All-Scotland Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts

 

DAWS was amongst the many speakers at the Black Triangle Disabilty Rights demo in George Square, Glasgow the day. We stress 'many speakers' because we and others such as the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network are not going to get that chance next week at the now Scottish Trade Union Congress controlled anti- austerity demo in Glasgow. The 'official' trade union platform will have the SNP and the Labour party speaking, all sewn up to exclude the real grassroots campaigners. The SNP's feeble 56 strategy was articulated by ex- Labour party, now SNP, MP Tommy Shephard who spoke incredibly of 'guilt tripping' 50 or 60 Tory MP's into supporting anti- austerity! Incredible! What a hopeless, predominantly parliamentary dead end that will lead the real anti- austerity struggle nowhere. As we predicted, the SNP presence today was negligible- some young SNP supporters were justifying the £74,000 MP's salary while within talking distance of the disabled and poor justifiably fearing the outcome of Osborne's Emergency Budget on 8 July. The SNP will lead this movement nowhere! DAWS was not the only speaker to have a go at the SNP, disabled activist Susan properly complained about platforms, trade union platforms that excluded the disabled. DAWS stands by and upholds the vital principle of real democracy in the movement. Join the Action Against Austerity contingent next Saturday- our voices will be heard!

Posted by Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions on Sunday, 14 June 2015

The All-Scotland Day of Protest Against Benefit Cuts, organised by the Black Triangle Campaign for Disability Rights, took place on Sunday 14 June and was a useful indication of the struggles ahead for those committed to smashing austerity. Organised independently of any ‘official’ movement, a small number of grassroots campaigners and supporters took to George Square to raise the voices of those currently at the brutal, bloody edge of the class struggle – the poor, the sick and disabled and the unemployed. The hundred-or so gathered, including the Revolutionary Communist Group and Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions, were left to do so without any mobilisation of the trade unions, the SNP or the various independence campaigns: the ‘political awakening’ of Scotland and the wave of anti-austerity which brought ‘the 56’ to the gilded seats of Westminster desperately needs to assume a more concrete and visible presence than articles in The National!

 

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Glasgow supporters rally to mark Palestine Prisoners Day, 2015

On 17 April the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) in Glasgow held a rally in the city centre to mark Palestine Prisoners Day. We were joined by individual and collective supporters of Palestine, from Glasgow Palestine Action (GPU), the Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign (SPSC) and Palestine university society members.

The passing public received leaflets about the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners and were asked to sign a petition calling for their freedom.  We got good support and speeches were given by members of the RCG on the importance of defending the right to defend Palestine given the on-going Sheriff Court cases against solidarity activists in Glasgow and around Britain. We will not be criminalised!

The RCG has stood with those arrested for protesting against Barclays Bank and Thales UK. Both are targets for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for investing in and trading with Israeli arms and surveillance company Elbit systems. The British security multinational G4S has also been targeted across Britain for its contracts with Israel which include staffing the abusive and torture ridden prisons and detention centres where over 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners are held.

According to the Palestinian prisoners support and rights organisation Addameer these include 454 administrative detainees (held without charge or trial), 22 women and 163 children. Some are imprisoned for resisting the occupation and destruction of their land and people and others just for being Palestinian. International protests continue for the release of the five Hares Boys who are each facing 20 years in prison for an event that never happened. These are joined by the calls for the immediate release of Palestinian parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar who was arrested on 2 April for continuing to speak out against the occupation. She joins the 17 other elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council currently in Israeli jails, including Amad Sa'adat, serving a 30 year sentence.

Recent revelations of Police Scotland renewing training contracts with Sri Lankan police forces, responsible for atrocities against the Tamil people, underline the point that British imperialism has no progressive role to play in the world. The greatest solidarity we can give to the Palestinian people is to take up the struggle against the racism and imperialism happening within and from Britain to the rest of the world. The RCG is committed to building this political solidarity in Britain. Join us!

 

Free all Palestinian political prisoners!

Defend the right to defend Palestine!

Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!

For more info visit on Palestinian prisoners visit: http://www.addameer.org/
https://haresboys.wordpress.com/ and facebook 'Free the Hares Boys'
http://freeahmadsaadat.org/
http://samidoun.ca/khalidajarrar/ and facebook 'solidarity with Khalida Jarrar'

 

Upcoming Protest and Conference

Like our Facebook page ‘Glasgow FRFI’ for more details

May Day protest: Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!                     

Friday 1st May, 3.30pm,

Argyle/Buchanan St, outside HSBC

Bring flags, banners, whistles, pots and pans, open megaphone for all to use   

                          

Ending Scottish arms trade with Israel conference      

Saturday 9 May, 9am-6pm, The Renfield centre                                                                          

Glasgow G2 4JP, visit http://www.esati.org/

Organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign             

 

Lets Save Govanhill! 22 March 2015

On Sunday 22 March over 200 people united to ‘save Govanhill’ from the failure of Glasgow city council and local agencies to deal with the problems of crime, rubbish and slum landlords. Marchers won support from the ethnically diverse community as they passed through the streets with pots and pans and chants sounding. During the march a petition calling for the Scottish Government to intervene was accepted by local MSP and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. One of the march organisers Fiona summed up the feelings of marchers 'we have a vote of no confidence in Glasgow city council to make sure Govanhill is made clean and safe so we are asking the First Minister to step in and sort this out'. She said the mechanism by which these issues were to be addressed had failed. This included the Govanhill Action Plan, the Govanhill Partnership and the Govanhill Hub (which is made up of various agencies in the area including Govanhill Housing Association, Glasgow city council and Police Scotland).

Instead of increasing local services and amenities on 19 February Glasgow's Labour run city council (GCC) passed a budget of £29.5mn of service cuts. This will be felt across Glasgow's communities. We must unite and defend the services under attack and push for their expansion. Combating the divide and rule lies, distortions and racism of those in power, and challenging the influence these ideas hold in our communities, will be key to defending everyone's rights. Here are some of the views we heard on the march.

Local resident Billy said 'we want Govanhill cleaned up. The Commonwealth Games showcase is over and now the council is not interested in this area'. Billy also highlighted police stop and searches of youth in the area. In light of the Sunday Herald revelations that Police Scotland has been carrying out a record breaking number of stop and searches throughout Glasgow, without legal basis, and then storing peoples phone numbers in a database, without legal basis, the demand must be for Police Scotland to ‘“keep your sleazy hands off our kids!” as Unite union leader Len McCluskey stated in support of the Glasgow Defence Campaign in 2011. Reports that sports participation in Glasgow has fallen in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games confirms what we already knew; the Games were used as a shiny cover to hide the widening impoverishment and inequality between the rich and poor in Glasgow.

A steward on the march Beth said decaying structures, rubbish, rats, bed bugs and cockroaches had become common in areas of Govanhill where buildings were not maintained and cleaned. A resident of Bowman street said that bins needed more clean ups and that he had to contact three political parties in the area before some rubbish in his backcourt was finally dealt with. A young and older resident of Seath Street, who had stayed in Govanhill all their lives, described how local people didn't feel safe with fear of muggings and stabbings stopping residents from going out at night. They described poor and broken street lighting. In their view the council was using Govanhill as a 'dumping ground' for troublesome residents and had allowed private landlords to take over housing in parts of Govanhill. We must demand that GCC's £9.3mn to buy up four blocks in poor condition is the start and not the end of getting slum landlords out of our area. Slum landlords out! Good housing for all!

History tells us that poverty, unemployment and under resourcing of services and amenities is the chief cause of crime. The high turnover of residents – in private, poorly conditioned, overpriced and often short term housing provides for the constant stream of rubbish. One former resident of Dixon Avenue described how the letting agency took over £1,000 a month in rent from the five rooms rented out. ‘We kept asking the letting agency to properly repair a cracked window that looked like it could have fallen off into the backcourt and the kitchen ceiling looked like it was going to cave in but they didn't’. If the letting agencies don’t take action our communities will have to – against them.

The challenge for Govanhill is fundamentally no different to the challenges for all Glasgow's communities. That is to unite and fight to defend their collective interests. Given Govanhill's big mix of nationalities education and understanding will be needed to overcome language barriers and cultural differences in order to hold the powers in charge to account for their neglect and indifference.

 

Glasgow, Scotland: Solidarity with the Hares Boys! Free Palestine! (15 March 2015)

‘Say it loud, make some noise – free, free the Hares Boys!’

This was the chant echoing across Glasgow city centre as supporters of the organisation Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) took to the streets to demand the release of the Hares Boys and an end to British complicity with Israeli war crimes. Supporters gathered outside of BDS-target Marks and Spencer to mark the second anniversary of the kidnapping and imprisonment of the boys. With painted placards, leaflets, petitions, a megaphone and Palestine flags we were able to get the attention and support of the public, who stopped to learn about the campaign and express their outrage.

Our 'G4S - Go 2 Hell' placard was well placed for a passing G4S van, highlighting the global nature of this repressive British company. G4S provides the guards to staff the Israeli prisons where thousands of Palestinians, including the Hares boys, are jailed and tortured. 17 April marks Palestine prisoner’s day when we will again take to the streets of Glasgow to join world-wide protests for justice.

After our protest we gathered on the Buchanan Street steps to oppose Glasgow Labour council's decision to demolish them and to introduce Israeli developed CCTV in an effort to prevent and criminalise protests in Glasgow city centre.

Barclays bank – blood bank

The previous day, supporters of FRFI took part in a protest organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign aimed at ending British complicity in Israel’s war machine. Targeting the main branch of Barclays bank – which has millions of pounds of investments in the Israeli drone company Elbit Systems – the activists peacefully occupied the branch and successfully closed it down for the day. There’ll be no business as usual for any companies profiting from the oppression of Palestine!

Defend the right to defend Palestine

Not only is the British state intent on providing political and military support for Zionism, but it is increasingly criminalising those who express support for the Palestinian people. On Wednesday 18 March, members of Glasgow Palestine Action will appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court following their peaceful occupation of Thales UK, another British company supporting Elbit Systems. The same day, another FRFI supporter will appear in court for the ‘crime’ of using a megaphone to protest against cuts to welfare. The struggle in defence of Palestine and our own democratic rights is one and the same!

Free The Hares Boys!

Free Palestine!

Save the steps!


Who are the Hares Boys?

The Hares Boys are five Palestinian children who were abducted by Israeli soldiers, then tortured and framed for an event that never happened. They are now facing 20 years in prison for each stone they are claimed to have thrown at the passing car of an illegal settler. No evidence of stone throwing on the day has been presented never mind evidence that the five youths imprisoned were involved. The case is a reflection of the racist arrogance and inhumanity of Apartheid Israel and the unwillingness of imperialist powers such as Britain and the US to take action against them.

For up to date news and more background to this case facebook 'Free The Hares Boys' and see https://haresboys.wordpress.com/

 

Glasgow Labour council pass austerity budget for 2015/16

 

‘People make Glasgow’- aye right!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters joined the crowds gathered outside Glasgow city chambers on 19 February to protest against the £29.5m budget cuts being passed by the Labour led council.

Once again the cuts are aimed at the poor and vulnerable. They are the ones being made to pay for the capitalist crisis. £2m will be cut in education services for children in hospital and those with psychological or additional support needs. £1m will come from mental health services, including the controversial cut to third sector body the Glasgow Association for Mental Health (40% of GAMH's funding). A £1.5m cut from Glasgow Life will affect community and library services. A total of £2m will be cut from grants to voluntary organisations, while the closure of two of the remaining four day centres for learning disability will see the loss of 40 jobs.

Beyond rhetoric the leaderships of the two biggest trade unions in Britain Unison and Unite offer no resistance. They have proved in the last five years that they are content to stand by and watch as Glasgow’s Labour Party council – which they financially and politically support – hammers those in and out of work. According to Unison Glasgow branch secretary Brian Smith future cuts are "on top of over £200mn in cuts in the last five years and 4,000 job losses" (The National, 17 February, p4). They will not risk their millions of pounds of assets to defend workers by breaking the anti-trade union laws. New forces will have to re-emerge.

In the shadow of George square, which witnessed thousands mobilise for a yes vote in last year’s referendum in a clear rejection of austerity, the Labour Party council continue to turn the screw on Glasgow’s working class. The Yes to independence, No to austerity movement is sorely missed and must be rebuilt now. The only alternative to cuts is an independent socialist Scotland. Socialist Cuba has demonstrated to the world’s poor and oppressed that another way is possible but only when the class system is thrown into the dust bin of history!

Interesting fact -

In 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union Cuba lost its chief trade partner and overnight was thrown into economic chaos in what was called ‘The Special Period’. Despite this the Cuban revolution did not close down a single school, maternity ward, hospital or sports facility; quite the opposite.  As one Cuban we spoke to on the 2009 rock around the blockade solidarity brigade to Cuba stated ‘At all times the economy was to be subordinated to social objectives’. Read more at http://www.ratb.org.uk/

 

Dundee campaign against SNP school closure – Save Menzieshill High!

'THIS FEELS LIKE A POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE …'

SNP FACES WORKING CLASS CHALLENGE

'WE DID NOT VOTE YES FOR THE SNP TO CLOSE SCHOOLS!’

Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party Stewart Hosie wrote a column in 'The National' on Tuesday 3 February. He was cheerily noting the recent polls portending a wipe-out for the Labour Party in Scotland at the General Election. Hosie's headline was 'This feels like a political earthquake...'. As MP for Dundee East he is certainly close enough to know that there is indeed a political earthquake going on in the city but it is against the SNP! At a 100 strong meeting to oppose the closure of secondary school Menzieshill High there was a clear cry for militant opposition. An SNP councillor present was roasted by his own party members and Yes voters: 'We did not vote Yes for the SNP to close schools!'

RCG member Michael MacGregor spoke from the Save Menzieshill High platform and recalled the battle of Community Against School Closure 18 years ago to save another secondary school closed then by the Labour council. He urged the meeting to fight in every possible way to stop the closure and that they should not be held back by an SNP which thinks it cannot be criticised and opposed because of its association with the YES vote. He told the SNP councillor Jimmie Black that he had better get on the phone 'moy pronto'- awfy fest- and let Nicola Sturgeon know that the is an eruption taking place in Menzieshill and that the closure should stop right now!

Dundee is the only full majority SNP council in Scotland and have lined up cuts worth £7 million this year. 19 SNP councillors recently voted to approve consideration of school closures. There is a protest rally in Dundee City Square next 2pm Thursday 12 February when the council votes to approve its budget. The opposition in Menzieshill from parents, pupils, school workers, the churches and local community centre has been joined by RCG/ FRFI, Scottish Socialist Party and Socialist Party, Scotland and other activists. We are all determined that the SNP are forced to halt the closure and the cuts or stand exposed as no different from parties like the Tories and the Labour Party.

SAVE MENZIESHILL HIGH!

NO TO SNP CUTS!

Michael MacGregor

 

Police Hands Off Protest! Welfare activists challenge Abroath arrest

On Thursday 5 February 40 protestors converged on Arbroath's Job Centre to challenge the arrest of Scottish Unemployed Workers Network activist Tony Cox. Tony had been supporting a vulnerable client in the Job Centre who was having difficulty in using computers to meet her Job Search target. Official Department of Work and Pensions guidelines state that reasonable support must be given to claimants in this position and reasonable adjustments made to Job Search targets.

Tony accompanied the claimant to say that Job Centre staff had not followed these guidelines and tried to advocate for a review of the case. It was feared that a welfare sanction might result from any perceived failure to meet arbitrary targets. Staff terminated the interview claiming intimidation and a new appointment was scheduled. Leaving the building Tony was approached by the police  investigating alleged 'threatening behaviour'. He refused to give his name and address and was suddenly cuffed and arrested. Bail conditions forbid him to enter the Job Centre  in Arbroath.

Defying this outrageous criminalisation of welfare advocates and activists, a protest was publicly announced for the following Thursday and an SUWN defence formed at a meeting. Tony explained at the meeting that he had been visited at home by police to warn him that he risked arrest for any breach of bail. He was determined to attend the protest and publicly announced this step which was taken up by local media.

40 people from Dundee, Edinburgh, Arbroath, Forfar and Kirriemuir stood united in solidarity outside Arbroath Job Centre and through placards, banners, speeches and chants the arrest was condemned and the right to support vulnerable claimants proclaimed. The abusive use of welfare sanctions was highlighted and speakers expressed defiance at any attempt to limit and criminalise protest. See footage of the lively march here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CU_JLQUpV1A#t=41

The protest was supported by Scottish Unemployed Workers Network campaigners, Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Class War and many other activists. Tony Cox spoke and Michael MacGregor of the Revolutionary Communist Group/ Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! chaired the lively street event. Such was the confident mood of the protest that it was decided we should march into the town centre. The three cops were then made to earn their wages by assisting in crossing roads as we marched up Arbroath High Street for a militant and popular street rally in the main shopping area. 

We are determined to resist criminalisation of protest and demand the immediate dropping of all charges.

POLICE HANDS OFF PROTEST!

END WELFARE SANCTIONS NOW!      

 

Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions Fights On!

 

Cover Welfare Sanctions Now!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!/ Revolutionary Communist Group is a founder organisation of Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions (DAWS). Along with local campaigners against Atos, DAWS was launched on 1 April 2014. Basing itself on regular weekly work and monthly protests at the Dundee burroo - old Scottish parlance for the Employment Bureaux of the 1930's - it has collected thousands of signatures from those going in to sign on at the Wellgate Job Centre. Dundee's holds the record in Scotland for the highest number of sanctions issued there. There were 5,551 JSA sanctions over the period from 2012 to 2014. Those sanctions which can reduce an individual's income to £30 a week, have driven the massive uptake in foodbank usage. It is not an exaggeration therefore to say that bankers are taking the food out of hungry children's mouths - that is the reality. The popular movements against unemployment of the 1920's and 30's called the governments of the day 'baby starvers'.

DAWS stood with Scottish independence campaigners outside the burroo in the summer heading up to the referendum. Alex Salmond was shamed by our intervention into joining the protest for a photo there and pledged to end the sanctions. He remarked on radio that he had noted the queues forming in Dundee at DAWS stalls to register to vote. Dundee's working class gained due recognition as the force behind the highest Yes vote amongst Scottish cities at 57.35%. After the failed vote the Scottish National Party tested the acceptability of its Home Rule position at a national demo in Dundee under the demands 'No to Austerity. Yes to Home Rule'. DAWS campaigners at an organising committee meeting objected to this position, describing Home Rule as a retreat. Some SNP members agreed that it was but accepted it as a necessary retreat. DAWS formally withdrew its support for the demonstration. On the demo itself Home Rule slogans were noticeably absent with the loud and lively chants of 'What do we want? Independence!' and 'End Welfare Sanctions' pre-dominating.

At its first monthly protest of the New Year DAWS launched a new petition targeted at the SNP government in Edinburgh. Just as Salmond had said he was going to hold Westminster's feet to the fire over promised powers for Scotland, DAWS aims to hold the SNP's feet to the fire also. DAWS demands that the Scottish government cover all sanctions losses in the same way as it covered money lost through the Bedroom Tax. The SNP's newly professed commitment to social justice - new leader Nicola Sturgeon has declared it her mission to eradicate poverty - must be acted upon immediately.  As James Connolly - who joined the socialist movement in Dundee - recognised, this is the real politics of the stomach. Hungry bairns cannot wait!

Contact DAWS

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook.Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions

 

By Michael MacGregor

 

DAWS Statement January 2015

On Friday 9 January campaigners against welfare sanctions gathered outside Dundee's Wellgate Job Centre. Our first monthly protest of the year saw Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions launch a new petition calling on the SNP government to cover the financial losses of those sanctioned, just as those who suffered losses from the Bedroom Tax were supported by the Discretionary Housing Payment fund.


The new petition was well received by the crowds of folk who came over to sign and who shared their continuing direct experience of sanctions. The battle is on!

Campaigners later sat down to plan future work, arrangements and structure:


1) Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions is open, active and democratic. The monthly meetings are open to all who contribute £1 per month to the campaigning work and who contribute to the regular work against sanctions. This active membership will determine and guide our work. Join Us!


2) Dundee Against Welfare Sanctions will also support campaigning work in Perth, Arbroath, Blairgowrie and elsewhere and will co- operate with other campaigning groups like Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty and others, to take forward the fight against sanctions, workfare and other attacks on welfare. Join Us!'

 

Obituaries

JEN SPARK

'I have been asked to write something about our comrade Jen Spark who passed away this Xmas. She was dedicated to standing up for those who had the least in society. From being part of the Bin the Bedroom Tax Campaign, then the campaigns against Atos and the Work Capability Assessments, she went on to set up Perth Against Welfare Sanctions- PAWS. She done all this despite having to struggle with her own mental health issues which sadly ended her life. We will never forget our Jen as she played such a big part in our lives. RIP Jen.'  

By Ronnie Swinton.

 

ALBERT MITCHELL

Albert joined us on the regular pickets organised by Dundee Against Atos at the medical examination centre at the Greenmarket. His cheery face can still be seen on the DAA facebook page. He was pleased at the beginnings of protest against the attacks on the poor and disabled and was always urging unity of all campaigners and campaigns. He recognised the obstacles too as he shouted lustily at the supremacist orange walk which was holding up our coach after we tried to leave Glasgow after a march against the Bedroom Tax. We will miss his irreverence and bad jokes and will miss a working class man who stood up with others against injustice.

 

Forwards ever! Backwards never! No to welfare sanctions! Yes to independence!

Campaigners against welfare sanctions from Perth, Forfar, Montrose and Dundee gathered in front of Dundee's Job Centre Plus on Friday 5 December. An academic, Dr David Webster from Glasgow University who has been studying the use of sanctions and disallowances since 1911, has confirmed that Dundee sits at the top of the league for the number of sanctions handed out in Scotland's cities. It is estimated that 6,400 sanctions have been issued since October 2012 up until to March 31 2014. Doctor David stated: 'I am concerned by the growing evidence of widespread official abuse of sanctions in the UK and of resulting damage to individuals and society.'

 

 

 

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SHOWTIME IN GLASGOW: The Radical Independence Campaign Conference and Funeral of the Labour Party

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

Yes Scotland!

Yes Socialism!

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

Public meetings:

‘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’

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 07923961864

 

Labour Party Run For A New Cover in Glasgow

People of Glasgow! We have entered into a new period. Apathy and isolation is giving way to anger and community. Food bank visits threaten increasing numbers of people in and out of work. Necessity is driving new people to political unity, organisation and action. The political representatives of this rotten criminal system are worried and so they should be!

 

 

 

On 30 October in Glasgow city centre Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! comrades joined with other supporters of Scottish Independence to hasten this awakening against the Scottish Labour Party. Hundreds gathered and joined the protest outside the Party’s National Gala Dinner in rejection of the Labour Party’s racist, imperialist, anti-democratic, anti-working class, British unionist politics. A Party Fit For Imperialism! One could sense the fury and nervousness of leading Labour party war criminals such as Jim Murphy as they passed into the building under police escort - heckled, physically hassled and booed. Disgraced head of Glasgow city council Gordon Matheson was forced to slip in through a side entrance.

 

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! fully supports the call for no more Labour Party and will unite with all others who recognise the need to destroy this political arm of the British state. That the Socialist Workers Party, Communist Party of Great Britain and others on the old left were absent from the protest comes as no surprise.

 

On 4 October SWP members and Stop The War Coalition supporters physically and verbally abused FRFI supporters for challenging a Labour Party speaker during a protest against the imperialist bombing of Iraq and Syria. As we stated at the time ‘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!’. On 11 October we picketed the SWP’s Marxism in Scotland 2014 event for giving Bob Thomson, former Scottish Labour Party Chairman and leading supporter of Labour for Independence, a platform to promote this ruling class party.

 

In the coming days, weeks and months the old left will tell us there is hope and opportunity for an alternative within the bankrupt structures of the Labour party as their members attempt to remould (‘we need a socialist agenda’) and rebrand themselves (‘Labour for Scotland’, ‘Independent Labour Party’...). For the mass of the working class and oppressed the Labour Party offer no alternative to the Tories (and never have done!).

 

It will be the job of these new forces and all progressives and socialists in the coming days, weeks and months to make not just a complete break from Labour but to actively organise for their defeat in the coming Westminster elections.

 

No more cuts, no more wars, no more Labour Party!

Socialist democratic Independence for Scotland!

 

Join us for a book launch uncovering 100 years of Labour Party austerity and imperialism

 

 ‘Labour: A Party Fit For Imperialism'

Launching the second edition of this excellent anti-imperialist history of the racist imperialist Labour Party with the author Robert Clough

'For a view of the Labour Party outside its red rose and double-breasted suit image, this is a valuable work.' 

War Journalist John Pilger

 

Dundee

Saturday 8 November, 2.30pm, 

Room G8, Dundee University Tower,

Nethergate, Perth Road

 

Glasgow

Sunday 9 November, 2pm,

Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA),

350 Sauchiehall St, G2 3JD

 

FRFI call out Labour at SWP’s Marxism Event in Glasgow

“Say it loud say it clear Labour are not welcome here!”

Today 11 October Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters in Glasgow held a lively picket of the Marxism in Scotland 2014 event organised by the Socialist Workers Party. This in response to the Labour Party’s Bob Thomson, former Scottish Labour Party Chairman and leading supporter of Labour for Independence, being invited to speak.

With home-made placards, leaflets, chants and banners Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters called for all socialists and progressives to work towards building a movement that challenges poverty and inequality, imperialist war and occupation and for the democratic and socialist independence of Scotland. The Labour Party was recognised as the chief obstacle in the way of this and so our call was to break from Labour – a UK Unionist, imperialist war, cuts party.

Supporters spoke to passers-by and those attending the Marxism event about the actions of the Labour Party to save the UK union in the weeks and days leading up to the independence referendum and recognised the working class vote for Independence as a vote against the Labour party. Labour - a UK Unionist party!

One woman we met who was attending the event was outraged that Labour had been invited to speak. She said she would be asking the Labour speaker about Glasgow Labour Council’s closure of vital day care centres across Glasgow having previously been involved in the Charlie Reid centre for Mental Health which was also closed.

Others passing and attending the event praised our actions the previous weekend in Glasgow city centre for challenging the Labour party speaker during the Stop The War demonstration against the bombing of Iraq and Syria. As we pointed out of the 215 Labour Party Westminster MPs 191 voted for the bombing and those that voted against must leave this party immediately or leave the anti-war speaking platforms! Labour - an imperialist war party.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! is for a movement to challenge poverty and inequality, a movement to oppose imperialist war and a movement to complete the democratic struggle for an independent Scotland. In this aim we will continue to organise and support opposition to the Labour Party in whatever form it takes.

Join us!

 

BOOK LAUNCH AND DISCUSSION

Since the working class voted for independence, tens of thousands have been talking and planning as to how to finally break with the Labour party. About time! This is a discussion to plan action on the way forward. As Clough illustrates the Labour Party is and has always been an imperialist war party, an anti-working class party and a UK unionist party.

 

Labour: A Party Fit For Imperialism, 2nd edition

Joined by the author Robert Clough

Sunday 9 November, 2-4pm

CCA

350 Sauchiehall Street

 

Glasgow, G2 3JD

 

SWP attack those chanting ‘No more Labour party!’ in Glasgow

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!

 

 

Fight for your rights – it works!

Glasgow Fight Racism Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) supporter Dominic O’Hara has won a victory over Laurieston job centre staff who are denying claimants the right to be accompanied and to take notes during job centre interviews. Aware of the benefit sanctions being used against hundreds of thousands of claimants Dominic decided from the start that he would record each interview he attended by taking his own personal notes that could be used as part of his appeal evidence should staff ever try to sanction him.

 

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‘Delivering a safe and secure Games’ – for who?!

‘For Glasgow 2014 we will be using the appropriate mix of police officers, security guards, stewards, and military personnel as part of our planned operation, Police Scotland and the Organising Committee are confident that Glasgow 2014 will be a success in every sense, an event that will be remembered for years to come and one that athletes, spectators and the people of Glasgow and Scotland can fully enjoy.’ (Police Scotland Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, Security Director for the Commonwealth Games, November 2013)

For the Scottish ruling class the 2014 Games represent an opportunity, not only to further line their pockets, but to escalate the normalisation of militarised policing. From 23 July – 3 August two thousand British soldiers and thousands of police and private security guards are here in Glasgow with extensive use of surveillance CCTV cameras and helicopters. But what happens after the Games – will Police Scotland Constable Sir Stephen House, the man who recently authorised officers on routine duties to carry firearms (most notably Glock 17 semi-automatic pistols), take down the security fortress he has put so much effort into building? Think again!

 

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Victory at Glasgow job centre!

Glasgow Fight Racism Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) supporter Dominic O’Hara has won a victory over Laurieston job centre staff who are denying claimants the right to be accompanied and to take notes during job centre interviews. Aware of the benefit sanctions being used against hundreds of thousands of claimants Dominic decided from the start that he would record each interview he attended by taking his own personal notes that could be used as part of his appeal evidence should staff ever try to sanction him.

On 27 June he was asked and then told to stop taking notes by a DWP staff member who claimed that it was ‘illegal’. When Dominic asked for the interview to continue with a focus on the positives the staff member replied ‘you don’t have any positives’. This was noted. Dominic was then physically escorted by staff and security to part of the building which has plastic security screening separating staff from claimants. Dominic described this experience as an attempt to criminalise him for defending his rights. Staff terminated his interview after further attempts to stop him taking notes failed and he refused to sign a declaration for his Claimant Commitment to be reviewed. Dominic was then told he would be referred to a Jobcentre manager, to which he immediately agreed. As no managers were available, he was signed on for his Jobseekers’ Allowance and given an appointment to meet a manager the following week.

Accompanied by a friend and fellow FRFI supporter, Dominic met with a manager of Laurieston job centre on 30 June. Both challenged the manager was challenged and forced him to apologise over the behaviour of his staff and their claims that it was “illegal” to take notes. The manager agreed that the DWP had no legal powers to stop claimants taking their own personal notes during jobcentre interviews on their own notepad (not in the work plan booklet). No attempt was made to prevent Dominic’s friend accompanying him, and the two were in fact treated with uncharacteristic respect by G4S security and DWP staff.

A useful leaflet from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty cites a letter written in 2010 on behalf of the Chief Executive of JobCentre Plus which acknowledges the right to be accompanied to benefit interviews: ‘On the matter of accompanied interviews…We accept that there will always be times when customers attending our premises feel the need to be accompanied by a friend or advice worker and we will always try to accommodate this where possible.’

The lesson of this small encounter is that claimants are not given their legal rights but have to fight for them. With recent declarations made against sanctions by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), who organise amongst Job centre staff, the time for action is now!

For more details visit and to get active contact

www.frfi.co.uk

glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com

Facebook ‘Glasgow FRFI’

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

07923961864

 

Justice and the law - which side are you on?

On Sunday 27th April, the Glasgow Defence Campaign were proud to host a meeting in Maryhill, Glasgow discussing the role of justice and the law. Here we reproduce the text of the talk which introduced the meeting.

 
Justice and the law – which side are you on?
 
Any serious consideration of current events cannot but notice the contradictions of our times. As these contradictions become more and more acute they will give rise to challenges to the present social order.
 
Working class living standards are facing their biggest decline in a generation, yet we are told ‘the economy’ is recovering. Hundreds of thousands of people in Britain are forced to attend food banks for basic sustenance, while our television screens are stuffed full of programmes dedicated to gourmet food and the promotion of self-indulgence as our neighbours go hungry. Whereas previous food crises have been characterised by scarcity, today supermarket shelves are overstocked with an abundance of food – much of it increasingly priced out of the reach of working class people blamed for their ‘unhealthy lifestyle choices.’
 
Increasing numbers of working class people are being pushed into the margins of existence as a new wave of benefit sanctions leads people into destitution and despair. Every two minutes a young person somewhere in the UK has their benefits stopped by a Jobcentre. Despite making up only 27% of jobseeker's allowance claimants, young people are the recipients of 43% of the sanctions issued. This violence is being played out against a background of a united political class and complicit media telling us that the economy is recovering – that economic prosperity is returning. This is one of the major contradictions of our times. Anyone who switches on the media will hear the manta repeated ad nauseam. Perverse and meaningless statistics are used to justify the new vogue. Those who disagree with this analysis are marginalised and dismissed. Despite this narrative ordinary people in their daily existence know the truth; many here will know someone who is either out of work – or facing punitive benefit sanctions, others will be aware of the vicious attacks on the disabled being waged by ATOS on behalf of the DWP and the widespread deployment of Workfare – modern slavery. You may even be going through this process yourselves. Others will be aware of the increasing phenomenon young people face – called internships – free labour given in hope of a job in the future. For the mass of those in work, job insecurity is now increasing and widespread; the use zero hour contracts are escalating.
 
But there is another contradiction we need to address: while many of us anticipated these attacks as part of the economic crisis, we did not expect the absence of resistance. The ruling class, sensing this, are widening and deepening the attacks to ever increasing sections of the working class and wider population. Those on the receiving end are told there is no alternative but to accept defeat and isolation; poor people are being blamed for being poor, or else told to blame other poor people for their poverty as racism and bigotry stalks. In response, feelings of hopelessness and depression become all the more common; alcohol misuse and drug abuse are increasing as alienation takes hold.
 
We need to confront this reality and begin to understand why this is happening, we need to understand clearly the role of the law in this country and begin to work out how we can fight for social justice.
 
One important point I want to make is that all of these attacks are part of conscious political decision making. It has recently dropped out of the vocabulary of the ruling class and its media, but what we are experiencing is the realisation of the Tory party vision of what they termed the ‘Big Society’. That is the role back of the state, the systematic destruction of state welfare provision for the poor and the vulnerable and the promotion of charity as the solution. What we are seeing is a return to the nineteenth century poor laws – people should read the lead article in the current edition of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! where we discuss the social crisis in more detail.
 
In these times, however, where there is so much injustice and so little resistance it falls on us to understand and explain to people what is happening and begin to work out a solution. We must understand that others before us have faced far worse social conditions and found solutions. We cannot afford to lose inspiration and hope – we need to maintain belief in ourselves and understand that it is working class people organising together who hold the key.
 
The discerning among the ruling class understands all too well the enormity of the crisis facing British imperialism. They know that the economic crisis is producing a social crisis; they also know that a political crisis is inevitable. They may be many things but they are not foolish. Just look at how skilled they are at dividing and ruling people; they have been doing it for generations. This is why they have erected an array of legislation to criminalise increasing swathes of the population; the last Labour government created criminal legislation at a rate of more than one a day – over 6,000 new pieces of legislation! It was the most heavily legislated parliament since parliament was created and more than twice the rate of the previous Tory regime under Thatcher and Major. A recent academic study of the legislative programme of the Scottish Parliament noted how it had created criminal offenses at a far greater rate than its English counterpart; in the course of a twelve month period between 2010 to 2011 twice as many criminal offences applying to Scotland were created compared to those applying to England. Why, we are entitled to ask, is all of this necessary?
 
As we wrote previously in Fight Racism! Fight Imerialism!, the economic counterpart to the social disciplining of the working class is a flexible labour market: freedom for the market is matched by social control for the working class. Or as Larry Elliot wrote of the Blair’s Labour government: having decided it will not regulate the markets, Labour will ‘regulate the people instead, imposing a panoply of social controls to ensure that problems caused by uncontrollable unregulated economy…don’t threaten the lifestyles of its new middle class constituency.’
 
This increasing criminalisation of our communities has gone hand in hand with attacks on our legal rights. I want to discuss two of the major ones, the attacks on legal aid and the moves by the Scottish Parliament to abolish evidential corroboration in criminal trials.
 
To fully understand these measures we need to view them as part of the overall war on the working class. Let us be clear; the rich will always be able to buy the best lawyers. For the working class however justice is increasingly being denied with all of the consequences which follow from inadequate legal representation when faced against a state intent on widespread criminalisation. That the increasing attacks on legal aid are occurring at a time of increasing criminal legislation is no accident. The challenge before those who oppose cuts in legal aid is to go beyond immediate self interest and show how these issues of justice affect us all. As political activists who are subject to police harassment and criminalisation we declare a special interest. To save legal aid it may be pertinent to examine how legal aid came about in the first instance; I know of no serious study which has examined this issue – either north or south of the border. It is perfectly conceivable that its author awaits.
 
We need to also understand the recent moves to abolish corroboration in Scots law. Corroboration – the requirement in criminal trails that for a conviction to be safe there must be two independent pieces of evidence of the crucial fact. The emotive issue of Scotland’s poor conviction rate for rape is often at the fore of the corroboration debate. It is misleading and it is intended to mislead and confuse. We are rarely told that in fact this is the political response to Scots law being brought into line with the rest of Europe following the important 2010 Supreme Court Cadder ruling which upheld the right of an accused person to have consultation with a solicitor – a right long held in other jurisdictions. The ruling means that Scottish police can no longer question suspects without offering the suspect a private consultation with a lawyer; not only before an interrogation but also at any time during the interrogation at the suspects request. On 21 April the Scottish Government announced that it was putting on hold this process; clearly with the pending referendum they have calculated that this could be detrimental to the SNPs independence ambitions. In the final analysis these matters will be dependent on the prevailing balance of political forces.
 
The increasing propensity towards criminalisation, the restriction of access to justice by undermining legal aid and the moves towards abolishing corroboration cannot be separated from the economic and social crisis facing British imperialism. The great contradiction of so much injustice with so little resistance is a temporary state of affairs. These developments show that the ruling class are preparing for a deeper class war than we are currently enduring.
 
Where will the resistance come from? History is loaded with examples of what propels individuals into political action; we say that the contradictions of our times will inevitably give rise to opportunities for revolutionary advances to be made. The Edinburgh born Irish revolutionary James Connolly understood and articulated very clearly the material basis of political action in an important article published in the Workers’ Republic on 12 August 1899. His prophetic words are worth recalling;
 
‘In every case the social condition of the mass of the people was the determining factor in political activity. Where the mass of the people find existing conditions intolerable, and imagine they see a way out, there will be a great political movement; where the social conditions are not so abnormally acute no amount of political oratory, nor yet co-operation of leaders, can produce a movement.’
 
There is no such thing as a problem without a solution; the solution lies within the problem.

What is the role of progressive people at this time? Our primary duty must be to struggle; we must prove ourselves capable of articulating the frustrations and aspirations of our communities. To do so effectively we must constantly be on our guard against our biggest enemies at this time; pessimism, indifference and inaction. We must understand that from nothing comes nothing. We must be able to take each and every particular problem, each instance of injustice to its roots in the general crisis of capitalism and back to the particular solution. We must be vigilant and actively oppose those who would steer struggles into dead ends; those who promote narrow class interests over the interests of working class as a whole. We cannot offer readymade solutions but know that the struggle contains the solution.
 
Today by having meetings and discussions such as this we are rebuilding the revolutionary traditions firmly grounded upon our knowledge of the economic basis of all political action. As James Connolly stated;
 
‘Examine the great revolutionary movements of history and you find that in all cases they sprang from unsatisfactory social conditions, and had their origin in a desire for material well being. In other words, the seat of progress and source of revolution is not in the brain, but in the stomach.’
 
In these times it is absolutely vital that we take hope and inspiration from our revolutionary traditions, as Walter Benjamin once noted, it is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us.

Paul McKenna, chairperson of the Glasgow Defence Campaign.

 

The rich protest while the poor celebrate!

FRFI's Speaking Tour: 'Reports from the frontline' kicked off in Glasgow on Sunday 6 April as comrade Rafael Ramos- Rafa- joined FRFI Supporters on a march in Govanhill Glasgow on International Roma Day. Chants of 'El Pueblo Unido- Ne vas sera vencido!'- 'The People United- Will never be Defeated!' in Spanish and English, alternated with our calls to 'Unite and Fight!'. We were proud to see our Venezuelan comrade hold the banner of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on the march.

At the afternoon meeting Rafa detailed the incredibly positive achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela: the international record breaking levels of access to free education from nursery to university, the reductions in poverty and unemployment, the massive house building programs- all of which have pushed Venezuela up into the United Nations' attested higher levels of human development. Rafa was here also to describe how the Venezuelan people, the government and the working class, were dealing with the recent upsurge in 'protest' and 'opposition' organised by the wealthy in the country and abroad- principally the United States. Rafa quoted a poet who had wryly noted that in Venezuela '...the rich protest while the poor celebrate.' Rafa himself had lost a friend in the recent violent attacks of the fascist reactionaries. He assured the meeting that the people everywhere, in particular those in the barrios close to the well-off areas from which the attacks on schools, medical clinics, transport come, advocate a peaceful resolution of the situation. The politically experienced, educated and organised Venezuelan folk are aware of their country's history and of the history of Latin America. The speaker pointed out that Hugo Chavez had himself presented Barak Obama with a copy of Eduardo Galleano's book 'The Open Veins of Latin America'. Clearly Obama has chosen to ignore its truths. The Venezuelans know that the creation of a civil war scenario is the aim of the reactionary violence, to justify imperialist intervention. Having popularly defeated a United States' sponsored coup attempt in April 2002, the people were not about to walk into Uncle Sam's obvious and bloody trap. They are calmly and peacefully defending their Revolution!

To make the point that the Bolivarian Revolution is indeed also popularly recognised and supported throughout the world, comrade Rafa had no sooner entered a Glasgow pub and been introduced as a Venezuelan than we heard the cry of 'Viva Chavez!'. A tablet was produced showing the web page of Venezuela Analysis.com! Our Venezuelan friend and comrade gave FRFI comrades an account of how the party of Hugo Chavez- the United Socialist Party of Venezuela- organises its millions of members. Across the universities and colleges, in the barrios of the working people and in the workplaces, the advance of the Bolivarian Revolution is planned and put into action. It was for us a privilege and honour to hear from the frontline of the struggle in Venezuela and to be part of the battle to bring its victories to the people.

 

Guilty for using a megaphone against ATOS

 
Today in Glasgow Sheriff Court, a judge sitting alone without a jury found Dominic O’Hara guilty of the criminal offence of using a megaphone on a picket against ATOS and in defence of disability rights in Glasgow on 22 February 2013. Sentence has been deferred until 18 March 2015 pending a 'good behaviour' report. These are the means through which the British ruling class hopes to deal with any opposition voices they deem a threat.
 
Supporters packed the public gallery in court number 20 to hear the third and final day of a trial which has cost in the region of £10,000 to bring to conclusion. From the outset the Glasgow Defence Campaign has been very clear – the trial was a political trial – where the right to effective protest was at stake. The trial can only be understood in the wider context of the undeclared war on the working class which is underway. The attacks on democratic rights cannot be separated from the violence which is currently being reined upon the most vulnerable in society who are being made to pay for the economic crisis.  
 
When placed against a background of almost four years of constant harassment directed against supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in Glasgow, today’s verdict comes as no surprise. Money and resources was no object. Four crown witnesses were used, three of them police officers. Two supporters were illegally arrested and detained on the protest. The charges relating to this were later to be dropped as the arrests themselves were unlawful. In the weeks following his arrest, one supporter was accosted and stalked at his family home by undercover police officers who attempted to recruit him as an informer. We reserve the right to comment further on the police manoeuvres during this period and will do so at a time of our convenience.
 
For the time being the Glasgow Defence Campaign would like to place on record our sincere thanks to all those who have helped publicise this case and who have stood with us throughout the past year. Tens of thousands of people have read our recent blog postings confirming what we believe to be a growing concern among more and more people about the nature of ‘justice’ in this country. We have held no less than nine pickets of Glasgow Sheriff Court in relation to this specific case to make it absolutely clear to those who oppress the vulnerable we will hold them to account. We would like to salute our comrades from Dundee Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and Dundee Against ATOS who have travelled in support during the trial. We hope you learned something about the nature of the British justice system and how the police react to effective court mobilisations and we hope also to have learned from you about the need to continue to resist.  
 
When faced with injustice we have no option but to continue to resist.
 
Miriam Kelly GDC
Glasgow, Scotland

 

19 March 2014 
 
They've got all their law books and their regulations
They've got all their prisons and fortresses;
Their ‘deterrent measures’ we needn't mention!
They've got all their prison guards and judges
Who are well paid, ready to do anything:
Well, why is that then?
Do they really think they’ll wear us down with all that?
Before they perish (and that will be soon)
They will see how all they did was in vain.
 
They've got their newspapers and printing presses
With which to attack and silence our voices
Their statesmen we needn't mention!
They own Priests and Professors
Who are well paid and ready to do anything:
Well, why is that then?
Is it because the truth’s so frightening?
Before they perish (and that will be soon)
They will see how all they did was in vain.
 
They've got their tanks and their cannon
Machine guns and hand grenades
Their stilted truncheons don’t really count!
Their policemen and their soldiers
Who are underpaid, but ready to do anything:
Well, why is that then?
Is it because their enemy’s so powerful?
They think they must find some support soon
To halt what’s tottering up.
A day will come, it will be soon
They’ll come to see that that’s no good to them at all.
Then they can go on screaming ‘stop!’
Neither money nor cannon will save them!
 
Bertolt Brecht
 
Translated by the Glasgow Defence Campaign

 

Glasgow Defence Campaign on trial

Militant protest held outside Glasgow Sheriff Court, Monday 6 January 2014

On 22 February 2013 two supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! were arrested during a monthly protest against the benefit cutting multinational Atos. This brought to a head a six-month campaign of criminalisation waged by Strathclyde police (now Police Scotland) to demonise, isolate and ultimately divide and rule the militant and growing opposition to cuts to disability benefit in Glasgow.

The Glasgow Against Atos 2, Daniel McGarrell and Dominic O’Hara, were detained and charged with using a megaphone when instructed not to, resisting arrest and attempting to liberate a prisoner. In October a Sheriff Court judge found that the police had been acting unlawfully having no powers of arrest under the legislation s.54 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.Regardless of this abuse of police powers and the collapse of the case the Sheriff upheld the political charge against Mr O’Hara of ‘using a megaphone’. The trial continues on 28 January and has become a fight to defend protest rights in Glasgow city centre in the run up to the Commonwealth Games in July which are being sponsored by Atos. The Glasgow Defence Campaign (GDC) is mobilising supporters to picket the Sheriff Court on the morning of the trial and is also pursuing legal action against Police Scotland for illegally arresting and detaining these anti-cuts protestors.

The ongoing trial as well as wider changes to Scottish policing and the limiting of access to legal aid representation underline the importance of unifying opposition to ruling class cuts and subsequent criminalisation now. 1 April 2013 saw the introduction of the punitive Bedroom Tax. On the same day a major restructuring of Scotland’s police forces took place with eight regional units, previously autonomous from one another, unified into a single national force known as ‘Police Scotland’. Already major concerns over local accountability and ‘massaging’ of crime figures to meet targets have arisen. A new generation of foot soldiers for the British ruling class are being trained to control and put down effective opposition to welfare cuts in Britain and imperialist occupation and war abroad.

The GDC has been busy at work organising against this under the slogan ‘Don’t Panic – Organise!’. The GDC, established by supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in 2010, has been consistent in undertaking work in defence of progressive activists and organisations. We have consistently; updated our blogspot with reports of political policing (including our ‘police harassment log’); educated ourselves and others in matters of law by producing ‘know your rights’ bust cards and put this knowledge into action (our youtube video ‘how to deal with police harassment’ has had over half a million views); mobilised supporters and concerned members of the public for free speech rallies and pickets of Glasgow courts to support those facing political charges; wrote to national newspapers to highlight these issues and built support for our campaign on the streets and among well known individuals and sympathetic politicians. We invite all those opposed to the cuts, racism and wars of the British ruling class to stand together in joining the campaign to defend the protest rights we currently have. No Justice! No Peace!

Court Picket: Unite Against The Cuts! Defend Free Speech!
Tuesday 4 March, 10.15am
Outside Glasgow Sheriff Court, 1 Carlton Place
Trial in court 19 (open to the public)

For more info visit glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; call 07734348065. To join the campaign donate a £5 pledge or standing order to the credit of Glasgow Defence Campaign Sort Code: 08-92-99, Account No: 65685253. Send your contact details to us at; PO Box YI-45, 2nd Floor, 48 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1 BP

 

Megaphone trial begins in Glasgow

Militant protest held outside Glasgow Sheriff Court, Monday 6 January 2014

The trial against Dominic O’Hara a supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Glasgow Defence Campaign began yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court as protesters staged a militant protest outside the court. On 22 February 2013 Dominic was unlawfully arrested and detained for speaking on a megaphone alongside another Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter Daniel McGarrell on a protest against cuts to disability benefits being carried out by the multinational ATOS, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions. As we noted at the time, the state were setting out to smash the growing resistance against the cuts and in particular divide and derail the campaign against ATOS.

At a previous court hearing on 1 October 2013 the case in respect of three charges against the ATOS 2 collapsed, in an important victory for the Glasgow Defence Campaign, as the crown was forced to concede that their original arrest and detention was unlawful as they had no powers of arrest under the legislation s.54 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 that they had originally claimed. The flagrant abuse of police powers is currently subject to legal action being pursued by the Glasgow Defence Campaign.

Yesterday’s trial heard from two prosecution witnesses surrounding the events of the day. Speaking outside of the court, convenor of the Glasgow Defence Campaign, Paul McKenna stated that ‘this trial is a political trial which is intended to restrict and criminalise any effective protest against the cuts. The only criminality which took place that day on a wholly orderly and peaceful protest was the police snatch on our two comrades. We are confident that they will be vindicated’.

The trial was adjourned and will resume on Tuesday 28 January at 10am in court number 19 at Glasgow Sheriff Court, before a single judge sitting alone without a jury.

The Glasgow Defence Campaign will again be mobilising for a court protest and reminds supporters of this Sunday’s important meeting on the fight for democratic rights.

Policing the crisis

When the law makers are the law breakers there is no law

Sunday 12 January 2-4pm

Woodside Halls, Glenfarg Street, near St Georges x underground, Glasgow.

Report reproduced from the Glasgow Defence Campaign BlogSpot

For more information visit – glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com

 

 

UKBA protest: standing up to racism in Glasgow, 9 Sep 2013

On 9 September people gathered in front of the UK Border Agency offices to protest against their recent degrading poster campaign which depicts destitute refugees alongside slogans such as ‘Is life here hard? Ask about going home’. This blatant attack on some of the most vulnerable people in society is just one in a long line of continual repression and discrimination against asylum seekers and refugees throughout the country. Asylum seekers are forced into derelict housing where eviction is common and must live with the constant threat of dawn raids and deportation. And now to add to a life of poverty and human suffering, asylum seekers must endure further humiliation sat in the waiting room of this government agency building as their claim gets processed.

 

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Glasgow Defence Campaign – For immediate release

Two arrests on peaceful Glasgow Against Atos protest

22 Feb, Glasgow – Two supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (Glasgow) were today violently arrested, Friday 22 February, shortly after 2pm outside the Royal Bank of Scotland on Gordon Street, Glasgow city centre. They were taking part in a peaceful rolling picket organised by Glasgow Against ATOS, a campaign committed to opposing the French multinational ATOS and the government’s attack on welfare.

Both those arrested were taken to Stewart Street police station and were released at approximately 18:30. They are facing charges of liberating a prisoner from custody, resisting arrest and using a megaphone. Court date is set for Friday 22 March, for which solidarity protests are being organised. In an outrageous attack on democratic rights, their bail conditions include a ban on attending demonstrations in Glasgow city centre. This is the real reason behind these arrests: to disrupt and destroy political activity.

 

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Glasgow: Labour council passes £40m cuts budget – where is the resistance?

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters joined parents and former users of St. Brides Primary swimming pool protesting outside Glasgow City Chambers today, Thursday 7 February. The pool is one of four currently facing closure, including special needs schools Abercorn and Ashcraig. Swimming pools were not the only concern.

Today’s budget, with £42mn worth of cutbacks, was passed by the majority Labour Council and supported by the SNP (bar a token budget amendment they proposed). To the people of Glasgow, walking and driving past the Chambers, unaware of the future misery being signed and sealed in their names, our message is clear and urgent; unite your communities and struggles and fight back against all cutbacks!

The cuts budget in Glasgow is clear in who is to suffer. It is targeting the most vulnerable, with plans to shutdown three disability day care centres in Maryhill, Summerston and Cardonald and reduce the number of teaching staff specially trained to provide support for pupils with additional learning needs (£2.4mn reduction). It is targeting the lives of the elderly by maintaining the increased costs of emergency alarms for older people. And it is targeting the lives of the young, with a 10% increase in council nursery charges and raised cost of primary schools meals (doubling the price of breakfasts to £1 and lunches to £1.50 from their current £1.15 by 2014).

Among the list of other measures to increase costs and lower living standards we see a 5% upping of the cost of Glasgow Life gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes for young and middle aged adults who are not club members (membership will be charged from March 2013).

As always, it will be the working class and poor who will bear the brunt of the cuts, those who cannot afford the luxuries of private healthcare and childcare; it is not the children of the middle class and elites who will have to worry about the rising cost of school meals.

Sadly most people in Glasgow will not become aware of these cuts until there affected by them. On that note we condemn the silencing of protest which took place today outside the Chambers. The Trade Unions which last week helped organise a mass protest on the very same spot, on the day of the budget sat on their hands and buttoned their lips, in order to allow their Labour party chums to pass their budget without disturbance. The innumerable campaigns established by the opportunist left in the past two years – Coalition of Resistance, Unite the Resistance, Right to Work, Defend Glasgow Services etc etc – were exposed once more as so many empty words. It will be the people themselves who lead the fight, not those who hand themselves titles and represent nothing but their own narrow interests.

The hypocrisy of the unions and others in their empty promises of ‘action against the cuts’ is matched only by the hypocrisy of Glasgow’s Labour Council which has been boasting about the sports legacy that the 2014 Commonwealth Games will bring to Glasgow for the last 6 years.  With the passing of this budget the council have confirmed that this legacy will be reserved for those with money to burn. Glasgow’s poor will be side-lined from sport and instead ‘reserved’ a place in the ranks of the 15,000 strong unpaid volunteer army set up to help run the Games (what a legacy!).

The protests of the people being affected by the closures of day care centres and swimming pools are a small glimpse of the righteous anger building across this city. To use this anger we must unite it, to unite it we must oppose the age old tools of division, used by the upper classes, most prominently racism. As some of the parents of pupils who use the St. Brides pool stated ‘this is a community fight’ in a deprived and highly diverse area of the city, Govanhill, which is challenging racial as well as class discrimination. The long-time swimming instructor at the school noted that St. Brides ‘is an ideal pool in which children can learn to swim because of its depth and also because it is enclosed which makes it suitable for the members of our Asian community...it is the only school in Glasgow to have Asian girls competing in the swimming pool.’

 

Save St. Brides swimming pool!

No day centre closures!

Oppose All Cuts!

Unite and Fightback!

 

FRFI reader on the bedroom tax – 1 February 2013

The bedroom tax that is due to come into effect from April is going to affect all working class people whether it be directly or indirectly. The direct effect will be a tax of 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two extra bedrooms or more for anyone receiving housing benefit, this will be at a cost of £16 per week to the average housing association tenant. Or as in my case the indirect effect  which comes not from a financial burden but in the shape of an attack on my family, friends and community. 

Two examples of how the bedroom tax is going to affect me and my community are my cousin who has recently lost his father who he shared his house with, the same two bedroom house that he has lived in all of his life and a neighbour and friend of mine who has also recently lost his mother who he shared his three bedroom house with again a house where he has spent all of his life. In both case the result of the bedroom tax is going to be a direct choice between putting food in their bellies or paying an extra 14% and 25% in bedroom tax, and when the inevitable happens and they can't pay what is going to happen? At best they are going to be kicked out of their homes that they have been born into and ripped away from their communities that have raised them and be relocated to another part of the town or country, or they will be made homeless. What is their crime? Their crime is  being born poor and having the limited opportunities of employment that result from the social circumstances surrounding working class people and our communities. 

At this time more than ever we must stand together to tackle this absurd capitalist notion that the poorest sections of society have to pay for crises and crimes of the rich ruling class. And if you like me care for your family, friends, neighbours and communities then you must fight for them by organizing among yourselves in preparation for the defence of who and what we care for against the attempts to divide our communities by the rich and ruthless ruling class.

Fight the cuts !!

Danny M, from Hamilton

 

ATOS kills – kill ATOS! Monthly protest of Glasgow Against ATOS - 25 January 2013

On Friday the 25th January, Glasgow Against ATOS campaigners took to the street for our monthly picket of the Atos premises on Cadogan Street where people are put through the degrading work capability assessments. The protest also included a rolling picket of companies in the Glasgow city centre area who are cohorts of Atos, DWP and the government in their attempts to criminalize the sick and disabled of our country.

 

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Reclaiming Christmas from Atos in Glasgow! - Dec 2012

On Friday 28 December Glasgow Against Atos campaigners held their end of month action with a Christmas based theme. Declaring the government’s treatment of disability benefit claimants to be humbug and contrary to the festive mood of the season a rolling picket was organised in Glasgow city centre; starting from the Atos assessment centre and finishing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games offices, as Atos are sponsoring the games. One campaigner, dressed up as the Grinch, stated, ‘Christmas, what Christmas? Seventy three people are dying a week across Britain after having their disability benefit cut! Just like the Grinch stole Christmas, Atos are stealing it from people and their families’.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters have been playing a leading role in the campaign alongside other activists from the Black Triangle Disability rights campaign, the Save The Accord campaign, The Irish republican group 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Socialist party and some individual anarchists. Unfortunately the majority of left groups in Scotland, such as the International Socialist Group, have refused to support the campaign so far.

The campaigns aim is to bring together the claimants, individuals, campaigns and groups in Glasgow who wish to oppose the notorious private multinational Atos. Now that some level of unity has been achieved the next task is to expand the campaign involving more disability claimants and the general public. FRFI supporters will be working to maintain the open and democratic nature of the Glasgow Against Atos campaign which will be vital if the goals outlined above are to be achieved.

Solidarity with the sick and poor!

Victory to Glasgow Against Atos!

More information about Atos and the campaign can be found at: index.php/fight-the-cuts/2719-end-war-on-welfare

Facebook – ‘Glasgow Against-Atos’

Blogspot - http://glasgowagainstatos.wordpress.com/

Phone – 07734348065

 

 

Glasgow Against ATOS Picket - 28 Sep 2012

Glasgow against ATOS picketA break in the clouds allowed the end of monthly picket of the Atos centre on Glasgow’s Cadogan Street to go ahead today. Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, The Socialist Party and the Accord, Black Triangle and 32 County Sovereignty Movement campaigns united to distribute advice sheets for claimants facing assessment and leaflets for the launch meeting of the ‘Glasgow Against ATOS’ campaign on Wednesday 10 October.

 

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Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

People! The war being waged on the poor, sick and disabled in this country has well and truly begun. The former Labour Government set the ball rolling with its introduction of the notorious Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in 2008 and its hiring of the private, profit driven, multinational Atos to carry out these assessments. The Coalition Government have continued this policy with devastating consequences. Reports have shown that between January and August 2011, up to 1,100 claimants died following Atos assessments and being found fit for work. We have both a moral and political incentive to stand with those being cut; the ruling class will widen out there attacks on living standards (around 80% of cuts are still to come); if we are unable to defend the most vulnerable in our society how will we defend others?

With these questions in mind Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! held two events in Glasgow this week; supported by the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, the Accord Campaign, the Merrylee Matters Campaign and the Glasgow Defence Campaign. On Wednesday 27 June we hosted a meeting ‘War on welfare: Time for action!’ and this was followed by a two hour picket of the Atos testing centre on Cadogan Street on Friday 29 June.

Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

The meeting was addressed by supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the founding member of the Black Triangle Campaign, John McArdle. The FRFI comrade highlighted the parasitic nature of the Atos multinational and its links with the British military and oil and gas exploration abroad. Opposition to Atos he argued had to go hand in hand with a fight against those responsible for its hiring, the British ruling class. John McArdle followed this with a passionate and concrete speech about the reasons why we must support those fight backing, the progress that has been made in this so far and where we must go from here. After the speakers a creative discussion took place with solutions and ideas put forward about how we can most effectively target Atos. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will be working with others to now put these words into action.

The follow up picket two days later was well attended and everyone; both the people going through the assessments and their cold hearted assessors; inside the centre were made aware of our presence with noisy chants of ‘Atos Doctors, Nazi Doctors!’, ‘Say it loud, say it clear, Atos are not welcome here!’, ‘Hands off the sick and poor: Atos do not have a cure!’. Despite the torrential rain spirits were kept high and anger at seeing those sick and disabled people going to and from the centre, many with tears in their eyes, made sure that everyone was committed to the protest.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!  will be holding a picket of this Atos testing centre on the last Friday of every month from now on. The next picket date is below. Between now and then we will be organising different activities to combat the scourge that is the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and its hired lackeys Atos.

We call for the greatest unity on this issue amongst the people of Glasgow and left groups (The International Socialist Group/Coalition of Resistance, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party etc), who have failed so far to unite and did not attend the events against Atos this week. The Socialist Party sent one member to the picket. Political sectarianism must be left behind and real unity must be formed in the interests of the people on the receiving end of the cuts!

Victory to the poor, sick and disabled!

Oppose Atos and the Work Capability Assessment!

Picket Atos!

Friday 27 July, 2-4pm

Atos testing centre,

Cadogan Street,

Glasgow City Centre.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07734348065 for more information or to get involved.

Dominic Mulgrew

 

Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

People! The war being waged on the poor, sick and disabled in this country has well and truly begun. The former Labour Government set the ball rolling with its introduction of the notorious Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in 2008 and its hiring of the private, profit driven, multinational Atos to carry out these assessments. The Coalition Government have continued this policy with devastating consequences. Reports have shown that between January and August 2011, up to 1,100 claimants died following Atos assessments and being found fit for work. We have both a moral and political incentive to stand with those being cut; the ruling class will widen out there attacks on living standards (around 80% of cuts are still to come); if we are unable to defend the most vulnerable in our society how will we defend others?

With these questions in mind Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! held two events in Glasgow this week; supported by the Black Triangle Disability Rights Campaign, the Accord Campaign, the Merrylee Matters Campaign and the Glasgow Defence Campaign. On Wednesday 27 June we hosted a meeting ‘War on welfare: Time for action!’ and this was followed by a two hour picket of the Atos testing centre on Cadogan Street on Friday 29 June.

Actions Against Atos in Glasgow

The meeting was addressed by supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the founding member of the Black Triangle Campaign, John McArdle. The FRFI comrade highlighted the parasitic nature of the Atos multinational and its links with the British military and oil and gas exploration abroad. Opposition to Atos he argued had to go hand in hand with a fight against those responsible for its hiring, the British ruling class. John McArdle followed this with a passionate and concrete speech about the reasons why we must support those fight backing, the progress that has been made in this so far and where we must go from here. After the speakers a creative discussion took place with solutions and ideas put forward about how we can most effectively target Atos. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will be working with others to now put these words into action.

The follow up picket two days later was well attended and everyone; both the people going through the assessments and their cold hearted assessors; inside the centre were made aware of our presence with noisy chants of ‘Atos Doctors, Nazi Doctors!’, ‘Say it loud, say it clear, Atos are not welcome here!’, ‘Hands off the sick and poor: Atos do not have a cure!’. Despite the torrential rain spirits were kept high and anger at seeing those sick and disabled people going to and from the centre, many with tears in their eyes, made sure that everyone was committed to the protest.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!  will be holding a picket of this Atos testing centre on the last Friday of every month from now on. The next picket date is below. Between now and then we will be organising different activities to combat the scourge that is the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and its hired lackeys Atos.

We call for the greatest unity on this issue amongst the people of Glasgow and left groups (The International Socialist Group/Coalition of Resistance, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party etc), who have failed so far to unite and did not attend the events against Atos this week. The Socialist Party sent one member to the picket. Political sectarianism must be left behind and real unity must be formed in the interests of the people on the receiving end of the cuts!

Victory to the poor, sick and disabled!

Oppose Atos and the Work Capability Assessment!

Picket Atos!

Friday 27 July, 2-4pm

Atos testing centre,

Cadogan Street,

Glasgow City Centre.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07734348065 for more information or to get involved.

Dominic Mulgrew

 

Victory! Statement on acquittal of FRFI activist in Glasgow - 12 Dec 2011

Victory! Statement on acquittal of FRFI activist in Glasgow

‘The law is simply and solely made for the exploitation of those who do not understand it or of those who, for naked need, cannot obey it.’ Bertolt Brecht

Over one year of relentless campaigning by the Glasgow Defence Campaign was vindicated today as Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter Joey Simons was found not guilty on all five charges relating to his arrest on an anti-cuts demonstration on 9 December 2010. Through twelve months of court appearances, and a trial lasting four days, the Crown office was unable to spin the shameless lies of Strathclyde police officers into a web of deceit sufficient to secure a prosecution by Sherriff Kerr. Cops lined up one after another to perjure themselves in front of the court, their ‘evidence’ concocted in concert and dutifully despatched; their well-rehearsed stories of rescue attempts, ‘threats to officer safety’, conspiratorial leaders, and ‘frantic’ crowds repeated again and again.

 

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

Glasgow: glasgowfrfi@gmail.com

Tel: 078 2620 3476

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