Dundee Trades Council Backs Censorship

Dundee Trades Council are proud of the bronze bust of James Connolly in military uniform which adorns their drinking lounge (not that he would have approved being an abstainer himself).

Dundee Labour Party supports the PLO and the city has twinned with Nablus in Israel-occupied Palestine. The PLO flag flies above the City Chambers and the Mayor of Nablus, whose legs were blown off by a zionist bomb, was recently in Dundee as a civic guest.

A public plaque was to be commis­sioned by the Council, in honour of James Connolly and a museum reading room named after him. All of this may seem to paint a picture of a courageous radical Labour movement, strongly anti-imperialist and militant leading the local working class to glorious freedom.


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Edinburgh 24 Hour Picket

Edinburgh's FRFI supporters initiated a very successful 24 hour picket against apartheid in South Africa on 21 and 22 October at the East End of Princes Street. The picket kicked off on the Friday at 8pm with a rally of 40-50 people, some FRFI supporters, EISC members, the Edinburgh Anti-Apartheid group and some CND members who came along for a few hours before going to the march in London. The picket was sponsored by Edinburgh and Dundee FRFI, Edinburgh and Dundee AAM and the Edinburgh University AAM.


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Glasgow – on the streets again!

On Saturday 7 November the Glasgow Hunger Strike Action Committee organ­ised and successfully held a march calling for 'Victory to the Irish People!'.

The march was the first in Glasgow after four months of bans under the Public Order Act. Although small in numbers, the marchers' enthusiasm made it militant and noisy. The march went from Blackhill through Royston and back to Blackhill, winding its way through some of the poorest areas of Glasgow. Solidarity with Ireland's freedom fighters was once again raised in the city streets and the march was well received by local people with many joining in along the pavements.


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Racist Sheriff

Over 8,000 people in Glasgow have signed a petition calling for the sacking of Sheriff Middleton after his racist insults in a recent sex case. Sheriff Middleton was presiding in a case where a 27 year old white male was charged with having unlawful sex with a Vietnamese girl aged 13. Middleton described this as merely an:

'indiscretion' because 'girls mature much earlier in the East' where 'in the form of marriage that takes place there, intercourse occurs before the marriage'.

Sheriff Middleton admitted that under normal circumstances (if the girt, had been white) he would have sent the man to jail but in this case he imposed a fine instead.

This blatant racist judgment, which has left all black and Asian women open to sexual attack, has exposed the whole racist legal system.


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Glasgow: Arrests at CND rally

The big CND Glasgow Rally on 7 June became the scene of a showdown with Glasgow's loyalist police over their suppression of Hunger-strike activists. Members of the Glasgow Hunger-strike Action Committee and FRFI sellers were there leafletting and selling to the 6-7000 assembled. Suddenly 4 policemen descended on a woman activist who was sitting on the ground talking to people. They lifted her bodily, seized her leaflets and collecting tin and dragged her off.


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Letters: John Maclean

John Maclean (1879-1923) was one of the greatest Communist working class leaders in Britain. An implacable enemy of British imperialism he believed that:

'Since the British Empire is the greatest obstacle to Communism it is the business of every Communist to break it up at the earliest moment.'

As a Communist he was a resolute supporter of the Irish national liberation movement. In 1916 he was one of the very few working class leaders who supported the Easter Rising, in the Anglo-Irish war of 1919 he supported the Irish and subsequ­ently opposed the British partition of Ireland.


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Glasgow 2

The Glasgow Appeal Court of April 29 took approximately 3 minutes to consider the Glasgow 2 appeal and to reject it. The highest judicial authority in Scotland has now confirmed that it is a crime to criticise British rule in Ireland and to support revolutionary forces opposing that rule. Mike Duffield and Kirstin Crosbie were arres­ted while selling Fight Racism! Fight Imperial­ism! at Parkhead Glasgow in August last year. They were originally charged under the PTA and remanded in prison for a week. During this week a vigorous FRFI campaign forced the dropping of the PTA charges.  A charge of breach of the peace was substituted.


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Commons expels Ron Brown

On 7 April, Ron Brown MP was expelled from Parliament for 5 days. A consistent defender of the Glasgow 2, he had raised the matter in the Commons on 11 February. The Solicitor General for Scotland replying to his question lied and stated that the Glasgow 2 had not been charged under the PTA. Ron Brown decided to pursue the matter.


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Glasgow March Banned

A 3-months ban on marches beginning 3 April has been introduced in the Strathclyde Region. The Ban, under the Public Order Act, is one of the longest in the present round and is clearly designed to silence the growing Glasgow campaign in support of Irish political prisoners on hunger strike for political status. The Ban was aimed specifically at the demonstration on 4 April called by the Glasgow Hunger Strike Action Committee (GHSAC). The demonstration would have been the third in as many months and 3,000 were expected. The Police used Loyalist threats as an excuse to have the Ban implemented, but in reality the prospects, as the 'Daily Record' predicted, of a 'huge' march and further evidence of growing and militant anti-imperialism of Glasgow workers horrified the Police and their local paymasters, the Labour-controlled Strathclyde Region.


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Edinburgh 8

On 3 April the trial of the Edinburgh 8 ended in a victory with six verdicts of 'not proven' and one of 'not guilty' – already halfway through the trial one of the 8 had been totally acquitted and another's charge dropped. The three-day trial was the result of the police arrests at a Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! open street meeting on Saturday 29 November at the mound in Princes Street. The meeting was held in support of the hunger strikers and so enraged Edinburgh police that they made little attempt to dress up their censorship, openly declaring that they wanted the meeting 'broken up'. Although the charges were designed to look non-political, e.g. obstruction and breach of the peace, the trial itself was obviously political. Under able cross-examination, Police Inspector Campbell was forced to admit that he was ordered by his superiors to ensure that the street meeting did not take place. He obligingly emphasised that he would stop the meeting tak­ing place at any cost.


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Letter from anti-imperialists

Supporters of the Irish Republican cause in Dundee made a break with the past and a promising new beginning at a public meeting at which the video film 'Ireland's Hunger Strike' was shown. The meeting attracted nearly 50 people. It is the tradition of public meetings in Dundee to attract only a handful of people allied to the British left groups, so this was indeed a break with the left record of treachery and scabbing on the Republican cause and movement.


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Glasgow Ban on Irish Marches

The one month ban on marches in the Strathclyde area was recommended by the police and rubber-stamped by the loyal Labour-controlled Strathclyde Regional Council.

Selective and aimed specifically at Irish demons­trations, the terms of the ban are thoroughly repressive. The ban ensures that loyalists and orangemen can parade their support for imperial­ism on pseudo-religious marches which are ex­empted but in reality are hate-filled, anti-catholic and political in the extreme. On the other hand supporters of the hunger strikers cannot march to oppose British imperialism in Ireland. The terms of the ban show a cynical consideration for all eventualities: banned are 'public processions…which are concerned or connected, directly or in­directly, with Northern Irish affairs or any aspect thereof or which are organised by, or with the assistance of any person or body known or repu­ted to be so concerned or connected.'


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Round-up / FRFI 19 May 1982

Glasgow victory

Readers of FRFI will remember the arrest of a Glasgow Hunger Strike Action Committee (GHSAC) supporter at a CND rally in Glasgow last year (FRF1 11). Hundreds of CND support­ers gathered to protest at this unjust arrest. The police then arrested a young CND supporter.

As a result of a successful public cam­paign, the GHSAC supporter had the charges against her dropped. However the Glasgow loyalist police took their revenge and pursued a charge of Breach of the Peace against the CND sup­porter.


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Reactionary Alliance Disrupts H-Block Campaign

In Scotland and Northern England the official Labour movement, Loyalist thugs, the police and assorted middle class socialists have all united to disrupt the Hunger Strike campaign.


On Saturday 2 May a march organised by the Merseyside Hunger Strike Committee took place through the centre of Liverpool, calling for Victory to the Hunger Strikers! Political Status Now! The police and Loyalist thugs united to attack this demonstration. The police forced the organisers to change the demonstra­tion's assembly point from Granby Street in the centre of Liverpool 8 to a point on the edge of the area. They knew that the fascists and loyal­ists, some of whom had travelled from Scot­land, would not have dared to enter the Granby Street area. The black youth – and many white youth – would not have tolerated either fascists or police invading their area.


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Edinburgh FRFI pickets US Consulate

On Wednesday 3 August Edin­burgh FRFI Group organised a picket outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh to express our opposi­tion to US plans to invade Nicara­gua. The picket was attended by over 70 people, most of whom rep­resented political organisations in Edinburgh. In addition to FRFI supporters, present were the Edin­burgh ISC, Latin American Solid­arity Campaign, Young Commun­ist League and Rosyth Women's Peace Camp. There were also Chileans and El Salvadoreans. Representatives from each of these organisations spoke about why they were there and why they opposed British and US imperial­ism. The loud and enthusiastic chanting lasted for an hour and a half: chants of 'Nicaragua! Viet­nam! You Won't Win, Uncle Sam!', 'Reagan, Shultz, CIA! How Many Kids Have You Killed Today!', 'Hands Off Nicaragua! Hands Off Cuba! Free El Salvador!' and ‘Hands Off Nicaragua! Stop the Blockade Now!’


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Ken Livingstone Meeting – Edinburgh 17 September

On Friday 17 September Ken Livin­gstone leader of the GLC came to speak at a public meeting called by the Labour Committee on Ire­land. Two days before the local press carried a prominent announ­cement stating the time and place of the meeting thus laying it open to loyalist attack. The EISC twice offered to assist with stewarding but both offers were declined. On the night, 30 loyalists blocked the entrance and the door was locked against them. The LCI stewards were nowhere to be seen and the police bowed to the loyalist de­mands that everyone should be cleared from the door and form a queue behind them. When the ste­wards appeared from behind the door they handed over the respon­sibility of letting in ticket holders only to the police. The EISC managed to get 7 members into the meeting-the rest were ab­used and assaulted outside after the police and loyalists success­fully kept them and others outside.


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Dundee Asians framed

At the recent trial of six Pakistani men in Dundee, the focal colonial sheriff praised the Asian community in Dundee for their 'peacefulness' but went on J to find four of the accused guilty of assault charges.

The well-tried racist manoeuvre of arrest and fitting-up of Asian and black people for defending themselves from racist attack, in this case 100 white youths shouting NF slogans and throw­ing stones and bottles, was used. Mohammed Zulfquar Khan and Mohammed Aslam junior were acquit­ted because of the ludicrously exaggera­ted police 'evidence' against them. The police had obviously forgotten to tell their more enthusiastic officers that to claim to have been repeatedly assaulted by a metal bar, as Constable Pallister did, would require evidence of serious medical injury.


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Dundee Anti-Apartheid 12-hour picket

A large number of anti-apartheid activists braved the driving rain and bitter cold and successfully held a 12 hour picket in Dundee City Square on Saturday 3 Novem­ber. The picket was called by Dundee Anti-Apartheid group and attracted a large number of youth, six of whom travelled all the way through from Coatbridge. The picket was supported by Edin­burgh and Dundee FRFI, who were instrumental in the organisation of the day's events. A rally was held at midday, with songs, chants and speeches from a local anti-apartheid speaker, one of the Coatbridge 'skins' and from Edin­burgh and Dundee FRFI. A picket university was held in the evening and leaf letting and petitioning and paper selling took place through­out the day. Despite the atrocious weather 67 FRFIs were sold and nearly £30 raised. Throughout the day a crèche was provided for children in a comrade's house nearby.


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Dundee Irish Solidarity

On Saturday 13 August a rally was held in the central shopping pre­cinct in Dundee to show solidarity with the struggle for self-determi­nation of the Irish people. A group of about 20 from Edinburgh ISC travelled up and gave consid­erable support. EISC and DISC and Anti-Apartheid banners were set up – also a bookstall and photo display of some of the vio­lence meted out by the 'security' forces against the nationalist community.


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Ron Brown banned from Parliament

Ron Brown from Parliament

In April Ron Brown MP, much to the delight of the poor all over Britain, made a protest during the Parliamentary debate on the social security cuts. During his protest the 'mace' (no, we don't know what it is either) was damaged. For this 'crime' Bon Brown was thrown out of Parliament for four weeks. You can treat the poor with as much contempt as you like but not the mace. Ron Brown talks to LORNA REID about his protest, the cowardly reaction of the Labour Party leadership and AEU, and the fight against the Poll Tax.


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Dundee pickets

Dundee FRF! and Dundee Anti-Apartheid Movement have had a series of pickets of Dundee Chamber of Commerce who plan to send a trade delegation to South Africa on 15 October. The pickets which began Wednesday 28 September have been very successful and met with a good response from the public with petitions signed and FRFI sold.

Although the show of oppo­sition may not change this Chambers decision it will let them know that Dundee is overwhel­mingly anti-racist. At the Friday 30 September picket two of the Chamber's members signed the petition and gave large donations as did a member of Dundee Dis­trict Council.


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Sandinistas visit Edinburgh

On Wednesday 19 October the Edinburgh Latin American Solid­arity Campaign hosted a meeting with two representatives of the Nicaraguan Citizens Defence Committees who were visiting a total of 12 countries to speak about what's happened in Nicar­agua since 1979.

There were about 100 people at the meeting and heard that 60% of the Citizen's Defence Commit­tees were women. The two repre­sentatives, Ronald Parades who is on the Defence Committee, and Fernando Saavedra who is on the Peace Committee, described how the US blockade is destroying the Nicaraguan economy and that 30,000 people have to be evacu­ated from Corinto the main port of Nicaragua.


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Workers educate Glasgow SWP

Glasgow has a great tradition of working class education in revolutionary politics stretching back to the days of John Maclean. Glasgow Celtic fans, it seems, are carrying on this tradition.

Apparently the fans have been giving SWP members intensive on-the-spot lessons in revolutionary politics outside Celtic football ground. The fans, according to reports, have used time-honoured proletarian means to drive home forcefully some basic points about support for the national liberation struggle in Ireland. These lessons, it seems, have left some SWP members a little shaken (though not stirred).


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The prison authorities are still trying to break the resistance of pri­soners at Peterhead by singling out 'subversives'. Justice is sys­tematically denied by these upholders of law and order who have yet to allow any prisoner legal representation before Boards of Visitors as ruled last year by the European Court of Human Rights.

Brutality and injustice are censored. Prisoners, who have fought for and won the right to have FRFI and other progressive literature, receive them with everything about prisons cut out. Letters are frequently suppressed. On 7 September a prisoner was held down by five screws in front of an Assistant Governor and two men in civilian clothing and batoned over the head by another screw. He had complained about the suppression of three letters written to the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties.


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Edinburgh 8

Police in Edinburgh broke up an open air rally organised by FRFI in support of the hunger strikers on Saturday 29 November.

In the very short time when the meeting was allowed by the police a crowd of about thirty people gathered. It was the police who 'breached the peace' by disrupting a perfectly orderly event in their desperation to censor anti-imperialism off Britain's streets. The speaker was arrested, a supporter who photographed this event was told to 'fuck off’ by Sergeant B11 then arrested, and then another person who merely enquired which police station they were being taken to was arrested. As many people as could be gathered followed them to Gayfield Square Police Station to protest until their release was obtained.


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Solidarity against criminalisation

Defence campaigns have been set up in Scotland and Newcastle for FRFI supporters arrested on protests against the cuts. Both the Glasgow Defence Campaign (http://glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com) and the HSBC 3 Defence Campaign (www.defencecampaign.wordpress.com) stand in solidarity with all those being criminalised for taking part in actions against the cuts and against police harassment.

On 9 December 2010, two FRFI supporters were arrested by Strathclyde police during student protests in Glasgow. One was strip-searched, and both were detained overnight. The charges against them range from breach of the peace and obstruction to assaulting and obstructing police officers and attempting to assist the escape of a person in custody. After pleading not guilty, both were released on bail, one with a city centre restriction order – a condition subsequently dropped in the face of publicity and pressure from the defence campaign. One of them is due back at Glasgow District Court on 18 March, where he faces a possible prison sentence if convicted; the other is waiting for a court date.


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John MacLean – Part VI: The Communist International

World Imperialism shall fall when the revolutionary onslaught of the exploited and oppressed workers in each country, overcoming resistance from petty-bourgeois elements and the influence of the small upper crust of labour aristocrats, merges with the revolutionary onslaught of hundreds of millions of people who have hitherto stood beyond the pale of history and have been regarded merely as the object of history.


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Arrests of FRFI supporters during student protests in Glasgow - 9 Dec 2010

10 December 2010 – GLASGOW On Thursday 9 December 2010, two supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) were arrested by Strathclyde police during student protests against education cuts in Glasgow, one during disturbances on Sauchiehall Street and the other at the end of a police kettle in George Square. The supporters were taken to Stewart Street police station and detained overnight, appearing at Glasgow district court on 10 December. A number of charges were brought, ranging from breach of the peace and obstruction to more serious charges of assaulting and obstructing police officers and attempting to rescue or assist the escape of a person in custody. After pleading not guilty to all counts, both were released on bail, one with a city centre restriction order. Both are due to reappear in court in January where they are facing possible jail sentences.


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John MacLean – Appendix: The Classroom of Class War

‘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.’[1]

John MacLean, 1913

That John MacLean is remembered by many primarily as a teacher of Marxian economics should in no way imply that this was the most important aspect of his activity within the working class movement, but it is testament to the fact that, in this role, MacLean was the most energetic, dedicated and innovative revolutionary of his generation and no one in Britain has, to date, achieved anything on a similar scale.


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John MacLean – Part I: Battlepost of the poor

Seventy-five years ago, on 30 November 1923, John MacLean died from pneumonia at his home in Pollockshaws, Glasgow. He was 44 years of age. He had been at liberty for just over a year, having completed a 12 month sentence for sedition in October 1922. The sentence had arisen from his advice to the unemployed, at a Gorbals street meeting, that they should not allow themselves or their families to starve. The year was 1921 and the unemployed were organising again, marching under the banner of ‘1914-Fight! 1921-Starve!’. Now it was a real question of fight or starve. MacLean had dedicated his life to the fight against the two evils of capitalism and imperialism. His six terms of imprisonment in the living tombs of the Scottish gaol system between 1916 and 1922 were earned by his steadfast and courageous opposition to war and poverty. This record, in itself, is a grim testament to the soulless determination and foul cynicism of a ruling class determined to crush this remarkable revolutionary communist.


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John MacLean – Part II: ‘War against the warmakers’

The First World War was not unexpected. In 1919 John MacLean stated ‘We Marxists knew the war with Germany was coming, as both Germany and Britain were conducting a life and death struggle to dominate the world and its markets’.[1] Lenin had earlier characterised the war as ‘between two groups of oppressors, between two freebooters over the division of their booty’.[2] Michael McGregor continues the tribute to John MacLean, Revolutionary Communist, on the 75th anniversary of his death, with an account of MacLean’s campaign against imperialist war.

What was unexpected was the capitulation of socialist organisations in Europe affiliated to the Second International. At congress after congress in the years leading up to the war, these parties had pledged to oppose the coming war. In 1907 the Stuttgart Congress of the International agreed that ‘should war break out socialists must do all they can to take advantage of the economic and political crisis precipitated by the war to rouse the masses and accelerate the downfall of capitalist class domination’.[3]


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