No to trade union sectarianism! - 22 June 2011

Updated following 30 June


On 22 June Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters in Glasgow joined an occupation of Inland revenue offices on Cochrane Street in the city centre. The peaceful direct action had been organised by the Black Triangle disability rights group and the citizens united campaign, with east end carers from the Save the Accord Centre campaign and others also in attendance.  The action had been called to highlight and oppose corporate tax evasion which is estimated to be worth £120 billion a year (The Herald, 19 June 2011).

Entering the offices the campaigners united in calling for the real scroungers in society (the rich) to pay their taxes and for a mass campaign of civil disobedience to oppose the cuts. As the press statement released says;

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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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