give a clear message that racism and intolerance is not welcome here.

The event was organised once again by Aberdeen Trades Union Council, this year in partnership with #WeAreAberdeen, a group which has been set up to combat growing racism and intolerance in the wake of the Brexit campaign.

Carrying colourful banners and placards, the marchers were upbeat and joyful as they strode along the aptly named Union Street behind the stirring music of the Granite City Pipes and Drums Youth Band.

The rally at the Gallowgate heard uplifting stories from a number of speakers, many of whom had come from different countries to make their homes in the North East of Scotland. All paid tribute to the warmth of the welcome they had received from the people in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.  However some had also experienced intolerance and racism reminding us that we must always be vigilant and challenge such behaviour wherever we see it.

Kate Ramsden
Warmly welcoming the marchers to the Rally, Kate Ramsden, President of the ATUC said that in a very real sense we are all immigrants.

She said, “Some of us come from further afield than others and some have made their homes here for much longer than others.

“But whether we moved to the city because of the clearances or moved here to work or came here fleeing poverty, war or oppression, we have all made our homes here and we all have a part in creating the vibrant community that is the North East of Scotland.

“And we should remember that St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland was himself a migrant and an immigrant. So it’s fitting that we should celebrate his day with this event which celebrates all our diverse communities.”

More on the Rally and the speakers to follow. 

To see more photos from the event go to our Facebook Album.