Edmonton - The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) is taking the opportunity of the 38th United Nations Day for the Elimination of Racism, which is Sunday, March 21, to renew calls to the provincial government for more action on tackling racism and hate crimes in Alberta.
"Police are reporting an increase in hate group activity in Alberta, and B'nai B'rith reports a large increase in anti-Semitic acts last year," says AFL Secretary-Treasurer Kerry Barrett. "We also continue to see discrimination against Muslims in the shadow of the Attack on Iraq. Clearly racism is alive and growing in Alberta."
"The provincial government puts very few resources into combating racism in its many forms," Barrett points out. "We are hoping that next week's budget contains new initiatives for both cracking down on hate crime and promoting education to end racism."
The AFL has long been committed to working to end racism. It regularly works with its union affiliates to reduce racial stereotypes and prejudice and to promote anti-racism work among workers. "The government should be embarking on similar strategies to bring people together."
Barrett also laments the rise in racist sentiment as fallout from the war on terror and the attack on Iraq a year ago. "It is more than a little ironic that the international day to eliminate racism coincides with the one year anniversary of the Iraq war - a war that can be seen as racist in its origins."
"To end racism, we also need to end the culture of violence and aggression against other peoples," Barrett concludes.
- 30 -
For Further information contact:
Kerry Barrett, AFL Secretary Treasurer @ 780-483-3021 (wk)/ 780-720-8945 (cell)
Jason Foster, Director of Policy Analysis @ 780-483-3021 (wk)