Sep 25 2014

EMANCIPATION & LIBERATION RIC SPECIAL BULLETIN – September, 2014

Allan Armstrong (RCN) has written the following article for the RCN Radical Independence Campaign Special Bulletin, which will be distributed at the RIC National Forum in Glasgow on September 27th.

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Nobody could have anticipated the rise of the Radical Independence Campaign, nor the form it would take. It has been moulded by the largest movement for popular democracy seen in these isles since the Irish War of Independence, and by a new clamouring for political participation and far-reaching changes, not only in Scotland, but across the globe. RIC has been a big success, despite displaying some of the political and organisational weaknesses found in works-in-progress.

RIC did not plan what to do in the event of a ‘No’ vote – many possibly believing that this would be the end. However, the vote on September 18th has not been seen as a defeat nor led to despair, but has been met with anger and defiance. RIC branch meetings have never been bigger.

Many others have turned to the SNP. Their leadership will be happy to get their money and have more foot soldiers for future election campaigns. However, following their overthrow of the party’s anti-NATO stance in 2012, new members will not be welcome if they try to alter the party’s neo-liberal, pro-global corporate, pro-imperialist and pro-monarchist course. The party is now controlled by ‘the suits’, is highly centralised, and has the powers to suspend oppositional branches.

Others have joined the Greens and the SSP. Mr. Sheridan is making another celebrity Left populist bid for the political limelight. There are undoubtedly other political projects out there too, nearly all electoral in ambition. The debates around what sort of party, or what sort of political alliances might be formed, will undoubtedly impact on RIC.

However, RIC’s strength has lain in its ability to unite people around a principled alternative, which reaches out to the exploited, oppressed and alienated. Where the SNP government is pro-corporate business, RIC is for the working class. Where the SNP has a fraught record on women’s and gay rights, RIC is unambiguously on their side. Where the SNP government is pro-monarchist, RIC is republican. Where the SNP government accepts the continued existence of the rUK, RIC is for the break-up of the whole of the UK. Where the SNP government seeks its allies under NATO’s umbrella, RIC opposes US/British imperialism and supports the democratic struggles of the world’s oppressed. Where the SNP is Scottish nationalist, RIC is Scottish internationalist.

These RIC principles can continue to unite communists, socialists, republicans, left Greens, anarchists, feminists and movementists. This is why on November 22nd RIC should recognise itself as a Movement.

This Movement can support all those autonomous campaigns fighting against austerity and for greater democracy; promote popular educational and cultural initiatives; work with others throughout these islands to attain the fullest democracy and new ways for its peoples to relate to each other beyond the control of the UK state; and provide active solidarity to the worldwide resistance to the current global corporate order.

To do this we need a debate in November to flesh out RIC’s original five founding principles (see below). RIC should be set up as a fully democratic organisation, with a recognised membership, local branches and affiliated organisations.

Those who wish to go further and build a political party or alliance could also join. They should accept RIC’s principles and the new democratic ways of working together we are still developing. If such political organisations are to be openly embraced, then there are a number of features they could learn from the bitter experiences of the Left in Scotland and elsewhere. These include a rejection of sectarian, sexist and personalised behaviour.

Instead, there needs to be the fullest democracy, where initial political differences can contribute to a new shared higher level of understanding and activity. We do not need any more self-seeking politicians demanding unquestioning backing, but should ensure that all office bearers are elected, and, where they represent us in institutions we do not control, are paid no more than the average skilled worker’s wage and serve only for limited terms of office.

However, the best contribution RIC could make to the development of new principled political organisations is to maintain itself as a Movement, so that any party/alliance projects do not become self-referential and contribute to further division. Political organisations, which see themselves as both accountable to, and positively contributing towards, a wider principled Movement would be welcome. They would also more likely be successful in the longer term.

At its best, the RIC is and therefore should be further developed as the Scottish internationalist component of the Global Movement for Social Justice.

 

THE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN*

Green and environmentally sustainable

Internationalist and opposed to war and Trident

For a social alternative to austerity and privatization

A modern republic for real democracy

Committed to equality and opposition to discrimination on grounds of gender, race or sexuality

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also see

Letter for the Momentarily Disheartened by Murdo Ritchie (RCN) at:-

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/09/24/letter-to-the-momentarily-disheartened/

and

The Republican Communist Network and the Radical Independence Campaign by Allan Armstrong (RCN) at:-

 http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/05/01/the-republican-communist-network-and-the-radical-independence-campaign/

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* RIC’s FIVE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES FOR WERE AMENDED INSTEAD AT THE SEPTEMBER NATIONAL FORUM TO READ:-

What we stand for an independent Scotland that is:

For a social alternative to austerity and privatization

Green and environmentally sustainable 

A modern republic for real democracy

         Committed to equality and opposition to discrimination on  grounds of gender, race, disability or sexuality

       Internationalist and opposed to war, NATO and Trident

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