- Created: Sunday, 05 October 2014 12:53
- Written by Scotland Branches
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters attended the demonstration on 4 October called by the Scottish National Stop The War Coalition (STW) held on the steps of the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow city centre to demand ‘Stop Bombing Iraq! Stop Bombing Syria! Don’t fuel the growth of ISIS’. STW chair Nicola Fisher held the megaphone throughout. Speaking rights were given to a range of organisations, including the Glasgow University Labour Club which was uncritically invited to speak. However when a Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter asked to use the megaphone, he was told ‘there is no time left’. This was a lie: a leading Socialist Workers Party (SWP) organiser Joshua Brown spoke next at length with the intention of drowning out any resistance to the Labour Party. He threatened that FRFI supporters would be removed from the protest – by whom he did not say.
Refusing to accept this abject defence of the Labour Party, FRFI supporters continued to lead chants of ‘No more cuts, no more wars, no more Labour Party!’ Others in the crowd who had heckled the Labour party speaker joined with FRFI in demanding to know why members of a racist imperialist ruling class party were invited to speak at an anti-war demonstration. These included Yes campaigners who had witnessed the Labour Party conspire with the Tories and Liberal Democrats against Scottish independence.
SWP and STW members encircled FRFI supporters seeking to silence them. They unsuccessfully attempted to lead chanting in order to censor the criticism of Labour. But this was not their day! As Nicola Fisher officially called the rally to an end FRFI seized the opportunity and took to the steps with our own megaphone to articulate our position: the Labour Party were not and never have been a force for progress and that in fact they were an enemy of the people of Glasgow and even more the people of Iraq, Syria and Palestine whom they were complicit in bombing.
Not accepting this, SWP organiser Joshua Brown physically threatened and attempted to block the FRFI speaker. FRFI supporters refused to bow down to these bully boy tactics and persevered, winning the space to speak and gain the crowd’s attention. We were able to hold an open megaphone through which a number of people attacked the Labour Party. As one demonstrator asked ‘would you accept the BNP, UKIP or SDL on this anti war demonstration? If not then why would you accept the Labour Party? Everytime they have held power they have used it in to push through racist, imperialist, anti-working class policies’. As the open megaphone continued SWP organiser Joshua Brown physically threatened and verbally abused a female FRFI supporter calling her ‘despicable’.
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! is clear: anyone who is interested in building a new movement against austerity, racism and war must leave and break from those who defend that oppression - the Labour Party. On 26 September 2014, 191 of the 215 Labour MP’s in Westminster voted to bomb Iraq and left open the possibility of targeting Syria. The twenty four who voted against must leave this racist imperialist party immediately or leave anti-war platforms!
We say no more cuts, no more wars, no more Labour Party!
Join Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in building a real alternative!