The Radical Independence Campaign was asked to send a message to the ‘Go For It Scotland’ Rally in Cardiff on September 13th. Edinburgh RIC took on the responsibility for this, and the following statement was agreed at the Edinburgh RIC branch on September 8th.
Thanks and greetings to the organisers and those attending this Welsh rally for Scottish independence. People from Wales have already been up to Scotland to help the ‘Yes’ campaign. On July 22nd, Leanne Wood made very stirring speech of solidarity to a Radical Independence Campaign meeting in Glasgow.
In this speech, Leanne emphasised the Welsh radical, republican and socialist links between South Wales and Glasgow. We would like to develop these further. It was John Frost and the Welsh Chartists, who in the 1839 Newport Rising, sought create to a Silurian Republic, as a trigger to an alliance of republics throughout these islands. In the 1870s and ‘80s, Welsh and Scottish Highland tenant farmers gave their support to Michael Davitt and the Irish Land League in their common struggle for ‘land for the people’. This in turn inspired the coalminers to push for independent labour organisation and representation. And, it was in Merthyr Tydfil, in the South Wales coalfield, that Keir Hardie, the Ayrshire miner, was elected in 1900. In the same period, the slate quarriers of Bethesda in Gwynedd and Ballachulish in Earra-Ghaidheal (Argyll) faced protracted lock-outs and great deprivation, imposed by owners with no sympathy for their lives or culture.
In those days, it was hoped that Home Rule or Devolution might answer the demand for self-determination. Since then, the UK state’s continued support for barbaric imperial wars, the City of London’s determination to impose austerity both in the Depression and since the 2008 crash, and the growing corruption at Westminster, have shown that the only way to gain meaningful self-determination is by breaking up the UK. This is why we need independence.
We have noted that your Labour First Minister, Carwyn Jones has offered Milford Haven as a new site for Trident, if the Faslane nuclear submarine base is closed down after Scottish independence. We doubt this is big vote winner in Pembrokeshire, but Carwyn seems to have a record of not consulting the people of Wales. He is on record of saying he would deny Scotland the use of sterling after independence, arguing, “If you remember the banking crash, what we needed was swift decisions from stopping our economy going under”. Did Carwyn, or the people of Wales, play any part in Alistair Darling’s “swift decision” to let the banksters off scot free, and to offload the cost of the bailout on the hardest pressed in society”?!
Well, we need to show that Scotland and Wales can offer something better to humanity than Alistair Darling and Carwyn Jones. Their shared support for British unionism and imperial wars must be countered by our internationalist determination that the UK and its dreadful legacy are consigned to the history books. The blow we hope to strike on September 18th, will also inspire the people of Ireland, and those in England lying outside the City of London’s political orbit. It will inspire the people of Catalunya and Euskadi. But, we know that its most immediate impact will be in Wales.
However, a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th is only the beginning. The Radical Independence Campaign has organised meetings, street activities, cultural events and mass canvassing throughout Scotland. We will not be resting on our laurels. And in this, we know we can depend on your continued support.
Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn (The red dragon will show the way)