Momentum activist tells #RIC2016 that “independence has a voice” in Corbyn movement


Activists from around the world express solidarity with Scottish independence movement

A LEADING MOMENTUM ACTIVIST has told a gathering of leftwing Scottish independence activists that “independence has a voice” inside the organisation established to support Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Charlie Clarke, who helped to organise the leftwing group’s ‘The World Transformed’ festival at the Labour party conference in Liverpool, told the 2016 Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) conference in Glasgow today (1 October) that the independence movement was a major inspiration behind the Corbyn movement.  

He said: “Scottish independence has a voice in Momentum, and I hope it has the space to grow.”

He explained to the RIC audience of some 300 that Momentum wasn’t about uncritical support for the Labour party, but for “a different vision of Labour” that was not currently represented by Scottish Labour.

“Momentum is not affiliated to the Labour party, it is independent. That’s important and that’s why I’m here, we want to reach out to other leftwing movements like yours that might not support Labour,” he added.

“Momentum wouldn’t have been possible without what happened in Scotland during the referendum.”

Clarke was speaking during the international plenary session of the conference in the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow, which is taking place just a week after Corbyn was re-elected as Labour leader with 62 per cent of the vote.

“Momentum wouldn’t have been possible without what happened in Scotland during the referendum.” Charlie Clarke

Cat Boyd, a founder member of the RIC spoke at the Momentum festival earlier in the week in a bid to build links with socialists across the UK.

The plenary also heard from struggles and movements from around the world, whose members expressed solidarity with the Scottish independence movement.

Malika Salaun, a member of France’s anti-racist and anti-colonialist PIR Movement told the conference she was glad to be able to address an audience of people “looking for new ways to live in Europe” in the aftermath of Brexit and the rise in racist attacks both in France and in the UK.

She told the conference that the French state has responded to terrorist attacks in the country with racist policies.

Grainne Griffin, one of the organisers of the Repeal the 8th movement in Ireland which is fighting for women to gain abortion rights in the country, also spoke.

She said: “We work on solidarity with movements around the world that work towards emancipation, so we are proud to be here today.”

Earlier in the event Eulalia Reguant an MP for the Catalan leftwing CUP party said that that her party needed to learn from RIC.

Introducing the international speakers, Jenni Gunn, a member of the Scottish Socialist Party’s executive, said: “Our movement must have internationalism at its heart.

“That intrinsically links our campaign with those fighting for justice around the world.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with those around the world standing against neo-liberalism…racism, sexism and homophobia.”

Picture courtesy of Ryan Smith

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