Dundee speaks out against racism, austerity and war

On Saturday 19th December Dundee Revolutionary Communist Group held an open mic street rally in the Murraygate, Dundee. The event urged all organisations and individuals to stand together in active, democratic opposition on the streets.

Comrades from Edinburgh and Glasgow RCG, Dundee Against Austerity, Class War and the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network united and the mic was open for anyone to speak out against racism, war and austerity. We set up at the monument commemorating the extraordinary life of Mary Brooksbanks, a Scottish jute mill worker and communist who was centrally involved in organising workers and the unemployed in Dundee during the 1920s and 1930s. She had famously publicly repeated the words of Scottish revolutionary John MacLean in 1921 when he urged the workless not to allow themselves or their children to starve. MacLean served a year in jail for this sound advice. Brooksbanks had boldly dared the authorities to also arrest her, refusing to abandon the demands of the hungry poor in the face of repression.

Taking up the call of 'The banks got bailed out! We got sold out!', speakers agitated against the disgraceful benefit sanctions and workfare schemes imposed by the Job Centres, forcing claimants to choose between heating or eating this winter. Dundee held the record for the highest rate of sanctions in Scotland in 2014, a grim situation which massively contributed to the record working class vote there to ditch the imperialist United Kingdom at the independence referendum of that year.

We called for ‘Imperialist hands off Syria’, detailing the hypocrisy of Britain's military interventions in Syria and Iraq, highlighting the booming arms and oil trade Britain enjoys with Saudi Arabia, key funders of ISIS. Speakers detailed the racist media manipulation against migrants and refugees, demanding that we stand together and oppose all immigration controls. In imperialist Britain, all attempts to control immigration are thoroughly racist and based on the needs of profit; from the first immigration controls imposed in 1905 against Jews fleeing pogroms to the new immigration bill currently in parliament which seeks to turn whole sections of society into immigration police.

We spoke out for Sheku Bayoh a young man from Sierra Leone who violently died at the hands of Police Scotland in Kirkcaldy this year. We openly challenged the road of racism, austerity and imperialist war which is all the ruling classes can offer the working class and oppressed of the world. We pointed out another road of struggle, solidarity and socialism. We stood in solidarity with Socialist Cuba and the fight for socialism in Venezuela, beacons of hope and progressive struggle that show a better world is possible! We are committed to creating a democratic political space on the streets, to provide a powerful and popular response to the racist, capitalist, warmongering media of the millionaires- join us at our next speak out event:

23 January 2016, Argyll Street, Glasgow 12-2pm

Workfare - Unfair! No to compulsory DWP work placements! Dundee targets Learn Direct

Dundee Against Austerity, Dundee Revolutionary Communist Group, members of the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty united in direct action against the notorious Learn Direct outfit which is financially rewarded by the Department of Work and Pensions for forcing welfare claimants to take up dubious work experience placements to keep their meagre benefits.

On 15 December 2015 Learn Direct's main office in the city was occupied by activists who have regularly campaigned at the Job Centres and picketed workfare companies, standing against a miserable system which uses the labour of the unemployed to run wealthy charities or boost the profits of multinational retailers like Tesco and Asda.

Despite denials from Learn Direct staff, evidence was easily provided by campaigners of the central involvement of the company in lining up claimants for shameless exploitation. Compulsory Work Placements are touted by Learn Direct and other contractors to be the means by which the unemployed can gain work experience to prepare for a return to employment. The reality is entirely different: hours repetitively spent pulling nails out of wooden pallets or steam ironing second hand clothes with little chance of employment at the end of the placement.  

Towns and cities across Scotland, England and Wales are full of shops and companies where that compulsory labour is taking place. People in such dead end placements are not provided with information about their rights by the DWP or the firms involved: personal accident insurance, Health and Safety standards, union rights and proper support for vulnerable people are frequently lacking. Campaigners are determined to continue to expose and challenge this bullying exploitation supervised by this ruthless Tory government. The slogan is 'No to Workfare! Exploit Us and We'll Shut You Down!'

    

Advocacy is no Crime! No to benefit sanctions! Defend Tony Cox!

Dundee Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Dundee Against Austerity activists turned out for the recent court appearances of Tony Cox. A member of the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Tony has faced a number of charges over the year for his welfare advocacy work. In early 2015 he was arrested at the Job Centre in Arbroath as he tried to accompany a vulnerable person into an interview. Statistics and campaigning experience have shown that welfare sanctions - where a person's entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance can be ended or reduced to 40% - are disproportionately imposed on people with mental health or learning difficulties.

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Edinburgh Speaks out against Racism, Austerity and War!

On Saturday 21st November Edinburgh Revolutionary Communist Group held an open mic street rally on Princes Street. Comrades from Dundee and Glasgow RCG, Spanish workers in Edinburgh, the Women in Black, Edinburgh in Protest, joined us on the streets and the mic was open for anyone to speak out against racism, war and austerity. Activists raised the issue of Sheku Bayoh, a young Sierra Leoneon man killed by Police Scotland in Fife earlier this year, talked of the newly announced £70 million of cuts by Edinburgh Council that threaten school music lessons, lollipop crossing guides, tenement lighting and libraries alike, spoke out against the racist Prevent strategy being rolled out across Edinburgh university targeting Muslim students and the racist immigration bill currently in parliament that is set to drive refugees and migrant workers into more misery and oppression. Spanish comrades spoke out against Operation Pandora in Spain which is currently arresting anti capitalist activists en-mass, seeking to politically gag anyone who opposes Spain's policies of racism and austerity. Comrades detailed the hypocrisy of Britain's military interventions in Syria and Iraq, highlighting the booming arms and oil trade Britain enjoys with Saudi Arabia, main funders of ISIS and stood in solidarity with Socialist Cuba and movements for socialism across Latin America, beacons of hope that show a better world is possible! We are committed to creating a democratic political space on the streets, to provide a counterbalance to the racist, capitalist, warmongering media forced down our throats.

Join us at our next Speak out events

Dundee: Saturday 19 December, 12-2pm Mary Brooksbank monument, Murraygate

Glasgow: Saturday 23 January 12-2pm in front of Primark, Argyll Street.

RCG Scotland

Hands off John Bowden!

Greenock Sheriff Court for John Bowden 22 September

We reproduce below a letter sent to Glasgow Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! from long term prisoner John Bowden. John has been regular writer for FRFI and organiser for prisoners’ rights over the last 30 years. The backlash against him by the prison authorities continues. We ask you to join us in mobilising for the following dates at Greenock Sheriff Court where he is being put on a show trial for defending himself and others against Scottish prison service brutality.

Thank you so much for your very welcome letter that raised my spirits considerably, especially at a time when the constant transfers around the prison system and overtly more repressive treatment have increased the feeling of extreme isolation; your support and solidarity at such a time is deeply appreciated.

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Contact us

Get in touch with your local Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! group:

Glasgow: glasgowfrfi@gmail.com

Tel: 078 2620 3476

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