Press Statement from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC) and Stop the War Scotland (STW)
STW and SACC welcome the support that members of the Scottish Government have given to the anti-war movement.
However, we note that the Scottish Government is now proceeding rapidly with the implementation of Prevent. We also note that despite the importance of Prevent and its potential impact on Scottish Society it has not been on the agenda for this weekend’s SNP conference.
STW Scotland fully supports the view of SACC on Prevent, which follows.
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.