Group demands dissent memorial
Wednesday 07 August 2013
Scots who stood against the first world war deserve a public monument, campaigners have told Glasgow City Council.
Councillors are to consider planning permission for a commemorative plaque following a plea from a body of anti-war activists, feminists, socialists and trade unionists.
Jimmy Reid Foundation board member Isobel Lindsay said their fledgling “Alternative World War One Commemoration Committee” had formed over concerns about the glorification of war in the run-up to the centenary of the commencement of the first world war next year.
The conflict saw more than 37 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years.
Opposing the war had taken “great integrity and courage,” with many dissenters attacked or jailed and sentenced to hard labour.
But no monument to them yet exists anywhere in Scotland, though approval is currently awaited for a statue of dissenter Mary Barbour for her role in the 1915 rent strikes.
“Some of the finest people in Scotland in this period, and particularly in Glasgow, opposed the war,” said Ms Lindsay.
“If they had been listened to, one of the darkest periods in Scottish and British history could have been avoided.
“That there is nothing to mark their courage in public space in Scotland is a disgrace.
“They must be written back into history.”
The open letter to the council describing Glasgow’s “special significance” in the anti-war movement included signatories from the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, historians Helen Kay, Neil Davidson and Chrisopher Harvie and Jackson Cullinane (Unite), the Unite and GMB unions and the Scottish Left Review.
The city, then known as part of the Red Clydeside movement for its radical feminist and socialist politics, famously saw wartime prime minister Lloyd George reject an invitation to visit the city in 1916 for fear of sparking an insurrection.
See also here.
- Scots couple celebrate 70th wedding anniversary with the cake wartime rations forced them to miss (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Impact on Scotland was distinctive, diverse and still shapes our political debate – Herald Scotland (heraldscotland.com)
- Revealed: Scot who played Brad Pitt’s body double in World War Z earned just over £4 AN HOUR for movie role (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Day 18: Emigration, Homemade Khaki, and a Farewell Dinner (scotlandsoliloquy.wordpress.com)
- MAD SCOTLAND HURT YOU INTO SONG: The Poetics of a Stateless Nation (thegrb.wordpress.com)