RIC Aberdeen is a group campaigning for a fairer, greener, more democratic society in Scotland, with independence as a long term goal. This blog is a place to share ideas, information about our activities, and anything else that seems relevant. We welcome contributions from anyone.
Speech by Myshele, from Syria solidarity rally, 5 December 2015
So, here we are again, telling our leaders that we don’t want them dropping bombs on the Middle East. Another year, another imperialist war to oppose.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, they say that madness is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results. Maybe we need a Warmongers Anonymous. They keep dropping bombs, they keep selling weapons, they keep destroying lives, and then they’re surprised when there’s more instability and terrorism and hatred. They’re surprised when more refugees are sent fleeing from the chaos they’ve caused.
Or maybe they’re not surprised at all. Maybe they understand exactly what they’re doing. Maybe they know that endless war is good for the arms dealers, good for the banks, good for the people in power. Nevermind the human and environmental costs.
On Saturday 5 December, around 250 people gathered in Aberdeen to protest the bombing of Syria. After people were invited to sign a ‘not in our name’ banner, there were speakers from Aberdeen CND, RIC Aberdeen, and Aberdeen Anti-Fascist Alliance, plus Christian Allard MSP and Dr Izhar Khan. Members of the public also contributed their thoughts, along with a brilliant poem, which we hope will be posted here soon.
On Saturday 28 November, RIC Aberdeen joined many other groups and individuals for an anti-racism event, with the additional message that refugees are welcome here. It was great to see folk from RIC Angus & Mearns, who travelled up for the occasion. Many thanks to the Aberdeen Trades Union Council for organising the march and rally.
Originally posted on The Practical Subversive.
There really aren’t any words to convey the horror of Friday night’s events in Paris. Nothing can justify the actions of the terrorists, gunning down innocent people as they enjoy a night out.
I know some people have been calling others selectively sympathetic, when they pour out grief and solidarity over events in Paris, while ignoring similar atrocities in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and countless other places around the world.
I don’t really think that’s an argument worth having. It doesn’t help me understand the situation the world, all of us, find ourselves in. Trying to score who’s-the-most-compassionate-points really won’t take us anywhere. It’s discussed from an Australian perspective here.
Still, I’m certain that we can’t let these events be turned into an excuse for bigots and racists to give vent to their prejudices. This, for example is shameful and despicable.
Instead of reacting, I’ve been trying to understand. Asking, Why?
This is my essential piece of 21st century vocabulary. I first saw the term used in what was, very briefly, futurology. The term originated, according to the Net, in banking in the 1960’s as a description for removing a single layer of mediation between lender and borrower. It is a well established term in Economics, and I am surprised at its lack of popularity in describing the process of disseminating information (see Wikipedia) and shortening the supply chain (see Amazon).
Just a wee while ago, before the Protestant reformation, information about Christianity was exclusively controlled and interpreted by the Catholic church. The Reformation changed the politics of information. In Scotland it reached its apogee with the Calvinist idea that a personal relationship with God required people to read the Bible for themselves. So everyone had to learn how to read. It was you, the book and God, no need for the expensive bejewelled intermediaries. But it was the “everybody reading” that was the real political dynamite.
You will have been no doubt following the escalation of tensions and Israeli aggression over the past few weeks. The Palestine Alliance are aiming for an all-Scotland national demo in the central belt on Sat 24th Oct.
In addition to that, SPSC are aiming to get folk out on the streets this weekend in Aberdeen and have called a demonstration in St Nicholas Square at 12:30 on Saturday the 17th (tomorrow!)
Hope to see you there.
Some upcoming events of interest in Aberdeen & nearby…
- Weds 14 Oct: RIC Aberdeen & Aberdeen Political Economy Group event on the Economics of Austerity. POSTPONED – watch this space for details on when it’s rescheduled.
- Fri 16 Oct, 6:30-8:00pm: From Linwood to Lewis: Why Land in Scotland Matters. With Lesley Riddoch, Robin McAlpine and Andy Wightman. St Mark’s Church, Rosemount Viaduct, AB25 1JY.
- Sat & Sun, 17-18 Oct: International Brigades Memorial Trust AGM, plaque unveilings and parade. Details here.
- Sun 18 Oct, 2:00-5:00pm: Aberdeen & District CND Peace and Justice Concert for One World Week. The Blue Lamp, 121 Gallowgate, AB25 1BU.
- Fri 23 Oct, 6:30pm doors: We Are Many film screening, followed by Q&A with speakers from Scottish CND, ATUC, SPSC and others. Kemnay Village Hall, 8 Aquithie Rd, AB51 5SS.
- Sun 1 Nov, 3:00pm: (Dundee) Global Justice Now national tour, Stop the Transatlantic Trade Deals. Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, Dundee University DD1 5EN.
- Sat 7 Nov: National Day of Action against austerity. Details TBC.
- Sat 14 Nov: Aberdeen campaigns social event. Details TBC.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event held on the last day of the Offshore Europe exhibition where I had spent four days on a stand. An exhibition without a single offshore wind, wave or tidal power exhibit or conference paper.
Alan Owen of Robert Gordon’s University gave a chilling presentation on climate change and the impact renewables could have on the problem. His fact filled analysis was that it is too late. We simply cannot deploy enough green power on time to make a difference.
The good news for Marxists is that he certainly presented a mathematically sound case for capitalism being the death of us. The bad news is – it will be the death of us. And all the animal species not actually in our food chain. As chair I had the chance to ask when he had finished, “So, Malthus will have his revenge then?” His stark reply was, “It looks like it.”
[…] It doesn’t matter how you voted last year, or whether you voted at all. If you want to see people treated with dignity and humanity, we’re on the same side.
RIC is not a political party and we don’t endorse any one party, but these issues are political in the widest sense. Social justice. The distribution of wealth. Who gets to decide our priorities as a society.