Dec 07 2016

TRUMPITY TRUMP

Pauline Bradley, from the EB of Emancipation & Liberation,sings her new song about Donald Trump at a Castlemilk Against Austerity protest.
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Dec 02 2016

ST. ANDREWS DAY OR JOHN MACLEAN DAY?

The Irish Workers' Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

The Irish Workers’ Republican Starry Plough does not have an equivalent accepted by the working class in Scotland

Today is St. Andrews Day. It is not yet a full-blown public holiday, although there is some partial observance. The following article was written by Allan Armstrong for the Lothian SSP bulletin in November 2007. It is even more relevant today, when Scottish nationalists try to subsume all of us under the saltire.
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Oct 19 2016

JAMES CONNOLLY, THE 1916 EASTER RISING AND THE DURHAM MINERS ASSOCIATION

As part of our series of articles commemorating the centenary of 1916 Rising inDublin, we are publishing the following article by Dave Temple of the Durham Miners Association, first published in their special journal for the Durham Miners Gala held on July 9th (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2016/08/03/david-hopper-and-the-durham-miners-gala/)

JAMES CONNOLLY, THE 1916 EASTER RISING  AND THE DURHAM MINERS ASSOCIATION

 

Banner at Durham Miners Gala

Follonsby Lodge DMA banner showing James Connolly in Irish Citizen Army uniform

 

100 YEARS ON

From its earliest years, the Durham Miners’ Association took a keen interest in political developments in Ireland. They were ardent supporters of the supporters of the Irish Land League-an organisation formed to fight for justice for peasants and tenant farmers against powerful Irish and British absentee landlords.
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Oct 18 2016

20th EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR, 26-30.10.16

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20th EDINBURGH INDEPENDENT RADICAL BOOK FAIR, 26-30.10.16

 

Wednesday, October 26th

19.00

JAMES KELMAN opens the 20th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair and reads from Dirt Road with live music from the The Dirt Roadsters

21:00

Loud Poets present Rhyme Minister’s Questions

Thursday, October 27th

16.45

ROB SEWELL discusses the latest edition of Leon Trotsky’s Stalin

18.00

SHIRLEY YOUNG and NATHAN GALE launch and discuss She, He, They: Families, Gender and Coping with Transition

19.00

YAKOV M. RABKIN discusses What is Modern Israel?

20.15

TAM DEAN BURN and MEAGHAN DELAHUNT

20:30

ROBIN McALPINE discusses Determination: How Scotland Can Become Independent by 2021

 

Friday, October 28th

15.00

FILM SCREENING – Every Cook Can Govern: The life, impact & works of C.L.R. James

18.00

Writing Politics: An Event with IRISH PAGES

20.00

CONOR McCARTHY and KIRSTY LUSK discuss James Connolly: Revolutionary and Anti-imperialist

Saturday, October 29th

10.00

RICHARD MURPHY, LESLEY RIDDOCH and ANDY WIGHTMAN discuss Creating a Just Scotland: Transforming Our Land and Taxation Policies

12.30

LUKE HARDING discusses Putin’s Polonium Plot

14.00

KAT BANYARD discusses Pimp State: Sex, Money and the Future of Equality

15.30

IAN COBAIN, author of The History Thieves, and LUKE HARDING, author of A Very Expensive Poison

17.00

OWEN HATHERLEY discusses his latest book, The Chaplin Machine: Slapstick, Fordism and the Communist Avant-Garde

18.30

CHERRY STYLES launches Gut Flora: A Chapess Zine Collection

19.30

MIKE SMALL and SIMON BARROW facilitate a panel discussion for the launch of Scotland 2021

20.45

Book launch of Aiblins: New Scottish Political Poetry

 

Sunday, October 30th

10.45

ROBBIE NICOL and KATE RAWLES discuss climate change by Canoe, Sea Kayak and Bike

12.15

EM STRANG launches her poetry collection, Bird-Woman

13.00

STUART COSGROVE discusses Detroit 67 and Young Soul Rebels

14.30

PAUL MacALINDIN, author of Upbeat and JOYCE McMILLAN, author of Theatre in Scotland

16.00

MADELEINE BUNTING in conversation with RICHARD HOLLOWAY

 

see http://www.word-power.co.uk/viewEventList.php?category_id=1

 

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Aug 03 2016

DAVID HOPPER AND THE DURHAM MINERS GALA

David Hopper died on July 16th. He was the General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association and last spoke on Saturday July 9th at the Durham Miners Gala. This was attended by 150,000 people. David Hopper was central to the revival of this major working class political and social event, after the defeat of the heroic miners struggle in 1985. Dave Douglass, an ex-miner from County Durham and a member of the IWW and NUM has written the first piece posted here about David Hopper. This is followed by David Hopper’s own last speech given at the Gala.

 

1. DAVEY HOPPER , 1944-2016

Davey Hopper addressing Durham Miners Gala

Davey Hopper addressing Durham Miners Gala

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the role played by the ‘two Davies’ – Davie Guy and Davey Hopper, respectively the late president and general secretary of the North-East area of the NUM and Durham Miners Association.
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Jul 15 2016

PEOPLES, NATIONALITIES, NATIONS, NATION STATES, NATIONALISM AND NATIONALISTS

A young comrade after reading the UK State, Britishness and the ‘Racialised’, ‘Ethnicised’ and ‘National’ Outsiders (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2016/03/02/britishness-the-uk-state-unionism-scotland-and-the-national-outsider/) has asked Allan Armstrong to clarify the differences between Nationalities, Nations and Nation States. Here is a section of Allan’s book, Internationalism from Below, volume 1, which explores these concepts.

 

PEOPLES, NATIONALITIES, NATIONS, NATION STATES, NATIONALISM AND NATIONALISTS

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Nationality, nation, nation-state, nationalism and nationalist are five words that can provoke very different responses on the Left. In a world of officially recognised nation-states and national movements seeking UN approval, both nationalities and nations are often seen to have collective personalities. When asked to describe a particular nationality or nation, the response can be enthusiastic – “I support the Palestinians”; or hostile – “I oppose the Americans”. There is another response, the loftily aloof – “I’m above such petty nationalist concerns”. This view appears to rise above the fetishisation of national identity. Yet those who adopt this distanced attitude usually find others very easily give them a national identity, usually by virtue of the language, dialect, or even the accent they use.
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Jul 04 2016

JUNE 24th – THE FUKers’ BLACK FRIDAY OR RED FRIDAY FOR A EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION?

Allan Armstrong, who first became politically active in 1968, gives his political assessment of the political situation in the aftermath of the June 23d EU referendum.  Allan is on the Editorial Board of Emancipation & Liberation,  a supporter of the Republican Socialist Alliance, the Radical Independence Campaign and, in the ‘Spirit of 68’, a dissident member of the SSP and RISE.

The International Revolutionary Wave from 1968-75, encompassing the world from Vietnam to Paris, was contained. However, a group of socialists helped to put some new life into the possibility of a social order beyond the discredited models of Social Democracy and official Communism. Sadly today, we have one of 1968’s leading proponents, Tariq Ali, in his role as a prominent Lexiter, reacting to the situation created by the EU referendum more in the manner of the French CP in 1968, diverting a potential European Democratic Revolution on to the path of national reformism. Today this can only reinforce the Right across Europe.  However, others of Allan’s generation, including Bernadette Devlin/McAliskey, have seen a very different potential in the current situation.

It is to be hoped that the short-lived International Revolutionary Wave of 2011, encompassing the ‘Arab Spring’ and the Indignados of Greece and Spain, will prove to be a 1905 International Revolutionary Wave-style prelude to a new revolutionary wave. For the moment the 2011 wave has ebbed back to the communities of resistance in Palestine and Kobane, and to the electoralism of Syriza and Podemos.  

Allan’s contribution is based on a talk he gave at the Edinburgh RISE circle on June 28th and has been extended, updated and written in the form of an appeal from a member of the 1968 generation to those of the new young 2011 generation. 

(* FUKers are supporters of a ‘Free UK’. They stretch from the Fascist and Loyalist Far Right, through the Right populist UKIP to the reactionary Right Tories.)

AFTER JUNE 24th – THE FUKers’* BLACK FRIDAY or RED FRIDAY FOR A EUROPE’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION

Migrant Solidarity Network march in Edinburgh oransised after Brexit vote on June 24th

The 500 strong Migrant Solidarity Network march in Edinburgh on June 24th  the same day as the Brexit vote  24th

 

The significance of Friday June 24th
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Mar 18 2016

REPORT OF REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST ALLIANCE MEETING, STOCKPORT, 12th MARCH

The RCN is affiliated to the Republican Socialist Alliance. Allan Armstrong attended the meeting hosted by the new RSA (North of England) group on the 12th March in Stockport. Steve Freeman, acting RSA convenor, has written the following report. 

 

Report on Republican Socialist Alliance meeting, 12th March, Stockport

This was a productive with decisions taken which should help us build the RSA in the next year. The RSA was set up in 2013 mainly in England but with some support in Scotland to promote discussion and ideas about republican socialism.

We set up an email list now with eighty two members, from the Labour Party, Green Party, Left Unity, Rise and no party. We have been supported by the ‘Republican Communist Network’ (Scotland) and ‘A World to Win’. We have organised some debates and educational events and a ‘London Says Yes’ rally in September 2014.

Some of us have worked for republican socialism in Left Unity, the Scottish referendum, RIC and RISE and the general election. In Scotland we have seen RIC and RISE and in England the Corbyn movement has swept all before it. So there has been much change in the political environment since our foundation and this meeting was focused on catching up and looking to the future.
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Mar 09 2016

HAMISH HENDERSON, FOLK SONGS AND THE BUILDING OF SCOTTISH LEFT WING IDENTITY

Adam Ramsay of  open democracy has written the following review article after seeing the new film, Hamish, about the life of Hamish Henderson. It was first posted at:- 

 

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay/hamish-henderson-folk-culture-and-building-of-scottish-left-wing-identity

 

HAMISH HENDERSON, FOLK SONGS AND THE BUILDING OF SCOTTISH LEFT WING IDENTITY

 

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For me, he was the polyglot communist who first translated Antonio Gramsci into English. For my singer sister, he was Scotland’s great musicologist, the iconic folk song collector who left thousands of recordings now found on Tobar an Dualchais. For my Dad, he was the charismatic founder of Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies and its folk society, and the rumoured son of the philandering husband of his great-aunt Kitty, the Red Duchess.
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Dec 27 2015

SCOTLAND AND THE EASTER RISING

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Celtic Connections Event

Friday, January 15th, 17.00

City of Music Studio, Royal Concert Hall

 

for tickets go to:- 

http://www.celticconnections.com/events/Pages/event.aspx?ev=debf3997-126f-4987-8d5c-a5460122d826

 

Scotland and the Easter Rising, edited by Kirsty Lusk and Willy Maley brings together writers, journalists and academics to reflect on the part played by Scotland in 1916 and its legacies.

The Easter Rising is a defining moment in Irish history, laying the foundations of the nation. But 1916 also matters for Scotland, for the Irish in Scotland, and for Irish-Scottish relations. Edinburgh-born James Connolly was one of the leaders of the Rising, and a signatory to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916.

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