Socialist Worker

Solidarity's campaign has won a great reception in Scotland

Issue No. 2049

Some 600 people attended a Glasgow Solidarity rally with Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway last week (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Some 600 people attended a Glasgow Solidarity rally with Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway last week (Pic: Duncan Brown)

The Solidarity campaign for Thursday's Scottish parliament elections struck a chord with working class people across the country. Candidates and members report receiving a great response everywhere.

Solidarity stood in the regional lists across Scotland. Solidarity MSPs Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne have fought against New Labour's pro-war and pro-privatisation policies in the Scottish parliament and the communities of Scotland.

Pat Smith headed the Solidarity list in Lothians. She told Socialist Worker, 'Tommy Sheridan and Respect MP George Galloway spoke at a lunchtime meeting in Edinburgh on Wednesday of last week.

'Some 250 people came, with delegations from civil service workers and other workplaces, anti-war activists and the mosque.

'There was a large press conference before the meeting that resulted in a lot of press coverage for Solidarity.

'We have been out on the streets canvassing and leafletting. We have recruited lots of young people to Solidarity – they have been very enthusiastic. We have had a very outward looking and inclusive campaign.

'Solidarity is a real pole of attraction for lots of people looking for something different.'

Class fighter

Solidarity council candidate Denise McLaughlin told Socialist Worker, 'We got a very good reception in the working class towns in Inverclyde. People are disillusioned with New Labour.

'Labour is running scared here because it knows it has lost a lot of support. Our street stalls and meetings have been great. Our most recent meeting in Port Glasgow had 50 people.

'People say things like, 'Tommy Sheridan, he's one of us,' and, 'He's a real class fighter.'

'People are passionate about their local communities – about schools, public services and jobs. They are also passionately opposed to the Trident nuclear weapons replacement and the war. They can see that Solidarity is serious about these issues.

'People know that Solidarity stands up for what it believes in.'

North east regional list candidate Angela McLeman said, 'In Aberdeen the council is trying to sell off 6,000 council homes. Solidarity is the only party campaigning against housing stock transfer.

'People are angry that they've been lied to by New Labour. They come up to us on our stalls and wish us good luck in the election. We've participated in several hustings events and have always been well received.'

Solidarity has won a wide range of support. Jonathan Shafi, a University of Strathclyde student, said, 'Tommy Sheridan has support from students everywhere. Here at Strathclyde 150 students turned out to hear him.

Big boost

'There were 270 at Glasgow university and 300 at Edinburgh university. Tommy's visit gave a big boost to our campaigns against the authorities spying on students, privatisation and war.'

Mohammed Elias, a Glasgow anti-war activist, said, 'Solidarity is the anti-war party and the only party standing up against Islamophobia.'

A Sunvic worker, one of 42 women who have been on strike since 21 March at the Uddington factory in Lanarkshire, is backing Solidarity.

She said, 'Since day one of our strike, Solidarity members have been there supporting us on our picket line. They have been the only party supporting us and we won't forget that when the election comes.'

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