A Scottish Satyagraha


This statement from RIC amounts to a Scottish Satyagraha. While the focus has rightly been on the extraordinary parliamentary results, this statement brings the focus right back to the grassroots movement. What is required  now is for the Yes movement to defend Scotland, create a bulwark in Holyrood, whilst taking the necessary action in solidarity, disruption and resistance. It also interesting in terms of a statement of intent going forward, announcing another RIC for 2015. As the Yes movement and radical indy reconfigures, this is great news. Here’s the statement in full :

“Scotland is now a country governed by a party it did not vote for. We voted, definitively, against austerity. We concluded that the Tories’ policies would permanently damage the social fabric of democracy and civil rights. We defend democracy and reject the right wing agenda entirely.

The brutal cuts we have already had will pale in comparison to the cuts that are to come. The Conservatives plan to usurp democratic and human rights. A struggle of historic proportions lies ahead.

The Union is at breaking point. We are developing a strategy for independence from Westminster, neo-liberalism and Tory brutality.”

The Tories want to transform the UK in 100 days, as they attempt to take us back 100 years. We will not allow their assault on our society to go ahead unopposed. We will now mount a battle against austerity and neo-liberalism in Scotland and beyond. We call on all the progressives in UK and around the world to give solidarity to our struggle, as we will to yours.

1) We will call for and support mobilisations of opposition to the Tory agenda including demonstrations, occupations and, where necessary, non violent civil disobedience

2) We will actively mobilise support and assistance for any union that breaks the coming anti-strike laws. We will provide mass solidarity on the streets, on the picket lines and in the media.

3) We commit to building an educational movement that will raise our ideological weight in the stand off against neo-liberalism

4) We will work in solidarity with the movement in the rest of the UK in concrete terms. Our resistance is one.

5) We will discuss a strategy for independence, which we see as being a central and permanent theme, now intensified as a result of the General Election

6) We will work out ways that our activism can deliver practical support in communities all over Scotland. We are there to support local campaigns of resistance, and we will raise local issues to a national level in the spirit of generalising resistance to the Tories. We will support the development of grassroots initiatives aimed at aiding communities through austerity and cuts.

7) We call for the Scotland Office to be abolished. We will implement a range of measures to ensure this happens.

8) We call for support for all independence and anti-austerity groups. We will seek to work on areas of common ground.

9) We will have meetings and rallies throughout the course of the coming months and years to provide a broad left platform for debating strategy and implementing action.

10) We will hold another mass conference this year. We will use this as a platform to propel the social movements of the radical left into the fight against Westminster.

Announcements of action to come.”

Comments (18)

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  1. Kevin Brown says:

    Perfectly expressed, and shared. The indyref, because of the grassroots mobilisation that took place then over a period of two years, is our strategic advantage and we must leverage it to the hilt. It is an excellent thing that we have just returned 56 SNP MPs to Westminster. But completing what we started, in light of what is coming at us from Westminster, will necessarily involve civil disobedience; and we are perfectly positioned to deliver that through our many vibrant grassroots organisations: RIC, Women for Indy, SSP, the Greens, etc. etc.

  2. Kangaroo says:

    Suggest we provide assistance to form a few new political parties in rUK in order to split the tory vote and pandafi(new scottish word) them in their own backyard.
    a) a Northern Party which is to the left to pick up Labour and UKIP (yuck) voters
    b) a South East Party which is right of centre but left of Tory to split their vote and pick up UKIP voters

    We have 5 years to get them off the ground and we could ask the SNP for assistance to get them going

    For those of you who wonder why we would do this please refer to Sun Tzu “The Art of War”

    1. ColinD says:

      Better to focus on Scotland and building a unassailable lead in the independence stakes. Kangaroo, your plan is predicated on the assumption there are more disaffected voters than not in rUK and that could take a lot more than 5 years to come about, if at all. UKIPpers are unlikely to vote for any party that doesn’t propose cracking down on immigration so you’d be barking up the wrong tree there. The simple truth is middle English voters are doing alright under the Tories and all the Tories have to worry about is keeping them sweet (to everyone else’s detriment). IMHO

    2. One Baw Shaw says:

      “Suggest we provide assistance to form a few new political parties in rUK in order to split the tory vote and pandafi(new scottish word) them in their own backyard”.

      OK, interesting.

      “a) a Northern Party which is to the left to pick up Labour and UKIP (yuck) voters”

      A “Northern Party”, which is ‘to the Left’ – ? I’m not sure that would get off the ground.

      There is no ‘North’. There’s certainly no ‘North West’ – this is an artificial construct; there is Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire etc. etc, “Greater Manchester” (functioning economic area). There might be a ‘North East’ but that doesn’t see itself as part of any ‘North’ either. And Yorkshire, well Yorkshire is God’s Own Country etc. etc. and certainly doesn’t want to be part of a ‘North’ (some people have just formed a Yorkshire independence party though, and in fairness a handfull of people did vote for them at the GE).

      Also, a casual glance at the map will show you that in the ‘North’ as you describe it, Labour (and as it happens, UKIP) support is concentrated in urban areas. Though within those urban areas the more affluent areas / fringes can be Conservative (Cons gained two seats in GM at GE) and the rural picture is thoroughly Conservative. Labour activists and councillors I know admit that it is more common than not in the ‘north west’ (to use that phrase for a moment) that if say UKIP are polling say 17% (it can be much higher), 4%-ish of those are former Tories / they ‘little englander’ stereotype; 3%-ish are people who’ve never voted before, and the rest, 10%-ish, are ‘their people’ – former Labour supporters they have lost. And those people want the UK to be independent, not ‘the North’.

      UKIP is the UK Independence Party – not the Northern Independence Party (the clue is in the name).

      So you’re idea of a ‘Northern Party’ that would ‘split the Tory Vote’ is pretty naive. It wouldn’t have any effect on the core Tory vote, and especially given Osborne (the future PM’s) emphasis on the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, and as the Tories stay in Government, ‘multicultural / party of the public sector and fringe interests’ Labour stay out, then if anything people will start to coalesce more around the Tories in their strongholds and rural areas.

      All your ‘Northern’ Party would do is split the Labour / hard left / hard left nutter vote.

      “b) a South East Party which is right of centre but left of Tory to split their vote and pick up UKIP voters”

      There already is a South East Party – it’s called the Conservative Party. Have a look at the majority of the constituency results in the South East, outside central London. Look at how successful the Conservative Party have continued to be there since the last election. People in the South East are very happy with the current Conservative Party, their policies and its leader.

      UKIP voters (both the Labour and Tory defectors) are often attracted by the simple populism of a. we get rid of all the ‘old’ politicians and replace them with us; b. close the borders and get rid of all the immigrants and c. leave the EU: and all will be well.

      Why do you think that a ‘South East Party’ that you describe, which sounds pretty centrist and moderate, would be appealing to UKIP voters?

      What a naive person you are.

  3. Lochside says:

    Well done RIC ! This is the vanguard of our movement. Organised civil resistance to Tory austerity and neo-fascist legislation against unions and civil dissent (‘British values’) is imperative if we are to hold and advance the last few years assertion of our self determination and commitment to social justice.

    I support other movements in England in solidarity against neo-liberalism, however, I stop short at getting directly involved with these organisations as that way lies the road back to being absorbed into the ‘British issue’ and our identity being subordinated.

  4. Neil says:

    For God’s sake write in English instead of Sanskrit!

    1. Alba Mellon says:

      that comment was a bit Sanskrit!

    2. Nick Dunne says:

      Ghandian non violent resistance, satyagraha, insistence on truth, what is the English equivalent? Is there a gaelic word?

      1. Gillian says:

        Gandhi’s use of Satyagraha was as a way of life requiring discipline, as well as a means to challenge the British Empire. I’m not native in Gaelic, unfortunately, but similar terms might be ‘firinn treoir’ meaning ‘truth force’ – which is what Satyagraha literally means. Or ‘fulangach eas-umhlachd chatharra’ meaning ‘passive, civil disobedience’ or ‘neo-ainneartach’ meaning ‘non-violent’. Anyone who is native in Scottish Gaelic, please correct this. I’m not sure if there is an actual similar concept in our language.

  5. florian albert says:

    One of the interesting developments post September 18th has been the SNP’s ruthless determination that it, and only it, represents the progressive left. All talk of a YES coalition was squashed. Groups such as R I C and Common Weal were marginalized. The Scottish Greens did poorly in last Thursday, getting fewer votes than UKIP, which ran on an anti-Scottish platform.

    In the R I C statement above, point 3 stands out; ‘we commit to building an educational movement that will raise our ideological weight in the stand off against neo-liberalism.’

    Is there nobody in R I C aware of how ridiculous statements like that sound to ordinary people ?

    1. I don’t think the RIC and Commonweal were marginalised at all. Both are flourishing.

    2. Robbie Pennington says:

      I wouldn’t read to much into the Scottish Greens performance in the GE – I lent my vote to the SNP, as I’m sure did many others. I think, and I hope, that we will see a significant improvement for the Greens and others in the Scottish elections.

      1. Connor McEwen says:

        With bit of organising,YES.
        Like Paddie Harvie

    3. Conor Cheyne says:

      How is that statement ridiculous? It is a valid statement on RIC feelings towards neoliberalism and what we must do to combat it.

    4. Muscleguy says:

      Did you go canvassing in the schemes during the referendum or the election? Despite those who humble you by their knowledge there are still lots whose ignorance makes me angry and sad. Some apathy is a defence mechanism protecting people against being derided as ignorant. There is great need and desire for education and information in various ways and about numerous things.

      Education should not finish at 16 or 18 or 21. Everyone can learn, everyone should learn and those of us who know, those of us who understand have a duty to help.

  6. Drew Campbell says:

    Ok. I’m in.

  7. Connor McEwen says:

    wow wow wow Caw canny.
    Dick Dastardly Cameron wants you to be the InSturgents. Cameron’s divisive appointment of Mundane’s assistant for Scottish affairs is proof of that

  8. Connor McEwen says:

    OH aye Huffington Post is no bad either fur a Labour supporter

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