1

Rising Clyde 8: latest issue of Scottish Climate Show on “COP27”

The latest issue of Rising Clyde, the Scottish Climate Show hosted by Iain Bruce, is now available on YouTube via the Independence Live video service.

In this episode Iain is with  Sabrina Fernandes in Rio and Nathan Thanki in Ibagué, Colombia, talking about the few signs of hope among the failures of COP27 – the agreement on Loss and Damage, the return of Lula, and the blistering critique from President Gustavo Petro. .

Watch the programme here:

 

Previous Issues

Previous Rising Clyde shows on Independence Live can be found here:

(1035) SHOW: Rising Clyde – YouTube




Radical Independence Campaign statement on UK Supreme Court ruling against a Scottish Independence referendum

This is a dark day for democracy and signals clearly the rotten, undemocratic nature of our broken, union state.

The unelected judges of the UK Supreme Court are saying that the Scottish Parliament is permanently vassalled to Westminster and its undemocratic parliament, government and state — that the democratic rights of the Scottish people do not matter and can be ignored.

The court is saying that a parish or district council in England has the right to call a referendum on any issue, but what was claimed to be the “most powerful devolved parliament in the world” cannot.

The collaboration of both the UK government and the official opposition in thwarting democracy needs to be answered with a rising tide of protest by the Scottish people, starting at the 15 rallies called in Scotland today.

If the UK government refuses to now give the referendum a legal basis and continues to try to thwart the Parliament, we call for massive and escalating protests across Scotland against this denial of democracy.

Let the People Decide — not the judges!

The UK now has a prime minister and a head of state who are not prepared to subject themselves to a democratic vote, yet deny the people of Scotland their democratic rights.

The UK government’s refusal to countenance democracy also has a profound impact on rights not just in Scotland but across all parts of the UK state — especially for the people of Cymru/Wales and of Ireland in determining their own future.

When governments reject democracy, it is time for the people to rise up and say: enough is enough!

The UK government is not only denying democracy by the Scottish people, but for all the citizens of the UK state in refusing to put its austerity plans and wage restraint to a vote in an election.

We therefore also call for full support for the battles of the people to win decent pay awards through strike action over the coming months and call for defence of public services against all cuts.

Make the rich companies and individuals who have benefited from profiteering from the crisis pay for it, not force ordinary people to choose between eating and heating over this winter!

RIC will support a campaign of mass direct action — strikes, protests, rallies, civil disobedience — against this rotten undemocratic Tory government.

We call on the Scottish Government and the Westminster opposition to support such protests.

We welcome the SNP’s backing for protest rallies in Scotland this evening over the Supreme Court, but also call on them to support the massive strikes voted for by workers that are due in Scotland over the coming weeks and months and to secure the resources to pay workers the inflation-related pay award they deserve.

Furthermore, following the dreadful rolling back at COP27 of international commitments on climate change and 1.5 degrees from the Glasgow COP last year, we call for an end to all new exploration licenses for fossil fuels in the North Sea, and for massive public investment in renewables, funding for a just transition for workers and for a massive publicly-funded programme of home insulation and other reduction measures on energy instead. We support direct action to achieve these goals.

Calls for the Scottish Government to press on with a non-sanctioned referendum in light of today’s ruling are inarguably complicated by the necessary role of local authorities in organising the voting process, which could not be guaranteed in those circumstances.

Similarly, the SNP’s suggestion that the next UK general election could be used as a proxy referendum may falter in a cost of living crisis and would certainly undermine the broad, non-partisan coalition of the grassroots independence movement — as well as putting us up against the troubling introduction of voter ID for Westminster elections.

It is now time for a mass independence movement to mount the most effective challenge possible to the present Conservative UK government, not just on its undemocratic blocking of an independence referendum but also on its right-wing economic policies and their devastating impact on Scotland’s people, which need to be opposed in the here and now not just in the future.

Reprinted from the Radical Independence Campaign: https://ric.scot/2022/11/ric-statement-on-supreme-court-ruling/




23 November: Rallies called across Scotland and Europe over UK Supreme Court decision

Rallies in support of Scottish Independence and self-determination have been called across Scotland and Europe for Wednesday 23 November, the day of the decision by the UK Supreme Court on whether to allow the Scottish Parliament the right to hold a second independence referendum.

The Scottish rallies have been called by an ad hoc group Time for Scotland in conjunction with local independence groups and will feature speakers from the independence movement reacting to the decision of the UK Supreme Court.  A pro-EU campaign, Europe for Scotland will also hold meetings/rallies in five cities across the EU.

ecosocialist.scot will have a representative inside the UK Supreme Court in the morning (the judgement starts at 9.45am UK time) and you can follow our coverage on Twitter and Mastodon.  A full analysis of the implications of the verdict will follow on this website.

Rally locations

The rallies are in the following locations (as at Monday 21 November 14:00) and full details can be found at the Time for Scotland website.

Edinburgh (main rally) – Holyrood Parliament  5:30pm – 7:30pm

Aberdeen – St Nicholas Square  5:30pm

Borders – Selkirk Square and on to Kirk o Forest  6.30pm

Dumfries – Midsteeple area in the town centre. Beside the Planestanes  5:30pm

Dundee – City Square, in front of the Caird Hall  5:30pm

Glasgow – Concert Hall steps Buchanan Street 5:30pm

Greenock – Lyle fountain in Cathcart Square  5:15pm for 5:30pm

Inverness – Inverness Townhouse  Starts 6:30pm

Inverurie – Inverurie Town Hall 5:30pm

Lochgilphead – Front Green Lochgilphead  12noon

Orkney – St Magnus Cathedral, Kirk Green  5:15pm

Perth –  Concert Hall Plaza (outside Horsecross) 5:30pm

Skye – Portree Sheriff Court, Portree Square (plus street stall in square depending on weather conditions)  5:30pm

The rallies/protests in Europe will be in the following cities, full details from https://twitter.com/ScotlandEurope and on the Europe for Scotland Facebook page

 

Berlin – Sinti-und-Roma-Denkmal, Simsonweg, 10117 Berlin, Germany  17:30 UTC+01

Brussels/Bruxelles – Coté Schuman, Parc Du Cinquantenaire  19:45 UTC+01

Munich/München  – Café am Glockenspiel Marienplatz 28 5.5tock   18:30 UTC+01

Paris – The Auld Alliance 80 Rue francois Miron 19:00 UTC+01

Rome/Roma – Metro Colosseo Via dei Fori Imperiali 19:30 UTC+01

 




Statement: The rich make us pay for their profits! Let’s mobilize against the rise in the cost of living

The following statement on the cost-of-living crisis across Europe has been prepared by sections of the Fourth International and is signed by ecosocialist.scot.

The rich make us pay for their profits! Let’s mobilize against the rise in the cost of living

For several months now, strike movements and popular mobilizations have been developing in Europe – both inside and outside the European Union – to resist the explosion in the cost of living.

The price of energy, food, rents, transport has increased over the past two years in all countries, aggravating the living conditions of the working classes already under heavy attack in recent years by precariousness, job cuts with Covid and a fall in real wages and benefits.

After inflation in the EU-27 and the UK of respectively 2.6% and 2.5% in 2021, in August 2022, the CPI year-on-year inflation rates reached at 10.5% and 9.9%, with 12.0% and 13.1% for food, 37.5% and 32.0% for fuels (44.6% and 48.8% in 15 months), (sources STATISTA and ONS).  Electricity prices began to rise last autumn across Europe, with gas prices exploding during the same period (well before the Russian military invaded Ukraine), tripling over a year in Germany and the Netherlands, while energy prices doubled for households in Britain.  In the all-Ireland energy market, prices have risen across the board, north and south, including in the important cost of heating oil, with government interventions stalled in the north by the collapse of political institutions and the ongoing impact of Brexit.

The driving force of this inflation is found in the stock market speculation on raw materials since the recovery in demand since the height of the Covid pandemic, in the context of an oligopolistic market. The catastrophic climate situation in recent months, drought and heat, explicit consequences of climate change, have worsened this situation, as of course the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s army. Global oil supply is set to tighten, intensifying concerns over soaring inflation after the OPEC+ group of nations (including Russia), faced with falling prices, announced at the beginning of September its largest supply cut since 2020. The move comes ahead of European Union embargoes on Russian energy over the Ukraine war. Speculation on energy prices and an explosion of profits distributed to the shareholders of large companies have resulted. Underlying all this, there is an epochal reduction in the availability of fossil fuels.

Marginal rates of profit have risen, not only in large transport, energy and pharmaceutical companies.  Profits in 2021 have been historic. In an unprecedented move, the five largest French banks generated more than €31 billion in profits in 2021. Spain’s Santander recorded €8.1 billion in net income, Italy’s Intesa San Paolo €4.2 billion and Germany’s Deutsche Bank €3.4 billion.  Volkswagen’s operating margin almost doubled to €20 billion. In the first half of 2022, Shell (Netherlands) leads the way with profits of $20.6 billion, followed by BP (UK) with $21.5 billion and TotalEnergies (France) with $14.7 billion.

These few examples of dazzling enrichment, which is also accompanied by the personal enrichment of the propertied class, especially by distribution of dividends and increase of shares value, contrast with the low wage and benefit rises, the drastic loss of purchase power and labour rights, which have increased the impoverishment of the popular classes. The unequal distribution of wealth worsened during the beginning of the Covid years. This inequality has sharpened even more, particularly for women, young people, the racialized working classes, disabled people, and those populations living in the most deprived areas. A study predicts that by the end of the year 80% of households in the UK will be in energy poverty and a further explosion of energy prices is anticipated in 2023.

In this period, neoliberal governments have stepped up tax measures in favour of corporations, cut social spending and significantly increased military budgets – with the concomitant impact on inflation – further worsening the living conditions of the most precarious. The Ukraine war is instrumentalized by reactionary forces, multinational firms and imperialist powers to push their own agenda, arguing that all military budgets are aimed at helping Ukrainian resistance, which is obviously false. Solidarity against the Putin invasion does not prevent fighting against neoliberal and imperialist agendas and austerity policies directed against the working classes.

Governments at different levels (national, regional, local) have introduced support aid systems, energy price ceilings or transport packages, so the weight of inflation on popular classes is uneven depending on the state, but these systems are temporary and do not make up for the increase in the cost of living. 

Material conditions, including the interminable wait for the next pay or benefit cheque, have become the essential concern for the vast majority of the working class. Energy, food, housing costs are essential for everyone and these costs are all increasing to unbearable levels

Such a situation is intolerable.

Many struggles have taken place in recent months:

Across the UK state there has been a significant increase in national strikes since the spring despite the most repressive anti-strike laws in Europe – particularly in transport, on the post, in telecoms and in several major ports. A significant vote has just been won for strikes by university lecturers, while schoolteachers and health workers are also balloting. On the other hand, there have been signs of fragmentation of action on the rail and mail by the leaderships of those unions. There is a significant level of public support for the strikes that are taking place. This is combined with political action especially around the right to food and the right to housing. A six months’ rent freeze has been imposed across Scotland by the devolved government there.

At the same time, we have seen the development of a movement to boycott the payment of energy bills with “Don’t Pay UK” across Britain and in Italy, especially in Naples. In Germany, the demonstrations on the left have so far been limited to the oppositional left and some trade unions. This weakness is due mostly to the fact that the leadership of the big industrial unions, the chemical workers union and the metal workers union, are embedded in a tripartite structure which is proposing relief measures for the population. The far right tries to profit from the huge price increases with demonstrations that outnumber those of the left. Huge demonstration occurred in the Czech Republic on 3 October. Several days of strikes called by the trade unions, demonstrations against the high cost of living have taken place or are scheduled (in France 29 Sept, 16 and 18 October, 21 September and 9 November in Belgium). In France, strikes developed around the oil refineries, with workers on strike for four weeks.

Attacks on living conditions will worsen further in the coming months, particularly with the planned increase in contracts and energy prices, and the end of measures which partially cushioned their impact.

In Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, we see different political currents with different motivations attempting to divert popular classes’ anger away from the capitalists responsible for this crisis and moreover refusing concrete measures to be taken immediately to protect and improve the level and conditions of life for the poorest and most precarious part of the population. At the time when the far right is seeking to exploit this situation, it is our responsibility to seek to organize the broadest class, social and political fronts to impose social demands, the requisition of the wealth produced and the organization of public services for the benefit of the popular classes by aiming at capitalist profits.  We particularly want to see the whole movement devoting resources to organizing and supporting the most precarious.

In these mobilizations, we stand for:

• Increase in wages and benefits at least in line with inflation, with particular protection for those on low incomes, and “uberized workers”, who are de facto employees of capitalist groups

• For automatic increases to keep pace with inflation – a sliding scale of wages and benefits with real measures of inflation determined by organized workers and benefit recipients themselves.

• Abolition of gender inequality at work; give effect to the principle of equal pay for men and women for work of equal value

• Access to free childcare for any child that needs it

• Abolition of VAT on food and energy and reduction and freeze of rents and prices of basic necessities

• Increase of effective tax rate on wealth and profit

• Free local and regional transport, growth of public transport systems

• Free power and heating corresponding to people’s basic needs

• Energy, banking and transport companies, to be socialized under democratic control by workers and users

• Audit of the public debt with citizen participation leading to the cancellation of the illegitimate debt as a way of finding more room for an increase in social spending and in the struggle against the ecological crisis.

• Massive investment into renewable energy, no new fossil fuels – for the decommissioning of nuclear.

At a time when ultraliberal governments are developing, attacking democratic rights, including in alliance with neo-fascist forces as in Sweden or Italy, it is vital that the anti-capitalist forces, the workers’ movement as a whole, develop an emergency plan against the high cost of living and inflation to support all the already existing popular mobilizations and develop them while fighting attempts by the far right to exploit popular anger.

16 November 2022

Signatures

Belgium:           -SAP-Antikapitalisten / Gauche anticapitaliste

England and Wales:     – Anticapitalist  Resistance

France:            – Ensemble ! (Mouvement pour une Alternative de Gauche et Ecologiste)

– NPA (Nouveau parti anticapitaliste)

Germany:         – ISO (Internationale Sozialistische Organisation)

Greece:            – TPT (Fourth International Programmatic Tendency) & Magazine “4” – Greek section of FI

Italy :                – Sinistra Anticpapialista

Norway:  – FIN (Fourth International in Norway, Forbundet Internasjonalen)

Portugal :         – SPQI : collective of FI activists

                         -Toupeira Vermelha: collective of FI activists

Scotland:  – ecosocialist.scot

Spanish State:  – Anticapitalistas

Sweden :          – Socialistik Politik

Switzerland :    – BFS/MPS (Bewegung für den Sozialismus/mouvement pour le socialisme/movimento per il socialismo)

– solidaritéS

Originally published on the Fourth International website: https://fourth.international/en/485




Socialists contest Glasgow Council By-election

The Scottish Socialist Party is standing George MacDougall in a Glasgow Council by-election, writes Mike Picken.

The by-election in the Linn Ward, on the south east edge of Glasgow, takes place on Thursday 17 November and is caused by the death of a Labour councillor, Malcolm Cunning,  a former leader of the Labour group reelected only in May.

At the heart of the Linn ward is the vast Castlemilk area – a remote housing scheme/estate established in the post-war period.  At a well attended SSP election meeting on 8 November in the heart of Castlemilk, socialist candidate George MacDougall explained that poverty is a massive challenge in Castlemilk, particularly due to its remoteness and lack of infrastructure with few shops or cultural facilities, no rail station and a poor and expensive bus service.  Housing standards are varied but some older tenements are afflicted with inadequate insulation and damp.  George has lived in the area and explained that it had a strong community ethos with a previous local group, Castlemilk Against Austerity, campaigning for improvements and standing independent candidates in the elections with some success.  During its successful early period twenty years ago the SSP won around 13% of the vote in Castlemilk.

The SSP campaign is focussing on the need to unite working class communities against the Tory UK government and point out the inadequacy of the response of parties in the Scottish Parliament – SNP, Labour and Green.  SSP Industrial Organiser, Richie Venton, told the public meeting that the SSP demands were to “End Fuel Poverty” by cutting energy bills and calling for the nationalisation of the entire energy system.  Venton explained that the SSP demanded a ‘Socialist Green New Deal’ that involved challenging the Tory government at Westminster and demanding the Scottish Parliament and Scottish councils campaign for a massive insulation programme with retrofitting of working class homes, combined with a move to clean green energy, an end to fossil fuel extraction and free public transport to end reliance on private cars and reduce pollution.  While these demands are massively popular across Scotland, none of the parties in the Scottish Parliament are prepared to confront the Tory government at Westminster to get them implemented.

The SSP also called for massive solidarity with those workers currently struggling against the Tory wage cuts and cost-of-living crisis.  A highlight of the public meeting was a speech by Gordon Martin, the RMT union Scottish Organiser.  The RMT has been leading the battle across Britain to defend wages through strike action on the railways.  Martin explained that although the strike action had been temporarily suspended following recent developments by the Rail Delivery Group employers, the RMT was still committed to a further ballot for strike action in the event of no reasonable inflation-matching offer on pay and conditions coming forward.  Also addressing the meeting was Melanie Gale, an NHS nurse and workplace representative of the GMB union.  She spoke about the struggle in the health service for decent pay and welcomed the likelihood of industrial action by the RCN and other unions (two small health unions in Scotland had already voted for strike action, while the RCN Scotland confirmed on 9 November they had also voted for strikes).  Melanie demanded the SNP/Green government in Holyrood put their money where their mouth was and come forward with a pay offer that matches inflation.

The by-election takes place under the transferable vote system used in Scottish councils, so there is no question of the SSP ‘splitting’ the left or pro independence vote.  There are nine candidates in the by-election, including not just the five parties at Holyrood (Labour, SNP, Green, LibDem and Tory) but also the Alba Party, a largely reactionary splinter from the SNP, and the ultra conservative UKIP and Freedom Alliance parties.

This by-election marks a welcome return by the SSP to contesting elections and providing a voice for working class politics of solidarity,  socialism and environmentalism.  While it is unlikely to make a major breakthrough in terms of numbers of votes at this stage, as the SSP has not stood in an election in the area for 12 years, the SSP campaign focusses on key class issues of the day.   To help the SSP election campaign use this form to contact them.

Gordon Martin, RMT Scotland organiser addresses SSP election meeting in Castlemilk,  8 November

 




Solidarity with Nicaraguan people – Scotland’s role

In Scotland, soon after the 1979 Sandinista [FSLN] revolutionary triumph over the Somoza dictatorship  in Nicaragua, a united front solidarity campaign was established called Scottish Medical Aid for Nicaragua (SMAN), writes Norman Lockhart.

The campaign included trade unions, Labour Party and other campaigns, including church organisations influenced by liberation theology.

It played a similar role to the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign based in London and was based on the experience of Medical Aid for Palestine.

It also incorporated the El Salvador solidarity campaign (ELSSOC) which had been more prominent in Scotland.

It not only sent NHS doctors and nurses to work mostly in the southern region and concentrated in sending Scottish delegations there, including trade unionists and MPs, but also built health centres and other facilities for people neglected by the Somoza dictatorship.

A high point of the solidarity was the visit by the then revolutionary Sandinista president Daniel Ortega to the Glasgow Mayday 1989 celebrations at a time when right wing US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dominated the world of imperialist politics.

The revolution was never to be considered perfect –  it was even once described as the Labour Party but with guns!

One of the important lessons of both the Nicaraguan FSLN and the FMLN in El Salvador had been recognising the common grounds for uniting in struggle.

In the context of the popular struggles world wide and particularly in Latin America again today, it should be a priority to defend democratic and human rights against what can be referred to as the Orteguista dictatorship regime.

Ortega and his partner the current vice president Murillo have become another brutal dictatorship that has imprisoned several hundred political prisoners including his once fellow Sandinista combatants.

For example, one of them who has been detained in solitary confinement for over a year, Dora Maria Tellez, led a military wing of the Sandinista army in overthrowing the Somoza dictatorship and was also the minister for health during the Sandinista government.

This process became more obvious about four years ago when police, aided by para military thugs, shot down workers, peasants and students demonstrating in defence of the environment and for better state pensions.

While the Sandinista revolution heralded many obvious benefits for the population of Nicaragua in health and education as well as land reforms and farming cooperatives, it also set a worldwide example to those forces struggling for social justice and human rights.

Most notably the recognition of the need for the indigenous and minority black groups on the Atlantic coast for self determination.

This was very significant in undermining the base of the ‘contras’, the terrorist opposition financed, trained and armed by the USA.

Part of the consolidation of the revolutionary process and the best way for a legitimate international profile was the first democratic presidential election that confirmed the Sandinista popular liberation victory.

In contrast, a clear expression of the revolution’s many faults was the so called ‘piñata’ when after losing the next election many financial rewards and privileges (state property, land and businesses) were given to faithful FSLN party servants or bureaucrats.

The dictatorship of Ortega has even refused permission for revolutionaries from other latin american states to visit Nicaragua to find out first hand what conditions for working class people are like.  And even the Organisation of Latin American States OEA has condemned Ortega’s undemocratic regime repeatedly over the last four years but this year it was unanimous and without abstentions.

There is still a network of Scots previously sympathisers of the Sandinista revolution who support the people’s continuing struggle.

Norman Lockhart, October 2022

Image from https://correspondenciadeprensa.com/




Radical Independence Campaigners to protest at UK Supreme Court in London

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) is calling on supporters of Scottish and Welsh Independence and for Irish reunification to make a protest at the UK Supreme Court in London on Tuesday 11 October at 10am, writes Mike Picken, when the Court will begin hearing evidence on whether the Scottish government has the legal powers to call a second independence referendum in October 2023.

RIC has called for Scottish independence supporters and allies to gather outside the court from 10am on Tuesday morning to peacefully assert our right to hold a referendum.

There is a Facebook event page here:

Let The People Decide! | Facebook

The hearing will consider a reference from Scotland’s most senior legal officer, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain, under the provisions of the devolution legislation (the Scotland Act 1998) allowing her to refer a matter to the UK Supreme Court for determination.  The Court will be asked to decide whether a proposed consultative referendum on Scottish Independence is within the current legal powers of the Scottish Parliament.  The UK government of the new Conservative Prime Minister, Liz Truss, will oppose the proposed referendum through the offices of its legal officer, the Advocate General.   There will also be a formal intervention heard in favour of the rights of the Scottish Parliament and people for self determination, submitted by the Scottish National Party (SNP)

This legal battle follows the May 2021 election to the Scottish Parliament when a majority of members (MSPs) elected for the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the  Scottish Green Party had a manifesto commitment to hold such a referendum in the first half of the parliamentary session (ie before the end of 2023).  The UK Tory government now headed by Liz Truss and her band of right wing Brexit supporters, and supported by the Labour Party official opposition of Keir Starmer, is totally opposed to holding such a referendum and is trying to block it by any means available, even though a majority of the Scottish Parliament have been elected on that basis.  The UK Supreme Court is now being asked to determine who has the power to call a referendum.

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) is saying that the people of Scotland must be allowed to decide, not the Westminster Parliament and not the courts.

The UK Supreme Court is based in London, but is the only court that covers the whole of the UK – which is divided into separate legal systems: that of Scotland, whose legal systems and institutions are more closely related to the ‘Civil Law’ systems of Europe and were preserved as independent under the 1707 union of England and Scotland; that of the largely ‘Common Law’ system of England, which historically also included Wales though there is now a small separate body of Welsh law since legal powers of Senedd Cymru were changed in 2007; and that of the part of the north of Ireland under UK state control, a direct legacy of the colonial partition (‘Northern Ireland’).  The eleven Judges in the UK Supreme Court are drawn from all of the legal systems; although the majority are from England, the current President of the Court is a Scottish Judge.  Five of the Judges will hear the case and a decision is expected in two to three months, possibly sooner.

RIC is pointing out that the decision of the Court will also have significant implications for the increasing numbers supporting independence for Wales and the reunification of Ireland, and it is calling on supporters of those causes to join them at the Court and build links across the UK state for the right of the nations within the UK state to self determination.

ecosocialist.scot hopes to provide further coverage of the protest and the Supreme Court hearing so please return here for more updates.

Radical Independence Campaign

Another Scotland Is Possible

The Radical Independence Campaign works for an independent Scottish republic. We see independence as a means to achieve the radical change that Scotland urgently needs. We stand for a Scotland that is:

  • For a democratic, secular, socially just and environmentally sustainable Scottish republic.
  • Action based on the sovereignty of the people not the UK Crown, leading to the setting up of a Constituent Assembly.
  • Action to establish universal health care, education, housing, income, pensions and trade union rights; and to win land reform and challenge environmental degradation.
  • Equality and opposition to discrimination on grounds of sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion/belief, disability or age
  • Solidarity with the struggles for workers’ rights, democracy and self-determination, based on internationalism from below
  • Support for Scotland’s artistic and cultural revival in all its languages



Climate Camp Scotland: Meet & Camp Out @ the Kelpies, Saturday 15 October/

From our friends at Climate Camp Scotland

 

Hey there campers!

We’ve got some tasty stews on the stove this Autumn so make sure you stop by the kitchen tent…

Meet & Camp Out @ the Kelpies, 15 Oct

We are beginning to lay foundations for an incredible 2023 climate camp.

On Saturday 15th October we are going to Falkirk / Grangemouth for a series of informal tea-time chats with local organisers, community members and trade unionists to hear about living with Scotland’s biggest polluter, the recent wildcat strikes, the cost of living crisis, and their aspirations for a just transition.

After our meetings we’ll head to a (secret) fire and camp spot to enjoy the Autumn leaves and hopefully some stars! It should be a very wholesome and productive day and night, and everyone is welcome to join for as much of the runnings as they feel able.

The day starts at 1.30pm with the community meeting at the Kelpies Visitor Centre Cafe.

To get a briefing with venue details, travel info, and how to take part click here.

It should be a wholesome and fun day for the group so we hope you’ll consider joining us!

Climate Camp have our regular meetings online, organised via Signal. To find our more about these or to get more involved, join our Signal groups here.

Autumn love and solidarity,

Climate Camp Scotland




Solidarity with Ukraine! Solidarity with the Workers of Ukraine! Glasgow Public Meeting Sat 22 October 10.30am

Speakers from the recent Ukraine Solidarity Campaign delegation to Ukraine will address a public meeting in Glasgow called by Ukraine Solidarity Campaign Scotland on Saturday 22 October 10.30am at John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street Glasgow G2 4RZ.

The leaflet advertising the meeting is available in PDF form here and reproduced below.  The Facebook event is here.

 

Solidarity with Ukraine! Solidarity with the Workers of Ukraine!

Public Meeting:
10.30am, Saturday 22nd October
John Smith House 145-165 West Regent St. Glasgow

Speakers from the recent Ukraine Solidarity Campaign delegation to Ukraine:
– Chris Ford (Ukraine Solidarity Campaign)
– Alena Ivanova (Another Europe is Possible)

The war in Ukraine continues to dominate headlines: Ukraine’s counter-offensive, Putin’s escalating rhetoric, sham ‘referendum’ in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, and Putin’s military mobilisation decree.

The focus of the media is primarily on the extreme cost to human lives and the Ukrainian economy as a result of the Russian invasion. But Ukraine’s labour movement is not just fighting at the front.

It is also fighting to defend and extend rights and protections for all. As it struggles to continue to fund its military resistance, the Ukrainian government and Parliament has also proposed emergency measures dramatically weakening employment rights.

With rising inflation, energy insecurity and the urgent need for more military and humanitarian support, Ukraine needs our solidarity more than ever. At the same time, global powers are already initiating discussions about reconstruction and pushing their agendas. But what kind of Ukraine are Ukrainians bravely fighting for?

A recent USC solidarity delegation to Ukraine met with trade unions and left groups in Ukraine. It discussed recent developments in the war, workers rights and the future reconstruction of Ukraine. Organisations met by the delegation included:
The Federation of Trade Unions; the Confederation of Free Trade Union; the State Employees Union; the NGPU Miners Union; the Free Trade Union of Rail Workers; the Education Workers Union; Sotsiyalnii Rukh and the Social-Democratic Platform.

This meeting has been organized to provide first-hand accounts of the struggles of the Ukrainian people and of Ukrainian workers, and to help build labour movement solidarity with those struggles.

Organised by Ukraine Solidarity Campaign(Scotland). PCS, ASLEF, and the NUM are affiliated to the USC at a national level. Affiliates in Scotland include local GMB, Unite, NUJ and ASLEF branches. To invite a speaker from the USC (Scotland) to your branch meeting, e-mail: uscscotland@yahoo.com

Ukraine Solidarity Campaign (Scotland): Ukraine Solidarity Campaign Scotland |Facebook
Ukraine Solidarity Campaign National Website: https://ukrainesolidaritycampaign.org




Global Day of Action for Climate Justice called for Saturday 12 November

The newly launched COP27 Coalition has called a decentralised Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on Saturday 12 November 2022 and for the reset of climate talks ahead of COP27 in Egypt.  Demonstrations and protests have already been called by Climate Justice Coalitions across Britain and Ireland as part of the Day of Action – a full list will be published shortly, but major events are already planned for London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast and other big cities.

Below is the statement launching the Day of Action.  Further information can also be obtained by joining the mailing list, just send a message to the COP27 Mobilisations working group: cop27-mobilisations-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

Newly-launched COP27 Coalition calls for global mass action for climate justice, reset of climate talks ahead of Egypt COP

15 September 2022: Civil society groups from Egypt, African countries and the Arab world have come together to call for a global mass mobilization of people everywhere to address the root cause of the climate crisis and other injustices, to take place around the world during the COP27 global climate talks this November.

Today, they are launching the ‘COP27 Coalition‘ with an invitation to civil society groups around the world to join them in demanding an end to climate and other injustices, and an urgent response from governments and leaders to climate and other multiple linked crises.

They are calling on citizens to join in a decentralised Global Day of Action on Saturday, November 12th, during the COP, organised in cities and towns across the globe, and to help mobilise millions of people under a call for climate justice and bring movements together to build real power for systems change.

They are also calling on civil society to organise People’s Forums wherever they are throughout the duration of the COP to organise collective action and demand effective action by leaders and governments.

The COP27 Coalition demands a ‘reset’ of the multilateral system to address the scale of the challenge, as part of a wider agenda to address climate change.

To achieve climate justice, the groups are calling for efforts to:

  • Decolonise the economy and development.

    • Faced with multiple crises, developing countries must reframe and implement alternative models of development that move away from Northern models of economic growth, which have proven to be a failure and are the cause of many of the crises, including the climate crisis, today.

    • Enable a just transition to 100% renewable energy through an equitable phase out of fossil fuels.

    • Prioritise public health, food sovereignty, agroecology and decent living conditions.

    • Restore nature and defend the rights of Mother Earth.

  • Have rich countries repay climate debts – Rich countries have historical responsibilities for the climate crisis and must fulfil their obligations and fair shares by reducing their emissions to zero and providing poorer nations the scale of financial support needed to address the crisis.

  • Stop false solutions – Africa and other developing countries are fast becoming the dumping grounds for false solutions, many of which are driven by corporations who see the climate crisis as a way of profiteering, and which have devastating consequences for frontline communities and must be stopped.

  • Build global solidarity, peace and justice – We are facing an existential crisis as humanity. Social and climate injustices prevail, human rights are threatened, democracy is at risk and civil society space is rapidly shrinking. To achieve peace and justice, we will need to build massive global solidarity, especially with those most vulnerable and at risk from the impacts of these injustices.

They say the UN climate talks are dominated by rich countries and corporations, and will need a major overhaul to address the scale of the climate crisis and injustices in the current system.

They recognise that the climate negotiations are an important focus for climate campaigners, but not the only way. And so they are calling on groups around the world to use the COP as a moment to build local solidarity and action and build power for real change.

Quotes:

Mohamed Adow, Director of the think tank Power Shift Africa, said:

“For far too long, Africa has been controlled by outside interests – a resource pool for extraction and export, and a dumping ground for the practices and technologies no longer wanted elsewhere.  The COP27 Coalition is a space for Africans to take back control of our collective future.  Civil society representing hundreds of organisations and millions of people across the continent are stepping up to show what an Africa that puts communities and well-being at the centre of its priorities could look like.”

COP27 needs to be a reset moment where rich countries need to face up to their failures to both cut their emissions fast enough and deliver on the climate finance they have promised.  A new vision is needed where urgency and action replace voluntary targets and broken promises.  If that shift takes place then COP27 will have put us on a trajectory to a clean, safe and prosperous planet.”

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director,  Climate Action Network International (CAN-I)

“For the Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of civil society working to address the climate crisis, COP27 being held on African soil represents a critical opportunity to secure climate justice for peoples and communities vulnerable to and least responsible for the climate catastrophe.

Africans and peoples in the Global South are suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change, from flooding, heatwaves, drought resulting in food, water, and energy insecurity. Climate change impacts have a direct effect on how African countries can address their development needs.

We believe that deep transformational change, that is just, equitable and people-centred, is necessary to address these multiple and compounding crises facing people today, including rising poverty and inequality.

As CAN, we believe that these changes are only possible through the power and inclusion of the people. We are, therefore, joining hands with our sisters and brothers in the COP27 Coalition, representing movements from Africa, the Arab region, Egypt and globally to use our collective power to secure climate justice through the outcomes from COP27”.

Omar Elmawi, Coordinator, StopEACOP Coalition

“Africa needs to be a little selfish and think about itself. We have faced myriad levels of colonialism, our resources are exploited each waking day for the benefit of wealthier nations as the resulting impacts to lives and livelihoods are left behind.

The upcoming COP27 in Egypt is a time for Africa and African interest to rise, a time for a community-led renewable energy revolution, a time for real climate reparations for the climate crisis affecting all Africans when we have done little to nothing to cause it. This is the time for the historical emitters to own up to their mistakes and deliver a COP that looks at avoiding emissions as an opportunity for real development, and not continuing to prioritise the interests of fossil fuel corporations who care only of their profits and shareholders, as we endanger humanity and the future for the coming generations.”

Lorraine Chiponda, Coordinator, Africa Coal Network

“In the face of an overwhelming climate crisis, Africa sits at a critical tipping point: if we continue business as usual as the pawn of external and elite interests, we risk being shackled by old fashioned thinking and outdated technology.  We will become the last resort for the dirty energy systems of the past.

If, however, we embrace the leadership of African communities, and put their well-being at the centre of our priorities, we have an opportunity to fight the climate crisis by embracing our abundance of clean, cheap, renewable energy.  We need leaders with a vision and boldness to reject the neo-colonialism of the fossil fuel industry. We need leaders to invest in communities to make the leap past the fossil fuels that are causing suffering to our people, and towards a future powered by clean, green power from the wind and sun.  Africa is blessed with an abundance of this energy, but we need governments and business to help us harness it if we’re going to reach our true potential.”

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President AFPAT and Co-chair Indigenous Peoples Caucus

“Today Africa lives on the edge of climate wars. People are fighting for the few resources left. It can be a pond, access to a river or to a source of freshwater. Or for a piece of fertile land. In a region where 70% of people depend on nature for farming, when nature is sick, people are going insane. Farmers and pastoralists had an old alliance that is now broken in the competition for nature.

But for me, Africa is still a land of hope. We have so many climate warriors, fighting back at home. In my community, women already implemented solutions to the changing climate. They use their indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge to identify crops that can resist drought and heatwave and support a resilient agriculture. In the memory of our grandmothers and grandfathers, we find the map of ancient sources, those who still give water in the middle of the dry season. Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge not only gives us so many words to describe the rain but also offers us the tools to fight back and combat climate change.

This COP27 must be an action COP for those who are the most impacted. Loss and damage, and climate adaptation should be guiding the discussion and the outcome should be as real for the people as direct access funding to adapt to and mitigate climate change. We, Indigenous Peoples,  must be at the table and taking decisions as victims and also solutions to climate change. “

Charity Migwi, Africa Regional Campaigner, 350.org

“Developed nations have fallen short of their climate finance pledges to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to facilitate developing nations to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Beyond this shortfall, the much needed finance to build resilience to the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change still remains lower than mitigation finance.

This is why it is time for Africa to curb the fossil fuel reliance of developing nations that has rapidly led to one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. Not only is there no room for more fossil fuels in Africa, where developed nations are now turning their gaze, but there is also no room for them anywhere. African nations must reject this exploitation and extractivism which will further fuel climate breakdown and expose African nations to catastrophic impacts.

As COP27 is being held in Africa, it’s time to build a different future: one based on renewable energy; one that is truly just and accessible; and one that focuses on accelerating Africa’s development by an economic systemic shift that leaves no one behind.”

Ubrei-Joe Maimoni Mariere, Climate Justice & Energy Project Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa

As the world prepares for COP27, which will be hosted in Africa, we must use this opportunity to demand climate justice and solidarity for Africa and the global south.

To stop the climate crisis and bring about energy justice to the world, we need a rapid phase out of fossil fuels and a just and feminist and equitable transition to community-based renewable energy systems. We demand public climate finance in the form of grants (not loans), and technology transfer to help support the transition for our peoples. COP27 must be used as a space to empower people-centred renewable energy solutions. We demand that African leaders stop all new gas exploration and fossil fuels projects on our continent, which is already being burned and facing the ravages of the climate crisis. We also demand an end to attacks on environmental human rights defenders and journalists, in Egypt, all across Africa and everywhere.

For more information:
Juliah Kibochi and Janet Kachinga
COP27 Coordination Team
media@cop27coalition.org 




Solidarity with all protesting the imposition of an unelected King

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) expresses its solidarity with all those protesting the imposition of an unelected King. We condemn the fact that protesters have been charged with breach of the peace following the proclamation of Charles’ rule in Edinburgh, and demand an end to militarised policing preventing our communities from having their say.

Last week, the final act of the UK’s unelected head of state was to appoint a Prime Minister who has come to power with the votes of 0.12% of the population. A Head of Government chosen by a tiny number of Tory party members, and a Head of State anointed by an unaccountable ‘Accession Council’, to which our MPs and representatives are subordinate.

The death of Elizabeth II means the automatic appointment, with no discussion or reflection on our future, of a King manifestly unfit to represent the modern peoples of these islands. Charles is unelected, and unelectable. He would never have been chosen in a democratic system.

Never has it been more clear that the rotten structures of the British state are unfit for purpose in the 21st century.

We are told that “this is not the time” to discuss whether we wish to remain subjects of a monarchy. But the current wave of proclamations and propaganda promoting acceptance of the new King leaves republicans throughout these islands no choice but to voice our dissent. RIC insists that now is the time, and that it is vital we demand the right to have a say about our democratic future.

The passing of Elizabeth II is obviously a historic and culturally significant moment. Many people, regardless of their feelings about the monarchy as an institution, feel a sense of loss at the death of someone who has been a constant presence in our public life. For some, it leads to reflection on our own bereavements. These feelings are valid, and must be respected.

But many others strongly feel that, despite their symbolic role, the Royal family do not represent them. There is a sense of widespread unease about having to immediately adapt to a new “King”, and the current state of officially enforced mourning creates an oppressive atmosphere to which we have not consented. For those with connections to countries colonised in the name of the Crown, it is impossible to mourn someone who acted as a symbol of one of the world’s most criminal imperial powers. This reaction is equally valid and worthy of respect. RIC rejects the idea that undue deference and sycophancy are measures of anyone’s respect or humanity.

The rush to be seen to conform to state mandated grief feels more appropriate for an authoritarian regime than a modern 21st century democratic country. The mass cancellation of events, from sports to entertainment to crucial battles for workers’ rights, causes massive disruption to the lives of millions. Ambiguity about correct protocol has seen football matches cancelled while rugby and cricket continued with minutes of silence. Citizens of Edinburgh face their city once again being shut down by road closures and armed police, in order to cater to a fantasy feudal image of the past.

Coming on the heels of years of pandemic conditions which prevented socialisation, cancelled events represent the crucial loss of a mental health lifeline for their participants. Organisers will have lost time and resources that cannot be replaced. But most importantly, thousands of people in temporary, insecure and low wage employment connected to events and hospitality will lose work, in the midst of an unprecedented cost of living crisis.

RIC demands Scottish and UK governments urgently collaborate to ensure these workers receive compensation for their loss of income.

RIC notes that MPs have been invited to make a new oath of allegiance to Charles. All elected parliamentarians, in both Westminster and Holyrood, are required to swear loyalty to the British Royal family, making this new vow a symbolic formality. Nevertheless, it is a democratic affront that our representatives do not swear to serve the people that elected them, and we call on all Scottish MPs to actively boycott this further demonstration of subservience.

The imposition of a new monarch simply crowns the completely anti-democratic nature of the British state in Scotland. Her elevation at the hands of Tory party members makes Liz Truss the 9th Tory Prime Minister which Scotland has not voted for since 1955. She has variously promised to refuse Scotland’s democratic right to self-determination through a second independence referendum, and to attempt to gerrymander the franchise. Her proposed restrictions on a future vote would have seen her fail to win the Tory leadership if imposed on her own contest. RIC demands the unelected UK Tory regime cease its attempts to prevent Scotland holding an independence referendum in 2023.

Contrary to what is often claimed, the monarchy play a key role in the continued anti-democratic nature of the British state. The monarch is consulted on legislation, leading to anomalies like the fact that the Royal household is exempt from laws against racial and gender discrimination in employment. It’s widely expected that Charles will use his audiences with the UK government to push for his own personal hobbyhorse issues, in complete defiance of democratic scrutiny. The fact that new Tory Prime Minister, Liz Truss, is to accompany Charles on a tour of the UK demolishes the myth that the monarchy is apolitical.

But crucially, it is the Crown as an institution that allows British governments to act with impunity, declaring wars or states of emergency without oversight should they so wish. The Crown Powers are at the heart of the UK’s unwritten constitution, and must be abolished if we are to live in a democratic society.

The death of Elizabeth II also marks a moment of deep reflection for formerly colonised countries and their descendants, from Jamaica to Australia. Their citizens must now decide to either amend their constitutions to recognise Charles, or move forward to a modern democratic republic. RIC expresses our solidarity with all societies shedding themselves of the legacy of British imperialism. We demand that in addition to relinquishing their role as head of state, the Royal family begin to make reparations for the enrichment of their ancestors through the plunder of the British Empire.

RIC pledges to oppose all efforts to legitimise the rule of “King” Charles with vocal and public protest, in line with the long history of dissent represented by the common people and republican movements of these islands. We call on all those who support democracy to join us.

  • RIC is supporting a solidarity demonstration outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday 30th September, 9.45am. You can find more information on Facebook.
FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022 AT 09:45 UTC+01

Defend the Right to Protest

Edinburgh Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court



Being a transgender woman at the International Youth Camp

by Sister from Scotland

In July this year, I attended my first ever International Youth Summer Camp. While I may have been a committed Leninist for a long time, and while I have been a member of the Fourth International’s Scottish section for a few years now, unfortunately those years fell amid the COVID-19 pandemic and thus were deprived of camps. So by Summer of this year, I was especially excited to finally attend the camp as part of a delegation made up of comrades from Scotland (along with some dear international friends based in England!). It being my first ever time would have made this camp a special occasion all by itself, but there was another, much more personal reason why I was so excited to be taking part: This was going to be my first time living publicly as a woman.

You see, I am a transgender woman. But so far I have been a very cautious and closeted trans woman. I am really early on in my transition, and until recently the only people I have truly been myself around are fellow trans people from the queer movement. And even then, I’ve only presented as a woman in small gatherings of trusted friends and partners. But I decided that this time, at the camp, I was going to take a leap into the unknown: I was going to dress, present, live as the woman I really am, for the duration of the camp. I was going to introduce myself to my comrades.

It is a general point with me, that I do not take leaps into the unknown very often. I am one of those people who are very easily caught and stuck by indecision when it comes to big choices. I am a woman, but a fearful one. I want to show my face: I want to be known and thought of and spoken to and loved as a woman, but I am afraid. I am a woman, but most of the time I am silent and hidden, buried deep in the closet. So what led me to take a leap, for once?

Two things. Firstly, I was impressed by the Fourth International’s approach to identity issues. Not just their historical involvement in the feminist movement, but also the ongoing commitment to racial justice, feminism and queer struggle that I could see upheld in the various sections of the international. Of course, historical and programmatic commitments, while inspiring and appealing to a closeted trans woman like me, would not alone have been enough to convince me to bare myself so truthfully and openly.

It was the second thing that was decisive. It might seem small to you, reader, but it was simply getting the chance, a few months before the camp, to meet some members of the Danish section who introduced themselves with they/them pronouns. Here they were, some gender dissidents just like me, clear and queer among their fellow comrades without a worry. It occurred sharply to me, right then and there, that if I was just a little bit braver, I could be like that!

Well, that decided it. With a good deal of panicked, excited sincerity, I told those comrades about myself, I mean really, truly about myself, and told them that I wanted to come out at the camp. They were supportive and cheerful, and looking forward to knowing the real me when we met again in France. And so, I had now committed myself. I won’t lie: It was a decision I would worry and fret about as the camp drew near. This was natural, obviously. I was about to come out to about two hundred people, and across multiple language barriers too! Would I get tangled up in explaining myself? Would there be misunderstandings? Would some people turn out to be bigots? I had reason to be more than a little nervous: A depressing number of times in my years on the left, I have seen how easily some supposedly progressive “comrades” have dropped the act and morphed into reactionary dogs when challenged by actually-existing trans people with ideas and opinions.

However, I was also buoyed by a kind of feverish anticipation. The simple prospect of cutting the bullshit, dropping my boyish disguise and being totally honest seemed so radical, so wonderful, so liberating, that I could not wait to get to France. Besides, I knew full well that to be openly myself at the camp was a political commitment, not just a personal one. I am both a militant in a battle for my own civil rights and a socialist, and I feel it is my duty as a transgender socialist to do my best to bring together the causes of trans rights and socialism into one struggle. I firmly believe that the perspectives of trans people are valuable, and that the socialist movement is lessened by their absence, just as it is lessened by the absence of black perspectives or disabled perspectives. If the patriarchy tries to turn gender into a binary of bitterly opposed frontlines, then gender rebels like me are well positioned to show how these frontlines are vulnerable to permeation, sabotage and mutiny. We cannot be quiet, not when we have so much to give, so much to talk about, so much to teach. And so, I felt compelled to raise my voice: A woman’s voice, loud, sharp and liberated.

As the fateful date approached I made some preparations, like telling the other members of the Scottish delegation, and coming out to a few comrades I had already met. Their support and acceptance was a welcome boost, and it really cemented my resolve and confidence to know that they would have my back during the camp. And when, after the long journey down to the campsite, the time finally came to commit to things and reveal my true self, it was good to be able to take the first steps with some help from comrades. I remember, on the first morning of the camp, speaking with my delegation, airing out some last-minute nerves and making absolutely sure that, in the event of any exclusion or bigotry, I could count on them to help me assert my right to be there as the woman I am.

Thankfully though, all that worrying was completely needless. I got so hung up on potential issues and fears, only for them to dissolve the moment I walked out into the sun in a dress and began introducing myself. I don’t think I was prepared for how natural it all felt, as if I had been doing this my entire life. Whether it was a comrade who had previously met me as a “boy”, or whether it was someone entirely new, things went so smoothly that I was a little bit shocked. But only a little bit, because the dominant emotion I felt was joy – pure, riotous, joy.

This wonderful feeling would develop into a deep sense of fulfilment as the days passed. Yes, as one of a handful of trans women at the camp, I was in an extreme minority, but it hardly felt that way. On the contrary, the blanket response of my sisters was to welcome and include me, and as I spent time participating in the women’s discussion spaces, learning, sharing ideas and helping to plan actions, I came to realise some things: chiefly, that this was the first time I properly felt a part of a women’s movement.

I am a feminist. The problem is though, that the feminist movement in Scotland and the UK is in a parlous, disorganised state compared to the women’s movement in the rest of the world. Feminism in these gloomy islands can’t boast of mass, vibrant, militant women’s strikes and demonstrations in the way that Argentinian or Portuguese or Polish or Chilean feminism can. In addition, the feminist movement here is so riven by culture war junk and middle class transphobia, that it feels pretty difficult for a trans woman like me to feel safe or welcome taking part in what little we have. There is that constant worry with the movement back home, a lingering fear that solidarity is something that can easily be revoked when the sister doesn’t fit some arbitrary biological or social norm.

I had no such worries among the women at the camp. Here I experienced live, determined, militant sisterhood, a sisterhood ferocious in combat yet caring and inclusive towards its own, a sisterhood committed to mass revolutionary struggle. And I was welcome implicitly, no questions asked! As I sat in meetings surrounded almost totally by cisgender women, I felt utterly at ease, a circumstance which honestly surprised me. I reflected that, were I in a similar setting in the UK, I would be a lot more nervous and on-edge, the familiar fear gnawing at me and making me wonder whether my inclusion might suddenly be subject to withdrawal on some bigot’s whim. But here, among revolutionary socialist women, I was as much a woman as any other, a comrade to be loved and supported.

And this love and support helped me realise something else, too: The sheer difference which living in an honest manner makes to my ability to express emotions. I’ve long been aware of how enforced masculinity has marked and scarred me in various ways. Throughout childhood, I was conditioned, punished and harassed into acting and thinking like a boy by various forces, whether they be the ways patriarchal society moulds the minds of children to adopt certain gender roles, the way kids learn to laugh at girly “faggots” and “trannies”, or the way an overly emotional child is relentlessly bullied for being “soft” and “effeminate”, too much of a “crybaby”. This prolonged campaign against the personality of the child induces a painful kind of alienation- Confused and afraid, bombarded by the world around you, the easiest response is just to give in and try and fit the role as well as you can, even if it means doing as the oppressor wants and shutting away parts of yourself. Sure, it might make you less of a target, and you might be convinced that it’s better to try and be “normal” and “just like the other boys”, but it never, ever, feels right. Even though you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong and why you feel so at odds with yourself, you simply cannot ignore the pain, no matter how much you scream at yourself to shut up and conform. It’s hard to be at peace when you’re mutilating yourself.

This is something that you gradually confront as you begin to wake up and process the fact that you’ve been brainwashed, but you really do not realise the extent to which your identity has been dulled by living a lie until the burden of the lie is gone. It’s something I’ve been approaching as I’ve shared my womanhood with loved and trusted friends, but the scale, duration and public nature of my doing so at the camp, and in front of so many cis people simultaneously, affected me in ways I hadn’t prepared for. It shook me, but in the most wonderful way possible. Living so naturally and freely as a woman was like coming home to myself. Suddenly, I was so much less inhibited and so much more confident in expressing my feelings and emotions. Years of self-censorship and self-scrutiny have led me to mentally check myself in countless ways whenever I’m with other people, but here I didn’t need to think about how I acted and expressed myself at all- Everything just flowed naturally.

So here I was, accessing those alienated parts of my personality that had been walled off and hidden by a childhood of having to be a boy. Here I was: A confident, affectionate, goofy, relaxed woman, perfectly at ease among her sisters and comfortable in her own skin. It felt so good to throw all the old defense mechanisms, all the nerves, all the congealed boy shit- in short, all my chains- right into the trash. How lightly you breathe when you aren’t chained down!

This is what made the Youth Camp so special for me. I think it speaks to the way that the Camp functions as a space for a kind of pre-figurative politics, a way of testing out some elements of socialism via collective, co-operative living. The ability to express yourself exactly as you wish to at the Camp, there among your fellow militants, is a miniature of that limitless expression of the human personality that will be the right and freedom of everyone under socialism. I may be back in Scotland now, and I may be remaining quite closeted for the time being, but I nevertheless see the camp as marking an important milestone in my transition. It has inspired me, and given me strength and determination. I have had a sample of full, liberated womanhood, and I want it every day of my life. Yes, the world will not always receive me as enthusiastically as my comrades have done, and yes, the struggle for freedom will be long and difficult, but I also know what’s at stake and what’s to be won, if only I, we, all of us women dare! And I know that it can only be so through collective, revolutionary sisterhood. We will go forward over the corpse of the patriarchy, arms linked and voices raised as one.

Our bodies, our choice!

Every woman a sister, every sister a revolutionary!

8 September 2022

Sister from Scotland is a Fourth International supporter.

Article also published by International Viewpoint & Anti Capitalist Resistance:

https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7813  

https://anticapitalistresistance.org/being-a-transgender-woman-at-the-international-youth-camp/




Rising Clyde 6: latest issue of Scottish Climate Show on “Climate Camp Scotland”

The latest issue of Rising Clyde, the Scottish Climate Show hosted by Iain Bruce, is now available on YouTube via the Independence Live video service.

In this episode Iain interviews Iain talks to Quan, Gillian and Scott, activists taking part in Climate Camp Scotland, one of the most important climate movement events of the year, live from the camp near Aberdeen in August.

Watch the programme here:

A full report of the Five Days of Action can be found here: https://www.climatecampscotland.com/post/five-days-of-action-at-climate-camp-aberdeen

Previous Issues

Previous Rising Clyde shows on Independence Live can be found here:

(1035) SHOW: Rising Clyde – YouTube




Rising Clyde – latest issue of Scottish Climate Show on “Power To The People!”

The latest issue of Rising Clyde, the Scottish Climate Show hosted by Iain Bruce, is now available on YouTube via the Independence Live video service.

In this episode, Iain presents activists from the new campaign on the cost of fuel – Power to the People, which is setting up groups across Scotland including in Glasgow.

The activists are:

  • Matt Kerr, Glasgow Labour Councillor for Cardonald ward
  • Frances Curran, former Scottish Socialist Party Member of the Scottish Parliament and trade union activist
  • Coll McCail, youth climate activist and member of Scottish Labour Executive representing young members

Watch the programme here:

Power to the People: Protest against energy price rises

Power to the People Glasgow has called a protest at the Headquarters of Scottish Power in Glasgow on Friday 12 August 4-6pm to oppose the huge rise in energy prices from 1 October 2022, due to be announced around that time:

Image

Power to the People Glasgow social media links and information can be found here: https://linktr.ee/pttpglasgow

The Power to the People slogan comes from the Left in the European Parliament and the European Left Party who have a really informative video about the European Energy Market here:

While the UK left the European Energy Market with Brexit, energy prices in the UK are based on the European and global markets and are still influenced by supplies from the EEA/EU (gas from Norway, electricity from France, the single energy market in Ireland).

Previous Issues

Previous Rising Clyde shows on Independence Live can be found here:

(1035) SHOW: Rising Clyde – YouTube