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 ...

‘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!

Read more ...

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

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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