Hope not Hate

Last week members of Unite Against Fascism along with a number of trade unions held a counter demonstration opposing a march by the far right Scottish Defence League.

Anyone in central Edinburgh would have noticed a significant police presence around the Royal Mile in preparation for the event.  Thankfully, the events passed off peacefully with police reporting that there were four arrests for minor offences.

In recent years, I have made representations on a number of occasions opposing applications by the SDL to march in the city, citing public safety and public order issues.

Edinburgh is home to a diverse population and there can be no place for the narrow, racist views promoted by groups like the SDL.

I have recently added my support to HOPE not Hate, a UK-wide campaign group that seeks to counter racism and fascism.

The work of HOPE not Hate is a positive challenge to the prejudices that fuel far-right groups and I welcome the work they are doing across the country to combat this message of fear.