RATB Round up: Remembering Che – fighting injustice / FRFI 200 Dec 2007 / Jan 2008

FRFI 200 December 2007 / January 2008

Throughout October, Rock around the Blockade marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Che Guevara and paid tribute to the enduring legacy of his thought and example with activities and meetings all around the country. On Saturday 6 October, we coordinated a national day of local demonstrations in city centres from Glasgow to Trafalgar Square in London.

Public meetings were held in Glasgow and at Dundee University, while in Manchester a film showing of Che Guevara: hasta siempre prompted a lively debate on the differences between socialist Cuba and capitalist Britain.

On 27 October Rock around the Blockade and the FRFI students’ society at LSE in London organised a Che commemoration dayschool. The dayschool was addressed by Jorge Trujillo, second secretary of the Cuban Embassy in London. Other speakers included global health care expert and long-time supporter of Cuba, Professor Theo MacDonald, who spoke on the theme of ‘Cuba: physician to the world’, showing how Che Guevara’s internationalism lives on in the example of Cuba’s internationalist health missions. Helen Yaffe then led a discussion on Che Guevara’s economic and political thought. There was a high level of debate and discussion and a collection for the forthcoming speaking tour raised over £150.

Rock around the Blockade continues to campaign for the release of the Cuban Five, unjustly imprisoned in the US for their fight against terrorism. At the end of September, RATB in Edinburgh rounded off the International Month of Action for the Cuban Five with a vocal and colourful demonstration. Activists from the Hands Off Venezuela! campaign were amongst those who joined the protest. Comrades then marched to the US Consulate to demand the release of the Cuban Five. Venceremos!

Activities are being organised in all areas to raise £10,000 for our Cuba: socialism into the 21st century speaking tour (see p9 for details). On 21 October Rock around the Blockade members cycled 35 miles through Essex and raised £500. A further £200 was collected from a benefit meal held in London. Newcastle comrades made £250 at a Rebel Music solidarity gig in October. There are more gigs, meals, sponsored events, T-shirt sales and car-boot sales in the pipeline – and don’t forget to order our new 2008 Cuba calendar (see p15). Check the events list above and our website for updates and get involved in working to make the speaking tour the success it deserves to be!

Sectarians in the CSC
In October members of FRFI attended a meeting on the legacy of Che Guevara organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in Glasgow. MSPs and a speaker from ICAP (Cuba’s International Committee for Friendship between Peoples) addressed the meeting. When comrades attempted to distribute leaflets about the forthcomng Rock around the Blockade speaking tour, the CSC chairperson prevented us from doing so, stating that under ‘no circumstances’ could we give out our leaflets at a CSC event. RATB in Scotland opposes this attempt to undermine work in solidarity with Cuban socialism and will oppose all such sectarianism, which serves only the interests of imperialists and opportunists.


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