Saturday, 9 March 2013

Free speech rally in Glasgow – Drop the charges against the Glasgow ATOS 2!

A section of the Glasgow protest, 7 March 2013

On 7 March, in a show of defiance in defence of the right to protest around 50 people attended a free speech rally organised by the Glasgow Against ATOS Campaign and supported by the Glasgow Defence Campaign. The numbers demonstrated that the attempts by Strathclyde Police to divide the campaign and isolate and criminalise supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! had miserably failed.

The rally was called in response to the violent arrests, at the same location, on 22 February of two supporters of Glasgow Against ATOS, for using a megaphone to address crowds on the issue of the state attacks on disabled peoples welfare rights. The two supporters were prevented from attending due to unlawful bail conditions which prohibits their attendance at any demonstration within Glasgow city centre; instead messages of solidarity were read out on their behalf. Family members joined with other supporters in declaring the need to increase the pressure to have the charges dropped and an end of police harassment.

A speaker for the Glasgow Defence Campaign emphasised the importance of the defence of the two comrades, stating the first battle which must be fought and won is the right to speak and be heard. Addressing the crowd, he stated the fight against the criminalisation of protest must be won if a movement against the cuts is to be built.

While many supporters of the Glasgow Against ATOS and the Glasgow Defence Campaign attended, sadly there was a notable absence from the organised left. Those who refuse to take up the fight in defence of democratic rights will play no progressive role in the struggle against the cuts. We encourage everyone to join us at the following protests.

Defend The Right To Protest!  Support the Glasgow Against Atos 2 on the eve of their court appearance! 
Thursday 21 March, 4.30-6pm
Outside The Royal Bank of Scotland
Gordon Street
Glasgow city centre

Court Protest - Support the Glasgow Against Atos 2! Drop the charges! 
Friday 22 March, 11am-12noon
Outside the front of Glasgow Sheriff Court
All supporters are invited to join Danny and Dominic in the court as well. They are down to appear at 12noon.

Next Glasgow Against ATOS Rolling Picket – Oppose the War on Welfare!
Friday 29 March, assemble 12.30pm
Atos Offices,
Cadogan St
City Centre
Stewart Street at it again, officers failed to intimidate people as they gathered before the rally, a van full of police were also in attendance throughout the two hour rally.

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