Scotland politics

Radical Independence Campaign launches 'People's Vow'

The one-day conference is taking place at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow Image copyright Radical Independence Campaign
Image caption The one-day conference is taking place at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow

More than 3,000 people have gathered in Glasgow for the Radical Independence Campaign's conference.

The campaign supports a left-wing vision of an independent Scotland.

Co-founder Cat Boyd said the movement was launching a "People's Vow" - a direct reference to the Vow of more powers made by No campaigners.

She said the People's Vow would cover areas such as protecting public services from cuts, land reform and getting rid of Trident.

This is the third RIC conference. The organisation played a prominent role in the campaign for a "Yes" vote ahead of September's independence referendum.

The People's Vow

  • The People's Budget - mapping the alternative to austerity
  • Ending fracking before it takes hold
  • Land for all - Put our natural resources in the hands of the people
  • Equality not as an afterthought
  • Democracy before profit - Work with other forces across Europe and the US to stop the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership

Speakers at the event at the Clyde Auditorium included Ms Boyd, Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie and Robin McAlpine from the Common Weal project.

The campaign is calling for "transformational change" and said the conference would showcase "the breadth and diversity of the campaign for social and economic justice in Scotland and beyond".

Former Scottish Socialist MSP Colin Fox, broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and author and playwright Alan Bissett also addressed delegates, along with trade unionists, activists and representatives from other independence movements including in Catalonia and Quebec.

Ms Boyd told BBC Scotland: "The aim is to show people how our movement is still growing.

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Media captionRadical Independence campaigner Cat Boyd is one of the new radicals boosted by the independence referendum

"They say that history is written by those who are victorious. Well, on 18 September, the people who won at the ballot box are those who will lose in the long-run.

"You only have to look at the chaos in Scottish Labour, the crisis at Westminster, to see that."

She said the People's Vow was a reference to the Vow made by the "unholy alliance" of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians campaigning for a No vote in the referendum.

"We want to create a people's budget to protect public services from the worst of the cuts," she said.

"We want to call for radical land reform and we want to embark on a campaign of civil disobedience against Trident."

She said the gulf of opinion about the Trident nuclear missile system, which is based at Faslane on the Clyde, between the people of Scotland and the politicians at Westminster was "huge".

"People don't want Trident in Scottish waters and they don't want it in anybody else's either," Ms Boyd added.

She said that the campaign also vowed to stop Scotland's natural environment being sold to the highest bidder and to bring pressure for fracking to prohibited.

Radical Independence Campaign: What do those attending say?

Image caption Shaun, from Johnstone - “There was already a grassroots thing in the summer – it’s about keeping that going, building on it, and not going back into our box as we’re advised to do. You’ve got the old, traditional left wing people, and you’ve got the younger ones who’ve recently been politicised. It’s about bringing it all together and consolidating ideas.”
Image caption Claire, lives and works in Glasgow - “I want to make sure that we’re all linking arguments to say fracking is as important as UKIP, as trident, as TTIP, as the NHS – and linking all these arguments to say people need to keep up the fight. People needs to keep coming out to demonstrate. We’re seeing UKIP elected down south – it’s something people should be terrified of here.”
Image caption Brian, from the Scrap Trident Coalition, from Edinburgh - “We’re here today because the radical independence campaign is part of the scrap Trident coalition. We don’t want nuclear weapons in Scotland, we don’t want them renewed – scrap them. We want to redirect the resources going to Trident to go to fund human needs. It can’t fund all of those things, but Trident is the tip of the iceberg."
Image caption Michael, a Glasgow University graduate, lives in Glasgow - “There’s a real potential for a real big movement here. For us, the movement has to go beyond just getting another referendum. There’s a potential here to fight for something more fundamental. You look at society around us – it’s rotten. The unemployed and immigrants are being demonised by the politicians and the press. The welfare state is being torn apart bit by bit.”

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