MEP backs Polish blood campaign

Polish workers donate blood in protest against anti-immigration rhetoric.

A plan by members of the Polish community donate blood as part of a positive protest against discrimination has today (Tuesday) received support from SNP Alyn Smith, Member of the European Parliament. 

Hundreds of Polish workers in Scotland and the UK are going to take part in a mass blood donation on August 20th as an alternative to an unofficial strike against anti-immigration rhetoric and scapegoating migrant workers for the UK’s economic woes.

Alyn said: 

“Anyone who lives in Scotland is Scottish, full stop. Any politician using ifs ands or buts when discussing immigration is pandering to a nasty, ugly, shrill agenda that can only take us in a bad direction.

“Immigration has been good for Scotland and good for the UK, and tomorrow's blood drive is a positive move by the Polish community that wants to be recognised for their input to our society and economy. The British Prime Minister among others has used rhetoric that can be seen as hostile towards Polish citizens working and living in the UK. Anti-immigration sentiments are also prominent in the media and must be challenged.

“In reality, it’s a myth that immigrants come to Scotland and the UK to live off benefits. In fact, as numerous studies show, EU migrants make a net contribution to our economy. Politicians should unite people and not divide them. Using negative language towards any community living and working in this country is irresponsible and unacceptable.

“Polish workers are planning a mass unofficial strike in protest against 'being blamed for Britain's economic problems'. Promoted by groups on Facebook, hundreds pledged to turn up outside the House of Parliament this Thursday. However, not all Polish workers backed a walk out and many more registered to give blood as an alternative to an unofficial strike against the treatment of migrants. I see this as a great idea and a worthwhile campaign that could save lives. The Polish Blood campaign has also been backed by other communities and the NHS and simply shows how much positive energy and value migrant communities bring to our society.”