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.

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How to deal with police harassment - Glasgow Defence Campaign

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