Radical Independence Conference launches with sights set on 2nd independence vote 

Conference brings together leading left-wing pro-independence campaigners 

LEADING SOCIALIST CAMPAIGNERS have launched the 2016 Radical Independence Conference with high expectations of a near at hand referendum campaign on independence for Scotland. 

The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) brought together independent, SNP, Scottish Greens, and Scottish Socialist Party figures to campaign for a left-wing, anti-racist, pro-peace Scotland during the first independence campaign. 

The campaign’s conference, attended by around 300 people at the Glasgow Mariott today [Saturday 1 October], heard from some of its leading figures that the Tory re-election and Brexit vote has increased the likelihood of a fresh independence vote. 

Alan Bissett, chair of the opening session, said that what the independence campaign had warned of came to pass: “another Tory majority & Scotland pulled out of the EU against its will has come to pass”.

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie added that the Brexit vote made it “dramatically more likely” than a second referendum will take place “in the near future”, with no clear route or timetable on the UK’s exit. 

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Cat Boyd, one of the campaign’s main public figures, reflected on the campaign’s history - founded, she claimed, in the global context of the Iraq War and the banking crisis.

Calling for resistance to both capitalism and the UK, Boyd added: “If we can convince workers to stick 2 fingers up to their bosses we can convince them to stick two fingers up to the British state as well.”

The first session of the conference also looked at wider political issues, including speeches on anti-racism activism Deborah Kayembe and workers rights campaigner Stella Rooney. 

Catalan MP Eulàlia Reguant Cura from the radical CUP party also addressed conference on her country’s progress towards an expected 2017 referendum on independence. 

Picture courtesy of Ryan Smith

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