Tuesday, 6 November 2018



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

see SUR statement on 


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.


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.


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.


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

Monday, 15 October 2018


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

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.



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 

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!)


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

Thursday, 4 October 2018


Wednesday, 3 October 2018


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:- 


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

Tuesday, 11 September 2018


     The RIC National Forum held in Edinburgh RIC on August 11th, undertook to
host a republican and Scottish internationalist contingent for the 'All Under 
          Under Banner' demonstration in the city on October 6th. 

          There will be three new banners. The first will read:-

For an Independent Scotland
For Scottish Internationalism

          The second will read:-


   The RIC-Edinburgh banner, with its red-flag capped Edinburgh Castle and its 
          call for a Democratic, Secular Scottish Republic, has been seen on 
          many demonstrations.  However, following our work with Women's and 
          LBGTI groups, with the Scottish Greens and environmental groups, and with 
          social and economic campaigns and trade unionists, we are now updating this 

           We are calling upon people to join us with their own organisation and 
           campaign contingents, and with their own banners and materials. We are 
           asking people to bring red flags, Scottish republican flags, Catalan Republic 
           flags and Palestinian flags. 
                           Hope to see you all in Edinburgh on October 6th. 

For a fuller explanation of the background to the revived 'Yes' movement see:-



                                                                                                                            also see:-

Tuesday, 4 September 2018


The Sikh Gurdwara in Leith was severely damaged in an arson attack on 28th August. Th police suspect it is a hate crime and have arrested somebody in relation to this attack.

A vigil was organised on the Thursday evening of 30th August. Several hundred people attended. They mainly came from the immediate area in Leith and from Edinburgh. The organisers were very pleased at the turnout. RIC-Edinburgh members attended, but kept tour banner under wraps in acknowledgement of the nature of the vigil.



Allan Armstrong attended the meeting entitled organised by Another Europe Is Possible in Glasgow on 30th August. He was asked to write up his proposal for a Scottish-iniiated Ratification Referendum. This had been agreed at the RIC AGM on June 30th. (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-case-for-eu-ratification-referendum.html)



On Wednesday 30th August, The Left Against Brexit organised its first meeting in Scotland. Kirsty Haigh (Another Europe Is Possible) chaired the meeting in Strathclyde University Union. Tommy Sheppard (SNP), Maggie Chapman (Scottish Greens), Liam McCabe (NUS-Scotland President) and Michael Chessum (Labour Party and Momentum) addressed the meeting.

The platform speakers were largely agreed upon the need for a Left campaign against any likely Brexit deal, or the prospect of no deal. The negotiations remain in the hands of the May's Tory government, with the main pressure coming from the further Right, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson, and from Arlene Foster's DUP, dependent on the support of the Orange Order and the Loyalists. Thus, we all have an immediate interest in defending workers' pay and conditions, women's and minority rights, and environmental and consumer protection.

A number of contributors from the floor thought that the discrediting of Westminster politics meant priority should be given to winning independence for Scotland. Michael Chessum said that he appreciated that there were keen supporters of independence at the meeting, but he was not asking them to abandon or downplay this, anymore than he would his own support for a future Corbyn Labour government. However, opposition to a Tory Brexit deal or even No deal could still unite us.

Some supporters of Scottish independence did not see difference between the political situation during IndyRef1 and that during any possible future IndyRef2. But both sides in Indy Ref1 wanted Scotland to remain in the EU. This also meant that, if Scotland had won its political independence, there would be much less economic disruption. The EU would ensure the continuation of the free movement of people and of free trade. If the UK leaves the EU, then any new Scottish independence campaign would have to deal with the arguments about the economic disruption resulting from Brexit and leaving the UK. Project Fear would move into overdrive.

However, one thing should be clear. May's government is not going to allow any referendum, whether over Brexit, any Brexit deal, Scottish independence, or a Border Poll in Northern Ireland. At the moment there appears to be only one way to break this logjam. Holyrood can hold a Brexit deal referendum. A potential parliamentary majority already exists in the SNP and Green MSPs, and if Momentum in Scotland could win over some Labour MSPs this would add to the political impact.  It would also provide an immediate political focus for Another Europe Is Possible in Scotland. Furthermore, this would allow opponents of the Tories to take the initiative, instead of passively waiting for the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. This just leaves politics focussed upon Theresa May and her untenable Chequers Agreement, and Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnston putting forward their delusionary Empire 2, hard Brexit schemes. 

It is important that such any referendum should be over a Brexit deal or no deal - a Ratification Referendum. Scotland has already voted to Remain. There was a 62% majority, far larger than for any No vote elsewhere in the UK. Furthermore, this was achieved despite the rigged franchise. Whatever, the limitations of the White Paper, which accompanied the Scottish government's official Yes campaign in 2014, it outlined the manner in which it saw independence being implemented. Neither of the two Brexit campaigns made any attempt to do this, and issued contradictory statements. Thus a Ratification Referendum would also allow us to win over those, who voted for Brexit, but not for the versions of Brexit now being pushed by various figures in the Tory government. 

But, even more importantly, a Holyrood Ratification Referendum can base itself on the civic national precedent set by IndyRef1. EU residents and all those between 16-18 would get the vote. The racist exclusion of migrants in the Brexit referendum was a disgrace. Prominent Brexiteers avoid taxation and salt away their incomes in overseas tax havens, whilst EU migrant workers pay UK taxes. A big majority of young people are hostile to Brexit, and the chauvinism and racism it has promoted. 

Holding a Holyrood Ratification Referendum would place Scotland once more to the forefront of democratic change in these islands. Providing a civic national and Scottish internationalist example of how to conduct a referendum would put pressure on Westminster. This could follow the collapse of the May's Tory government, because of her inability to get her Chequers deal through parliament. A general election would be a quite likely result. This would give renewed opportunity both for independence supporters and for Corbyn supporters to campaign. 

This would be the situation in which Michael Chessum's acknowledgement of the different politics of those involved in the Left Against Brexit would come to the fore. However, there could still be some political basis for further political cooperation. It seems very unlikely that Corbyn-led Labour could win an absolute majority of UK seats at Westminster. Therefore he would need to approach other parties to be able to form a government. The SNP actually has better record of voting with Corbyn for progressive legislation in Westminster, than the right wing of his own party! It would be a strong indication that Labour had at last broken with Right unionism, if it could seek support from SNP MPs to implement its manifesto commitments, in return for agreeing to Holyrood conducting IndyRef2. Indeed, for the forseeable future, this is the only likely way that such a referendum could gain legal backing. 

There is a principled political basis for future cooperation in the Left Against Brexit campaign. This would mean opposing the strengthening of the UK's anti-democratic powers by upholding the right of self-determination. The Tories are even tearing up the limited Devolution deal brought forward under New Labour. Furthermore, continued cooperation would mean championing workers, women's and minority rights; and defending the free movement of people. 

Or as a celebrated Scottish internationalist, Hamish Henderson, once declared - 'Freedom Come All Ye!'

Allan Armstrong, Radical Independence Campaign, 31.8.18

This was first posted at:-  https://www.anothereurope.org/holyrood-must-take-the-lead/ 

Thursday, 23 August 2018


RIC-Edinburgh joined the RIC-Dundee and Dundee Against Austerity contingents on the 'All Under One Banner' march held in Dundee on 18th August. There were flags from many countries, with Catalunya featuring prominently, as well from Ireland, Wales and England. The Lothians-based Trade Unionists for Independence banner was also there.

The march of 16,000 people went from Baxter Park to Magdalene Green. The local SNP MP, Chris Law, emphasised Dundee's radical links. William Wallace had been educated in Dundee, whilst Magdalene Green had been used by Chartist and Women's Suffrage campaigners.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018


We have 123 members

a.         RIC- Edinburgh Assemblies

i)         30.5.18 - Rail Nationalisation 

            Speaker- Craig Dalzell, Commonwealth Head of Policy & Research
            Facilitator - Pat Smith

            A report can be seen at:- 


ii)        30.6.18 - What Now for the Scottish Independence Movement?

            Speaker - Jonathon Shafi, RIC National Convenor
            Facilitator - Pat Smith

            A report can be seen at:- 


iii)       25.7.18 The Resistable Rise of the Far Right - How do the Build the Resistance?

            Speaker - Willie Black - Trade unionist, community activist and campaigner against the   
            Far Right
            Facilitator - Eileen 

            A report can be seen at:-


b)         30.6.18 - RIC National AGM - Glasgow

            5 people from Edinburgh attended.

            A full report can be seen at:-

            i)          Action taken in support of motions;-

            ii)         Discussion on All Under One Banner events at National Forum, 1.8.18

c.         RIC-Edinburgh Organising Meetings

            i)    30.4.18 
            ii)   4.6.18 
            iii)  3.7.18 
            iv)  31.7.18 

d.         Next RIC-Edinburgh Assembly

            18.9.18, 19.00  - Organising for the All Under One Banner demo in Edinburgh on    
            Saturday, October 6th
            Speakers from RIC, Catalan Solidarity Campaign and Scottish CND

e.         Other events supported by RIC-Edinburgh

i)         10.5.18 - Solidarity with Shabaz Ali, Tollcross 

ii)        15.5.18 - The New Scottish Social Security Bill - What It Will Mean To You? 15.5.18, 
            Muirhouse Millennium Centre  

iii)       25.5.18 - Public Meeting to save Edinburgh Central Library, Central Hall

iv)        Connolly150 Event, Augustine Church, 2.6.18
            Speakers:-  The Lives of Connolly- 12.15-14.00 - Chair, Roisin  Mclaren                                      
                                    Peter Buckingham - Professor of History, Linfield  College, Oregon                                             
                                    Brian Hanley - Historian, Edinburgh University
                                    Frankie Quinn - 1916 Society, County Tyrone
                                    Chloe Alexander - Lecturer, Aberdeen University
                                    Connolly Lives- Chair, David Maguire
                                    Alan McCombes - Author and land campaignee 
                                    Donal Fallon - Dublin historian and broadcaster
                                    Paul Mclaughlin - Community activist and Project, Manager of MOJO                                            

            Performance of James Connolly's playUnder Which Flag - Spartaki Theatre Company
            Musicians - Gerry Mulvenna, Stephen Dodds

v)         14.7.18 - Anti-Trump Protest, Edinburgh

iv)        30.7.18 - Where Now for Catalan Independence? Edinburgh University
            A report can seen at:-