Organising in Scotland


John Major's announcement of the General Election came a week after 1,000 people in Glasgow's George Square gathered to support the occupation of the City Chambers in protest against the Labour council's cuts budget. Glasgow's Labour councillors - one of whom referred to campaigners against school closures as the great unwashed' -are pushing through cuts which will fall hardest on some of the poorest working class communities in Scotland. Glasgow will lose £80 million and 1,500 jobs; Edinburgh £34 million and 800 jobs; Dundee £8 million and 100 jobs; Aberdeen 1.15 million and 200 jobs. What these figures mean on the ground is vicious. They mean cuts and charges for home-help services and the closure of old folks' homes, day nurseries, community and youth centres. In Glasgow, the unemployed, mothers with kids in prams, dis-abled activists and council workers threatened with redundancy organised to prevent the councillors voting through the measures. Meanwhile, Labour councillors are attacking democratic rights to control dis-sent. City Centre managers have been clamping down on political activity on the streets. Stalls now need permission as laws are dusted off which are never applied to businesses and street vendors. Knife-wielding council employees cut down placards and bill political organisations for clearing posters. Community activists are stopped by the police for handing out leaflets. On 2 April, during our so-called democratic election process, the Labour council used police to clear away Tent City in George Square in Glasgow during the anti-cuts vigil. It is a foretaste of what a Labour victory will mean for the people of Scotland.