‘Grenfell’ fire risk in Scottish schools

This video from Scotland says about itself:

Cairneyhill Primary School Fire Aftermath – Aerial footage 4K

9 December 2017

The scene the day after fire ripped through buildings in Cairneyhill Primary School, Fife, showing the devastation caused.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Scottish school fire – No smoke alarms!

EVERY school in the country must be immediately assessed for fire risk, the EIS teachers union urged, after an investigation found that Cairneyhill Primary School in Scotland, a large section of which burned to the ground last month, did not even have smoke alarms!

After the horror of the fire at Grenfell Tower you would imagine that in the succeeding months – it has now been well over seven months – basic fire safety in schools would have been checked.

At the end of last year, on December 8 hundreds of school pupils were evacuated from Cairneyhill Primary as a fire tore through the school. The alarm was raised around 1pm with more than 200 children escorted out of the playground as the blaze broke out at the school which is on Northbank Road, Dunfermline.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teacher’s union Fife branch has called on Fife Council to immediately review its school fire safety. The EIS has written to education chiefs after an investigation confirmed the building did not have a single smoke alarm fitted.

Following a new revelation that only 72% of Fife’s schools are fitted with smoke detectors, the issue of fire safety in schools has become extremely urgent. EIS Fife spokesman David Farmer said: ‘There is a real need to be looking at this urgently.

‘When it comes to new schools, contractors seem to be putting smoke detectors in as standard. These schools have got the detection equipment, but the older schools haven’t.’


Protecting Scottish coral reefs

This video says about itself:

Protecting Scotland’s Coral Reefs #OurBluePlanet – BBC Earth

13 December 2017

Did you know there’s coral in Scottish waters? Discover how a barren seabed transformed into a vibrant seascape.

How Scottish workers sabotaged Chilean dictator Pinochet

This video says about itself:

NAE PASARAN (2013) – Official Trailer

In a small Scottish town in 1974, factory workers refuse to carry out repairs on warplane engines in an act of solidarity against the violent military coup in Chile. Four years pass then the engines mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night. Forty years later they re-unite to look back on what was gained and what was lost.

Director: Felipe Bustos Sierra Producer: Rebecca Day (SDI Productions) Executive Producers: Sonja Henrici & Noe Mendelle Editor: Anne Milne Animation Director: Frederic Plasman Camera: Julian Schwanitz Sound: Jack Coghill

Highlights: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 DOK Leipzig 2013 – Official Selection and Animadoc Dove Award Nomination Arcipelago 2013 – International Competition The Short Planet – Rome London Short Film Festival 2014 – Official Competition Glasgow Short Film Festival 2014 – Scottish Competition Tribeca Film Festival 2014 – Official Competition

By Felipe Bustos Sierra in Scotland:

The cots who downed Pinochet’s war planes

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Felipe Bustos Sierra tells the extraordinary story of working-class international solidarity that has inspired his documentary Nae Pasaran

I first met Robert Somerville at his Motherwell tower block flat five years ago this month. I had known of the story of the workers at Rolls Royce East Kilbride for decades but found out their names only recently. Robert and his fellow shop stewards led one of the longest and most efficient boycotts against the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, although it has taken five years to find out how much they accomplished.

From 1974 to 1978, they refused to repair and return Avon jet engines from the Chilean air force.

These engines had powered the Hawker Hunter jets that bombed the Moneda Palace in Santiago on September 11 1973 and put an end to the first left-wing democracy in Latin America.

The Chilean military-led coup and the death of President Salvador Allende marked the beginning of 17 years of dictatorship, systematic human rights abuse and press censorship. The National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have estimated that there were around 30,000 victims of human rights abuses in Chile, with 27,255 tortured and 2,279 executed.

Six months after the coup, aero-engine inspector Bob Fulton, nicknamed “Tank commander” for his years as a WWII tank mechanic, noticed the job sheets for the first Chilean engine on his desk. With the help of his colleague Stuart Barrie they alerted anyone working on Chilean engines: “These engines are blacked. We’ll not work on them.”

By the end of the day, eight engines of the Chilean air force were found throughout the factory and work on them stopped.

The works committee, of which Somerville and John Keenan were representatives, backed Bob’s decision which was supported by the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) executive.

No jobs were lost and, after a year of deliberation with the management, the Chilean engines were loosely assembled, put into crates and left to rust in the yard. The longest boycott in the history of Chilean solidarity had begun.

On the August 26 1978 at 2am, two lorries and an iron crane with fake licence plates from an fictional transport company were let into the yard and took away the engines. The workers were told soon after that the engines were back in Chile and already in service. It was the last they heard about the matter, with little indication as to whether they’d had any impact.

The “blacking of Chilean engines by Scottish workers” had become one of the old myths of the Chile solidarity movement shared at solidarity events throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, well beyond the time of the engines’ disappearance.

Robert, John, Bob and Stuart have told me this story in their own words, from their own — at times, very different — memories over the last five years.

At the end of our initial meetings, they each had the same question, “Do you think we can still find the engines?”

For the last five years, I have researched and filmed in Britain and Chile a documentary called Nae Pasaran (They Shall Not Pass) — an investigation into the true impact of the boycott.

The film, for the first time, includes interviews with Chileans who crossed paths with the engines, for better or worse, and provides painstakingly documented evidence that the boycott was a triumph kept hidden by the Pinochet propaganda machine.

Based on our research, the Chilean ambassador bestowed, in 2015, on three of the workers the highest honour given to foreigners by the government of Chile. The Scottish pensioners became Commanders of the Republic of Chile.

Finally, earlier this year, we discovered the lost engines in Chile and managed to bring one back to Scotland. It’ll be returned next year to East Kilbride as a monument to the workers’ solidarity.

While we have reached our goals, including hearing the true impact of the boycott straight from the mouth of one of Pinochet’s last surviving generals, our goals have in the end taken us well beyond our financial resources.

We are currently running a fundraising campaign to allow us to complete the documentary.

It concludes on December 20 2017. We would be grateful for any contribution made.

Felipe Bustos Sierra is a Chilean filmmaker, born in exile in Belgium and now living in Scotland. To donate visit www.naepasaran.com.

‘Grenfell’ flammable cladding in Scotland

London Grenfell Tower inferno survivors and local residents lobby a meeting of the Kensington and Chelsea council demanding it resigns

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 6 October 2017


HUNDREDS of residents have received letters confirming Glasgow tower blocks have the very same combustible cladding that rapidly spread the fire in the Grenfell inferno, which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children.

Glasgow has the highest population of tower blocks in the UK, with an estimated 96 high rises due to be refurbished. Initially Glasgow City Council said that there was combustible cladding found on 57 private high rise buildings. Last month the authority said further investigations had reduced that total to 19.

Now Glasgow City Council has written to residents of three separate buildings within Glasgow Western Harbour warning them that the buildings in which they are living contain the same combustible cladding as the Grenfell Tower.

The Grenfell Tower fire occurred on 14th June, meaning that for the past three and a half months these residents have been unknowingly residing in potential fire traps. The flammable cladding: Aluminium Composite Material, known as ACM has been banned in Dubai while Australia is considering a ban on its import today.

SNP council leader Susan Aitken has apologised for not telling homeowners and tenants sooner. This, however, will come as cold comfort to those residents whose lives and the lives of their families have been put in to such serious danger.

The letters state that the developer of their properties has ‘verified that limited ACM is present on the building.’ Dated October 1st it tells residents that they should ‘seek specialist fire safety advice’.

Glasgow residents are already living in fear after reporting regular fires in their own tower blocks.

Almost every resident of Glasgow tower blocks interviewed by Scottish local paper the Sunday Herald said there had been fires in their high rises.

Earlier in the year, a tower block at 30 Kingsway in Glasgow caught alight. It is still blackened by smoke — the damage stretching up eight or more floors. One resident, who lives with her mother on the 18th floor said she could smell smoke and then spotted the fire out of the window.

She remained indoors, was not evacuated and the fire was put out but she was left shaken and in fear of her life. She said: ‘What happened in London is a disgrace. I keep thinking about those babies and wee ones. I’m left terrified and so is my mum. I want out but they won’t rehouse me.’