Campaigner Alexander White organised a ‘time for solidarity’ rally in Glasgow on Saturday 21 November. Five hundred people showed up to support welcoming refugees and opposing racist and anti-Islamic attacks. Several far-right protestors were arrested by police for trying to disrupt the event. This is Alexander’s speech.
I CHOSE to create today’s event to show the world that my country, of which I am exceptionally proud, will always play host to those in need. To children torn from their families. Husbands from their wives. And brothers from their sisters. To those without food or shelter, those without hope or faith in their fellow man and to those that have lost loved ones and those yearning to find them.
I want my country to be a beacon of hope. A light on a not so distant horizon and a place of refuge and salvation for all. These aren’t great demands by any stretch of the imagination and is in fact the least we can do for those who are escaping a war zone fuelled by western intervention.
Today I will take the train home and as so often can be the case I can become bored and restless on my journey. When this happens all I have to do is look out the window at the various churches, Sikh temples and mosques that line the horizon and seek comfort and solace in the knowledge that I am part of something much bigger than me. Something that transcends mere individuality and tells me that I belong with my fellow brothers and sisters.
To those of you who wish to divide our society with racism and bigotry I have but one message for you. We will conquer you with love, we will conquer you with hope, we will conquer you with compassion and we will conquer you with tolerance but most importantly, we will conquer you.
You are not worthy of our hate and you are not deserving of our vengeance. Our city has a proud history of integration and racial acceptance. However, that being said, it is important that we do not remain complacent in the hope that tensions will pass and instead take the time to build our connections with one and other and stand shoulder to shoulder in a show of solidarity.
It is in this light that I ask each and every one of you to lend a helping hand to any organisation that is seeking to strengthen our ties as a community and bring about positive change where it is so desperately needed.
Picture courtesy of Alexander White