In the National on Tuesday, Cat Boyd stated that RISE “continues in the spirit” of the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC). She forgets to mention that RIC is still alive and well.
Lately, commentators seem to assume that RIC has somehow turned into the Scottish Left Project (SLP), or RISE.
Writing in the Scotsman on Monday, Lesley Riddoch claimed that the SLP was “a pact between the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and RIC.” Tommy Ball, in a blog piece critical of the SLP, claims that it “replaced” RIC.
It’s an easy mistake to make. Both organisations have the same co-founders, some of the same supporters, and broadly similar values.
However, RIC and RISE remain separate and distinct. RISE is an electoral alliance, starting from scratch and aiming for seats in Holyrood. RIC is focused on issues-based campaigning and non-hierarchical organising, with several years of experience. While an anonymous writer on the SLP website urges all left-leaning people to join RISE, we welcome activists from all parties and none.
When the next referendum comes – and come it will – it will be vitally important to have a radical, non-party-political campaign group, committed to a Yes vote and to transforming Scotland.
With all best wishes for RISE, it’s important to acknowledge they are not RIC.
If you’re interested in discussing these issues further, please come along to our next organising meeting, Friday 4 September, 7:30pm, the Snug at Ma Cameron’s, Little Belmont Street. For more info please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RIC Aberdeen took a leading role in drafting a radical constitution for RIC nationally, aiming to create horizontal structures and encourage participation from as many people as possible. It was ratified at the end of March, and key functions are being carried out by coordination teams. There are also national working groups around key issues, so local groups can work together more effectively. The full text can be found here, with some highlights below.
P.S. Apologies for the delay in posting – we were hoping to post the constitution on the national website first, but there’s been some technical issues. Rather than wait any longer, we’re posting it here first!
P.P.S. We now have more of a written constitution than the British state. Just a thought.
by Simon, published in Tilly Tattle
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) is a grassroots movement that campaigns for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Independence Referendum in September 2014. It is the product of a conference held in Glasgow in November 2012 of around 800 individuals from across the political Left – dubbed one of the largest political gatherings in Scotland’s recent history, surpassed only by the Radical Independence Conference in 2013 which attracted more than 1000 people! The purpose of the gathering was to articulate a progressive, sustainable and socially just vision of an independent Scotland that puts people before profit.
So 2013 comes to a close and I sit on an island off the West coast, far from the usual chaos of Hogmanay. I’ve got the luxury of a little time to reflect on 2013 and look forward to the coming year.
As I ponder, my thoughts focus on Independence, RIC, the Referendum in September, and the work we have to do. Since the Radical Independence Conference in 2012, the most inspiring political event I’ve ever been to, I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride. It sounds trite, but the conference turned me from someone who wanted change, someone who was politically literate with no plan, into an inspired, budding political activist.