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.
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 one RIC activist’s reflection on the refugee crisis, in response to this article in the Guardian. Sam’s grandfather went on to become a doctor and help countless people in his adoptive home of Aberdeen.
I’m sorry to always go on about my Grandfather’s experience in the war and his story’s parallels with the current refugee crisis, but as you can imagine it makes this whole thing all the more emotional for me. One of my personal pet-peeves is the idea that helping immigrants or giving aid to other countries is somehow the cause of all the mistreatment of the current UK population.
So let me first of all dispel the myth that the UK was generous and all lovely to Jewish refugees from the Holocaust (let’s forget the other victims of the Holocaust to whom the UK more-or-less turned a blind eye). As the article states, they established a new asylum-seeking process in order to exclude 90% of claimants. To humanise those numbers: my grandfather turned up after repeated failed attempts to escape post-Anschluss Austria. A terrified seventeen-year-old boy and his mother turned up at an airport after seeing the hell that befell their less-fortunate family and friends.
The 2014 referendum campaign, if nothing else, made everyone who was involved think about nationality. There were flag-waving nationalists on both sides. It certainly started me on a journey thinking about my relationship to the concept of the nation-state. Indeed I started at the very first question at the top of page one. What is the purpose of the nation-state?
To protect its citizens from external and internal threats is a pretty straightforward first guess.
Trouble is, I am not so sure that they do a good job of this. Read More…
Just over a week to go until the biggest anti-austerity demo since Thatcher!
Saturday 20 June, 12 noon, George Square, Glasgow.
Come along and show your support for a politics for the millions, not the millionaires. The day will include speakers, music and stalls – full programme to be announced soon. There will also be a food bank collection, so please bring what you can.
The Aberdeen TUC are running a free bus, and there may be seats available. Click here for more info.
Two days ago, more than half of referendum voters chose fear over hope.
However, 1,617,989 people saw through the intimidation, empty promises and outright lies of the No campaign. They rejected the constant negativity of the mainstream media and chose to seek out the facts for themselves. They chose to believe in their own ability to build a better future. Many chose to participate in the democratic process for the first time, after a lifetime of disillusionment and exclusion.
Working class areas are the areas that voted Yes most overwhelmingly, and they are the areas that Westminster politicians want to ignore. We will not let them ignore our neighbours, our fellow citizens, our friends.
We may have lost this referendum, but we have won unprecedented levels of engagement, inquiry and appetite for change. We may have lost the battle, but we’ve won the reason to keep fighting.
by Doug – speech given at Gaza solidarity rally, 2 August 2014
What is happening in Gaza today is state sponsored terrorism. Over 1400 deaths and over 6000 injured. 120,000 forced from their homes. One child killed every hour since this current round of slaughter began. What the Israeli military are doing, with impunity and backed by the British and American governments, is a crime against humanity.
This latest brutal and bloody onslaught against the people of Gaza, is but one of countless horrific attacks in a brutal and relentless occupation, which has lasted over 65 years. Over 65 years of killing, imprisonment and denial of the most basic human rights, all with the aim of defeating the Palestinian people and driving them from their land.
We must stand with the people of Palestine.
On Saturday, RIC Aberdeen activists joined over 300 people in a demonstration supporting Palestine and calling for divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel. We acknowledge apartheid exists there. Pending confirmation, next Saturday there will be another demonstration in St Nicholas Square at noon. Hope to see you there.
RIC activists recently joined Basque and Catalan campaigners in Aberdeen, in solidarity with demands for a referendum on Basque independence from Spain. On 8 June, over 100,000 people formed a 123 km human chain to show the strength of their cause.