Around 300 people gathered in Glasgow last Saturday for a conference on “Voices from Africa, Voices of Resistance”.
Organised by Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees and G8 Alternatives, it saw an excellent day of debate, solidarity networking and proposals for future activity.
A wide range of speakers from Africa spoke about issues that the continent faces. They were joined by MSPs, trade unionists and speakers from Oxfam and the World Development Movement.
Around half of the participants were from Africa, and the average age was also young.
Taiye Fatoki, a young Nigerian activist, was warmly received for his message that Africa had been looted for long enough.
Sessions on Western “humanitarian” military intervention, AIDS and the drug companies, and debt saw serious debate about the role of imperialism today and whether fairer trade was the answer to Africa’s problems.
Perhaps the most inspiring moment was when, Maglore Sanou, an African refugee who was released from Yarl’s Wood detention centre the day before, came to the conference with her baby. She was released from detention after a long campaign.
The conference’s final session on preparing for the G8 summit heard Tommy Sheridan from the Scottish Socialist Party call for action against the “reservoir dogs of capitalism”. He finished to applause when he said, “To really make poverty history we’re going to have to make capitalism history as well.”
For more information on Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees e-mail [email protected] or phone 07870 286 632