This journal contains a handful of articles reflecting on and analysing the state of the Peace Movement in Scotland in the mid-1960s.
by GEORGE WILLIAMSON, former secretary of Scottish Committee of 100
The Scottish Peace movement has been stricken by the malaise which is choking the movement elsewhere in Britain. What is left of it is caught in a straight-jacket held tight by Labour Party respectables, peaceful do-gooders and the Communist Party. Militants have left the movement in great numbers, having no wish to resolution monger at dreary Labour Party and Trade Union meetings or canvass Glasgow slums, where unemployment, overcrowding and leaking water closets
are the issues not the bomb or Vietnam. The CND with its ultra-respectable elements, most of whom have an utter contempt for radical direct action, presented an 'independent presence' at the 1964 election. It was so independent hardly anyone noticed it. They paid a bloke £15 to do this and the result was a few lines in the press appealing to the candidates to remember the poor wee CND and what it stood for. The same bloke told us that the issues weren't whether the Labour government would appoint themselves to posts in the RSG 'secret' shelters, but whether we could get Harry to come a little way to seeing our point of view. Having been presented they then urged everyone to vote Labour, claiming that Wilson was really one of them. Two months later Wilson said that Polaris would stay in the Holy Loch. At the 1966 election CND didn't even pretend to be presented, they just voted Labour knowing that Harold fully supports the US in Vietnam. The Labour Party is a fetish
with these people and they are unable to erase it from their minds. The Scottish Committee of 100 no longer exists. The activists and organisers of its early days have long since baled out. The younger militants have gone off, formed themselves into various groups, popping up under different names and keeping the police busy, running riot breaking into civil defence HQs and smashing up army and navy recruitment offices.
The communists are always ready to take part in respectable demonstrations,provided they are directed against the 'correct' bomb and wont get into trouble and tarnish the image they are trying to
create. (We are fighting elections, you know!) On the occasions that suit them they spring into action and like a chameleon changing its colours they cast aside their rod flags and line up behind the
blue banner of the Peace Committee. C.P. becomes P.C. mixed in this pottage, and of course giving it their blessing, are several ministers. Like the English, we also have' our problems caused by our priests.
The present state of the movement is in the main the result of it never having been able to get out of the 'grip of the social democrats, who are completely immersed in traditional politics. All they can do is appeal to 'top people' to solve problems by sending petitions and resolutions to' Prime ministers, politicians and TUC bureaucrats, naively believing that these supporters of the status-quo, who need the bomb to keep their power, actually bother; and worse still without rea1ising that is the same 'top people' who cause the problems in the first place.
IN THE BEGINNING
The Scottish Peace movement sprang to life with the arrival of the US Polaris in the Holy Loch. Great was the resolution passing among high and low in the Labour Party from city councillors to sundry
rank-and-file. Trade Union leaders made great speeches condemning the Tories for letting the Americans come. The STUC passed resolutions and manipulated block votes of the members, who were so concerned that they kept on going to the football and enjoying themselves on the booze. Great gatherings went to the loch and with the Communist Party leading shouted, OUT! OUT! OUT!' But the boat remained. The government replied by siting another Polaris base at Faslane. So the STUC passed more resolutions condemning this action, but at the same time, George Middleton, the secretary, went to London and pleaded for 'the Scottish unemployed to be allowed to build the British Polaris. The labour Provost of Dumbarton, who sat down at the Holy loch, said that he hated Polaris but if it had to be built in Britain it might as well be built on the Clyde. The bad government didn't give them Polaris to build but they gave them another Polaris base at Rosyth. So the STUC passed more condemning resolutions; and then the government drove the last nail home and laid the keel of the first British Polaris Submarine at Barrow and called it HMS RESOLUTION, meanwhile Labour CNDers urged members to pass more resolutions, sign petitions and work in the unions so that they could manipulate block votes to pass even more resolutions and then the government could give Scotland another Polaris base.
In the early days the Anti-Polaris Co-ordinating Committee was set up. This suited the communists, since all the protests were directed at the Americans at the Holy loch. Until one day, the committee
decided to hold a demonstration when Soldatov, the Soviet ambassador, was in Glasgow. So the C.P. walked out. After that they only came on demos which suited them, but often went for a jaunt on their own to the loch for an 'OUT! OUT! OUT!'session. On one occasion the Scots Against War pamphlet 'How to Disrupt and Subvert the Warfare State'.(East and West) appeared and they did their nut. This combined with the threatened sit-down made them wet themselves. 'We have promised the police there will be no trouble.' The CP came in on the march from the Holy Loch in February 1962. They wanted this march to end in a meeting of the 'traditional working-class type' in a hall where we could clap speeches of the 'traditional working-class type', which we had heard a hundred times before from Labour MPs and union hacks. 'Vote Labour! A united front with the CP for peace! Work with inside the unions!' The Committee of 100 refused to do this and declared their intention of marching on to George Square and hold public assembly, with those who wanted to
speak doing so. The police refused them the use of the square, but on the day of the march,which was now the FREE SPEECH demo, they walked on to a packed square, while the communists (who had capitulated over the indoor meeting) and CND walked up a side street and talked to themselves. So much for the revolutionaries!
The only time the CP came on a sit-down en masse was when the organisers persuaded the Scottish secretary. He gave the order and the sheep obeyed. But they didn't get rid of the Americans, so they went back to their old mouldy ways.
CND groups tend to worry too much about balancing their books. Is this their Labour Party training coming in handy? After their accounts, press statements for the editors' waste paper basket are a popular choice. Demos are out and apart from Glasgow little leafleting is done. Tolerance of YCND is as far as most groups go, unless YCND is prepared to do what they tell them. (Scotland's healthiest ever YCND groups; GLASGOW 64-65 and ABERDEEN 65-66 have acted independently of the adults.)
Entrenched cliques of Labourites control what is left of CND, but their membership has long deserted them. Some have gone off to 'better times' with the Labour Party. Others left because they reject their Labour Party neurosis.
INDUSTRIAL ACTION FIASCO
Glasgow CND once held an INDUSTRIAL ACTION WEEK that never was. The workers in the factories and shipyards were to be told 'how' to go out and work for the abolition of the British bomb. The fiasco was preceded by a meeting, two well-known rank-and-file militants, Bro. Kitson of the then Scottish Horse and Motormens Union and Bro. Horner of the Fire Brigades union and national CND fame, told the 'laymen' in CND how to operate in industry. There were about 50
people at the meeting of every left hue. K and H told us that the 'real' work was to be done inside union branches passing resolutions and getting other CNDers into other branches passing resolutions there, 'and eventually getting the resolutions passed at national level. From there they could be taken as block votes to Labour Party conferences and manipulated in our favour and if we were lucky they would not be ignored by people like Gaitskell. The ordinary members of the union, who don't go near the dreary branch meetings, were to be left unaware of the fact that their votes were being used for something which the majority of them opposed. When it was suggested from the floor that we by-pass the resolution rubbish and go straight to the workers with our propaganda and ask them to take action, such as striking against and blacking nuclear work, Horner and Kitson told us we were going over the heads of the men's so called representatives – the TU officials. The reason being that H and K saw such moves usurping their bureaucratic power as officials, putting their jobs in jeopardy, whenever, whenever their members began taking action, which they opposed, and even worse, without their consent.
At question time we were treated to long harangues from the various factions on their 'royal' road to socialism. All agreed on the need to 'work inside', 'take over and use' the Trade Unions' rusty apparatus. Everyone was united on the issue that the rank-and-file could be ignored, or at the most asked to go and pass harmless resolutions at the branch meeting. CND had 50,000 leaflets which said sweet FA. No mention of revolutionary action such as strikes and blacking. Volunteers were asked to give them out. A few came forward. Most of their respectable members didn't fancy getting their clothes dirty on the city's industrial wastes. In the end they were left with 30,000. A blessing?
Committee of 100 members offered to speak at the factory gate meetings, since CND could get few speakers from their own ranks. NCD reluctantly agreed, but told them to be careful what they said. On turning up for several meetings committee speakers found no CND, no platform and no audience. So the week came and went and the 'message' to the Glasgow workers went unheeded as they went off to the terracing at Ibrox and Parkhead.
One of the problem priests is the Rev. Clyne Middleton of the rather posh Edinburgh CND, who has steered 'his' group along the paths of Edinburgh respectability. On hearing that the Committee of 100 were to march through Edinburgh to the RSG, the week after the SPIES FOR PEACE revelations, he told the press 'his' CND were not taking part. This prompted an editorial in the press, saying that they were pleased that their city CND were not going to march with the motley Glasgow subversives, who were coming to wave their obnoxious Spies for Peace pamphlet in the hallowed streets of the capital. And on a Presbyterian Sunday, if you please. The committee secretary replied that it was up to CND members to decide individually if they would march. On the Sunday about 300 supporters of Edinburgh CND joined other Scottish subversives at the Mound. CND officials were their telling them to go to an indoor meeting. They were rightly snubbed by those who preferred more exciting things to Sunday table talk.
At the 1964 May Day rally demonstrators gave Anthony Greenwood a real hackling amid shouts from CND Labourites to shut up and give a fellow? ban-the-bomber a fair hearing. A hearing meant letting him tell us to vote Labour. Some people tried to wreck the meeting with a walkout. Those who supported Greenwood know what Wilson said when asked what his colonial secretary would say to the decision to keep the Holy Loch base. 'Mr. Greenwood always agrees with me.' For him, like Frank Cousins; the Aldermaston marcher who is now in charge of Aldermaston, a sell-out of CND for a cabinet post and perhaps a place in a shelter are well worth it. At subsequent May Day rallies CND Labourites have defended 'right' and 'left' Labour speakers from anti-nuclear demonstrators.
Militants wishing to revive the movement have learned from their past experience and must realise that it has to be based on a membership working outside the traditional 'legal' methods and free of the suffocating grip of those respectables who abhor revolutionary action. Appeals for industrial action must be made direct to workers 2nd not to union officials. Break-ins at civil defence and military establishments and firms building bases will continue, in the quest for secrets being hidden from the public. Leafleting of troops with anti-war, seditious literature will continue. Setting up anti-war cells in the forces is being tried. Sabotage is continuing despite the criss of the Holy Willies. Actions at bases,taking such a toll of militants, must be suspended and only revived if numbers are large enough to ensure a chance of success. Support for the militant SCUTS AGAINST WAR is growing. Most important; the attack on the bomb and the military must be part of the larqer offensive of ordinary workers against the whole powerhouse of our capitalist bureaucracy.
SCOTS AGAINST WAR
by JOHN THOMSON, former member of Scottish Committee of 100
'WHO ARE WE?' That was the start of a leaflet distributed by the anonymous
SCOTS AGAINST WAR (SAW). The Daily Mail, after 1965 May Day really, described them as an extreme left-wing group! Who are they; and what are they trying to say?
This is an attempt to analyse the message behind the SAW leaflets and actions in order that they may be understood by more people.
In may 1962, a report appeared in the press about a leaflet headed, 'HOW TO OBSTRUCT, SUBVERT AND DISRUPT THE WARFARE STATE.', distributed during a Peace Committee jaunt at the Holy Loch, which caused a stir not only among the security, but among the 'protesters' as well. This leaflet not only suggested subversion but made stinging attacks on the hypocrisy of the Communist Party cum Peace Committee, the STUC and the bureaucracy which controls CND. (The leaflet was an 'edited Scottish version of a previous pamphlet by members of the London Committee of 100 called BEYOND COUNTING ARSES). Most Sundays featured the message on the leaflet; 'Sedition says Home Office. We take the gravest view of the distribution of such literature.'To endorse their own hypocrisy, CND and the Communists stated that they would not incite people 'to such subversive activities. What were the activities'? The general line in the People, Sunday Mirror, Times, Citizen and Scotsman was that it was the most blatant defiance of authority ever made by the nuclear disarmament movement and amount to open revolt. (But it takes second place to the SPIES for PEACE disclosures). The Press quoted, Stop obeying! Be disobedient! We call on you to resist the Warfare state!'
It urged people to sabotage the Polaris subs in Britain, to search for Official Secrets and publish them and to get soldiers to set up antiwar cells in the forces. It went on, 'The work on the polaris base at Faslane must be blocked, by trade unionists refusing to work on it and by outsiders obstructing workmen who try to build it: On Sunday, may 26, e day of the reports, five members of the Scottish Committee of 100, Norman McLeod, Walter Morrison, Archie Smith, Walter Weir and George Williamson, were arrested at the War Department Proof and Experimental Establishment near Kirkintilloch, with copies of the leaflet on them. They were charged under the 'Official Secrets Act'. Later, without explanation, all charges were dropped along with similar charges against David Todd and Sandy Small who broke into the place three weeks later.
Later that year at a national Committee of 100 meeting in Glasgow, the hierarchy and pontificators on the 'correct' road to peace joined in the criticism of SAW. Although many radicals in and out of the Committee were considering new tactics, panic was setting in among many 'leading' figures in both Scottish and other Committees. After seeing the reaction to the 'Troops Against The Bomb' proposals and the opposition to 'BEYOND COUNTING ARSES', there was a feeling that when the chips were down, the militants would be out on their own, while the rest waffled, prattled and condemned. This was very noticeable in Scotland, where the object was to avoid committing civil disobedience (openly or secretly) and eventually to do nothing but condemn youngsters who broke into CD establishments, smashed recruiting offices and who advocated and carried out sabotage. The Committee became a talking shop for sweety wives, about the so-called nonviolent'new society', indulging in fantastic theories about openness, honesty and non-violence (for everyone but themselves) which bore no relation to reality. Naval Security Officers at the Holy Loch admitted
to Walter Morrison that the Committee were easy meat for the trained caretakers of Polaris, that they enjoyed the friendly jousts with them and that the pacifist attitude fitted in with their psychological tactics, which was to reply with pseudo pacifist action to lull the demonstrators into thinking everything was nice and lovey-dovey. However SAW were a different proposition, they said and they were out to get them. This conversation was interesting from another aspect, because it proved that the name SCOTS AGAINST WAR could not have been better from a rank-and~file, autonomous, non-hierarchy viewpoint for the creation of a movement in which any Scot opposed to War could
operate independently. One of the security men asked Walter Morrison if he was a Scot Against War. To this ha replied, "Are you Scottish?" The special said, "Of course!" He then asked, "Are you against war!" The special said, "Yes!" "Then that makes you a Scot Against War too." Exit special flabbergasted!
For a time the Committee was completely non-revolutionary. They were far from happy with the formation of the Spying 'Group which mapped Rosyth Dockyard for the demo. Some complained of having their names on leaflets. Others suggested projects then took no part in them. Collective responsibility was a myth and the openness and honesty rubbish took its toll of willing members. All over 'Scotland people began taking action which was in line with SAW thinking; while the Committee hierarchy condemned.
On the Faslane demonstration of June 1964, a leaflet entitled, 'IS SABOTAGE THE ANSWER?' appeared, which later caused a stir from north to south in Committee circles and put an end to its copyright for inciting civil disobedience. The leaflet had three main ideas. (1) To counter a police tactic of creating an anti-climax, that often effects marchers who see no sign of security. (2) To force the authorities to take costly security measures to protect the whole area from possible sabotage. (3) To create a new spirit and initiative, because the Committee of 100's contribution to Faslane was to blow up balloons and let them off. Someone also suggested that they pick flowers but they did
not go that far. On the final lap of the Faslane march an SAW leaflet called on people to make it an Anti-War Protest and not a pre-election jamboree and incited the people to try and sabotage the site where the training launcher is situated. 'This is a call to action! Regain the initiative gained by the Spies For Peace. Put real pressure on the state and lean on them till, it hurts .... Let us abandon the worship of waffle and negotiations, that are contradicted by the fact that the arms race continues ... A new militant force for peace with a fresh approach which does not, in its desire to be practical and realistic, evade the drastic choice which faces us ... The Revolutionary Act.'
The following week headlines appeared in the Mail and Express, 'Navy Secrets Saved.' The site huts at Faslane had been set on fire. In July of 1964 the 'Who are We ?' leaflet came out during the discussions on sabotage which were raging at Committee meetings and in its magazine 'RESISTANCE'. In this leaflet appeared the statement,'We ,intend to destroy and demolish military equipment.' Six days later the pier at the Holy Loch was burned down. At the same time a new crisis in Vietnam was beginning and a report on the Scottish Radio News announced that SAW had painted and smashed in the doors and windows of the US Consulate. The Citizen carried a picture of the battered consulate. This action and the Holy Loch fire were subject to CID investigations and the Admiralty went to great lengths in the press to allay fears of sabotage. The press were biting for a story and the public contrary to the non-violent image creators, treated the action as a daring bit of work or a joke. Comments like, 'being your head and not your arse now.' were common. In Glasgow US sailors shouted, 'If you cant ban the bomb burn the pier.' The Army and Navy recruiting offices' windows were smashed about ten times and they reported £3000 of damage. The Evening Times reported an officer, 'It appears that someone is trying to put the Royal Navy out of business.' At present the Army office is protected by a strong metal grill, but the Navy have have ventured to take the boarding down.
COMMITTEE OF 100 VERSUS SCOTS AGAINST WAR
Unlike the press the Committee were open and honest in their condemnation of SAW, and later on Stuart Christie. Their desire for 'openness' drove them to mention names of suspects in places, where police snoops Were likely to be, such as Scottish and National Committee meetings. The next tactic was to dismiss SAW as paranoics. (They indulged in amateur psychology at Committee meetings). The following is the Scottish Regional report to the National Committee meeting in Birmingham in 1964. 'We recently have had quite a bit of trouble, between Stuart Christie, Scots Against War and saboteurs, etc ... It may interest the National Committee to know that the so-called Scots Against War movement has already folded up. Firstly the Committee's constant stand against sabotage weakened them. Next the secret police etc. put the fear of death in the so-called saboteurs, (1) BY FOLLOWING THEM.(2) BY CATCHING THEM ON VARIOUS POINTS AND GIVING THEM A THOROUGH GRILLING. (3) ADVISING THEM THAT THEY KNEW ALL ABOUT THEIR SO CALLED SECRETS. The result has been, that all those commenting about sabotage have been more or less frightened to death. I think we have heard the last of these for a while.' The moral Seems to be, Three cheers for the police state! We still have our bomb! The Committee hierarchy were able to sleep safely in their beds. Reports like that made one wonder whose side the Committee was on, and, that if Polaris were 'banned' by any means other than their own they would be annoyed.
NO STOPPING THEM
Far from being folded up, SAW' is sti11 responsible for a steady flow of militant literature and commits regular sabotage. But the "Committee of 100 has officially rapped up in Scotland. It was SAW which initiated the 1965 against Brown, which incidentally the Committee withdrew from.
During 1964-65-66 lots of people have taken up the SAW call. Rosyth Dockyard was broken into twice in 1964. At the same time the 'secret' Nato Communications shelter at Pitreavie was 'paid a visit'. That year drawings for the bunkers at Glen Douglas were taken from a site office, Civil Defence establishments were also raided and documents taken. An "army office 'lost' its Scottish Command telephone numbers. In March 1965 Faslane was raided; numerous levels for the new road were uprooted and a lorry and compressor for a silo were damaged.
At the end of 1965 Royal Observer Corps post near Aberdeen was blown up. Near Aberdeen a Civil Defence lorry was set alight. In January, 1966 the North East Civil Defence HQ at Portlethen near Aberdeen was broken into and wrecked. In May an explosion blew of the doors of Glasgow Civil Defence HQ in Woodlands Crescent. In June the roof of the CD training house was burned down. In Perth an army lorry was set on fire.
Easter 1965 saw another SAW pamphlet. This time with a detailed explanation of their tactics and attitudes. Entitled 'ATTITUDE' it said '… It is therefore our contention that one way to put paid to these dangerous and wasteful projects … is their high cost. We would like to think that out activities at Faslane, contributed in a very, very, small way to the cost of the original estimate which has now doubled. For when people in high places ask the cost, they are bothered. IF they go on to ask; is it worth it? Then we have a chance of winning!' They go on to suggest new tactics; psychological warfare against the authorities, localised guerilla groups; to save the Peace Movement from being lumped with the nauseating image of conventional politics.
Their follow up leaflet to MAY DAY DO made a welcome attack on the 'socialism' of the Labour Party and Trade Union Movement. It verified the fact that the group were putting their anti-war opposition into the middle of the whole political scene. 'We want better and we should be prepared to take it.', are words never heard among the union bureaucrats.
Other valuable leaflets published by SAW people in the north-east have not been mentioned. 'Their Lives in Your Hands' and 'East Coast Secrets' caused a stir in their localities because of the wholesale burglary involved in getting the information from Civil Defence offices.
It had to happen! The most recent SAW leaflet proved that they had got to the end of the road. 'Tackle the United States Military Machine Here in Britain Now!' was open incitement to the movement to 'do in' the American sailors from the Holy Loch. This has caused the biggest stir yet. It means the group is moving into its most dangerous phase and the pressure is now on the authorities to be ready to move should any American sailor be 'worked over'. Time will tell, if people heed this call. The fact that they have called on the Glasgow gangs to help them 'get' the sailors has got many members of the Peace Movement worried.
What are the possibilities of the SCOTS AGAINST WAR? Some of their recent pamphlets are a welcome departure from purely anti-war theme, into the important world of the labour movement and the industrial struggle. They have a revolutionary zeal which is sadly lacking in those groups which would have us believe they are revolutionaries. Being an anonymous group they obviously don't want power for themselves nor do they want to lead an offensive on the warfare state, but rather to help create the conditions for an autonomous rank-and-file movement to actively oppose the bosses and their bomb. This they realise, can only be done by actively assisting workers in the struggle against their bosses: THE ANTI-WAR STRUGGLE CANNOT GE DIVORCED FROM THIS GREATER STRUGGLE. Unlike the old Committee of 100 hierarchy, they are in touch with reality; being far divorced from the 'kiss the police-pick flowers at Faslane' outlook. The Committee, in its latter days, with its aloof Band of Hope, anti-hard drinking attitude did not come to the pubs where 90% of Militant actions were plotted. Perhaps that is why the Committee does not exist while SAW carries on.
Although honesty and openness may be desirable virtues, they invite consequences, few but the bravest (or perhaps the masochists) are prepared to face. From the previously quoted Committee statement, it seems that here in Scotland is a group of people, who are so committed
to non-violence, that they are prepared to go to their death rather than support sabotage!!!!!!!!!
By Three Second World War VOLUNTEERS
Having read the account of the Committee of 100 discussion on sabotage, we find it extremely hard to accept this latest 'table talk', although we can applaud some people on their stand for nonviolence against sabotage. In our opinion it is sadly out of touch with the man in the street. We haven't yet sold the idea of PEACE. Pacifist propagandists often make the mistake bf assuming that the idea of peace is attractive to the public. People only value peace in time of war. Danqer is still attractive. Safety first has never been the slogan of the young. Glasgow has had six gang killings in a year and still the kids are at it.
Was the Committee of 100 not formed in an 'Act or Perish' emergency? Was it not for expediency that this was done? The same expediency that they now accuse saboteurs of! Is the Committee going to proceed as if they have unlimited time to convert everyone to the cult of non-violence. Surely, if this is to be the new dogma, there are plenty of organisations more suited to this task than the Committee. Pacifism and ultra non-violence are permanent philosophies; war resistance is an immediate policy. Pacifists will usually resist war, but the vast majority of war resisters are anything but pacifists.
It is very easy to sit back and theoretically build mass movements based on non-violence, and as an excuse for inaction, pick holes in other ideas as has been done with sabotage. To say, that it is an
illusion for the adherents of sabotage to think that they can in any way change US policy in Vietnam, and that sabotage is the tactic of the frustrated, is rich indeed coming from people whose main tactic has been to sit down ~n the street and at bases. (Which We have done ourselves) Non-violence is nothing if it is not active and its power demonstrated to the public at large. Twenty people sitting outside' the House of Commons shows how strongly they feel about Vietnam. But do they think it will change US or British policy. Non-violence has its weaknesses too. Thousands of us are no longer willing to take part in the actions. Sabotage is not a military idea, but a working class method of protest; originally used by men against machines which threatened their livelihood. It should be appreciated that the progress made by the working class in their own defence in industry, has been achieved by so-called 'negative' action, (e.g. strikes, go-slows, opposition to technological change) rather than a 'positive' policy.
How much better it will be , if workers can combine sabotage of the managements' plans with a move forward to effective workers control of the job. Sabotage should be seen in this way, i.e., as a pre-requirement to building a new order on the ruins of the old. Demolition must come before Construction.
'How far are you prepared to go in your use of non-violence as a force against war preparations?' Do you understand the full implications (death) of non-violence and if so, are you prepare~ to go to this point to achieve the utopian non-violent society? (Bearing in mind that ~ wont be participating in this 'new society'.) Some of the writers served a number of years in India with the internal security, during the so-called non-violent struggle for independence. There are a number of people in the peace movement who fool themselves into believing that this was solely a non-violent campaign. Sabotage was widespread. Trains were derailed. Communications between Delhi Cantonment and the Red Fort in Old Delhi. Dangerous obstacles were put in our paths during demonstrations. One of us was beaten up by 'non-violent' Indians in Secundarabad. Demonstrations were much more provocative than anything we have attempted in Britain. The whole campaign threatened mass violence and we soldiers had no illusions about non-violence. It seemed to us that this was an ideal way to struggle against oppression with its delicate balance between non-violence and limited violence.
What is needed is a movement which learns to understand the full implications of can-violence and violence and what it means to the bulk of the people; bearing in mind that not everyone who objects to mass murder can afford to sit down or be a saboteur. We cant afford to separate ourselves into good and bad war resisters by hoping the politics will deal effectively with saboteurs, threatening to 'shop them to the authorities' and deserting Stuart Christie because he was not a non-violent protester. Neither should they say sabotage suspects names in open company which could include police spies, simply because they have a 'thing' about openness and honesty. Remembers it's on these peoples behalf, not your own, that you're being 'honest and open'. Don't impose your own codes on others. Would you give the names of Jews to the Gestapo. The 'unco guid' should consider this.
It has been the practice for some apprentices to throw pieces of metal into the radar systems of destroyers being built in Fairfield's yard; people have mocked the Army shows on Glasgow Green and large numbers of unattached youngsters turned up at Lewis's store to throw stink bombs at the army. This may not be the perfect action for building a non-violent image, but it is much more in touch with the way ordinary working class feel and it is the way they want to act. When working people poke fun at militarists, sabotage their expensive equipment and ruin their recruitment campaigns then real energy is being channelled against the Welfare State. People will show their disapproval of a policy in a thousand ways. It is not for non-violent types to condemn them if they don't operate in a way acceptable to them. The creators of constructive conflict against our rulers, can achieve a great deal by stirring up the shit, treading on a few toes, and thus trying to involve people in the struggle at all levels, non-violently or otherwise.
SPYING FOR PEACE
By Alan Parker former Convenor of the Scottish committee of 100
This article first appeared in RESISTANCE Vol 12. No 4.
A long term objective in publishing 'Official Secrets' is to help solve the crucial problem of inspection should there be general disarmament. It should also act as encouragement to people under the heel of the 'enemy' government to do likewise with their government's secrets.
A determined people with the interacts of humanity at heart can expose any government's -Secret" plans during the general process of disarmament. Every disarmament conference will fail because governments know that other governments will hide or produce weapons and then maybe make war when others are disarmed. This therefore could be a libertarian solution to the problem of Disarmament.
Our short term objective is to make the public aware of the large number of tactics; bases, communications HQ and large underground shelters, and to make their exact whereabouts known to people living in the vicinity, by leafleting with detailed maps and holding demonstrations beside them. The Establishment seeks to persuade the public that war is impossible (Which is what the public wants to believe), while ensuring its own survival in a network of fall-out shelters. War will be seen as a very real possibility if we make people aware of the V.I.P.s' preparations to survive the “impossible” war. This awareness could destroy any feeling of solidarity with the Establishment which might exist and destroy this unfortunate faith which the public has in governments and their nuclear policies. The effectiveness of these hideouts in the I post-attack environment' may depend on their location being kept secret. To reveal their location is an effective method of sabotaging the government's war plans. The main problem is to sift secrets from the glut of inadequate information available. For obvious reasons we must not publish inaccurate information and we must have a detailed report on the establishments we intend to expose. Some people have acquired considerable skill and experience in these matters, while others, cannot tell the difference between an electrical sub-station and an RSG. Another consideration is that people who write or print the information may be liable, if caught, to prison sentences. If you have information, do not send it by post or telephone, but deliver it in person to someone known to be trustworthy.
1. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN Whenever you travel by bus, rail or thumbing watch out for security fencing, police dog notices, radio and radar masts, concrete blockhouses, new building constructions involving heavy earth-moving machinery, and military and Civil Defence equipment and personnel.
2. KEEP YOUR EARS OPEN You will meet members of the Forces, Civil Defence, local-workers on military contracts, who will often drop snippets of information if approached in the correct manner. Hitch-hiking is very profitable in this regard
3. KNOW YOUR OWN DISTRICT Buy a 2½" to the mile Ordnance Survey map and mark out Local Authority boundaries and see if you can locate the local fall-out shelter. Check your map to ensure that nothing that actually exists is not shown on it. The reason for this is that Ordnance Survey is a military department and all top security installations are usually omitted. So if you see a big country house or a block-house surrounded by police notices, and it is not shown on the map you may be on to something worth investigating. The same logic will apply to mineshafts and quarries being used for military purposes. NB. The 1" map does not show sufficient detail, and the 6" to the mile is out of date. For built-up areas the 25" to the mile map gives the smallest detail, down to outside lavatories and garden fences.
4. USE YOUR REFERENCE LIBRARY The large scale OS maps (2½", 6" and 25") are not readily available in bookshops. However the central reference library in most towns keeps the large scale maps of its own area. Also the reference library keeps the minutes of all the Town Council, Civil Defence and Public Works committees. You may even find a history of the local Civil Defence and ARP during the last war, giving the location of shelters. Likewise, civil engineering and building trade journal can be sifted for military and civil defence tenders and contracts
5. WHERE IS IT? Give accurate map and road references, and instructions on how to reach the establishment. state whether th~establishment is shown on the Ordnance Surveyor not. If your are using a large scale map sketch in the details.
6. WHAT IS IT? Sketch in security fencing, gates, ramps leading underground etc. and take photos if possible. To try and determine what the place does, take note of the wording on all notices; and also note the signs and insignias of men and people in the forces, eg. Signals or engineers. Get the names of local people who might know something about the establishment. most of the places were used during the last war and have since been expanded. Determine its function during the last war and its present function. Contact as many left-wingers from the area as possible; one of them may know something. Co to the pubs which the key personnel attend and build up contact slowly and carefully. Speak to the people at the gate who are working or living there. You may find that the place is not so secret or important, but if it is you will be told to MOVE ON.
The whole 'survival system' of shelters and Communications HQ are the 'solar plexus' of the Power Elite. Some people have suggested that the burning of the woods which often surround 'secret' places coupled with a 'confessional' press release would be one way of exposing them to the public. Draught Beer Not Soldiers!
A WAY AHEAD
By some ex-members of the Scottish Committee of 100.
We, like SOLIDARITY, have always believed that the impetus needed by the anti-bomb movement to achieve its objectives, could only come from the mass of the working people. They alone have "the concentration, the cohesiveness and the power, fundamentally to challenge the Establishment." (Solidarity Vol.2 No. 10.) The bomb safeguards our rulers' interests; therefore 'banning the bomb' means challenging and ultimately eliminating our rulers. Only the working people with their great numbers and because they have reason to can eliminate the ruling caste. Their actions in industry against the bomb can produce decisive results. Industrial action by the people who manufacture, look after and transport nuclear weapons is one of the most effective methods of thwarting the government's policies. By 'blacking' work on weapons' and striking against their manufacture and use, our nuclear force would receive serious set-backs.
NO NEW IDEAS
In CND however, the establishment-orientated Labourites and the Communists have continually advocated 'influencing and converting' Labour MPs and union top brass, rather 'than appealing to workers on the job to take action. That those they seek to 'convert' are after power for themselves and that the bomb can protect that power doesn't seem to occur to these people. The antibomb movement has collapsed because the leadership has taken it down the road of stagnant traditional politics. (ie. working inside established parties with the aim of promoting new power elites of the Labour, Communist or Trotskyist ilk.) It is contempt for 'status quo getting nowhere' traditional political activity, which was one of the reasons for thousands of people joining CND, but now that the movement is hamstrung by Labourite and CP thinking and the harmless activities,which go with it,(letters to MPs,resolution passing, appeals to the Church, pickets at Labour Party and Trade Union Conferences) many supporters have baled out and all that is left is a corpse.
For the movement to succeed, it must align itself ordinary with the day to day struggle of ordinary working folk against those who and exploit and manipulate them at work. Only they, in the course of their struggle, meet the same conditions as those who have participated in the anti-nuclear demonstrations. Consider the similarity in the press barrage of abuse during an 'unofficial' strike and an invasion of a military base! Squeals of 'undemocratic', 'subversive', 'illegal','dangerous' come from the guardians of stable society. Calls are made for strong police action and court sentences. Demands are made to the strikers and demonstrators 'leaders' to have tougher discipline. For those with a stake in society subversive ban-the-bombers and industrial militants arc tarred with the same brush.
Agitators all! They are riqht of course! Together these groups constitute the only real challenge to their continued existence and their 'right' to lord it over us. Our rulers thus deal with anti-nuclear demonstrators and 'unofficial' strikers with strong-arm tactics. Their police arrest us on demos and protect scabs during strikes. Their army protects bases; and blacklegs during strikes. If the Labour Government gets its way 'unofficial' strikers will join demonstrators in court, for their quota of fines and prison sentences. It is hiqh time anti bomb people realised their close links with industrial militants. Together both groups could go a long way to achieving their goals. Each could contribute a lot to the other. The anti-war movement needs the numbers that can only come from the working people. After five years of active protest the anti-bomb movement has a fund of radical ideas for action, which they could pass on to workers in struggle.
That the boss class fear the danger of a link up of both groups has been evident on several occassions from press reports. This was particularly obvious around the time of the 1962 CND conference resolution in favour of 'strong industrial action' against the Bomb. The fact that the CND executive 'interpreted' the resolution and then failed to implement it, is another story. (See London Solidarity Vol. 2 No. 10) What is important is the press reaction to what might have been. The Guardian, June 16 1962 Stated, "attempts to foment strikes and the 'blacking' of work to further the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament must lead to a decisive change in the nature of CND ... The use of industrial action for political ends strikes at the root of orderly government and is alien to the whole tradition of British trade unionism.
PROTECTING OUR RULERS
The latest proposals to streamline 'the Territorial Army have led to an abundance of letters in the press from active and retired military gentlemen burning the midnight oil in Cheltenham, Harrogate and Edinburgh among other places. There message was clear; the TA was needed on two important occasions should the need arise. (i) A nuclear crisis. (2) Industrial unrest. The Sunday Telegraph of August 15th, 1966 reported on a confidential document circulating among the powerful army lobby of Tory MPs, which stated, “It is not necessarily after nuclear exchange, that a disciplined body of armed men would be needed in the country. Their presence would be even more important in the days of tension preceding a nuclear war. It goes on, “before the outbreak of a nuclear war then clearly forces are required ... in aid of civil power when there may be acts of sabotage, infiltration or civil disturbance requiring military support for the police”. See also, HMSO pamphlet, 'The Role of the military in Civil Defence.') What do we conclude that these wily gents are up to? They are well aware of the wholesale panic which will set in during a nuclear crisis. They realise (thanks to the Spies for Peace) that thousands of people know the locations of the massive underground shelters; the Regional Seat of Government. Had the location of these funk holes been known to the anti-bomb movement during the Cuban Crisis, it is certain that they would have been stormed. VIETNAM MAY LEAD TO A SIMILAR CRISIS WHICH COULD LEAD TO A CIVILIAN INVASION OF THE RSGS. Therefore armed guards would be needed to protect the shelters and the elite who 'voted' themselves a place in them. In our society where a few monopolise the secrets and the 'information, it is to be expected that they will organise their own survival behind our backs, while feeding us crap about 'the bomb never being used' or 'better dead than red'.
There has always been a belief that soldiers in the new TA and the regular army, would be ordered to shoot people 'looting and rioting' while crazed in the search for food and shelter, as they flee the areas where the bombs have dropped. Several contacts in t~e army have confirmed that this is 'unofficial' but more than likely to happen. we hope soldiers will disobey these orders and turn their guns on their officers. In the event of a general strike or national industrial unrest, the new TA comes into the picture again. General strikes, if the feeling runs high enough, can lead to events where our rulers get their books. It's easy enough to imagine civil servants and military brass, hiding in the RSGs giving orders to soldiers to protect them from workers out for their blood. That the RSGs were also built for industrial unrest is borne out by Nicholas Walter in Solidarity Pamphlet No 15, The RSGs 1919-1963.
There was plenty of well-meaning talk every time a call was made at CND and Committee of 100 meetings. Good work was done by the Industrial Sub Committee. Unfortunately there was never a move by the vast majority of activists in the movement towards a determined campaign to engage support from industrial workers. This was partly because such action was discouraged by the CND executive and the union bureaucrats, but chiefly, because most of the militants (students, professional workers, churchmen, actors, artists) writers and beats (unemployed mostly from choice) were not employed on the shop floor in industry and therefore had little knowledge or understanding of the tactics involved in making contact with the rank-and-file in the unions. Many because of their background, were just not 'tuned in' to the industrial struggle. If in fact there had been a really genuine desire for contact, then the help of industrial workers in the Committees of 100 could have been sought. This was a clear example of our rulers divide and rule tactic subtly working to keep two sets of militants apart.
Many anti-bombers have no idea of the help industrial workers can give to the movement; naively believing that the bomb can be got rid of by a struggle which need not be part of the most dynamic struggle in our midst; that of millions of workers in continual conflict with their two bosses, the management and the full-time union officials. The movement also suffered a great deal from the attentions of the Communist Party, which on several occasions has tried to take over various CNDs, often with success, while retaining an interest in the executive through Professor (I love Stalin) Bernal. The CP are of course strong advocates of the 'USSR bomb, good! Capitalist bomb, bad!' line. This hypocrisy didn't wash with people we tried to convert. By joint activity with workers we don't mean attending union meetings to pass resolutions to influence the bureaucrat at annual conference;
nor do we mean joining the labour or Communist Parties, which are still masquerading under their 'worker' images. We mean active support for workers during disputes; strikes, work-to-rules, go-slows. By support, we mean the distribution of literature putting the case of the men on the job to offset the press deluge in favour of the bosses,the government, and when its 'unofficial', the union officials. We mean demonstrations supporting the strikers. We mean cash for strike committees but not to union funds. This way its used for carrying on the struggle, and not perhaps to pay full-time officials salaries.
Only by such contact, helping workers, is there a real chance to put over our propaganda on sympathetic and understanding ears. We have evidence of this in Glasgow, where after the Bus Strike and a Linwood Dispute, when leaflets were given out supporting the strikers, several
workers aware that many of us were 'ban-the-bombers' as well as industrial agitators, showed an appreciation of the anti-bomb struggle (for the first time they admitted) and a basic understanding of the similarity between it and their own fight.
We do not envisage one group 'using' the other. The anti-bomb struggle is only part of the greater struggle against bosses and bureaucrats; the day to day conflict with the power elites who seek to control our lives, keep us subservient and exploit us for our own gain. The bomb along with their police and army preserves that power. This 'joint' fight manifests in (1) 'Unofficial' strikes in oppositions to both management and the workers' supposed representatives – the union officials, and (2) direct action at v-bomber and rocket bases; and the publication of military Official Secrets, which becomes not only a confrontation with the police and armed services, but also with Labour and Communist respectables who muscle on to the CND executive.
That the members find themselves in continual opposition to their own 'leadership' in both unions and CND shows just how strong are the pressures of those who control and manipulate our society, as they seek to bring the union and CND hierarchy into their spheres of influence. (eg by giving them Cabinet Posts, cosy well-paid jobs in the state concerns and a place on the Honours List) This is also evident from the manoeuvres of the CND leadership, as they try to take 'their' movement down the conservative paths of Labour and Communist Party politics, which are relatively safe and innocuous, as far as our rulers are concerned. Union and CND hierarchy, having a little power and high salary, and generally oriented in outlook similar to our rulers, ie believing in the need for bosses and bossed, leaders and led; fear a mass revolt of 'their' members organising their own struggle, without their 'help'. Such activities, if controlled in all aspects by the rank and file, ring out the death tolls, not only for the Establishment they attack but for their own power grabbing 'leadership'.
A revolutionary movement must proceed on two fronts(a) mass action taken in 'unofficial' industrial disputes and anti-war demonstrations. (b) 'Guerrilla' activities by small groups or individuals. militant, 'unofficial' activity, at rank and-file level will be opposed by the CP and the Trotskyists, if they cannot control it for their own ends. These groups continually try to use the working class struggle to further the power aspirations of the CP and the various Trot groupings. This has got to be fought. (SOLIDARITY is often being taken to task for attacking the communists and Trotskyists. We attack them not for reactionary Daily express type reasons, but because they do not stand for the elimination of bosses, ie to themselves. We have no wish to be confronted with the various version of state control the Stalinists and Trotskyists have in store for us.) The 'libertarian left' must present itself as a revolutionary force independent if the Stalinists. Radical action, while the CP fights elections and the Trots build left-wings in the Labour Party, could be a way to do it. Let those for whom the mecca of the 'left' is not Moscow or Peking stand up and be counted.
Every revolutionary movement needs money. They all suffer from lack of cash, which is extremely frustrating at crucial times. They are well aware that the cash in those bank accounts of business enterprises had been ponced off those they employ. Being envious of this money, they often consider ways whereby some of it can come their way. It is known that SAW planned to rob the pay roll of the DC Thomson newspaper group in Dundee. Why the attempt did not take place is not known, but if it had, it was the intention to divide the spoils between militant ant-war groups and 'unofficial' workers committees.
Despite the failure to procure any sizeable sum of money from such sources, the anti-war movement nevertheless used considerable quantities of stationary which supporters picked up at work. Various journals were produced on stolen printing materials. Printing ink was bought and the accounts charged to business firms. These firms did a good job financing left-wing groups with wealth, which we and our fellow workers labour to produce.
Information is got from three principal sources.
(1) Break-ins. (2) From the 'inside'. (3) 'Pumping'.
'The most valuable information wanted is (a) military, Central Government and Civil Defence Secret and Restricted Information. eg. location of and personnel for, the fall-out shelters, and the role of the army and police in a nuclear crisis. (b) Confidential documents relating to labour relations, ego agreements between management and unions to sellout the men on the job; management's plans for speed-ups, work intensification, 'efficiency' sackings, wage restrictions and blacklists of militants.
The Spies for Peace were the first to get a break in the search for Official Secrets. Since then people all over Britain have set out to discovery secret military information. Information of a confidential nature to industry has not been so closely sought; although several militants posing as respectable research students have fooled the management into giving them 'interesting' documents and a work study engineer gave a confidential report (his own) to the Shop Stewards Convenor of a Glasgow factory. Imagine what the boardroom safes have to disclose about management's plans for further domination of their work force. Equally juicy documents must lie in the union offices. What do the officials hide from the members? What new sell-outs of the men are lying among the notes on the bureaucrats desks? And what has the Economic League got on its files on militants? The ways of getting valuable information are being tried. Civil Defence Establishments and 'top secret' shelters get 'unofficial' visits from 'unofficial' people. Burglars of the1rob the rich not your fellow workers,' variety are on the fringe of the movement. Several people in the armed services and Civil Defence are passing out information.
A typist can pick up a lot in a union or Labour Party office. (one of the few reasons we can think of for working 'inside' the Labour Party) A typist in a Scottish police station passed on valuable 'gen' to the.
Committee of 100 regarding police investigations into the 1964 Rosyth Demonstration. Others may have access to management files and photostat machines are easy to use. Sympathetic accountants examine company accounts and know details of donations to the Conservative Party,
Aims of Industry, the Economic League and like groups dedicated to preserving the bosses right to ponce off us. 'Pumping' people for information is regularly done by the anti-war movement, when investigating military installations. Fill someone from a military site with booze and often he begins to blab. CND 'birds' on a night out with an American sailor can sometimes con the mug into blowing the gaff on important tit-bits. The train robbers 'pumped' railwaymen in north of England pub for know-how on rolling stock. The company is therefore respectable.
A revolutionary movement, must include, in an offensive against the state, organised subversion among the armed forces. A few people have done this, often with the disapproval of 'leading lights' in the Committee and CND. During the last few years there has been a steady stream of soldiers, sailors and airmen telling them where to stuff their war machine and coming afterwards into the movement. Anti-war literature has circulated among the armed services for several years. Generally speaking it has not been seditious in a serious or dangerous sense; usually making goody-goody appeals to the conscience, but seldom calling for anti-war cells in the services or requesting soldiers to pass on secrets for publication.
Instead soldiers were ask to salve their conscience and bale out. Since so few came out it is obvious that such activities cannot seriously disrupt. Several people joined with the intention of disrupting they could be the basis of cells; the object being to stay in and subvert rather than committing an offence and getting out. Leaflets must say more than the bomb is bad, get out!' They have to put the important issues about what the army is for; to protect out rulers and their property from us; and from covetous rulers in other countries. The role of the army as a 'peace keeping' force during industrial unrest and a nuclear crisis, should also be pointed out.
Without a doubt, one of the most important and significant confrontations between the peace movement and the armed services was during the may 1965 Vietnam Demonstration in London, when militants surrounded soldiers, who had come to support the demo, to protect them from the military police. This was the thin edge of a wedge being driven into the guts of the armed services. We hope the punch-up between the peaceniks and the red-caps had serious repercussions at top brass level. Here was the anti-war movement taking sides with one army group against the other; the surest way to cause a serious split. Such a rift can be exploited.
REVOLT OF YOUTH
It was stated in Glasgow Solidarity Vol 1 No 1 that it was believed that the contempt for our society's lousy values, shown by thousands of teenagers for the police and authority, was motivated by the same feelings, which made many other young people take action with the anti-bomb movement and various left-wing groups. The latters' activities being much more positive. Neverthe1ess both groups want a good ,kick at the present set-up. The apparently meaningless protest of teenagers can become a positive one provided we are willing to meet them and put our ideas over to them. The Provos are trying this in Amsterdam with leafletting and city centre meeting. (Two years ago Glasgow YCND recruited many youngsters from the gang fringes and the beat clubs.) These young
people are not yet affected by the rotten values which many adults accept. Many work in industry. If they can carry their contempt for the police on to the shop floor, they could realise their great potential. We are not here to advocate birching, fines and prison sentences for the youngsters, but neither are we condoning senseless attacks on innocent people and needless vandalism. What we desire which is of course wishful thinking, is to see the youth taking it out on the real enemies in our midst; the boss class and those who help them preserve 'stable' society. But there is absolutely no chance of this happening, if we cannot find ways of reaching young people with the basis of a left-winq political education. Unless we do, all their present actions will remain impotent, 'meaningless' protest.
For those young people who do come along it ,is important that some attempt is made to educate them. The Peace Movement, although it made a reasonable attempt to inform the members on the subject of war and the bomb, it neglected to provide any general, political education. Therefore a majority of people in the movement were not equipped for what is after all, a left-wing political struggle. As a result many of those who had no basis for being in the movement other than a knowledge that the bomb was bad, left when disillusionment set in. They were at the opposite end of
the scale from these useless, 'traditionally' educated leftists, who rationalised themselves into inactivity, took no part in Peace Movement goings on and did nothing but criticise. They were so well 'educated' that they couldn't even see potentially revolutionary movement even when it stared them in the face. To tackle the Establishment we feel the members of the Peace movement must have abasic knowledge of the workings of 'left' politics.
By this we mean;
The writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Bakunin, Kropotkin, etc. etc., and the many comments on these.
The philosophy; economic, political and organisational theories of 'communism', 'Trotskyism', 'anarchism', libertarian 'socialism' and 'social democracy', and the groups which adhere to these political positions.
The history and present activities of the labour movement (official and unofficial) and the trade unions.
The history of the Russian and Hungarian Revolutions and the Spanish Civil War.
All these could be sound basis for further study.
On the solely Peace Movement side the education must include;
The history of the movement.
The Spies for Peace Revelations and the story behind it.
The cases against the Bomb and War.
The probable effects of Nuclear War and the role of the authorities.
The tactics of nuclear war and escalation from 'conventional' war.
The economic consequences of arms production and disarmament.
The bulk of such an education can only come from books and thus encouragement must be given. But meetings with speakers and discussion are also invaluable.
Only an educated e any peace movement can have any hope of standing up to the political situations which the Establishment will create for it. A politically educated movement can be an even more dynamic force than it was. It is the rallying point for youth, who now ignore more and more the 'traditional' organisations such as Young Socialists, Young Communist League and the Anarchists. But an important aspect of the older organisations was that the membership usually had the rudiments of the 'left' education. It is therefore of paramount importance that this vacuum is filled.
WE HOPE THESE IDEAS WILL PROVIDE FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR EVERYBODY.
REVIVAL AND SURVIVAL
A NEW SCOTTISH PEACE MOVEMENT!
The Peace Movement is a militant revolutionary force in Britain no longer exists. Although there is considerable latent support, lack of organisation means that it is not channelled into effective action. Only two years ago Scotlands cities and towns all had thriving groups; now all we can boast of is one group – in Aberdeen – and small nuclei in Inverness, Galashiels, Dundee, and Alloa. Glasgow has YAB in the south-west of the city. And that, folks, is your lot!!!!
Many who participated in the actions of the early days have become disillusioned. Others are licking their wounds. Others have returned to the folds of sectarianism. Others, like ourselves, have learned some important lessons. We feel the chief among them are the following;
(1) Any new movement must not allow itself to be taken over by Labourites, who will, as they did in the past, orientate the groups towards the Labour Party. All this would mean is appeals to MPS, Harold Wilson and other 'top people' to give up their bomb, without realising it is that very same bomb, which protects their power.
(2) Communist attempts to take over and push the movement towards acceptance of the Russian bomb, Communist Party politics (social democracy)and multilateral disarmament, must be fought.
(3) For the movement to have any chance of remaining genuinely revolutionary, control of the groups must not slip out of the members hands into those of the professional political careerists- The healthiest groups have always rejected 'strong leadership' and allowed members to act on their own initiative. This encourages much more militant and subversive activities. (eg. The CND executive could never have done the Spies for Peace job)
(4) To appeal to ordinary people the movement must present a 'tough', resolute image, rather than a wet, pacifist, kiss the police – love the American sailors image.
(5) The movement must break free, and prove to the public that it is free, from the usual East-West arguments. 'If you're not pro-West. You're pro-Communist.' We must also show that we have broken with Labour or Tory mentality. The Labourites and the Communists can only offer these stagnant alternatives. So long as the communist bogey-man is attributed to us we have had it. The American 'left' is succeeding slowly in getting rid of the 'communist' tag because it is offering something different. We can do it because, unlike the Communist Party, we support neither East nor West.
The POLITICAL STRUGGLE IN BRITAIN
We accept that the Peace Movement is involved in a political struggle, but since we reject the antics of those who want to operate in this struggle via the Labour and communist Parties and the Trade Union bureaucracy, then we must look at the most dynamic and incessant conflict which goes on in society and decide if that is the struggle the Peace Movement should be involved in. This conflict, between ordinary people and their bosses, bosses, goes on interminably on either side of the Iron Curtain. It is with this most important struggle that the movement should be linked.
By 'their bosses' we mean the employers and their management, the government with its police and army, the trade union bureaucracy which is alien to its membership. d the traditional political pat-.
ties of 'right and 'left', who by their inability to break with out-or-date political thinking only help the others to do their job. This conflict manifests itself in endless 'unofficial' actions by people protecting their job right from the management. The establishment opposes this as viciously as it does the anti-bomb movement. The peace movement can gain strength by aligning itself with this struggle. If we cut ourselves off from the 'protest' activities of ordinary working people we will forever remain small, isolated and defeated. The 'unofficial' activities of people at work are so numerous and so great an offensive that they constitute a much greater threat to established society than the peace movement does! To win we must have the working people on our side. How better to do this than help them in their struggle in return for help from them for ours? Anyway their struggle is ours struggle and vice-versa.
LETS START AGAIN.
We believe all the latest support can be activated provided there is a re-establishment of the organisation on the principles stated above. To try and get going again it is felt that an immediately objective is required and that a demonstration might provide this. Reports are coming in from people of their willingness to revive groups independent of the labour and Communist hacks who used to dominate them. There is also a desire for a Scottish Demonstration later this year to try and bring everyone together.
The early 60s proved that left-wing politics are healthiest when the Peace movement is strong.
FOR A NEW MILITANT SCOTTISH PEACE MOVEMENT NOW
ROGER BAKER STEVENSTON
FORBES BROWNE ABERDEEN
SEAN MAXWELL GLASGOW
NORMAN MCLEOD GLASGOW
RICKY DAVIS GLASGOW
CAMERON MELLISH TARBERT
JOHN DEVINE GLASGOW
IAN MITCHELL ABERDEEN
JOE EMBLETON GLASGOW
IAN MURRAY GLASGOW
ALEC HOWIE GLASGOW
ALAN PARKER GLASGOW
ROBERT JOHNSON GLASGOW
ALAN SINCLAIR GLASGOW
DAN KANE DUNBARTON
IAN SUTHERLAND ABERDEEN
JIM LIVINGSTONE RUTHERGLEN
GEORGE WILLIAMSON GLASGOW
I’ve read this several times,
I’ve read this several times, originally I had one hot off the duplicator. It contains a number of factual errors and some wishful thinking. One example: many who are listed at the end had ceased to active in any way. One friend told me George had phoned him and asked if his name could be added. He said yes. His political activity was talking about the good old days and arguing with me over a pint.