Activists arrested at Glasgow Pride

by Connor Beaton

At least five people, including anti-fascist activists marching in a bloc organised by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), were arrested at the Pride Parade in Glasgow.

Two people, including an IWW member, were arrested after police confronted an activist in the IWW bloc holding a placard reading “These Faggots Fight Fascists”.

Three other LGBTQ activists were separately arrested while protesting the participation of Police Scotland in the parade.

Members of the Scottish Socialist Party were among the anti-fascist and queer activists marching in the IWW’s “Red & Black Bloc”.

A spokesperson for Clydeside IWW told the SSP: “We utterly condemn the arrests of three trans activists and two others, one a minor, on trumped up charges.

“Politics is integral to Pride, and it cannot be separated from all struggles against oppression, including anti-fascist struggle.

“We find it completely bizarre that Glasgow Pride later refused entry to anti-fascist and Black Lives Matter activists. This amounts to an erasure of queer struggle.

“The fact that the police claim to stand up and support LGBT activists is shown to be a complete sham by these arrests.”

In a statement, activists from Edinburgh Action for Trans Health (ATH) said they also condemned “police violence” at Pride.

They said: “Both the stop and search targeting known activists, and the arrests of our comrades protesting the presence of police in the pride parade, is disgusting.

“The arrestees were marching with the IWW-organised black & red bloc, which was banned from Glasgow Green by the Pride organisers for being anti-fascist.

“In doing so, and in allowing police to march, Glasgow Pride is complicit in the violence we have witnessed today, and betrays a fundamental principle of Pride that goes back to its roots in the Stonewall riots: there can be no pride in police or prisons.”

Police Scotland’s media team declined to provide a statement to the SSP on arrests at Pride.

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Corbyn, Confusion, Socialism and Independence

by Ken Ferguson

The recent general election which reduced the Tories to a minority government and put UK Labour some fifty seats behind them has caused shock waves across politics not least in the movement for Scottish Independence.

Recent weeks have displayed a range of infighting, name calling, political confusion, bile and in some cases simply personal posturing. This has including attacks on Yes backers who voted Labour, criticism on the topic of who is or isn’t acceptable within the Yes camp and how all this should be reported in the media.

This culminated with a series of columns from various Yes luminaries arguing that the Yes movement is really alive and well and citing – in one case, as a football team – the talents in its ranks. Unlike the Scotland teams which used to actually win in the glory years, it was fairly light on working class talent.

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SSP Executive Statement on Venezuela

The Scottish Socialist Party’s executive has released the following statement with regard to the ongoing political and social struggle in Venezuela.

The Bolivarian Revolution, by massively redistributing wealth and power in Venezuela, has delivered tremendous gains for poor and working class people in just under two decades. The Scottish Socialist Party is a proud supporter of this unfinished political process.

The US and UK governments have recently leapt at the opportunity to condemn the Venezuelan government under the façade of promoting human rights. They hold the government responsible for over 150 deaths this year, absolving Venezuela’s right-wing opposition and private business chiefs of responsibility for deliberately escalating the country’s severe economic and political crisis.

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Tribunal Fees SCRAPPED – Victory for Workers Rights!

by Richie Venton, SSP national workplace organiser

Victories for workers, their unions and their rights at work are all too rare in recent years. The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court (the top legal institution in the UK) that the government’s Employment Tribunal fees are illegal, is a precious rarity.

It ends the criminal policy – introduced by the Tory/LibDem Coalition four years ago, in July 2013 – which has meant workers being charged up to £1,200 in order to even lodge a challenge to unfair dismissal, discrimination and other injustices at work.

At least tens of thousands of workers have been denied access to a legal hearing against unscrupulous employers, let alone actual justice. Purely because they can’t afford to fork out such huge lump sums, non-refundable if their case fails.

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May consumed by public anger as austerity cracks

by Ken Ferguson

Like a searchlight in the night sky, the ghastly flare of Grenfell Tower caught and held the brutal reality of the human consequences of the austerity cuts which were designed to protect the interests of the rich elite — many with a fabulous mansion in the same borough — at the cost of workers and the poor.

The human horror of terror and death which resulted defies words in its enormity and our hearts go out to the dead and its survivors.

As we mourn the dead and traumatised of this disaster, we need to be entirely clear that this was no act of nature but had, as will emerge over the weeks ahead, its source in human made decisions taken against a policy background of deregulation, spending cuts and reductions in vital services.

The brutal reality is that such policies don’t impact on Kensington and Chelsea’s wealthy, but on the ordinary citizens such as Grenfell’s residents.

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Remembering Romero – America’s undead maestro

by Scott Macdonald

Fans of American pulp horror cinema mourn the loss of George A Romero, leaving us after 78 years after a mercifully brief battle with lung cancer. In his early years, Romero went to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and stayed there after he graduated, making shorts and TV documentaries, scraping together the cash to make a breakout film – “Night of the Flesh Eaters”.

It’s a black and white 35mm horror story – a satellite radiation leak causes corpses to rise from the dead and devour the living. A potent combination of 60s Cold War paranoia – with isolation and alienation from the outside world turned mindless. Ben, the heroic main character of the film – played by a skilled Black actor Duane Jones – is murdered in the film’s finale, not by the shambling flesh-eating ghouls, but by scared white survivors. An almost unfathomable ending in 1968, and still daring to this day.

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No G20, no UK – Scotland goes to Hamburg

by Connor Beaton

The Scottish Socialist Party is proudly supporting and participating in the massive mobilisation against the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany this weekend.

Thousands of people from outwith Germany – a handful of SSP members among them – have responded to the call of Hamburg-based organisers for a bold, broad and borderless display of resistance to the latest international demagogues convention.

Summit of repression

When the likes of May, Trump, Putin and Erdoğan meet in Hamburg, they will be a stone’s throw from the city’s traditionally autonomist and progressive Sternschanze and St Pauli districts, where locals view the imposition of the summit as provocative, undemocratic and violent.

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Challenging revenge porn at its roots

by Jenni Gunn

There have been many high-profile victims in recent years of a dangerous online phenomenon — revenge porn. Whilst celebrity victims have garnered the lion’s share of media coverage, the vast majority of victims of non-consensual pornography are ordinary women.

The Scottish Government have announced that those convicted of the new offence of ‘disclosing, or threatening to disclose, an intimate photograph or film’ could face up to five years imprisonment under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016. So, let’s talk about it.

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