Friday, 16 August 2019

Be Proud Of Our History, And Carry It Forward.

      History tells us that the struggle of the ordinary people has always been the only means by which they gain anything in the quality of life. To date this struggle has been endless, and will continue to be so until we finally take control of our own lives, free from the throttling and exploitative hand of state and capitalism. 
      The people of Glasgow have a rich and varied history of struggle through the ages, and that struggle still continues. We should remember those who took up the baton before us, we owe them much, and we should be proud to take up that baton of struggle today, it is our only way to a free and just society.
      To the memory of those valiant working class warriors of the past I will repeat a post I wrote in March 2015, I think it is important that we realise that today's problems are not something new, but are part of that same struggle our forefathers fought and we continue today, a struggle for a just society.
   The citizens of Glasgow have always been a rebellious bunch, like other large cities across the UK, they have been involved in a long struggle to improve their conditions, and sometimes that struggle has been bitter and violent. You could say Glasgow has been a City of Rebellion, from the union in 1706, we had anti-union riots, and many more after that, some being violently put down, there was the 1725 Malt Tax riots, Feb 1800 crowds breaking into shops, and the troops called to quell their anger, 1812 the weavers strike, and so it goes on, with other protests and riots in between. However, today March 6th. marks the 167th, anniversary of the Glasgow food riots, back then society hadn't the safety valve of "food banks".
     The trouble started when the mass unemployed were expecting some sort of handout of provisions, which never materialised. The angry and starving crowds started marching through the main streets in the city centre, smashing their way into food shops, and went further, starting breaking into gun shops. The entire city centre came to a standstill all business closed. By now the starving angry and armed crowds were covering the city centre marching and shouting, "bread or revolution". 
     The authorities read the "riot act", the crowds were spreading into other districts of the city, breaking in to any food shop they came across. The city fathers called on more troops troops from Edinburgh. March 7th. crowds again gather in Bridgeton, a young boy threw something at the troops and was arrested. However the crowd were not having that, stormed the troops and rescued the young boy. It was then that Police Superintendent, a Captain Smart, gave the order to open fire, in the ensuing minutes, five of the crowd were shot, also a police officer was shot in the cross fire. For some days after this event crowds still lined the streets, however every public office in the city was securely guarded by troops.
       And so the struggle goes on, the rent strike 1915, the Upper Clyde work-in, 1971/72. In between the bitter and sometime violent struggles we have had an endless catalogue of smaller battles, but never the less important, and part of our history, a history that proves that it is only the ordinary people who carry forward this struggle for a better world for all, against an elite of rich and powerful, that will do their damnedest to hold on to their privileged position. So let's not forget those who challenged that elite, at times with great personal sacrifice and on occasions, death.
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