Monday, 22 August 2016



Wednesday 31 August from 6 - 8.00pm 
in the George Washington Browne room, Central Library,  
7-9 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG

The Radical Independence Campaign Edinburgh is organising this event on Asylum Seekers and Migrant Workers to learn about the challenges and difficulties faced by these groups of people and to consider how best we can campaign to make Scotland the welcoming country we would want it to be.

This will be a participatory event but we are delighted to have three outstanding speakers who will talk about their own experience in these areas.

Pinar Aksu, Human rights activist and Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees activist has visted and supported refugees in Turkey, Greece and Calais.

Phil Chilcot has many years of experience campaigning on Migrant Worker Rights in Australia.

Nuria from Precarity Office and an activist in the Migrant Solidarity Network, Edinburgh

Come along and join the discussion.


RIC-Edinburgh Meeting, 27.7.16

There were 37 people in attendance.

The situation after the Brexit Vote was discussed after Neil Davidson gave an analysis of the Brexit results and what they meant. This was followed by discussion in groups.

We need to consider what we did well in the last IndyRef but also look at the weaknesses. What would we do differently?

Most groups talked about the need for Political Education, both ideas and skills, for ourselves and for everyone.

We need to refresh the vision of what indy means now.

We need to be active too and make a start now.

It is important we engage with people,  stop guessing and start asking people what they want and need now. What can we do to make a difference

We need to start changing what needs to be changed now.

Migrants and refugees
Defend rights of people living here and arriving here.
Other suggestions wer:- Livestreaming meeting so they are there as a resource.  
The need to reach out to people, Leave and remain, Yes and No.

We agreed that RIC Edinburgh will have monthly meetings
Suggested themes for meetings
Currency, Basic income, Disability rights, Health,  Environment, Agriculture, Human rights, Land reform.

Below are the Action Points and Working Groups from the RIC AGM. The Working Groups are open to all so please send your details to the address below if you would like to help with any of them.

We will have an organising meeting on Tuesday 16 August at 6.00pm  to plan for our next RIC Edinburgh meeting. The organising meeting is open to everyone so please come along if you can!

Pat Smith, 14.8.16


Minutes of Edinburgh RIC Organising Meeting, Tuesday, August 16th

1.         Present: Allan, Pat, Sally

2.         Apologies: Nick, Pete, Willy

3.         RIC National Conference

            Allan was on the working group, which had met in Glasgow on August 11th. Arguments were put forward for an event before or after the SNP AGM. It was decided that holding the conference before the SNP GM would probably attract more publicity. Jonathon and was going to try and book a venue for Saturday, 1st October for main conference, with another venue for the Friday evening, 30th September with international speakers.

            The content of the conference would be decided at a wider working group   meeting to be held on Saturday, 20th August in Glasgow. Allan indicated that he was unable to attend, and Pat agreed to go to ensure Edinburgh representation.

            Possible topics for consideration included, Another Europe is Possible. There        was also some discussion about developing the theme - The Battle for Democracy - in Scotland, in the rest of the UK (taking the Corbyn phenomenon into account), in Europe and the World. The Battle for             Democracy could become a theme of the RIC Roadshow, with local groups taking up whichever aspect/s suited them best.

            We had also received an e-mail from the Cat and the Global Justice Network working group, saying that the proposed joint RIC/GJN conference was being postponed to early 2017.

4.         RIC National Forum
            Allan to contact Aberdeen, Angus and Inverness groups to find a suitable date for the next National Forum, with a suggestion that it be held in Glasgow.

5.         Next RIC-Edinburgh meeting, Wednesday, 31st August

            Topic - Asylum Seekers and Migrants
            Pat to contact Phil Chilton and Pinar Aksu to introduce session

            The topic for the October meeting would be decided at this meeting.

6.         September 28th RIC-Edinburgh meeting

            Topic - Citizens Income
            Pat to contact Ben Wray

6.         Next RIC-Edinburgh Organising Meeting, Tuesday, 7th September, 6.00 pm.

Allan Armstrong, 17.8.16


Thursday, 21 July 2016


Here are two pictures from recent events in which RIC-Edinburgh participated.

The first is from the demonstration on the High Street called very quickly by the Migrant Solidarity Network on June 24th the day the EU referendum resulted was announced. Over 500 people participated.

The second is taken from the Trident Protest organised by the Edinburgh Anti-War Coalition at the bottom of`the Mound, on Saturday 16th July. Again over 500 people participated. There were simultaneous demonstrations throughout Scotland.

Saturday, 16 July 2016



Hi all,

The AGM a week on Saturday past was a great meeting involving well represented local groups. I include a short report and action points to allow us to move quickly into the concrete actions we agreed.

We broke into groups to discuss RIC strategy and tactics going forward. These were excellent discussions in which the following came out as important areas of consensus:

1) RIC would move forward as if the campaign for Independence has begun, rather than 'calling for' a second referendum.  This would be deployed if and when the Tory government attempt to prevent a referendum from taking place. It was also felt the best way to get a referendum is to increase support for independence in the polls.

2) There was an understanding that this time round the forces involved would be different, and that the radical left would have to differentiate itself by promoting a left, alternative vision for independence based on class, power, radical democracy, internationalism and anti-imperialism.

3) RIC could play a role in winning sections of the labour movement who did not come out for independence last time round.

4) There was agreement that RIC should be broadened and deepened as a political force, and that our resources would articulate messages such as 'another Scotland is possible - another Europe is possible'. People felt work had to be done on slogans that would fit the new situation.


1) We agreed there should be a national tour to open RIC groups to new activists and supporters. This would have national theme, but local groups would decide the speakers, format and so on. We need all local groups to set up organising meetings to get these going ASAP. Cat Boyd was the named person regarding setting up a working group the remit of which would not be to organise the whole tour, but to identify a national theme/title for the tour.

2) We agreed the need for a clearly articulated vision for independence. This would be done in a grassroots way combined with expert analysis. James McIntyre is the named person for setting up a working group to take this forward. This should also be raised in upcoming local RIC organising meetings.

3) We agreed to host a conference to ensure we - and the social weight of the Scottish and international left - are part of the scene in the aftermath of Brexit, the crisis of the British State and the new situation. We have substantial donations to cover costs. Jonathon Shafi will bring together a working group to deliver this. Venues will be identified to see what dates are possible.

4) We agreed to co-sponsor a conference on democracy and corporate power with Global Justice Now. Graeme Arnott and Eric will liase with Liz from GJN. This event is planned to take place in November.

5) We agreed to set up a Democracy in Europe working group to explore links with DiEM and other international movement. Kevin from Aberdeen was the named person to set this up.

We have a lot to do! Please volunteer for any of these groups by emailing:






We now have over a 100 card-carrying members. However, most people have been involved in party activities either in RISE/SSP, Greens or SNP, or if from a movementist background, in specific campaigns like Living Rent.

Following this new political situation RIC-Edinburgh had dropped its earlier fortnightly meetings and had concentrated on less frequent specific events.

1)         RIC-Edinburgh hosted the RIC Conference in the Assembly Rooms on 20.2.16

2)         RIC-Edinburgh hosted the 2nd Scotland's Radical History Conference in the Methodist Halls on 18.6.16.
The topic was Scotland and the Easter Rising. Although only 34 people attended this year, it was felt by the participants that the level of discussion and debate was higher then in the first event, since more people could participate in the discussion.

Three of the speakers were contributors to the book Scotland and the Easter Rising, and Kirsty Lusk, another contributor, had given her apologies for not being able to speak on Women and the 1916 Rising because she was working that day.  Ray Burnett spoke on the Edinburgh Dimension to Connolly and 1916; Maria-Daniella Dick on The Behans and the Scottish Connection. Pat Smith chaired. In the afternoon session Allan Armstrong (RCN) spoke on From the British Road to the Break up of the UK Road to Socialism and Chris Bambery (Counterfire) spoke on James Connolly and John Maclean. Marilyn Tweedie chaired. Ray Burnett also introduced the RTE film, The Names of the Provisional Government, produced for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising, with interviews with Connolly's family and several participants.

3)         A series of 3 debates on the EU referendum.
Since RIC includes people who supported Remain, Leave and Abstain, it was felt that as in the case of the 2015 Holyrood elections, the most appropriate thing was for RIC to promote debate.

The first meeting was held on 4.2.16 with Alistair Black (RISE) for, Donny Gluckstein (SWP) and Myrto Tsakatika (RISE). Here the general arguments for Remain and Leave were heard and debated in the break-out sessions. 50 people attended.

The second meeting was held on 24.3.16 on Economic Fundamentals, led off by Andy Anderson (author of The Skye Bridge Story and Moving On: An economic case for Scottish independence) and followed by discussion in the break-out sessions. 22 people attended.

The third meeting (co-sponsored by Edinburgh Stop The War Campaign and the Womens International League of Peace and Freedom) was held on 26.5.16 and examined the Foreign Policy aspects of the EU. The speakers were Frances Guy (former ambassador to Yemen), Heidi Mansholt from WILPF-Germany and Lindsay German (Stop the War Campaign). Jonathon Shafi (RIC) had to give his apologies. After the 4 contributions there was discussion in the break-out groups. 35 people attended.

4)         A meeting is planned in the autumn in conjunction with Upstart, which is campaigning for nursery education to be extended to age 7.

5)         RIC-Edinburgh continued to act as a clearing house for campaigns in Edinburgh. There had been a good RIC-Edinburgh presence on the Migrants Solidarity Network demo on 24.6.16, straight after the result of the EU referendum had been announced

Allan Armstrong, RIC-Edinburgh Minutes Secretary, 15.7.16