Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Long History Of Glasgow's Anarchists.

       We in the city of Glasgow can trace the roots of its anarchist groups, individuals and activities, back into the distant past. We have always been there, standing with the people of the city in their many and varied and sometimes brutal struggles for that better world, for justice and for freedom. The history of the Glasgow anarchists is one of which we can be proud.
         It was in 1894 that Tom Anderson founded the first Scottish Socialist Sunday School, and three years later founded the South Side Socialist Sunday School, which lasted well into the 1930's. In 1910, George (Ballard) Barrett settled in Glasgow and set about holding street meetings with some assistance from John McAra from Edinburgh. Around about the same time George along with John Paton, set up the Glasgow Anarchist Group. 1919 saw the well know anarchist Guy Aldred settle in Glasgow, stating it was, "its citizen's truculent attitude, rebellious spirit and disrespect for leaders" that made him think of settling in Glasgow. Let's hope we can enhance that particular trait in the citizens of our great city. When we mention Guy Aldred, we have to mention Ethel MacDonald. Running along with and over lapping the time of Guy Aldred, we had such gallant working class fighters as, Frank Leech, Charlie and Mollie Baird, Willie McDougal, who helped keep the Workers Open form running until the 1950's, Jimmy and Babs RaesideBobby Lynn, The list goes on and on, some known, some forgotten, some lost in the fog of history, much to our regret. Some others are, Farquar McLay, John Taylor Caldwell, Rita Milton, Allan Burnett, with more on Allan HERE, and Dave Carruthers.
        A little hint of what was happening in the anarchist movement in Glasgow during the 1960's can be read HERE,  and a little later, 1974-1986, HERE.
        These are just a few of the anarchist that have helped shape our city, like I said, there are so many names that have been lost, that this is just a fragment of the picture. What is encouraging is that the anarchist tradition is still alive and well in our city today. There is a crop of enthusiastic individuals and groups, who are still at the forefront of the struggles of the people of our city, and it is uplifting to see that it is not all grey haired and slow walking individuals, but a wonderful gathering of young, intelligent and dedicated individuals, that are forming groups and pushing forward with the anarchist dream of that better world for all.
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