Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Glasgow FRFI statement on attacks on supporters in Govanhill

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (Glasgow) is putting on the public record our intolerance for the personal attacks, aggressiveness, slander and intimidation which greeted our members last night following the Right to Work campaign’s ‘Southside Against the Cuts’ meeting in Govanhill (7 September). This is the reaction which has greeted FRFI’s distribution of an article entitled ‘The Great Deception?’ by a local Govanhill resident, looking back at ten years since the original fight against the closure of Govanhill baths and questioning the role of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust. Glasgow FRFI stands fully behind the contents of the article but urges people to read it and make their own judgement. We reserve absolutely the right of criticism and believe this is crucial for the development of independent working class resistance.

Following an uneventful meeting within the plush confines of Govanhill Housing Association HQ, at which FRFI members did not speak, Andrew ‘gold BMW’ Johnson, chair of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust, and Danny Alderslowe, local Green party councillor, saw fit to deal with the political questions raised in ‘The Great Deception’ with a particularly unpleasant mix of aggression and condescension. The former character, once described by an original member of the Govanhill pool campaign as a ‘man open in his contempt for the working class’, approached FRFI members literally spitting with rage, slathering personal slanders and baseless accusations, aggressively facing up to a 15 year-old and attempting to snatch leaflets out of our hands while simultaneously telling those leaving the meeting that ‘these people are dangerous’. Mr Alderslowe deigned to patronise and belittle a local FRFI member, accusing him of ‘being nothing’ and ridiculously claiming that he did not live in the area. So incensed was one local resident who witnessed this tirade that he was forced to intervene and told our honourable friend in no uncertain terms to back off (which he rapidly did).* FRFI members refused to respond to either of these attempts at provocation.

We urge all our supporters to counter the poison of such elements, who will resort to any lengths to prevent criticism of the privileged position they have attained through similarly disreputable means. Glasgow FRFI takes very seriously any threats – physical or verbal – against our supporters; we refuse to be intimidated and reserve the right to defend ourselves in such circumstances. We have dealt successfully with uniformed police in Govanhill attempting to shut down our political work. We will deal successfully with these other policemen of the working class.

Statement issued by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (Glasgow)
Wednesday 7 September 2011

* This entire incident has been recorded

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