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SACC Policy for Holyrood 2016 Election

Glasgow Human Rights and Anti-Racism Hustings, Saturday 23 April
5.30pm, STUC, 333 Woodlands Rd
More info

Edinburgh Human Rights and Anti-Racism Hustings, Monday 25 April
7.30pm, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge
More info

SACC is not advocating a vote for any particular political party in the Holyrood election. Instead, we ask our supporters to urge those standing for election to make a commitment to the following policies:

  1. Resist Prevent. SACC is totally opposed to the UK Government's Prevent strategy. Prevent is said to be intended to stop people being drawn into terrorism. It will have the opposite effect and is in any case discriminatory, Islamophobic and anti-democratic. Prevent should be scrapped. Holyrood does not have the power to do so, but it has substantial powers over the implementation of Prevent in Scotland. We urge MSPs to press the Scottish Government to:
    • Create a clear separation between Prevent and equality work.
    • Cease giving funds to charities or other NGOs to carry out work linked to Prevent.
    • Disclose any funding given to charities or other NGOs in connection with Prevent and to insist that the recipients acknowledge it publicly (as normally happens with Scottish Government funding).
    • Express opposition to Prevent, as it does for other Westminster policies it disagrees with.
    • Use the consultative role given to Scottish Ministers under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to press for changes to the statutory Prevent Duty Guidance for Scotland issued jointly by the UK and Scottish Governments. The guidance relates to devolved as well as reserved matters. It ought not to have been imposed on Scotland without a Legislative Consent Motion in the Scottish Parliament, in line with the Sewel Convention.

      In particular we urge MSPs to press for the guidance to be made less discriminatory by pressing for the UK Parliament to amend it along the lines set our Open Letter to the Scottish Government on Prevent.

  2. Support asylum-seekers: Powers to provide accommodation and financial support for asylum-seekers are reserved to Westminster. Current levels of support are inadequate and lead to hardship. We urge MSPs to energetically seek out ways for the Scottish Government to alleviate the hardship, through grants to charities or by other means.
  3. End military recruitment in schools: strengthen the scrutiny of visits by the armed forces to schools in order to ensure that visits do not promote recruitment and do not promote a militaristic and pro-violence culture amongst young people.
  4. End mass stop and search: SACC welcomes the prohibition on non-statutory stop and search introduced in Section 65 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016. We urge MSPs to ensure that police respect the ban by introducing statutory, fixed-sum, compensation for people who are searched unlawfully, without prejudice to any additional compensation or legal redress that they may have.
  5. End excessive surveillance: Amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act to prohibit covert surveillance by local councils. This would leave overt surveillance powers, including most CCTV usage, unaffected. Review all devolved surveillance powers (including CCTV usage) in the light of emerging technological trends in order to strengthen our protection against violations of the right to privacy recognised under UK, European and international law.
  6. Repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012; it is discriminatory and unnecessary.
  7. Defend the Human Rights Act: Use all the powers available to Holyrood to resist any attempt to scrap the UK's Human Rights Act, to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights or to in any way limit the present authority of the European Court of Human Rights. In the event of such changes occurring, to maintain to the maximum possible extent the right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights by Scottish people, and by others in connection with Scottish matters.

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SACC's policy on the EU referendum is here.