FRFI join annual John MacLean rally in Glasgow, 28 Nov 2010

john_macleanOn 28 November, FRFI Glasgow and others braved the snow to join the annual John MacLean rally in Glasgow organised by the Scottish Republic Socialist Movement and supported by the Pollok and Thornliebank and Volunteer Charles Carrigan Republican Flute Bands. Gerry Cairns, secretary of the John MacLean society, led the graveside oration at Eastwood ceremony. The usual march unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the treacherous conditions but a social was nonetheless held in Pollokshaws, MacLean´s birthplace. An FRFI supporter was invited to speak and his well received speech is reproduced below.

John MacLean (1873-1923), alongside his Edinburgh-born comrade James Connolly, was one of the greatest Marxists and revolutionaries every produced on our shores. We are dedicated to upholding his spirit and memory. Long live John MacLean!

"What would MacLean have made of today?" Speech by FRFI supporter to annual John MacLean commemoration event, 2010.

What would MacLean have made of today? Another generation suffering the cruelties and inhumanities of Capitalism and Imperialism, forced to fight back and then forward to a new world of justice and peace. Just as MacLean and his generation fought for the people of the future we fight for the future generation today. His tireless activism and commitment to Marxist theory, both in words and in actions, has left a revolutionary legacy that everyone should learn about and an example for everyone to try and follow.

Revolutionary activism is the only positive way to escape the depressing state that the world is in, it is a way of fighting back against those who deny the poor the means to a good life and for the oppressed peoples of Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East often the means to life itself.

Now the British, European and Yankee imperialists are attacking the living standards of their own populations the connection between the struggles of poor people living in imperialist countries with those living in oppressed countries is becoming clearer.

Just as MacLean called for the victory of the oppressed in his day, we call for the victory of all oppressed people now. Whether they are African, Afghani, Palestinian, Irish, Venezuelan, Scottish or Cuban makes no difference.

If they are resisting imperialism our fight is there’s and there’s is ours.

The Iron Hand of British Imperialism and the Steel Boot of the Yanks spark terror in the back streets of Helmand today and break into homes, arrest and torture people tonight.

That is the reality, it is not our reality but it is the doing of a system that will cut the benefits of the elderly, disabled and long term unemployed, soon in this country.

The imperialist who occupies a far away land that no one has ever heard of, is not far away at all, he occupies and attacks the poor in his own country as well by defending the rotten system that’s put them in poverty. A working class person in an imperialist army is a pawn but he is also well paid killer.

He is a hit man hired out for a small sum to protect and defend the interests of Imperialism wherever and whenever required.

Malcolm X said ‘the only thing that power understands is power’. People all over the world today are resisting imperialism, aware that the power of the oppressed, if realized, beats that of the oppressor 1,000 times over.

But what can we do in this country right now?

Whether its unemployment or low paid work they have you under their thumb and as we have seen and will see they do not hesitate to squash those who they perceive to be a threat.

This is why we need a revolutionary education because they cannot kill ideas. They could jail, torture and poison Maclean but they could not and cannot kill the ideas that he promoted. A revolutionary education will be half learned on the street and half in a book, theory must be backed up with practice and practice with theory so we are learning everyday how to wage the class war that’s been declared on us.

With the establishment of the Scottish Labour College, MacLean stated:

‘The millennium, if it is to come, must come from an educated working class. Today you can be swayed by speeches and pamphlets. But the person who has studied Marx and has applied him to literature, to life in all its phases, can see things as they are.'

When we look around us today can we say that we see things as they are and are we that educated working class that MacLean was talking about? I can speak for myself in saying that I have not studied Marx at the level I should have.

Maybe my hesitation to do so, without making excuses, reflects the fact that I live in an Imperialist country where my basic needs are met and therefore i do not need revolution as much as those people who are suffering the realities of Imperialism do.

But when we educate ourselves about what is happening in the world on a daily basis and why we enjoy the privileges that others do not have, as our awareness grows of the injustice and barbarity that takes place, revolution soon becomes a necessity and MacLean’s urge for working class people to study Marxist economics becomes a challenge that we take up ourselves.

We do not remember MacLean to idolize or glamorize his courage and commitment, while admiring it just the same; we remember him so that we can learn about his struggle and from it draw the lessons to help us in today’s fight.

Long live MacLean and the ideas he died for!


Stand up for your rights! Street rally in Glasgow as third FRFI supporter charged

stand_up_for_your_ rights

Glasgow Defence Campaign and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters today (8 January) held a “Stand up for your rights” street rally in Glasgow city centre in defence of democratic rights and in opposition to political policing. On 30 December a supporter learned that he is facing criminal prosecution for selling the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in Glasgow and is due to appear in court on 17 January 2011. We are clear that this citation is politically motivated and an open attempt to undermine our ability to organise against attacks on living standards in our communities. FRFI supporters have previously been charged by Strathclyde police for selling the newspaper and two are currently awaiting trial following their arrest on student demonstrations in the city last month.


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Day X3: Militant protests storm Glasgow – FRFI supporters arrested - 9 Dec 2010

Day X3: Militant protests storm Glasgow – FRFI supporters arrested - 9 Dec 2010
Day X3 protests in Glasgow saw hundreds of students join their comrades across Scotland and England in taking to the streets to protest against the proposed rise in tuition fees down south and the government´s destruction of education. The turn-out did not match the size of other demonstrations (tuition fees are still free in Scotland) but more than matched their militancy in one of the angriest and effective days of action in the city since the early days of the anti-war movement. FRFI supporters played a leading role in direct action throughout the day and two were arrested and detained by police, and on 10 December plead not guilty to serious charges of breach of the peace, obstruction, assault on a police officer and attempting to free a person in custody.


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Report of FRFI day school, Glasgow - 4 Dec 2010

On the 4 December, Glasgow FRFI held a Day School entitled 'Capitalism in meltdown: Crisis and class struggle, Who will lead the resistance?

An audience from across Scotland gathered, despite ongoing weather and transport problems, to address the current situation facing the working class. The event was well attended and broad ranging, producing an insightful and thought provoking series of speeches and discussion.

Speakers included Trevor Rayne (Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Editorial Board), Neil Gray (writer and researcher from Variant magazine) and Jamie Beaumont (Maryhill Burgh Angel).

All speakers and contributors emphasised the centrality of the working class in organising and opposing the vicious agenda of the ruling class being put in place. FRFI stressed the critical political point that the crisis arose specifically from the system of capitalism and imperialism and not from the class arrogance of the wealthy and aristocratic cabinet. It was stated that a whole historical period was ending and now huge sections of the working class- from the youth to the pensioners- were to be made simply impoverished.


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Edinburgh: Scottish Defence League routed

SDL protestOn 20 February, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters joined hundreds of people in Edinburgh to protest against the racist thugs of the Scottish Defence League (SDL). The SDL is an offshoot of the English Defence League, whose latest mobilisation saw around 1,500 fascists rampage through Stoke on 23 January. There was no repeat of such scenes in Edinburgh. The day marked a victory for the hundreds of antifascists determined to confront the small numbers the SDL managed to mobilise; a victory made possible by an increasing turn away from the opportunist politics of Unite Against Fascism and its middle class allies. A massive police operation involving officers from Lothian, Strathclyde and Northumbria ensured the fascists remained protected at all points.


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John MacLean Commemoration March. Glasgow, Sunday 29 November 2009


On Sunday 29 November the Revolutionary Communist Group marched in Glasgow to commemorate the Scottish revolutionary John MacLean. MacLean died on the 30 November 1923 at the age of 44 having been fatally weakened by jail and force feeding for his opposition to imperialist war. As he pointed out at his trial of 1918: “I stand here not as the accused but as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot”.


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Saturday 3 May - Mayday Report EDINBURGH!

Saturday 3 May - Mayday Report EDINBURGH!

On Saturday 3 May, RCG and RATB supporters joined a May Day demonstration through Edinburgh city centre. Comrades marched with banners of Che Guevara and the Cuban 5, distributing leaflets calling for a demonstration outside the US consulate in Edinburgh on the 26 July to demand the release of the five heroes.



Saturday 7 June - Rock around the Blockade!- FREE THE CUBAN! LONDON!

Saturday 7 June - Rock around the Blockade!- FREE THE CUBAN! LONDON!

Emergency protest
US Court of Appeals upholds convictions of the Cuban 5
Viva Cuba

Members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade demonstrated on the north pavement of Trafalgar Square on Saturday 7 June as part of the international Day After campaign, a pledge to demonstrate the day after and the Saturday after the US Court of Appeals verdict. The verdict, upholding the convictions of the Cuban 5, was announced last Wednesday.

Behind the demonstrators were photos of the five, flags, banners, posters and placards, They raised the issue of socialist Cuba and its achievements that the Cuban 5 continue to steadfastly defend; and they demanded that the Cuban 5 go free immediately, that the US get out of Guantanamo and that self-avowed terrorist Posada Carrilles face extradition and trial.

As a huge Cuban flag was waved over the demonstration and chants of ‘justice for the Cuban 5, Free them now!’ rang out over the square, people signed petitions, took leaflets, held placards, chanted and learned more about Cuba, the revolution and socialism. Speakers included activists from Rock around the Blockade and Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! They spoke of the importance of raising the profile of the campaign and in the words of Cuban 5 civil rights Lawyer, Leonard Weinglass, building a political mass movement to demand justice for the Cuban 5. A statement in solidarity with Rock around the Blockade sent to us by Gloria La Riva, Free the Five USA, was read out, as were the inspiring words of Gerardo Hernandes following the verdict: ‘We’ll do all the time we have to do, 30 years, 40, whatever, and as long as a single one of you is outside resisting, we are also going to resist, until justice is done.’

The appeal has been rejected but the campaign must go on for justice and freedom for the Cuban 5 – fighters against terrorism who have refused for ten years to compromise their principles.

Long live the Cuban Revolution!
Long live Socialism!
Freedom for the Cuban 5!




Saturday 8 November - Protest against British Imperialism ! Glasgow!

Saturday 8 November - Protest against British Imperialism ! Glasgow!

Celtic Park, Glasgow, 8 November 2008

The Revolutionary Communist Group salutes the principled Celtic football supporters who led the protest against British imperialism outside Celtic Park today. In the face of an intense propaganda campaign waged by the government and risking demonisation by the media hundreds of fans walked out of the game in opposition to the clubs support for the British Legion and its annual poppy appeal. Around 400 fans gathered outside the stadium for over an hour chanting slogans and singing songs against British imperialism in Ireland and around the world. As one protester put it to FRFI, ‘we are here protesting for peace, not war. But peace can only come when there is justice.’

This latest development is a part of a conscious ideological offensive by the British state and its lackeys in order to encourage support for British imperialism and to eradicate any opposition to it. The appointment of the war criminal John Reid to the chairmanship of Celtic FC is part of this ideological offensive. During his time in office, the current Labour member of parliament and former British cabinet member, ruthlessly defended the interests of British imperialism acting as Defence Secretary, Home Secretary and British Direct Ruler to Ireland.

Today’s demonstration was called by the newly formed group Celts Against Imperialism and was an explicit protest in opposition to not only British imperialism in Ireland but also included chants in opposition to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and also support for the Palestinian Resistance. The RCG recognises the political significance of today’s protest led by a section of the Celtic support on a clear anti imperialist basis. This protest comes despite the failure of the anti war movement in Glasgow and elsewhere to build any real and meaningful opposition against British imperialism. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the RCG were the only political group on the left to support the protest alongside Celts Against Imperialism.

The protest continues the traditions of Celtic fans opposition to imperialism and injustice. One Celtic fan was ejected from the stadium today and had his season ticket confiscated by stewards for refusing to remove his Palestinian flag. The fan spoke to FRFI afterwards and intends to fight this action by the club. Only by actively campaigning in support of democratic rights can we assert our right organise. Over recent years FRFI has campaigned against the attempted bans on the sale of political literature outside football grounds and the attempts to ban and censor the image of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara. In the context of the international capitalist crisis which will see increasing attacks on working class people in this country and around the world, the RCG and FRFI stands with any movement which represents the interests of the oppressed.

FRFI would welcome any letters or contributions from readers and supporters. Please send your contributions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To contact FRFI in Glasgow email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sunday 29 December - Victory to the Intifada! Glasgow!

Sunday 29 December - Victory to the Intifada! Glasgow!

Over 350 people assembled at the far end of Glasgow's George Square to demonstrate against the ongoing massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.

After 45 minutes of very passionate speeches. The crowd (which was made up of families as well as a lot of children) started to march onto the road and take the protest to the streets.

The Police panicked as there were only half a dozen of them and quickly called in reinforcements and tried to push the demonstrators back to let the traffic through to no avail. The demo moved round George Square cutting off one of the biggest traffic intersections in Glasgow at a time when most of the Square is full of Ice Skaters, Fun fairs and rides and a Music stage.

Militant and lively chanting from the demo throughout calling for Victory to the Intifada and Freedom for Palestine from all in the crowd.

The territory of Gaza is one of the most densely populated on Earth. This type of militant action has not been seen since the start of the latest Iraq war in 2003, when young militant school pupils and young Muslims led demonstrations, blocked roads and led walk outs.

Demo organised by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Supported by The Scottish Stop the War Coalition, SWP, Glasgow Anarchists, Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign, and members and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group / Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

Pictures taken with permission from the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign -


Saturday 3 January - Victory to the Intifada! Glasgow!

Saturday 3 January - Victory to the Intifada! Glasgow!

Following the spontaneous demonstrations of last Sunday, over 2,000 people marched in Glasgow to proclaim solidarity with the people of Gaza and express their anger over Zionist war crimes in Palestine. The march was led by the flags of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and those of the resistance forces Hamas and Hizbullah. Called by Stop the War Coalition and supported by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign and many other groups including the local Lebanese community, the march made its way through Glasgow city centre. Loud and spirited, many Muslim men, women and children, working class football fans, families, politicians and angry individuals chanted and shouted for a free Palestine, and RCG comrades were amongst those leading the calls of “No justice, no peace” and “Victory to the Intifada!”.

The end rally saw the crowd treated to the usual array of bourgeois politicians – Labour, Lib Dem and SNP – issue their hollow calls of condemnation along with trade union bureaucrats and their prevaricating explanations of a “possible” boycott of Israel. A young local Lebanese girl offered a moving plea for everyone to remember the brutality greeting the children of Gaza as they awoke to the New Year; nonetheless, just like the brave population of southern Lebanon did in 2006, the Palestinians would survive and resist. A Palestinian woman from Gaza, and a survivor of the Sabra massacre, also issued an emotional call for solidarity.

The spirit and militancy of the majority on the march, especially amongst young people, could be sensed by the loud cheers which greeted any calls for solidarity with the resistance forces in Gaza, support rather than condemnation of Hamas and total isolation of the Zionist entity. RCG comrades spoke to many new faces in the crowd, selling copies of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and handing out leaflets for an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, with many interested to learn about the consistent support shown by the Cuban government for the Palestinian struggle.

Between two and three thousand demonstrators were said to be on the streets of Edinburgh at the same as the demo in Glasgow, and further protests are planned for Tuesday 6 December.

In the words of one protestor, “We are all Hamas!”

Victory to the Intifada!
Photos courtesy of GPHRC; full photo stream available at
STV coverage of Scottish protests here:



Saturday 17 January - Victory to the Intifada! Dundee!

Saturday 17 January - Victory to the Intifada! Dundee!


The day had started very well with a militant, angry and noisy protest march against Israel’s attack on Gaza going into Dundee’s city centre. After the rally, activists from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism, one of whom had spoken at the event, set up a protest stall in the Murraygate to continue building support for the people of Gaza and Palestine.

Once again the city centre ambassadors demanded we remove our stall as we did not have permission or insurance. Once again we told them no! The police were called this time and proceeded to threaten the comrades with Breach of the Peace or causing alarm. It was suggested they go and consult their law books and superior officers as we were not backing down to such contrived charges. They appeared to accept this but returned an hour later with a van and told those present that this time they had come up with obstruction as a charge. Third time lucky for them maybe but the comrades then began speaking to the gathering crowds explaining what the police were doing and asking them to stay around as witnesses, sign the petitions and support political rights. People were told to check out the You Tube videos about the cops in Liverpool trying to close down protest there and to check out Dundee Arrest on You Tube where a comrade was violently assaulted and arrested by Tayside police for handing out leaflets about Cuba. Speakers explained that when people start to protest here about unemployment, low wages and rent rises that the same cops would be out attacking their rights too. We were speaking out for the people of Gaza who were dying at that moment and we would not allow the police to silence us.

Talk about obstruction! - by now there was 1 police van and 100 people prepared to listen to speeches and chants about free speech. Comrades from the Socialist Workers Party joined the protest having been harassed for doing political work for Gaza that week.

By now the police action was a very public affair and they were not looking so comfortable. They charged Michael with obstruction under Section 53 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. As Michael explained to the youth present this was one of the hated Margaret Thatcher’s laws and it was no surprise that her favourite bobbies were digging it up now!

Michael was threatened with arrest if the stall was not immediately removed and after consulting with the comrades and the crowds it was decided to call a rally in the Murraygate at 12 the following Saturday to protest the harassment and charges.

We call on everyone to openly and publicly challenge this attack on democratic and political rights. Get up! Stand Up! Stand Up For Your Rights!
Contact the campaign on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Saturday 21 February - Stop deportations to DRC Glasgow

Saturday 21 February - Stop deportations to DRC Glasgow

On Saturday 21 February, RCG/FRFI supporters in Glasgow attended a demonstration outside Brand Street Immigration Reporting Centre in the south side of the city. The action was called by the local Congolese community in opposition to the detention and deportation of a Congolese woman, Aude Okamba-Osako, back to the DRC set for Monday 24 February.

The first public demonstration by asylum seekers in Glasgow for several months saw around forty asylum seekers and refugees gather at short notice outside the IRC, chanting, singing and dancing in protest at the Home Office’s targeting of Congolese asylum seekers and collusion with the Kabila dictatorship in the DRC. Placards and banner denounced Britain’s racist immigration laws and demanded an end to deportations. RCG supporters were the only activists from any organisation to support the demonstration, and copies of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! were eagerly bought, distributed and translated on the protest.

As the mass deportations of the poorest and most marginalised people in Britain back to war zones, dictatorships and starvation intensifies with the crisis of capitalism, RCG members and supporters will stand by all those organising to resist in Scotland.


Sunday 29 March - Victory to the Intifada Glasgow

Sunday 29 March - Victory to the Intifada Glasgow

On Sunday 29 March, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign and members and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Group came together to picket the Trongate branch of Tesco’s in Glasgow in solidarity with the people of Palestine. The joint action was a response to the call for a Global Day of Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian people and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel on March 30, emanating from the World Social Forum in Belém.

Over 30 activists came together from the different organisations with placards, banners and stickers demanding a boycott of Zionist goods and an end to apartheid, distributing hundreds of leaflets calling on shoppers to boycott the Israeli products stocked by Tesco’s. On the narrow pavement, with Palestine flags flying and matching t-shirts calling for a boycott, the protestors were a highly visible presence.

Inspired by the actions of Palestine solidarity campaigners in France recently (, some activists went into the Tesco’s to sticker Israeli products with ‘boycott apartheid’ stickers and to leaflet people inside. They were promptly escorted out by security and one GPHRC member banned from the store. The police, who maintained a constant presence at the protest, forced one activist to delete any photographs from his camera which had captured security guards and prevented groups from setting up stalls on the street.

The militant and lively protest kept up for two hours on the cold afternoon, drawing much support from passers-by. The protest ended with the head of the Scottish PSC addressing the demonstrators, congratulating everyone on a successful event. Everyone agreed that the time to intensify Palestine solidarity work on the streets was now, and agreed to jointly organise bigger and more militant pickets in support of the BDS campaign in the coming weeks.

The spirit of solidarity and non-sectarianism was well in evidence and positive to see. A line in the sand is being drawn between those who are truly committed to building an anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist movement through the BDS campaign, and those forces, such as Stop the War and others in the leadership of the recent Gaza solidarity movement, who seem merely to pay lip-service to the heroic, and continual, resistance in Palestine.

Victory to the Intifada!

Boycott Israeli goods!


Sunday 1 April - Stand Up for Cuba Glasgow

Sunday 1 April - Stand Up for Cuba Glasgow


On Sunday 1 April, Rock Around the Blockade activists from Scotland held a fundraising comedy night to raise material aid for a ‘Workshop of Transformation’ street art project in Havana, Cuba.

‘Stand up for Cuba!’ saw several top local comedians perform to the 50 or so people who had forgone Scotland’s World Cup qualifier to come to Maggie May’s and help support the Cuban Revolution.

Compere Sian Bevan got the gig underway, followed by Niall Browne, Hamilton funny-man John Gavin and Elaine Malcolmson. Against a backdrop of a giant Che banner, Cuba and Venezuela flags, headliner Billy Kirkwood tore up the stage with a great set to end the evening.

A good night was had by all as the drinks and jokes flowed and much money was raised. RATB activists introduced and concluded the night, making clear the importance of the forthcoming brigade to Cuba and thanking all involved, especially the comedians, who very generously performed for free. In the words (near enough) of John Gavin: “The credit crunch? I heard some guy on the news complaining about how his savings went from £400,000 to £100,000...Am I supposed to feel bad? You could times the money in my bank account by a 100,000 and it would still be f*** all!”


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How to deal with police harassment - Glasgow Defence Campaign

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

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