Glasgow & West Scotland

Memorial for Glasgow anti-war campaigners to be unveiled

plaque
Image caption The plaque acknowledge the role that opponents of the war played in promoting social justice in the Glasgow

A memorial to those who campaigned against the Great War more than a century ago has been unveiled in Glasgow.

The commemorative black granite stone has been placed near the People's Palace.

It also acknowledges the role that opponents of the war played in promoting social justice in the city and beyond.

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: "They are a part of our history."

The inscription on the memorial reads: "In memory of those who opposed WW1 in order to challenge the purpose of the war and the waste of lives. They also campaigned for social and economic justice and against the exploitation of those who lived in the city during the war."

As a BBC iWonder guide on the city and the Great War explains, the Independent Labour Party (ILP), which relied on Glasgow for the focus of its support, and other left-wing parties such as the British Socialist Party were among the voices of discontent in the city in 1914.

On 9 August 1914 - five days after Britain declared war on Germany - the ILP organised a peace demonstration of 5,000 people on Glasgow Green, and meetings like this gathering occurred throughout the war but were largely ignored by the mainstream patriotic press.

Image copyright Culture and Sport Glasgow
Image caption The memorial is next to the People's Palace in Glasgow

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: "Our city has commemorated the start of the First World War and the many thousands of people who were killed and injured. We have remembered them and their suffering.

"It is also right that, as part of our five-year commemoration of the First World War, we also remember those who were opposed to the war. They are a part of our history and we must respect their points of view.

"Some of these anti-war campaigners are well-known names who are written into our history, like the great Glasgow trio Helen Crawfurd, Mary Barbour and Agnes Dollan.

"They were outstanding leaders and the Women's Peace Crusade, which they started spread, far beyond Glasgow. They also worked to protect the interests of the poor through the rent strikes and the Clyde Workers Committee."

Isobel Lindsay, who campaigned for the memorial to be put in place, said: "There have been many commemorations of this most terrible of wars and the massive loss of life.

"We thought it important to remember the great people who opposed the war who had a different vision."

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