Tuesday, 6 November 2018

JOIN THE PROTEST AGAINST STEVE BANNON IN EDINBURGH, 14.11.18

PROTEST AGAINST STEVE BANNON AND THE FAR RIGHT



Wednesday, November 14th, 9.00 - 12.30
Edinburgh International Conference Centre,
Morrison Street

see SUR statement on 


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Nick Gott's of RIC-Edinburgh has also issued the following letter:-

I am writing to express my anger and disgust that the BBC and EBU are providing the far-right racist liar Steven Bannon a platform to repeat his lies at News Xchange 2018. The statements by the BBC and EBU defending this decision are  not simply unconvincing, but dishonest. It is claimed that an invitation “is not an endorsement of any position or viewpoint”. But I don’t believe for a moment the BBC and EBU would extend an invitation to an apologist for ISIS, or an overt Nazi. The invitation to Bannon, therefore, is an implicit statement that his views and actions lie within the range of acceptable expression and rational debate; it clearly normalises those views and actions.

That Bannon is both a racist and a liar is beyond honest dispute. His position in Trump’s inner circle both during and after the presidential campaign is sufficient evidence on its own, but more recently, he has told activists for the European far right to wear the labels of “racist” and “xenophobe” as a badge of pride, and while running the fake news website “Breitbart”, he was happy to propagate ridiculous and poisonous conspiracy theories and to play host to open white supremacists and holocaust deniers. He has declared, absurdly, that Donald Trump has never lied to the American public despite the copious and blatant falsehoods Trump repeats on a daily basis. He has described himself as an “anti-elitist” while being himself a multi-millionaire, and cheerleading for Trump’s cabinet of billionaires – a lie shamefully parroted by the BBC in describing him as “a powerful and influential figure… promoting an anti-elite movement”. He is a strong supported of “Tommy Robinson” – another racist liar (and in his case, convicted thug and fraudster) who the BBC has been only too happy to provide with a platform while he whines about being silenced.

News Xchange’s “statement of both philosophy and practice” claims that:

“What is demanded of each session is that it will be competent and well-infomed, representing honest opinions seriously held and convincingly expressed.”

But it is abundantly clear from previous interviews, such as those with the Financial Times, the Economist, and ABC News, that Bannon is not interested in, and probably not capable of, a discussion held in good faith. His response to justified charges of racism and dishonesty is generally to repeat his lies, while accusing his interlocutor of being part of the “liberal elite”. No new information will be gained  by providing him with yet another opportunity to reinforce his position as a “powerful and influential figure… promoting an anti-elite movement”. Why, indeed, would Bannon have accepted the invitation if he did not regard it as a useful step in his campaign of hatred? The invitation is the latest example of the disgraceful role the mass media have played in the rise of the far right, adopting a pose of studied neutrality as between facts and lies, while giving ample coverage to the latter, acting as megaphones for bigotry and “fake news”.

The News Xchange programme includes the sentence “We know that there are problems with trustin journalism.” There most certainly are – and your action in giving a platform to a racist liar shows that this lack of trust is abundantly justified.

THE PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE FOR SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE IHRA STATEMENT ON ANTI-SEMITISM

Edinburgh-RIC Assembly, 31st October

The Palestinian Struggle and the IHRA Statement on Anti-Semitism


Speaker - Sarah Glynn of Scottish Jews Against Zionism
Facilitator - Pat Smith

Sarah's contribution can be seen at:-


This was followed by questions and contributions.

Three Labour Party members were present who talked about the impact of the IHRA in the Scottish Labour Party. Here it was the leaders of  Momentum/Campaign for Socialism which had suspended members without any hearing or appeal!

John Swinney's removal of Scottish government backing for  from the Israel-Palestine school resourced after lobbying by the Scottish  Friends of Israel was also raised.

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/13431/revealed-swinney-shuts-down-israel-palestine-school-resources-after-lobbying-pressure

The Scottish government adhere to the  the controversial IHRA Statement on Anti-Semitism.

Following the appearance of an organised Zionist group on a Scottish Stand Up to Racism march in Glasgow on March 17th, it was agreed to approach  the STUC organisers of  the St. Andrews Day match against racism, to ensure that any pro-apartheid Israeli Zionist group is excluded.

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also see:- http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.com/2018/10/ric-edinburgh-statement-on-ihra.html

Monday, 15 October 2018

THE PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE FOR SELF DETERMINATION & THE IHRA STATEMENT ON ANTI-SEMITISM.



 Wednesday, 31 October 2018, 19:00 
Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge
EH1 1EL


The UK  is one of the first countries to use the definition of anti-semitism, as agreed last May at a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

A Downing Sreeet statement said that the intention of such a definition was to "ensure that the culprits will not be able to get away with being anti-semitic because the team is ill-defined, or because different organisations or bodies have different interpretations of it."

RIC-Edinburgh is hosting this event to explore how the IHRA statement may be used and how it could impact on the people of Palestine and their struggle for self-determination.

We are delighted that Sarah Glynn of Scottish Jews Against Zionism will introduce our discussion. 

Please come along and participate in the discussion.

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ALL UNDER ONE BANNER DEMO, OCTOBER 6th, EDINBURGH



The new RIC-Edinburgh banners on Johnstone Terrace one and a half hours before the AUOB march starts off



RIC's red flag bedecked Edinburgh Castle banner and the real Edinburgh Castle not yet flying a red 
flag!



Some well-kent RIC faces on the demo


Jonathon Shafi on the phone asking 'Where is Glasgow?"!


Palestinian and Catalan flags on the demo




Three photos of the RIC-led contingent on the Royal Mile - soon to become the Republican Mile!


Some of the queen's finest - AUOB stewards 'protect' 13 (unlucky) defenders of the 'White British' race



Two of the campaigns which joined the march - 'Trade Unionists for Independence' and 'NHS for Yes'


We're Scottish internationalist.....


... and we're young, nae feart and have hope and drive



RIC banners taking a rest in Hollyrood Park at the end of the demo - not a police officer or helicopter to be seen - truly a historic event (Historic Environment Scotland please note and raise a monument!)

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Thanks for the photographs from Allan Armstrong, Pete Cannell, Grant Keir and Craig Maclean

Thursday, 4 October 2018

ALL UNDER ONE BANNER, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6th


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

CATALONIA AND SCOTLAND - ALL UNDER ONE BANNER DEMO


Massive demonstration in Barcelona in support of the Catalan Republic on October 1st.the anniversary of the independence referendum


Wednesday, September 19th, Augustine Church
            
Organising for the 'All Under One Banner' demo on October 6th 
            

Speakers - Alba Crespi - Coordinator for ANC Escocia, Assemblea Nacional Catalan                                                                                                                                                         

                   Allan Armstrong - RIC-Edinburgh 
             
Facilitator - Pat Smith
                        
A report can be seen on youtube at:- 
                       

RIC-EDINBURGH STATEMENT ON THE IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTI-SEMITISM

The Labour Party has accepted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-semitism. This represents a significant blow to anti-racists. The IHRA is an interstate organisation with a membership of only 31 out of the UN's 193 states. Several of these are allies and arms suppliers to Israel. Other IHRA member states with a past and current record of domestic anti-semitism, such as Hungary and Poland, use their international support for Israel as a cover for their own racism. This is something quite acceptable to the Israeli state. Israel's PM, Benjamin Netanyahu backs Hungary's PM, Victor Orban. He openly supports "a Christian Europe", to which the even further Right add a "White" prefix. 

Israel an apartheid-type racist state - the Palestinians an oppressed people
In the 1930s and '40s, many Jewish people living in Europe increasingly saw Palestine as a haven from the mounting anti-semitism that culminated in the holocaust and the death of 6 million Jews and many others in Nazi death camps. The UK and other governments' lack of concern for Jewish people was highlighted when it severely clamped down on Jewish asylum seekers fleeing Nazi Germany in the aftermath of Kristallnacht in 1938, the mass killings following the invasion of eastern Europe in 1941 and then the death camps set up after the Wannsee Conference in 1942.  Not able to gain entry into the UK or the USA, some tried to make it to British-controlled Palestine, only to be drowned at sea. This is similar to the situation facing today's mainly Muslim refugees and migrants, who try to cross the Mediterranean. Many thousands have lost their lives. The UK has naval bases at Gibraltar and Cyprus, but these are there to back British military force in the region, not to rescue the victims of imperial actions and corporate greed. 

But the explicit aim of Israel's founders was to create a Jewish supremacist state, in complete disregard for the overwhelming majority of people already living in Palestine. That is racist to its core. The method adopted was colonial settlement, backed by force. In 1948, Israel was founded through terrorism and the mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians - the Naqba. Ever since Israel's foundation, Palestinians have been systematically discriminated against, expelled from their homes, imprisoned, shot at, tortured and killed. 

All Israel's discriminatory actions, laws and now the latest nationality law, which gives state racism a constitutional status, highlight its reality as an apartheid-type state. The murder on one day this year, May 14th, of 60 demonstrators in Gaza has been termed the Palestinian 'Sharpeville'. This is in memory of the 69 black protestors killed by South African apartheid security forces in 1960. The parallels are only too clear. Would Labour have tolerated a Labour Friends of Apartheid South Africa? Yet the Israeli state was also one of the strongest supporters of Apartheid South Africa. This explains why, ever since the overthrow of Apartheid, South Africa has been to the forefront of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). This is designed to emulate the Boycott Apartheid South Africa campaign, which contributed to the ending of the old regime there. RIC-Edinburgh, on the basis of our Scottish internationalist principles, supports the BDS campaign.

By accepting the IHRA's definition of anti-semitism, rejected by 40 different Jewish organisations in 15 countries, a Labour Party member could now be expelled for declaring Israel to be what it is - a racist state. However, this is not just an issue for the Labour Party. It is part of the continuous Israeli state offensive to give it a free hand in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, or their confinement to the 'bantustan' of the much-reduced West Bank and the 'ghetto' or mass prison camp of Gaza. 

People who have spoken up against Israeli state crimes have been targeted by various Jewish supremacist or Zionist organisations, which in the Labour Party include the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). Not all Zionists are Jews. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are prominent members of LFI. Non-Jewish Right-wingers find much to support in Israel. However, neither are all Jews Zionists, despite the claims of the Tory dominated Board of Deputies and the Labour Friends of Israel to speak for all Jews. We admire Scottish Jews against Zionism and other Jewish organisations, which have shown their opposition to the racist nature of the Israeli state and its many crimes against the Palestinian and neighbouring peoples.

Scottish unionist Lord Balfour's record of anti-semitism and the UK's handling of refugees fleeing repression  
Neither can we ignore the UK state's role in the founding of Israel. It was the Scottish Conservative and Unionist, Lord Balfour who drew up the Balfour Declaration 1917. This cynical exercise promised a 'Jewish Homeland' in a Palestine, which had already been promised to Arabs for their support in the First World War against the Ottoman Empire. Nobody consulted the people living in Palestine. 

Balfour had a record, both when it came to clearing people off the land and promoting anti-semitism. In 1885 as Scottish Secretary he sent gunboats to Tiree to quell crofters seeking security on their land. The following year, Balfour became the Irish Secretary. Once again he used force, this time to quell Irish tenant farmers, earning the name 'Bloody Balfour'. In 1905, Balfour, as Home Secretary, introduced the Aliens Act, which targeted Jewish refugees fleeing pogroms in Tsarist Russia. British supporters of the Balfour Declaration often wanted poor Jews to leave the UK and settle in Palestine. Again the link between anti-semitism at home and support for a Jewish state elsewhere is clear.

Today amongst the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing repression are Palestinians. Israel has created a 'hostile environment', which Theresa May can only envy. And the UK government remains a major supplier of arms to the Jewish supremacist state of Israel and the Islamic supremacist state of Saudi Arabia adding to the misery. We support the work of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which has Moslem, Jewish, Christian and non-religious members and promotes Palestinian self-determination on democratic, secular and anti-racist grounds.

British racists welcome Israel's ethnic self-definition
Racist loudmouth, Katie Hopkins, Islamophobic Tory MP, Zac Goldsmith, suspended DUP MP Ian Paisley Junior, and neo-fascist Tommy Robinson support Israel's self-definition as an ethnocracy. They clearly see this as a precedent for their own versions of an ethnic Britishness. Both Gordon Brown and Michael Gove worked on ethnic/cultural tests before migrants can become British. David Cameron's restricted franchise for the EU referendum revealed the extent of the UK's acceptance of ethnic criteria for British nationality. On 12th September, all but one of the Tory MEPs voted at Strasbourg against Orban's Hungarian government being sanctioned. Both Orban and May support apartheid Israel. 

Defending a civic nation in Scotland 
In Scotland we have another important reason for rejecting the IHRA's acceptance of racial or ethnic nationalism. During IndyRef1 the 'Yes' campaign championed a civic Scotland, open to all who choose to live here - including Muslims and Jews. The franchise for IndyRef 1 included all EU residents and 16-18 year olds. This was in marked contrast to the ethnic franchise for the Tories' 2015 EU referendum. On the 6th September, as the Labour Party accepted Israel's self-definition as a Jewish ethnocracy, Nicola Sturgeon announced that any future IndyRef2 will be open to all residents who choose Scotland as their home. We welcome this. In rejecting the IHRA and its apologists, we support the idea and reality of Scotland as a civic nation. 

RIC-Edinburgh seeks to break free from the clutches of the UK state, its British imperialist delusions, and its support for ethnic or religious supramacist regimes. Another Scotland is possible; another Europe is possible; and another world is possible. 

RIC-Edinburgh  24.9.18