Ian Sutherland 1944-2016

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Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 12 2018 11:58
Ian Sutherland 1944-2016

Just learned from an old comrade of mine in the old Anarchist Workers Association the belated news that Ian Sutherland has died back in 2016. He was active in the Aberdeen anarchist movement in the 1960s including the Aberdeen Anarchist Group (1968-1972) and wrote for papers like Freedom to which he contributed a fair number of articles and letters under the name of Ian S. Sutherland. ( I still remember the in-depth article he wrote on the Scottish writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon), In the 1970s he joined the Anarchist Workers Association and wrote articles in its paper Anarchist Worker. As the person who passed on the news to me commented "For all his faults he was my lead into anarchism".
Some excerpts from a obiituary below
"Ian Sutherland was an enthusiastic and supportive member of the Institute of Journalists, often working on behalf of members on trade union issues ...A life-changing stroke in 1999 ended Ian’s career as publisher, journalist and photographer, together with his staff position as the Scottish press relations officer at Glasgow-based Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association. His published titles include In Custody, They Belonged to Glasgow and The Bevvy.

Ian Sutherland entered the world of freelance photo journalism, based in Glasgow, in the early 1980s, and had considerable success covering issues such as the miner’s strike for publications such as New Society, becoming for a time their Scottish correspondent. In all, he contributed to more than 150 newspaper and magazines over the years.

His love of Scotland, its archaeology, history, and pressing social issues of the day, were the bedrock of a large body of work, including freelance features written for UK and Scottish newspapers, including the Glasgow Herald, Aberdeen Press and Journal, and the worldwide Scots Magazine.

He was therefore proud when elected to become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was pleased to know that many of his Scots Magazine articles on the Granite City are still available to students online from Aberdeen Library, and his Glasgow social-history articles are featured on the Herald’s educational CDs in Glasgow’s Mitchell Library."
An interview he did with John Taylor Caldwell in 1989 below:

Auld-bod's picture
Joined: 9-07-11
Nov 13 2018 10:05

I was sorry to hear about the death of Ian Sutherland. I did not know him well and learned of him by witnessing and learning of his activities. He was four years older, and as two teenagers this made a social difference. (For example, I’d shoot off to catch my bus when most of the peaceniks adjourned to the pub across the street.)

I first met him back in 1963/4, up in the old Glasgow ILP meeting rooms at 48 Dundas Street. Like many young anarchists he was very active in the YCND. He was a good propagandist promoting anti-militarism and anarchism. I vividly remember him sitting crossed legged on one of the large wooden tables surrounded by comrades in animated discussion. I understand he and several others were warned off by the special branch due to the minor, though persistent sabotage of military stuff.

He was an east coaster, and as a youth had worked on landing the fish. My memory is vague on details, though there was a tale of the high jinks of the fisher lassies regarding young lads new on the quays.

Not long after I met him he returned to Aberdeen and set about building a YCND group from scratch. He’d noticed that all the trendy mod youths were wearing ban-the-bomb badges, so he spent his time walking all over the town accosting these folk and asking them to attend meetings he’d organise. This was very successful and Aberdeen quickly became the largest and most active YCND group in Scotland. They produced the magazine ‘Megaton’, which ran for several issues and was popular locally and in Glasgow. Sometime later the large group splintered into two anarchist groups and a solidarity group (or it may have been the other way round).

I lost touch with his activities though every now and then I’d read something he’d written. It was in the mid-1970s, when he’d come down for a demo against the National Front, that I last saw him with his camera in hand. He appeared to be a calmer and happier person. The Ian I knew was a selfless person, perhaps too serious for his own good. I wish him rest in peace.

Edited a little to make the post a wee bit more coherent.

Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 13 2018 11:38

Blog mention of Megaton here: the IS mentioned several times is of course Ian Sutherland
This gives info on Aberdeen anarchism in the 1960s: