May 29 2015

SPIRIT OF REVOLT

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Document Film Festival

Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent

Scottish Peace Network

and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

 

Present

 

Two films and a blether

for the centenary of the 1915 Rent Strikes

Pearce Institute, Govan, 4 June 2015, 7pm

Free/ donations welcome

Refreshments provided.

A hundred years ago, Govan women showed the world how powerful they were together. While the workers were risking their lives at the front, or their health in the munitions factories of the First World War, the landlords tried to milk more profit by increasing rents in their ill-maintained tenements. But the women were not having any of that! They didn’t have the vote yet, but they had courage and each other’s backs when they said – We are not removing!

 

The 1915 rent strikes, which started in Govan but spread to other parts of Clydeside, are a famous victory in the ongoing struggle for fair, affordable, and decent housing. As the state tried to stir up war fever, the rent strikers took inspiration from those resisting militarism and imperialism, striving for international working class solidarity instead. Please join us for a screening of two key films about this history and about the women who made it happen, and for a conversation about the many ways in which this struggle lives on.

 

Red Skirts on Clydeside (1984, 40min)

Introduced by filmmaker Jenny Woodley

When this film was made, the importance of women in the history of social struggles on the Clyde had been all but forgotten. The filmmakers bring this history out of the archives through interviews with Govan women who knew Mary Barbour, Helen Crawfurd, and Agnes Dollan. Hear how the sheriff officers got chucked into the midden and how the tenement back courts echoed with radical ideas!

 

You Play Your Part (2011, 24min)

Introduced by filmmaker Kirsten MacLeod and some of the participants

Twenty-seven years after the original film was made, Govan women reflect on their lives and roles by the Clyde in a unique collaborative women’s history film project led by filmmaker, Kirsten MacLeod, in association with Plantation Productions and the University of the West of Scotland.

There will be some time and refreshments between the films for anyone interested in the rent strikes centenary or in contemporary housing issues to meet and chat.

 

A free creche will be available in a separate room, run by skilled childcare workers. Please contact the organisers to ensure there are enough places.

 

 

More information:

http://1915rentstrikes.info

Email: contact@1915rentstrikes.info

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May 28 2015

SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

At our RCN aggregate held in Dundee on May 23rd, we re-examined our  platform for working in the campaign for Scottish self-determination. Some of these issues have already arisen within the Radical Independence Campaign, particularly in RIC-Edinburgh (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/) the three RIC national conferences, and Trade Unionists for Independence (East Coast) (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/10/24/after-september-18th-bring-real-democracy-into-our-trade-unions/)  Now that there are plans for ta Scottish Left Project (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/23/the-scottish-left-project/), there will also need to be further discussion over such issues.

Some will oppose or want to amend some of these demands. There will be other issues that  people will want to raise.  The RCN welcomes such debates. It is vital that we create democratic forums where issues can be discussed.

 

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SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION

IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

Democracy
The SNP currently only supports the ending of Westminster control over law making in Scotland, and continues to support the wider UK and the British monarchy. We call for:

Continue reading “SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC”

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May 11 2015

AFTER MAY 7th

Emancipation & Liberation will be posting a series of responses to the new political situation after May 7th. The first comes from Murdo Ritchie (RCN), the second from World to Win.

 

1. MOVING WITH THE FLOW

 

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Never have so many nations been divided by a common government. The glaringly obvious result when Scotland voted 56 of its 59 MPs, is similar to Wales where the Labour Party won. The Unionist alliance in Northern Ireland also won, but although this may seem like a continuation of the Tory party it resembles the nationalist parties in their lust for more Westminster cash, even condemning the so-called “bedroom tax”. The Tories won almost the entire South of England removing the Liberal Democrats almost completely from the West Country.
Continue reading “AFTER MAY 7th”

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May 11 2015

‘NONE OF THE ABOVE’ AND ‘ABANDON THE MIND-FORG’D MANACLES’

Jim Slaven of the James Connolly Society in None of the Above calls upon socialists and republicans to have a closer look at the nature and record of the SNP. This was first posted at:- http://107cowgate.com/2015/05/05/none-of-the-above/

Murdo Ritchie (RCN ) in his Abandon the Mind-forg’d Manacles offers an alternative analysis of the rise of the SNP.

 

1. NONE OF THE ABOVE

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None of the above? This is the question I’ve been asking myself for the last few weeks. Or perhaps more accurately for the last few years. Having never been a member of a political party, I’m what pollsters call a floating voter. Granted, as someone who has been a political activist for nearly 30 years, I might not be the stereotypical floating voter but nonetheless I have no tribal loyalty to any political party.
Continue reading “‘NONE OF THE ABOVE’ AND ‘ABANDON THE MIND-FORG’D MANACLES’”

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May 07 2015

ANTI-UNIONISM AND THE WORKING CLASS IN ENGLAND

As we predicted, the impact of Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’ has become central to the Westminster General Election (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/16/the-left-in-the-uk-the-2015-general-election-campaign-and-the-wider-impact-of-scotlands-democratic-revolution/), and hence to the longer term existence of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Socialists in England, standing under the banner of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition or the Left Unity Party, have largely ignored this issue. In contrast, Steve Freeman, who is standing as a Republican Socialist and Anti-Unionist candidate in Bermonsey & Old Southwark has emphasised the importance of  anti-unionism, and a break from the anti-democratic UK and its Westminster politics, as the best way of uniting the working class  in England, Scotland,Wales and Ireland. Steve states his case below.

 

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Anti-unionism and the working class in England

  1. The working class movement in the UK is facing a new situation which opened since the Scottish referendum in September 2014. The Scottish referendum campaign led to 97% voter registration and 85% voter participation. The campaign produced an unprecedented wave of canvassing, public meetings, street stalls and on-line discussions. Together these marked the beginning of a ‘democratic revolution’ not only for the people of Scotland, but potentially for the peoples in England, Wales and Ireland too.
  2. Continue reading “ANTI-UNIONISM AND THE WORKING CLASS IN ENGLAND”

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May 04 2015

KAGARLITSKY, THE WAR AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION

Last year at the beginning of the latest phase of the crisis in Ukraine, we posted two differing views of the situation (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/03/07/ukraine-a-statement-from-awukiev/). Since then, one of the two writers, Boris Kargalitsky has moved decisively into the Russian chauvinist camp. Below we are posting a critique of Kargalitsky’s politics. 

 

KAGARLITSKY, THE WAR AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION

A Critique of the ‘Red Putinist’

 A person of influence on the thinking the western left on Ukraine has been the Russian writer Boris Kagarlitsky Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements.  Whilst the pro-war views of the Moscow based Kagarlitsky have been accepted without criticism in some quarters – in contrast the views of actual members of the Ukrainian labour movement on Ukraine have been given no such level of recognition.  Published below exclusively by the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign is an important critique of the ‘Red Putinist’ Kagarlitsky from Nihilist Ukrainian left-wing website and activist network.

Boris Kagarlitsky in a company of Russian fascists: Aleksey Belyaev-Gintovt (prominent member of Aleksandr Dugin’s International Eurasian Movement), Yevgeniy Zhilin (militant extreme right Oplot group), Konstantin Krylov (far right “Russian Social Movement – Russia”) and Yegor Kholmogorov.

 

Continue reading “KAGARLITSKY, THE WAR AND POLITICAL CORRUPTION”

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May 01 2015

MAY DAY GREETINGS

In the run-up to the General Election next Thursday, this year Emancipation & Liberation is devoting its annual May Day Greetings to  messages of support from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England for Steve Freeman who is standing as republican socialist candidate on an ‘internationalism form below’ in Bermondsey & Old Southwark (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfuPJcSwc6c and https://youtu.be/WuSFclgQ7BU).

 

 

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Bernadette McAliskey (Ireland)

“Hi Steve, you have my support. You cannot submerge the key issue of self-determination and a radical alternative for Scotland, with its implications for advancing the cause of English working class in a Left Unity analysis that describes that question as ‘narrow nationalism’. The likelihood of their candidate being elected to Westminster but for your intervention in the election is a bit delusional given the archaic election process for Westminster, but even if it were true Republican Socialists would be supporting a candidate who denies the legitimacy of our position and insults us into the bargain.
Continue reading “MAY DAY GREETINGS”

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Apr 20 2015

LIVING THE PEACE PROCESS IN REVERSE

The following extract is taken from an article by Robbie McVeigh, entitled Living the peace process in reverse: racist violence and British nationalism in Northern Ireland, in the current issue of Race & Class (Volume 56, April-June 2015, no. 4).

Virtually the whole of the Left has ignored the broader implications of the new pan-unionist alliance (UKIP, Tory Right and Ulster unionists and loyalists), which is challenging the current British ruling class ‘New Unionist’ ‘devolution-all-round’ and Peace Process settlement from the Right. Robbie McVeigh, however, makes specific reference to the new political situation created in the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum. In doing this he is connecting to the arguments made on this blog that have highlighted this. He specifically points to the history of British ruling class sponsorship of  such reactionary forces, pointing out, not only several historical precedents, but the current collusion between the security forces in Northern Ireland and racist and bigoted unionism and loyalism, including its paramiltary manifestations.

This extract is followed by links to other articles on this blog making similar connections.

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LIVING THE PEACE PROCESS IN REVERSE

Robbie McVeigh

Robbie McVeigh

 

“It is important to remember that loyalism is a core component of British nationalism. This is an assessment of loyalism as a historical political formation, both as part of the politics of the British in Ireland and also of Britishness itself. It is anti-democratic ,racist, authoritarian populism. Moreover, it isn’t simply something belonging to the most reactionary elements of the Protestant working class in Northern Ireland, it is a British phenomenon. In other words, it isn’t rooted in the most lumpen elements of loyalist paramilitarism – although these provide useful allies – but in the most developed forms of British nationalism. Its genealogy can be traced to Randolph Churchill, with his cynical strategy of ‘playing the Orange Card’, through Lord Claude Hamilton to Enoch Powell; from the Curragh Mutiny to the Ulster Workers’ Strike. When the British Establishment rejects the consequences of formal democracy, this is what it looks like: a toxic cocktail of racism, sectarianism, anti-Catholicism, unionism, jingoism, militarism and paramilitarism.
Continue reading “LIVING THE PEACE PROCESS IN REVERSE”

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Apr 20 2015

REPUBLICANISM AND DEMOCRACY

Allan Armstrong (RCN) was invited to speak on Republicanism and Democracy  at the Assembly for Democracy event in Glasgow on Saturday, April 11th. He gave an update of the talk at the first Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow in November 2012 (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2012/11/15/genuine-self-determination-means-acting-as-republicans-now/

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Allan Armstrong speaking at the Glasgow Assembly for Democracy

 

Most of the discussions today we have been having today have been about bringing democracy into our own campaigns and developing an opposition to the ongoing British ruling class offensive.

However, as one contributor to the debate has already said, ‘democracy’ is one of the most promiscuous terms to be found in politics. Indeed, the British ruling class likes to claim that “Westminster is the mother of parliaments”, with the implication that it represents a deeply rooted democratic tradition. So it is worth taking a closer look at this Westminster, based on the political notion of the ‘Crown in parliament’.
Continue reading “REPUBLICANISM AND DEMOCRACY”

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Apr 13 2015

ANTI-WATER CHARGES CAMPAIGN: FROM PROTEST TO ELECTIONS

Our blog has been chronicling developments in one of the most important socio-economic struggles in these islands since the Anti-Poll Tax campaign (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/27/sinn-fein-under-pressure-from-irish-workers/http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/01/water-charges-independent-mobilisation-new-state-repression/ and http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/12/16/defying-water-charges-in-ireland/).

The Irish government is attempting to collect specific water charges from the Irish people (water is already paid for out of general taxation), preparatory to privatising Irish water in line with Troika imposed austerity demands. The massive grassroots Anti-Water Charges campaign in Ireland has destabilised the current Fine Gael/Labour coalition government.

 Until the recent massive show of opposition, Sinn Fein and the trade union bureaucrats were opposed to a campaign of non-payment and non-collection. The following article examines not only the role of the trade union bureaucracy and Sinn Fein, but the illusions being created by some on the Left, in the possibility that these two forces might create a Left Irish government, which can end the water charges, whilst ignoring their cooperation in setting up Irish Water in the first place.

This article by J.M. Thorn of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) addresses the current situation.

 

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ANTI-WATER CHARGES CAMPAIGN: FROM PROTESTS TO ELECTIONS

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The 21st March anti-water charges demonstration in Dublin is clear evidence of the continued widespread opposition to the establishment of Irish Water and the imposition of charges.
Continue reading “ANTI-WATER CHARGES CAMPAIGN: FROM PROTEST TO ELECTIONS”

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