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Campaigner Helene Rodger says anti-racism protests must be peaceful

Helene Rodger
Helene Rodger

A campaigner who has helped hundreds of people settle and integrate into Scottish society says equal opportunities should remain the focus of race protests.

Helene Rodger says people must learn from history without resorting to vandalising civic monuments.

The 39-year-old, from Uganda, came to Scotland in 2004 and is a founding member of Passion4Fusion which helps people, mainly of an African background, settle in the UK.

She said: “There has been a build up of discontentment, of not speaking out, not being heard and not being understood. Now there is the opportunity to speak up and that’s perfectly fine as long as people are doing it respectfully and not vandalising things.”

She said: “I feel uncomfortable about the whole statues issue. We don’t want to downplay the importance of the subject but it’s not about blaming people today – it’s about history and learning from it.

“For example, have you been racially profiled? Have you lost out on opportunities because of the colour of your skin? Whatever it is, these are the issues affecting us and our children. There is so much going on but I tell people we work not to lose focus.

“Having equal opportunities for people of ethnic backgrounds is what matters.”