Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Occupy Glasgow! Eye Witness Report

On Saturday at 11am the occupy movement spread to Glasgow as tents were erected, anti-cuts banners hung and progressive messages chalked on the red surface of George Square, in Glasgow’s City Centre. Opposite the occupation sits Glasgow City Council’s (GCC) chambers of corruption which are controlled by the Labour party. Below is an eye witness report and observations of a Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) supporter who has attended the occupation in solidarity on Tuesday 18 and 19 October;

I came for the assemblies where people get the chance to discuss what the occupation represents, how it is to function and finally how we can attract more people to join and support it. Some people are arguing for staunch opposition to those people paid to implement the cuts – the government, council and cops – while others are taking a more passive approach. This disagreement should not be seen as a negative thing or a splitter of unity; future resistance is being forged and disagreements will have to happen – democracy for all will be the key to making sure the politics of the people emerges.
Proposals which have come from the discussions include providing a food stop off point for the needy and homeless and a public cuts chart to be constructed detailing the cuts being made against the poor and vulnerable every day. The topic of security has also come up as GCC had threatened an eviction earlier on Tuesday but this failed to materialise. As one Glasgow Defence Campaign (GDC) supporter commented ‘we must remain vigilant at all times’. The cops in collaboration with the council will be planning their next move and have already begun their intelligence gathering operations with a patrol vehicle and an Inspector visiting the square on 19 October to keep an eye on and speak to occupiers. Worryingly there is a reluctance among people to get defence tactics organised in the event that the cops and GCC attempt to end the occupation. As the Free Hetherington student occupiers found out on 22 March 2011 delaying preparation against political policing can be costly (with individuals sustaining serious injuries).We must learn from past lessons and share our experiences of fighting the cuts so far in order to guard against future mistakes.

Support for the occupation has come from passing students, people living in hostels and workers passing through the square. A politics of the street must be put on the agenda and occupation supporters must strive to connect the protest with the everyday struggles of working class people across this city if it is to grow. My generation is being educated in the spirit of resistance and learning all the time.

We say bring your misery and anger to the steps of Glasgow City Chambers. Do not suffer in silence and isolation! Tell the tourists that ‘Scotland With Style’, which is promoted by the Labour council, is a fantasy and insult for everyday Glaswegians who are struggling to make ends meet - reserved for the few; at the expense of the majority.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will continue to support the occupiers in their courageous stand against the cuts! We call on all progressive people to do the same by joining the occupation, attending a people’s assembly 6.30pm every night (3pm on Saturday), donating food and clothing (blankets, hats, gloves and jumpers) or stopping off to give your support to the occupiers. Visit the official Occupy Glasgow! blog and send messages of support...

Spread the word!

No Cuts, Full Stop!


  1. This place is one of the best to spend my Christmas vacation together with my family and children. Thanks for sharing this!

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  2. Keep checking this blog and the occupy Glasgow blog for updates. The occupation will have to learn to defend itself if it is to last until christmas as Glasgow city council will not allow any interruptions to their christmas and new year parties/carnivals held in George Sqaure every year with people paying for expensive tickets to get into the sqaure (plenty of profit. Also the fact that rememberance day is approaching and George Sq is used for commemorations each year shows that people will need to defend the occupied space if they are to remain there.