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Glasgow against NATO!

by Konrad Rekas

“We have been asked here if we have any permission to demonstrate on the Glasgow Green. I have replied: We, the representatives of the working-class parties, the true heirs of the Red Clyde, we have the historic and permanent right to express our views right here, with no additional legalisation!” This is how George Galloway, the leader of No2NATO and the Workers Party of Britain, opened the rally launching the No2NATO Scotland.
    Comrades and friends joined over a hundred anti-war campaigners at the Glasgow rally. The hidden hand had done its best to stop it.
    “As previously with the London conference, the organisers had been refused of any venue they had tried to book for a meeting. Threats and intimidation have been mixed with surrealistic demands of ‘anti-terrorist requirements’ or impossible amounts of insurance. This is yet another attack on our freedom of speech, on the freedom of those who want to discuss the danger facing our country from an expansion of the terrible consequences of a war with Russia,” Colin Buchanan from the Glasgow Against NATO Action Committee told the crowd.
    In these circumstances, instead of a conference, an over two-hour rally was held in the Free Speech zone, where the militant socialist John Maclean organised his first anti-war protest in 1914. Three years later the workers of Glasgow marched to the Glasgow Green to express their opposition to the imperialist, capitalist war and to show support for the revolution in Russia.
    The leader of the No2NATO campaign raised also some fundamental issues showing the global and systemic context of the war in Ukraine.
    “Our meeting here confirms one obvious fact: NATO has no friends in Glasgow!” George Galloway emphasised. “Of course, there is a group of people misled by the false ‘nobility of the Ukrainian cause’. Others are driven by a blind hatred of Russia, the same as once held against the Soviet Union. Most, however, are simply misled, deceived about the true course of events in Ukraine, the history of the current conflict, and especially its most drastic, concealed moments, such as the fact that in 2014 there was a coup d’├ętat in Kiev; that the legally elected, democratic president was overthrown; that parliament was terrorised by armed neo-Nazi groups to introduce the law denying 40 per cent of Ukraine’s population the right to use their own native Russian language. Hardly anyone knows that any peace attempts, like the Minsk Agreements, constituting a compromise, guaranteeing the rights of ethnic minorities, were from the beginning treated as an extortion of time needed for armaments and preparation of further war, in which openly Nazi battalions such as the infamous AZOV are fighting on the side of Kiev. Their activity is part of the long tradition of Nazism in Ukraine, known from the mass genocide committed during World War II by the Ukrainian Nazis against the Polish and Jewish minorities, and against Ukrainian anti-fascists.
    “These are all historical facts that you won’t get from the BBC or from politicians of any of the major parties,” George Galloway said.
    No2NATO is the initiative of George Galloway's Workers Party and expelled Labour MP Chris Williamson’s Socialist Labour Party. It was launched at the Bolivar Hall in London in February to challenge the domination of NATO in British and global politics and call for an end to sending billions in arms to the Zelensky regime in Ukraine.

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