The Radical Independence Conference, a major gathering of progressive pro-independence forces that will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow on Saturday 24 November 2012 will include speakers from across the progressive spectrum of Scottish society and, through a wide ranging set of workshops, the conference is designed to maximise participation from the audience. There will also be speakers flying in from across the globe to discuss building international opposition to austerity, and to voice their support for international coordination.
Radical Independence Conference
OPENING PLENARY: Britain’s winter, Scotland’s spring 10.45-11.30
Patrick Harvie MSP
Patrick Harvie represents the Scottish Green Party as a list MSP in Glasgow. He is a leading environmental, LGBT, and social justice activist inside and outside parliament.
Isobel Lindsay is vice-chair of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, convener of Scotland’s for Peace and on the editorial board of Scottish Left Review.
Nathan Sparling is the former NUS Scotland LGBT officer. He played a leading role in the campaign for equal marriage in Scotland.
Cat is a leading young trade union activist in Scotland. She is the chair of Coalition of Resistance in Scotland and is a PCS young members officer.
Dennis is a member of the advisory board of Yes Scotland. He is a former Labour and independent MP and MSP and a well respected figure in the labour movement. He played a leading role campaigning for a Scottish parliament.
Susan Archibald is a disability rights activist and the founder of the Archibald Foundation. She is currently a Non Executive Director for NHS Fife; member of the DWP’s Equality Reference Group; steering group member of the Human Rights Consortium in Scotland and sits on four cross-party working groups in the Scottish Parliament.
Peter is the rector of the University of Edinburgh. He is a writer and campaigner and is the co-editor of Bright Green Scotland.
WORKSHOPS #1: 11.45-13.15
1) An ethical foreign policy: scrap Trident, no to NATO, troops out
Isobel is the vice-chair of Scottish CND, convener of Scotland’s for Peace and is on the editorial board of Scottish Left Review.
Leona is a leading organiser of Faslane Peace Camp which has carried out direct action in an attempt to stop Trident nuclear weapons.
Joan lost her grandson in Afghanistan and has been an outspoken critic of Westminster’s foreign policies. She is active in Military Families Against War and the Stop the War Coalition.
Patrick is an SNP councillor for Cumbernauld South ward, North Lanarkshire Council. He is a biographer of Robert Burns, The Patriot Bard (2008) and co-editor of complete works of Burns – The Canongate Burns, 2001.
Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian activist, academic and spoken word artist. She is a founding member of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) promoting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestement and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Canada, and an organizer of the international Israeli Apartheid Week. She is a member of the steering committee of the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative (PACBI).
2) The Scottish republic: what is real democracy?
Allan is a socialist republican activist and the author of a forthcoming book on James Connelly in Edinburgh.
Neil Davidson is a senior researcher at Strathclyde University and is the editor of ‘Neoliberal Scotland’ and the author of ‘The Origins of Scottish Nationhood’ and ‘Discovering the Scottish Revolution: 1692-1746′’ for which he won the Isaac Duetscher Memorial Prize.
‘Republic Scotland’ is a group that campaigns for an end to the monarchy and an elected head of state. They organised a recent demonstration in Edinburgh against the Queen’s visit to the Scottish capital.
Greame is an anti-cuts and trade union activist, he is the Secretary of Solidarity
3) Wealth of the Commons: a Green economy for a progressive, prosperous Scotland
Bright Green, is the UK’s top Green blog, and has been an influential source of news and analysis for progressive movements such as the 2010 student demonstrations and UK Uncut. It supports independence, and has raised concerns about the timidity of SNP plans on NATO, monarchy and monetary policy. Bright Green is proud to be part of the Radical Independence Conference, an exciting effort to expand and advance the possibilities offered by an independent Scotland.
4) What is “Civic Scotland”? Complacency and “consensus” after Devolution
Andy is a writer and Scotland’s foremost land rights campaigner. His latest book, The Poor Had No Lawyers, is published by Birlinn.
A writer and commentator on Scottish and UK politics, policy and ideas, and the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including The Modern SNP: From Protest to Power and After Blair: Politics after the New Labour Decade. He organises the Changin’ Scotland sessions in Ullapool.
5) A Scottish utopia? The role of art and culture in changing society
National Collective is a platform for artists and creatives to engage with the independence campaign and participate in wider debates about social and political change in Scotland.
Sinead Dunn was president of Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association 2011-12. She has played a leading role in the campaigns against cuts and fees in Scotland. Currently studying a Masters in research and creative practices.
Sandra is an ambassador of the National Theatre of Scotland and a student of creative writing. She is a member of the Acting Strange theatre company, a collective of writers and performers with an interest in political theatre. Sandra is Co-convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party
GLOBAL FORUM 14.00-15.00: Breaking the neoliberal order – towards a global alternative to austerity
Greek opposition party Syriza - the Coalition of the Radical Left – are at the forefront of opposition to austerity in Europe.
Bernadette is an Irish socialist and republican political activist. She served as a Member of Parliament at Westminster from 1969 to 1974 for the Mid Ulster constituency, infamously slapping the Tory Home Secretary in the face for arguing that British soldiers only fired in self-defence at Bloody Sunday. In recent years, McAliskey has played a leading role in human rights campaigning. She is a founding member of the Free Marian Price campaign.
Danielle is a leading member of the Front de Gauche (Left Front) which is shaking up French politics. TheirPresidential candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon, received more than 10% in the last elections on a programme of attacking finance capital and calling a constituent assembly to take power back into the hands of the people. Danielle was a student leader at the Sorbonne during the great French student revolts last decade and a key organiser in the French anticapitalist and anti war movements.
Benoit is the head of the National Coordinating Committee for Québec Solidaire. He is also their former Secretary General. He was a leading organizer of both the anti-globalisation mobilizations (such as the Summit of the Americas in Québec City in April 2001) and the movement against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Speaker from Euskal Herria Bildu
EH Bildu is the party of the Basque pro-independence radical left. After decades of repression and state bans, EH Bildu were finally allowed to contest regional elections in October 2012, taking nearly 25% of the vote and becoming the second largest party in the Basque parliament.
James is the author of ‘Britain Must Break: The Internationalist Case for Independence’. He is currently conducting new research into Scottish finance capital and the Scottish banking system at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of a forthcoming book on independence, the crisis and the left.
WORKSHOPS #2: 15.15 – 16.45
6) Making it happen: strategies for independence
Mike is a co-editor of Bella Caledonia. He is a freelance writer, micro-publisher, festival organiser and food activist. He was a founder of Product magazine (first launched as Red Herring in 1998) and helped found Indymedia Scotland. He writes for Scottish Left Review, Variant, Red Pepper, New Statesman, the Guardian, and Open Democracy.
Shona Manages the Scottish Independence Convention website, and is a well known figure on the Scottish political scene.
Pete is the Black Minority Ethnic Convenor for Edinburgh University Students Association. He was a founding member of the Coalition of Resistance (Scotland) and is currently writing a book on independence, the crisis and the left.
Gail is an organiser for Yes Scotland.
7) After fortress Britain: anti-racism, borders and asylum in Scotland
Unity in the Community
Unity in the Community is an organisation set up to offer practical solidarity and aid to all asylum seekers and refugees.
Aamer is Scotland’s leading human rights lawyer. He was a prominent figure in the anti-war movement and a leading organiser of demonstrations in defence of Glasgow’s refugee community. He regularly appears on television to discuss a range of political issues.
Margaret is the co-chair of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees which plays a key role in defending the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow.
8) Organising the 99 percent: building in trade unions and communities
John is Scottish Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and is convenor of the SNP Trade Union Group.
Save the Accord Campaign
Representatives from the Save the Accord Campaign which fought against the closure of a day care centre for people with learning disabilities in the East End of Glasgow. The campaign has been an inspiration to people across the anti-cuts movement in Scotland.
Lilian is the Scottish convenor of the public sector union Unison. She will be speaking specifically on the topic of Unison’s ‘fairer future’ vision of Scotland.
Gregor is a Professor of industrial relations. He is the author and editor of numerous books, and is a regular contributor to The Morning Star, The Guardian’s “Comment is free” website, the Frontline magazine and The Scotsman. He also provides research and consultancy to a number of unions, particularly the Fire Brigades Union, and is a frequent commentator in the media on matters of unions and industrial conflict.
Sarah organises the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network and is heavily involved in anti-cuts and anti-war campaigning in Dundee.
Jack is the Community Organiser for Unite the Union in Scotland. Unite have recently established a community membership initiative to give unemployed workers, students and community campaigners a voice and to connect trade-unions to the communities.
9) The radical intellect: the right to education and the future of work
Ross is a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for the Clydebank and Milngavie Constituency and a founding member of Youth and Students for Independence.
Colm lectures in Geography at Strathclyde University and is active in the University and College Lecturers Union. He specialises in the Geographies of social class and is the author of ‘Places of resistance: Theory, practice and experience’.
Sarah Collins is a member of the STUC Youth Committee and is a trade union activist in Ayrshire UNISON.
Beti is the Equal Opportunities Officer at Edinburgh University Students Association. She has been a leading member of the student movement in Scotland and has organised demonstrations against cuts and fees.
Penny is the President of EIS-FELA, the colleges section of the Education Institute of Scotland. She organised the recent march against FE college cuts in Glasgow.
Youth Fight for Jobs
Youth Fight for Jobs and Education is a campaigning organisation fighting against mass unemployment.
10) Women and Independence: a new paradigm
Ann, a long-term campaigner for independence, has been a key organiser of anti-fuel poverty campaigns. She is an active member of the Clydebank Trades council and in the movement against austerity.
Dr. Lorna J Waite
Writer and researcher, author of The Steel Garden and one of the editors of ‘the forthcoming Rethinking Highland Art: The Visual Significance of Gaelic. She is a Gaelic learner, a peace activist and is involved with the Women for Independence group. She has never belonged to a political party and has been a lifelong supporter of Scottish independence and nuclear disarmament, active in Scottish CND and Trident Ploughshares.
Director of Engender. For more than 20 years Engender has worked to make Scotland a fairer, safer place where women can flourish and contribute to all areas of life with dignity, freedom and justice. We’ve worked at the highest levels of public life, aiming for the stars, on a shoestring budget, with hundreds of committed and hardworking women and men from all walks of life, to increase women’s power and influence, and to support people, organisations, and our government to make equality a reality.
Chloe is president of the Glasgow University Feminist Society.
FINAL PLENARY: Another Scotland is possible 17.00-18.00
This session be based around report backs from the workshops.
Robin McAlpine will also move a ‘Declaration’ that will be distributed at the start of the day. Robin works for the Jimmy Reid Foundation and is the editor of the ‘Scottish Left Review’. He blogged on the 2011 elections for the Scottish Independence Convention.
Jonathon Shafi, an initial signatory to the conference will make a short summation of the conference to bring the event to a close.
Chair: Pete Murray, former NUJ President