by Billy Flanagan
Last Saturday, the 18th August – Dundee witnessed one of the largest demonstrations the city has seen since the 1992 Timex dispute. The appetite for self determination campaigning shows no signs of slowing, in fact, the opposite seems to be the case – contrary to the desperate rambling of various Tory and Labour MSPs.
As always the SSP were at the heart of the action, putting forward the case for a progressive, forward thinking socialist republic. A Scotland free of nuclear weapons, US-led military aggression and a society freed from the shackles of further exploitation of the working class under capitalism. We turned nationalist cries of “FREEDOM!” into real class demands – of freedom from poverty wages, zero-hour contracts and Tory governments.
A cleaner, greener and socially just Scotland is absolutely possible but requires a complete transformation from the current situation where a small elitist minority privately own and control the country’s wealth, allowing just enough scraps to keep the rest of us moving, scraping by, earning their enormous fortunes for them. We can transform – to a socially just, democratic country, where essential services are controlled for people, not profit.
The current political landscape, under the most reckless and disorganised Tory Government in living memory, is only strengthening the wider independence movement. People who talk to us on the streets are not simply longing for change, they are deeply concerned. Not only concerned that we are lumbered with yet another right-wing Tory government which has been consistently rejected, but that the situation in Scotland is not going to improve unless immediate action is taken to lift a million Scots from poverty (half of whom are currently in employment!)
We must take action to outlaw casual labour, poverty pay and zero hours contracts. In order to have a chance of winning a majority Yes vote in any future referendum that may occur, class policies and ideas must be at the very centre of the debate.
Celebrating Culture & Diversity
Meanwhile in Glasgow, SSP activists assembled alongside many other progressive forces at the second annual Govanhill International Festival, to celebrate equality, culture, diversity and the uniqueness of the community as well as sending out a strong anti-racist message. Myself and other SSP activists proudly participated in the carnival parade.
I’m delighted to report that here are certainly a lot of positive vibes stemming from grass-roots events such as this, despite this period of political xenophobia and deliberate divide and conquer tactics.
There was a definite sense that when good people come together and campaign for what is right, we can, and eventually will achieve it. It was a wonderful event in which again, the SSP spoke to many, many people. We not only listened to and shared their concerns, but also put forward our case for an Independent Socialist Scotland, an all inclusive, forward thinking, multi-cultural society, where prejudice, bigotry or intolerance is not welcome, and will not be tolerated.
The Scottish Socialist Party are fully committed to implementing educational projects on the issues of racist and sectarian stereotyping and discrimination in all schools and for all public information to be provided in the main languages of Scotland’s ethnic minorities. Additionally, we campaign for the granting of Scottish citizenship to those who want it, including asylum seekers and refugees fleeing war and devastation.
Wherever the case for a better society is being fought, the SSP will be there.
Whether it’s the independence debate, multiculturalism, defiance of cuts and austerity or environmental issues, our army of dedicated members, activists and supporters are consistently involved. We are the only political party in Scotland who wish to implement change for the benefit of the people – not the elite.
Carousel and Header photos: Craig Maclean