Glaswegians rally for Catalan independence

Demonstrators gathered in Glasgow in support of Catalan self-determination on Monday, 9 October.

The rally began on George Square shortly after five PM and marched through the city centre, until it reached the statue of Dolores Ibarruri by the Clyde.

The demonstration was organised on Facebook by the Radical Independence Campaign, just days after Catalonia held its illegal independence referendum.

‘The Catalan people should have the right to have a referendum,’ said Mathew Dobson, the regional organiser for Socialist Party Scotland. He later addressed the crowd by saying: ‘Drive the Spanish police out of Catalonia!’

Co-founder of Radical Independence Campaign Jonathon Shafi addressed those arriving early on George square, saying that Scotland supports the people of Catalonia in their fight for self-determination.

‘We are here to oppose fascism,’ an activist told the crowd after Mr Shafi gave her the megaphone. She said that protesters in Catalonia ‘are on the frontline of democracy.’

Also members of the SNP, the Scottish Socialist party and Socialist Party Scotland were present at the rally.

‘I’m here in solidarity with workers and young people in Catalonia,’ Mathew Dobson, said who attended the event. He added: ‘I’m a socialist and socialists support self-determination.’

‘They should hold a legal referendum,’ said SNP delegate Duncan Spears.  When asked for his opinion on why the SNP has backed Catalan self-determination he answered: ‘We understand what they’re getting through because we were through [it] in the 2014 referendum. Not as bad as they did, obviously.’

‘The Spanish government have gone about it in completely the wrong way,’ said Laurna Dennet who had joined the solidarity protest. Like other demonstrators she was carrying a Scottish saltire with ‘Yes’ imprinted on it.

The rally went down Hanover Street and Miller Street on their way to the statue of Dolores Ibarruri. Among other things people were chanting ‘alerta, alerta, alerta, antifascista,’ and ‘whose voice, our voice’.

Shortly after Jonathon Shafi’s first speech an unidentified man tried changing the agenda of the rally by shouting anti-Islam slogans. He was heckled at by demonstrators before being stopped from proceeding.

Radical Independence Campaign are not affiliated with any political party and describe themselves as ‘active on issues of social justice, sustainability, democracy, equality and peace.’

By Dimitur Stefanov