Allan Armstrong is a founding member of RIC, the Radical Independence Campaign. RIC were very active in the 2014 campaign. Membership fell away after that as people became involved in other issues. But the core group remained and is now attracting more members, old and new.
Allan joined our Greater Glasgow Group online meeting to talk about the kind of independent Scotland RIC members campaign for.
Some of the topics he touched on were:
- The 2012 SNP conference overthrew the party’s long held policy of opposition to membership NATO. That was one factor in the formation of RIC.
- They ran a vey effective action to get people to register to vote. People who had never done so before.
- Members aligned themselves and campaigned alongside other campaigns. For example Catalonia, housing rights, trade unionists, Palestine, Kurdistan.
- those examples illustrate how support radical action and support for independence comes together in RIC, a republican internationalist coalition
- London agreed to a referendum. Yes, but not because they recognised the rights of Scots to decide their own future. They agreed because they thought they’d trounce the Indy movement.
For all that and more, listen to Allan here:
Allan’s talk sparked off a lively discussion. Here are our some of the questions to him:
- Do you think the 2014 campaign experience of so many grassroots groups will be replicated for the next referendum?
- Is RIC a splinter group from main independence movement?
- Would strike action in Scotland as a possible part of an independence campaign really be a good idea?
- You mentioned Westminster possibly imposing restrictions on how the referendum will be run. But a recent Electoral Commission public consultation around UK came out very strongly against any restrictions for referenda.
- Direct action in Scotland is a waste of time. Direct action needs to be aimed at London.
- Westminster won’t even notice a civil disobedience campaign in Scotland. Ot they’d just spin it as being the incompetence of the Scottish Government. But as an alternative to that, what do you think of our MPs being the Bad Boys at Westminster, disrupting proceedings, and making a big nuisance of themselves?
- Should there be a residency restriction on who can vote in a referendum?
- Some Tory voters support independence. Also some Labour voters. Have you any insight into what is happening in the Scottish Labour Party re independence support?
- Does RIC stand candidates against SNP? How is RIC structured?
More about Allan Armstrong, from Bella Caledonia
Allan Armstrong is a retired teacher and active as a convenor of Scottish Rank & File Teachers and the Scottish Socialist Teachers Federation. He chaired of the Lothian Anti-Poll Tax Federation.
He is the author of two books, From Davitt to Connolly and The Ghost of James Connolly and many articles. A native of Edinburgh, he organises radical walks in city. His main written contributions are to the Emancipation & Liberation blog. Allan is a communist, republican socialist, Scottish internationalist and freethinker.