My name is Tony Caleary. I am a UNISON Steward from Stirling UNISON.
We are here today to remember the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This, unfortunately, was only the start of the journey that uncovered the true horror of what has become to be known as the holocaust.
I’m happy to say that UNISON are involved in a study trip to Auschwitz later this year and I look forward to learning what the delegation brings back. I believe that educating people about what actually happened, and continuing to re-inforce that education, is the only way to ensure that we can make sure that the events of the holocaust are never forgotten.
The Committee decided this year to focus on 4 main geographical areas:
Palestine, Southern Africa, Kobane / Turkey and Latin America but beyond this, the work of the Committee is influenced by a range of factors such as national priorities, world events and the particular interests of Committee members or the branches they represent.
Recently, there has been some focus on Bhopal, Colombia, Cuba, Brazil and Bangladesh. We have also been active around:
Refugees: by continuing to oppose racism, fascism and xenophobia. This has become particularly important in the era of Brexit and Trump’s Mexican wall:
I’ve often been asked why I got involved in international issues. It’s a simple answer that I have stolen from a good friend of mine who very recently, I’m sad to say, passed away. Sam McCartney, who I will dearly miss, was co-chair of UNISON Scotland’s International Committee. Sam always said: “If it’s happening there, it could be coming here! If it’s happening here, it could be going there!”