Created: Friday, 28 November 2014 20:03
Written by Scotland Branches
Meeting London’s Focus E15 Campaign off the midnight train at Glasgow’s Central Station was the start of an important weekend for all supporters of Scottish independence and socialism. The campaign has been fighting for social housing in London and as Scottish author Irvine Welsh pointed out, its acceptance of the invitation to speak at the Radical Independence Campaign conference dispelled the myths of the unionist left. The argument that Scottish independence blocks unity of the British working class was vividly challenged by the stirring reception given to the campaign by the conference. Scotland is showing a way forward for working class people across these islands.
On Saturday 22 November Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Focus E15 Campaign supporters attended the Radical Independence Campaign conference in the Clyde Auditorium. With a venue packed out to capacity of 3,000, it was an inspiring gathering with lots to discuss and plan. It is a testament to the hard work and the important role played by RIC groups across the country in the run up to the independence referendum, going door to door in working class areas, that such numbers could be mobilised.
FRFI supporters attended the mass forums throughout the day, hearing from speakers including Bernadette McAliskey who urged us all to continue the fight against British imperialism. Workshops attended included ‘Opposing austerity now: a radical plan for the economy’, ‘A modern mass party: Debating the role of the SNP today’ and ‘No to NATO: A new strategy to challenge imperialism and nuclear weapons’.
Class was a crucial factor in the ‘Debating the role of the SNP’ workshop where we heard writer Neil Davidson urge supporters of Scottish independence to stand against capitalism and to forge a new party of the left committed to building socialism. In contrast to this, an SNP member argued that criticism of the SNP’s ruling class policies on the monarchy, NATO membership and cuts had to wait until after independence was won. The analogy of ‘getting the house first and then decorate it’ was unconvincingly deployed.
In summary, independence for whom and on whose terms, was a theme that ran throughout the event. FRFI supported those who argued for the interests of the working class to be placed at the centre of the independence movement, by asking directly: 'Who speaks for the working class?'
The RIC leadership must now seize the time by creating a democratic and energised structure to ensure independence candidates are returned at next May’s General Election. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will fully support RIC in this.
Full political independence for Scotland would be a major blow to British imperialism at home and abroad. For this reason we need to stand with all political parties, candidates and groups backing full independence for Scotland. This support must be on the condition of the fullest democracy in the movement for full independence; for the democratic right to criticise and oppose all attacks on working class and oppressed peoples whether those attacks come from the Tories, Labour, or the SNP.
In total we handed out over 1,800 leaflets to the crowds at the conference publicising our Labour Party funeral and wake the following day. We called for support for the annual commemorative march for John MacLean on 30 November and finally urged everyone to come along and seriously engage in our public meeting on 7 December on the subject of ‘Who speaks for the working class? Scottish independence, the General Election and the working class’. Join Us!
FUNERAL AND WAKE OF THE LABOUR PARTY
Progressive supporters of Scottish independence gathered in Glasgow on Sunday 23 November to finally bury the fatally ailing Labour Party. We assembled beneath the statue of Labour Party millionaire Donald Dewar. Speeches, chants and songs, a Labour Party coffin inscribed with the words RIP, sombre funeral dress and placards all made for a fitting service.
Organised by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! the event was supported by the Focus E15 campaign, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions, Perth and Kinross Yes for independence and Radical Independence Campaign supporters.
With two of Scotland’s ‘Yes Cities’ - Dundee and Glasgow - represented, the protest had a healthy spirit of rebelliousness. Appropriate funeral music blared out as the RIP Labour Party coffin was led down a busy Buchanan St., along Argyle St., before its final resting place in McChuills pub for a not so solemn wake.
The Labour Party's post referendum crisis has created the opportunity to finally break from this unionist, anti-working class, dishonest party of racism and imperialism. Our slogan is ‘Seize the Time!’
On 8 and 9 November we launched the second edition of ‘Labour: A Party fit for Imperialism’ with the author Robert Clough at public meetings in Dundee and Glasgow. The book provides a definitive history of the Labour Party showing that in both words and deeds the Labour Party has always been and will always remain a party committed to the defence of the imperialist interests of the British ruling class. Copies are on sale here index.php/our-shop/3750-labour-a-party-fit-for-imperialism
Sunday 30 November, 1pm
Annual John MacLean Commemoration March
Meet at Eastwood cemetery (next to Thornliebank Railway station) for graveside orations. The march will move off at 1.30pm. Organised by the Scottish Socialist Republican Movement. more details at www.scottishrepublicansocialistmovement.org
‘Who speaks for the working class? Scottish independence, the General Election and the working class’
- Dundee - Saturday 6 December, 2.30pm, Room G8, Dundee University Tower, Nethergate, Perth Road
- Glasgow - Sunday 7 December, 2pm, Jurys In Hotel, 80 Jamaica Street, Glasgow G1 4UG
To get involved in our weekly activities, political discussions and street sales of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! contact us on:
Facebook ‘Glasgow FRFI’