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.

Read more ...

Glasgow Events

Scotland Events coming up..

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

Glasgow; glasgow_rcg@gmail.com

Edinburgh: edinburghfrfi@gmail.com

 

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