1. GENERAL REPORT
It was decided at the RIC Edinburgh Organising Committee held on 21.12.15 to move away from the regular monthly meetings, since the numbers attending had fallen off. This was explained by the lack of any immediate prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum. The various political organisations and campaigns, which had formed RIC, were now mainly concentrating on their own activities.
Edinburgh RIC would now organise occasional meetings around significant political topics, and would seek national support for holding a second Scotland's Radical History conference in 2016. Edinburgh-RIC would continue to act as a 'clearing house' providing information and taking banner to the wider campaigns it had supported during the referendum campaign.
RIC-Edinburgh delegates to the last National Forum had expressed their concern about the expense of trying to obtain a major venue for the national conference in February. However, RIC-Aberdeen had made a generous offer to underwrite this conference, so it was now fully supported by RIC-Edinburgh.
2. RIC CONFERENCE, ASSEMBLY ROOMS, EDINBURGH, 20.2.16
RIC-Edinburgh provided most of the organising personnel on the day of the conference. In addition RIC-Edinburgh paid for the creche and donated £30 badge sales to help pay the costs. Most money was raised from conference fees. New RIC-Edinburgh members were signed up on the day taking membership up to 100.
There were about 230 people in attendance, and there was unanimous feeling amongst the RIC-Edinburgh organisers that it had been a successful event. The conference had smaller numbers in attendance than on previous years, but this was compensated for by the greater ability to participate and the higher level of discussions in most sessions. The Sunday Herald had picked up on the conference and highlighted the call for a second referendum involving the forces RIC had mobilised the first time round.
3. EURO-REFERENDUM, JUNE 23rd
The political topic that RIC-Edinburgh has decided to concentrate on is the Euro-referendum. It was agreed to organise three debates in the run-up to the June 23rd.
a) February 4th - Alistair Black (RISE), Donny Gluckstein (SWP) and Myrto Tsakatika (RISE) gave 'Remain' and 'Leave' arguments. This was followed by break-out sessions. 50 people attended. (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/report-back-from-ric-edinburgh-eu_13.html)
b) March 24th - Economic Fundamentals - Andy Anderson (author of The Skye Bridge Story) (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/economic-fundamentals.html). 22 people attended.
c) May 26th - Foreign Policy Implications. (also sponsored by Edinburgh Stop the War Campaign and Scottish Women's International League for Peace and Freedom). Frances Guy (former ambassador to Yemen) Jonathon Shafi (RISE), Lindsay German (Stop the War Campaign) and speaker from SWILPF.
In addition RIC-Edinburgh provided 2 of the speakers. Allan Armstrong (Remain) and Neil Davidson (Leave) for the debate at the national RIC conference on February 20th.
4. SCOTLANDS RADICAL HISTORY CONFERENCE
RIC-Edinburgh would lie to organise the second Scotland's Radical History conference, with a suggested date of Saturday, June 11th. The 2 themes would be:-
a) The 1915 Glasgow Rent Strike
b) Scotland and the 1916 Rising
Allan Armstrong, RIC-Edinburgh Minutes Secretary, 12.4.16