United Rally Against Racist Attacks, Edinburgh, 24 September 2016

24 September Hunter Square

Recent days, weeks and months have seen an escalation in racist street attacks. Edinburgh Central Mosque firebombed, fascist stickers across Leith, a Polish family attacked in Wester Hailes with Police Scotland failing to respond to calls for help, an asylum seeker violently attacked on Thursday, as well as ‘white only’ soup kitchens and a community ‘hub’ run by fascists in Glasgow. The deaths of overwhelmingly black people (such as Sheku Bayoh) in police custody and the cover up that follows to deny the families justice.

On Wednesday 21 September the weekly stall by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, was threatened and attacked by racists including a Scottish Defence League (SDL) thug. In response to this, and the increasing attacks, we exposed the SDL fascist responsible and called for a solidarity demonstration at our weekly stall against ‘Racism, War and Austerity’ at Hunter Square, Edinburgh, on Saturday 24 September. Defend anti-racist spaces and fascists off our streets!

As well as gaining lots of support from the passing public our stall got support throughout the day from Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty, Migrant Solidarity Network supporters, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), Young Communist League, a Socialist Workers Party supporter and other socialists, anarchists and anti-fascists. We also received supportive messages from the International Marxist Tendency and anti-racists from around the country.

 

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Fight Racism! stall attacked by SDL fascists, Edinburgh - Call out for solidarity Saturday 24 September

Fascist glasgow
 

On Wednesday 21 September the weekly stall by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, was attacked by a Scottish Defence League thug. 

Displaying our ‘justice for immigrants’ banner and black lives matter placards we were approached on three separate occasions by different fascists. The first, after calling black people ‘monkeys’ and physically threatening the stall, was moved on by a policeman who happened to be patrolling the area. The second stood growling at the stall and a third, who we can name as Andrew R Jenkinson (pictured), verbally abused a South African woman on the stall before physically attacking one of the stall helpers with chants of ‘SDL’. Jenkinson also stated ‘we are hunting people like you down’, called us ‘anti-white racists’ and that ‘we love Islamists’.

He asked the stall helper ‘to come around the corner’, moved to head-butt him and then after refusing to move on repeatedly punched the helper, almost throwing him in front of a bus, before he was physically taken down and restrained by the helper in self-defence. A concerned member of the public witnessed the racial abuse and assault and called the police. The incident is now being investigated by police as an ‘Assault (Racial)’.

Recent days, weeks and months have seen Edinburgh Central Mosque firebombed, fascist stickers across Leith, prompting the ‘United colours of Leith’ walk, and ‘white only’ soup kitchens in Glasgow in an attempt to exploit the homelessness crisis. Byron Burger immigrant workers were raided and deported by the racist UK Border Agency. With state racism being ramped up to deny immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees a chance of peace and dignity and to divide and rule any opposition to worsening austerity the presence of organised racists  on our streets is becoming a lot more common. The vote for Britain to leave the EU on a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment has only added fuel to the flames. We call on all democrats, progressives, socialists, anarchists, communists to stand together against these attacks.

Join us for our weekly stall against racism, war and austerity at Hunter Square, 1-3pm, this Saturday to defend the anti-racist space on our streets. An open megaphone will be available for all speakers, bring banners, newspapers, leaflets etc.

Defend Anti-Racist Space! Fascists off our streets!

Saturday 24 September, 1-3pm

Hunter Square (just off Royal Mile)

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

The people united will never be defeated!

 

Byron Burgers - shame on you! Edinburgh RCG join the protests

Byron protest1

On 5 August Edinburgh Revolutionary Communist Group joined the picket of Byron Burgers on North Bridge by the Royal Mile. The protest had been called by the Edinburgh Migrants Solidarity Network and followed actions against Byron Burgers all over Britain. Protestors walked into the store leafleting staff and customers about the collaboration of Byron bosses with the racist immigration controls of the UK Home Office and UK Borders Agency.

On 4 July fifty migrant workers from Byron restaurants across London were called by their bosses to attend a bogus training session. When they arrived thirty five workers arrested by the UKBA immigration police waiting for them. Some of the workers had been working at the store for four years - sixty or seventy hours a week in some cases, contributing to Byron’s record profit and growth in the last year. At the time of writing thirty five workers from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt - have been deported.

Despite the aggression of the store management and the presence of police, the picket held its ground for over two hours, blocking the entrance to the store. RCG comrades led an open megaphone with chants and speeches against Byron Burger bosses, immigration controls and deportations, highlighting the racist, imperialist nature of the British state. Crowds of over a hundred people gathered to listen and give their support. To defend the rights of migrant workers is to defend the rights of all workers, to stand with refugees is to stand against racism, austerity and war orchestrated by the British ruling class at home and abroad. We reject the notion that one worker is ‘legal’ and another ‘illegal’ whilst migrants and refugees are driven from their lands by war, systematic under-development and exploitation and then refused the right to work and welfare when they arrive. We demand papers for all or no papers at all!

Protests have been taking place across Britain to punish Byron Burgers for collaborating with the racist immigration act and stabbing their workers in the back. The next Migrant Solidarity protest against Byron Burgers in Edinburgh will be Saturday 13 August, meeting at 1pm outside Usher Hall, Lothian Road. Join us!

Byron protest 2

Byron protest 3

 

Shut down Dungavel immigration prison – Immigration is no crime!

On Saturday 7th May, FRFI supporters from around Scotland joined the ‘Shut down Dungavel immigration prison’ protest called by ‘We will rise’ an activist group led by former immigration detainees in Glasgow. The event formed part of a transnational day of action against immigration detention and joined 20 protests at immigration prisons across Britain, France and Greece.

Dungavel holds 249 prisoners and is run on behalf of the Home Office by private US firm GEO Group, expanding their network of profit making prisons across the globe. Suicide attempts, protests and hunger strikes are common, with many detainees being held indefinitely in cramped conditions with little access to healthcare or legal advice. After a noise protest of drumming and banging on the towering perimeter fences, activists managed to make contact with immigration detainees who had assembled in the small exercise yard to join the demonstration. From a hill directly behind the prison we were able to make phone calls to detainees and broadcast their message to the rest of the protest ‘one message, one slogan, end all immigration detention’

The Revolutionary Communist Group demands the closure of all immigration prisons and stands in solidarity with all migrants. In an imperialist nation like Britain, which wages war and exploits oppressed peoples around the world, all forms of immigration control are, by their very nature, racist and imposed in the interests of capital, irrespective of whether they target refugees and asylum seekers, ‘economic migrants’, students or any other type of migrant. Nor can anyone who comes to Britain or any other wealthy nation from a country ravaged by imperialist plunder be dismissed as an ‘economic migrant’, rather than a ‘real refugee’. Imperialist oppression is both political and economic and fleeing it always has a political dimension. We campaign against all British immigration controls and opposes all detentions and deportations.

 

Scrap Britain’s imperialist immigration controls! RCG Scotland joins 19 March UN day against racism

On 19 March, Revolutionary Communist Group members and supporters from Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Falkirk participated in the Stand Up to Racism march at George Square, organised in coordination with the UN day against Racism. Our anti-imperialist contingent joined the thousands of people who took to the streets.

With our banners and open microphone, we called attention to the fact that racism and fascism cannot be fought without fighting immigration laws, imperialism and capitalism. Many young people around us joined our chants, raising a wide range of issues: the murder of Sheku Bayoh and Police Scotland's racism, the role of the SNP and Scottish Labour in enforcing racism and austerity, immigration laws which murder thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean and subject migrants in Britain to terrible conditions, and British imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa, which underlines all these issues. We say the movement of people is not the problem, imperialist intervention and racist border controls are responsible for the refugee crisis – No more blood for oil! Safe passage now!

We made sure to keep our microphone open, in contrast to the “official” microphone for MPs and campaign leaders used at the rally, where all the speakers were determined beforehand. We say that if you want to build a genuine movement against racism and against imperialism, your movement must be democratic, and this means having an open microphone to allow anyone against racism to speak.

Join us at our regular speak outs against Racism war and austerity across Scotland – open microphone, all anti-racists welcome.

Dundee - Saturday 21 May 12-2pm

Mary Brooksbank Memorial, Murraygate,

Glasgow Saturday 28 May, 11-1pm

Outside Primark, Argyle Street

 

Victory through Solidarity! FRFI joins protest at Edinburgh High Riggs Job Centre

Edinburgh High Riggs Job Centre

G4S - Hands Off Claimants and Advocates!

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Supporters from Edinburgh and Dundee responded to the call out from the Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty to defend welfare advocacy rights. 50 folks from diverse organisations: Dundee Against Austerity, Castlemilk Against Austerity, Class War, Scottish Unemployed Workers Network, Stand Up to Racism and Fascism, Drums of Resistance and anarchists stood together outside High Riggs Job Centre in Edinburgh to proclaim loudly that ‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All’ and ‘Advocacy is not a Crime!’

We were responding in numbers and noise to the physical exclusion of supporters of welfare claimants from the Job Centre. The security guards from G4S had prevented a claimant from bringing in their volunteer advocate to an interview a fortnight previously. This time around, with the protest going on as they went in, the claimant entered with the advocate without problem and received an apology from DWP staff for the illegal treatment. Victory!

 

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Safe Passage Now – Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle join European-wide protests for refugees


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On 27 February, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters helped organise protests on the streets of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle as part of a day of action which in 138 cities across Europe to demand safe passage for migrants fleeing war and oppression internationally. Europe has the deadliest borders in the world. Over 4000 lives were lost in 2015, avoidable, tragic deaths caused only due to the lack of safe legal migration routes.

In Glasgow around 60 people gathered in the heart of the city centre to stand in solidarity with those attempting the deadly journey across Europe’s militarised borders. The slogans of the protests – ‘conflict is the crisis’ / ‘movement of people is not the problem’ – sought to highlight the hidden truth of the so-called refugee crisis: that it is imperialist war and the racist response of European states to migration which is the real crisis, not the free movement of people. As one placard on the protest read: ‘Imperialism created refugees: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya: Stop wars not people!’ One Syrian refugee spoke on the open sound system about his experiences facing soldiers, police and prison cells in the course of crossing ten borders to safety. As he told FRFI: ‘All I can say is the truth. But sometimes the truth hurts, and people don’t want to hear it.’

The protest was significant in being organised by independent activists, mainly from the Glasgow School of Art. The 27F protest was only the first action in what aims to become a growing group of people in Glasgow capable of furthering migrant solidarity and activity. Tear down the walls!

 

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Older folks stand up to SNP cuts

'This idea that the SNP are going to put an end to austerity is just nonsense.' Independent councillor for Montrose, David May. Angus Courier 18 December 2015.

After the SNP's Finance Minister, John Swinney, announced the Scottish budget settlement in mid December 2015, the SNP led Angus Council cut $6.5 million from its budget. Despite the SNP's false claims that it would protect the vulnerable in Scotland from 'Tory' austerity they have gone on to propose cuts that target the vulnerable directly.

However the older generations and their families of the small Angus towns have organised and fought back. From Edzell, Montrose, Fettercairn, Kirriemuir, Forfar and Brechin they have confronted SNP councillors who wanted to cut back the Tenant Support Officers that help older folks in their homes and Sheltered Housing. Laundry charges, critical for dealing with issues of continence, were to be raised and the frequency of the service reduced.

 

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Scotland RCG speak out against racism and war in Glasgow - 23 January

RCG Protest in Glasgow City from Amjad Ayub Mirza on Vimeo.

On 23 January RCG supporters from Glasgow, Dundee, Edinburgh and Newcastle gathered in Argyll street for a speak out against racism, war and austerity. The open mic saw activists from across the region condemn Britain’s current bombing campaign in Syria and racist immigration laws that are directly responsible for the deaths of refugees at the border. It has been estimated thatImperialist-led wars in the Middle East have been responsible for killing up to four million people in the last 25 years. This means that British imperialism has been involved in the deaths of 438 people every day – 18 every hour – for a quarter of a century! Meanwhile the continued onslaught of benefit sanctions, welfare cuts and rent hikes is pushing more people into poverty within Britain. The number of homeless households is now at its highest level since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis. Between July and September 2015 over 68,500 families were housed in emergency temporary accommodation, with a further 14,600 new applications for statutory homelessness. Whilst there is always money to bail out the banks and drop bombs in the Middle East and north Africa, the rotten system of British imperialism is determined to push the working class in Britain into ever worsening conditions, forcing people to accept low paid, zero hours contracts, maximising the profits.

The banks got bailed out! We got sold out! No more blood for oil! Hands off Syria!

Join us for our next speak out – open mic for all who stand against racism, war and austerity!

27th February 2016 Kirkgate, Leith, Edinburgh 12-2pm

 

Edinburgh RCG supporters stand in solidarity with Kurdistan and Palestine!

On 16 January, Revolutionary Communist Group supporters in Edinburgh demonstrated alongside Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan protesters, demanding the end to British support for Turkey, the lifting of the ban on the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party which has been proscribed since 1993), and for freedom for Kurdish political prisoners.

An open microphone was held, and we spoke about on the long history of British involvement in the region, beginning with the treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne in 1920 and 1923 and continuing to this day with the war in Syria. Britain is paying Turkey £275 million to prevent the passage of refugees into Europe. Turkey is using this as a bargaining chip to get EU membership. No more blood money to Turkey!

British companies BAE systems and Land Rover sell arms to Turkey whilst it attacks Kurdish villages and executes Kurdish citizens. In 2015 the British government identified Turkey as a 'priority market' for arms deals. British government – Blood on your hands!

Protesters were urged to sign cards for Silan Ozcelik, a young Kurdish woman and political prisoner of the British state, who is currently being held in prison for 21 months in London for attempting to travel to Kurdistan to fight with the PKK. Two RCG members were interviewed by NRT, a Kurdish news channel, on why communists in Scotland should support the Kurdish struggle.

RCG supporters also joined a protest called by Friends of Al-Aqsa and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign outside the Co-operative Bank, in George street, Edinburgh. The Co-operative Bank has joined other British banks in politically targeting supporters of Palestine. In 2008 Lloyds refused to provide clearing services for Interpal, the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund, In 2014 HSBC closed down accounts of the Ummah welfare trust which donates towards aid projects in Palestine. Now the Co-operative bank, which prides itself on being an 'ethical bank' has joined this political witch hunt and suspended the accounts of 20 different Palestine solidarity organisations. We stand with the campaign and demand that the accounts are reinstated and encourage people to boycott the Co-operative Bank and all British support for Israel! 

End British support for Turkey and Israel! Freedom for Kurdistan, Freedom for Palestine!

 

Dundee speaks out against racism, austerity and war

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

    

 

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

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

 

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Edinburgh Speaks out against Racism, Austerity and War!

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

Join us at our next Speak out events

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

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

RCG Scotland

 

Hands off John Bowden!

Greenock Sheriff Court for John Bowden 22 September

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

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

 

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Justice for Sheku Bayoh! Police Scotland, PIRC, SNP – blood on your hands!

FRFI supporters from across Scotland joined hundreds marching through Kirkcaldy on Sunday 6 September to demand justice for Sheku Bayoh, a 31 year old father of two who was killed in police custody on Sunday 3 May. Sheku moved to Britain from Sierra Leone when he was 11 and had lived in Fife since he was 17.

Right from the start there was a cover-up. Sheku’s family were given five different accounts from Police Scotland about the circumstances surrounding his death, including allegations that Sheku was carrying a knife, and that he was found dead by a member of the public. Sheku was unarmed and died in police custody. Whilst Police Scotland has refused to release CCTV footage, what is known is that police forced Sheku to the ground less than two minutes after confronting him, using CS spray, pepper spray and batons. Handcuffs, leg and ankle restraints were applied while he was face down. Still in handcuffs, Sheku was pronounced dead at Victoria Hospital within two hours of the start of the incident,.

 

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RCG mobilises support for strikes in Dundee and Glasgow

Throughout May to July, Revolutionary Communist Group supporters mobilised in support of striking Dundee hospital porters and Glasgow homelessness service caseworkers. Both were taking all-out strike action against low pay and to defend services.

After a 13-week strike, the 117 Dundee porters from Ninewells and Royal Victoria hospitals, members of Unite the Union, won an inspiring victory over their NHS Tayside bosses and the SNP Scottish Government. They won a re-grading, immediate pay rises, an increase in the number of full time, permanent portering jobs and a cash payment for every striker of £1,800.

 

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Justice for Sheku Bayoh!

Sheku Bayoh died in police custody on Sunday 3 May. This young man was not laid to rest until Sunday 7 June. Hundreds turned out from Sheku's local community in Kirkcaldy, Fife and hundreds' from all over: South London, Reading, Northampton. Diplomatic figures from Sheku's home country of Sierra Leone, marched alongside working class folks from Sheku's gym in the Templehall Community Centre.  

The march formed up opposite Gallaghers pub' where Sheku was restrained by up to 9 police officers a month ago. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! joined the procession and stood with it as it stopped outside the local police station to repeat the family's and campaign's demands for answers as to the circumstances of Sheku's death.

From the mosque people gathered at Dysart Cemetery to say hushed farewells and prayers for this popular local laddie who at 31 years of age leaves behind a partner Colette and two young children. At the press conference which followed his burial we heard shocking details of how doctors and nurses at Victoria Hospital had insisted police remove handcuffs and leg restraints from the dying Sheku as staff vainly tried to revive him.

 

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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.'

 

 

 

Read more ...

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!

 

 

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Contact us

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

Glasgow: glasgowfrfi@gmail.com

Tel: 078 2620 3476

How to deal with police harassment - Glasgow Defence Campaign

Victory to the Intifada! Rally in support of Palestinian hunger-strikers

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