Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Glasgow marchers remember John MacLean

On the morning of the 27th November 2011 several hundred supporters assembled to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the venerable Marxist educator John MacLean. Memorial tributes were laid at the grave [including a wreath from the R.C.G.] and the graveside oration was respectfully delivered by Gerry Cairns from the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement. The marchers then solemnly gathered across from the Old Eastwood Cemetery as the parade set off on the designated route along Thornliebank Road galvanised and buoyed by the bold Republican anthems which rang out, courtesy of Eirigi and the Irish Republican Socialist Party.  

As the march eventually wound its way into Shawbridge Street there was air of cohesion and purpose perhaps rekindled by the memory of the 40,000 Glaswegians who lined the streets of the city on the day of John MacLeans funeral in 1923 to pay their respects to a real working class hero. Sadly however, less than 100years on and the only “welcoming committee” in evidence were the sneering, braying irreformable Afrikaners of the orange lodge who spilled out onto the street in a feeble attempt to harangue the marchers. Three of these despicable miscreants were later detained at the assembly point in Pollokshaws arcade as the last of the marchers departed for the Republican rally at the Shawbridge Tavern. Comrade Joey Simons [F.R.F.I] delivered a timely reminder in his address to the rally stating that “We enter 2011 with great optimism and renewed confidence that the political culture in which we exist is changing. In 2010 we witnessed the contradictions of imperialism intensify; the economic crisis is spreading to the heartlands of Europe and is giving rise to new social forces……”  

“This gives us hope. We enter the New Year conscious of our responsibilities to fight for the creation of an anti imperialist organisation capable of defending the interests of the oppressed. In Glasgow that means organising the unorganised, it means making socialism central to building the new   movement and opposing those forces determined to divert the struggle into respectable dead ends. We refuse to be still.” Touche comrade….Joeys address received a rapturous endorsement from the assembled throng and in a rousing finale he declared that “We hope to join with the comrades gathered here today for the momentous period ahead. We join in the call for the Scottish Workers Republic, but know that of most importance is not the proclamation but the commitment to raise that call from abstraction into the living world – today, that means standing whole heartedly on the side of the working class, on the side of socialism, on the side of revolution – on the side of John MacLean”.