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Protestors today marched in solidarity with Hana Shalabi in Glasgow and against the Scottish Tory Conference in Troon. ISG activists report from the day of resistance.

commentWith chants of 'two Scottish pandas, but only one Scottish Tory' and 'Tory scum, here we come' echoing across the beach, we set off to confront the austerity makers as more than 600 people marched on the Scottish Tory Party Conference in Troon today. With chants of 'two Scottish pandas, but only one Scottish Tory' and 'Tory scum, here we come' echoing across the beach, we set off to confront the austerity makers.

As Mhairi McAlpine stated in her article, March Against the Scottish Tories, the Scottish Tories are 'a strange breed, extraordinarily rare and quite exotic'. Much to our delight, we glimpsed a few (or perhaps all) of these endangered creatures outside the conference venue. Many young people stopped at this point to have a good look at them, as they hid behind their fencing and police lines. At first the parasites held their heads high and puffed out their chests, but it was obvious that their superiority began to waiver. When confronted with a group of angry, young, and dynamic students, workers, and trade unionists, it must be a strange feeling to have ‘scum’ screamed in your face. The hatred for the Tories is always palpable in Scotland, but in that moment they got a chance to really see it in our eyes and hear it in our voices.

Nevertheless, we cannot rest easy. In England, the Tories have set about decimating local authorities, schools, and the NHS. All over the UK, they have squeezed everyone’s living standard but their own. They have cut wages and forced a generation onto the dole. They have made the sick and infirm pay for a crisis they did not cause. Just because we have a devolved parliament does not mean the Tories’ plans will not affect us. As the convener of the Glasgow School Students Union said at the STUC rally today; 'condemning a generation to the scrapheap has never been a difficult decision for the Tories'. We must remember that the Tories have their own ideology. They are not going to change their minds about austerity. They are not going to take pity and revise the welfare system in a way that is beneficial for more people. They will not scrap plans to privatise the NHS. They will not reverse the anti-trade union laws.

But we will fight back.

Wherever the Tories go in Scotland we will be there to taunt and humiliate them. It should not be possible for Tories to show their face without being confronted by those who are prepared to stand up for the NHS, for living wages, pensions and benefits. In order to save our welfare state, our education system, our jobs and our future, we must continue to fight and struggle in our workplaces, our schools, our colleges and universities and on our streets.

In Glasgow up to 600 people marched through the streets today in solidarity with Hana Shalabi and the Palestinian hunger strikers. The BBC’s silence over Hana’s hunger strike is not the first time that the oppression of Palestinians has not been broadcasted in the mainstream media.

People came from across Scotland to decended on Glasgow’s George Sq, where they were joined by trade unionists and anti-cuts activist who had marched against the Scottish Conservative Party earlier that day. As the demonstration marched through Glasgow city centre chants echoed around the streets. Crowds thronged to watch as hundreds of people marched past with portraits of Shalabi. Passers by joined in chats of ‘Hana Shalabi will not bow, free the political prisoners now.’

The protestors marched to the headquarters of BBC Scotland to demand that the mainstream media cover Hana’s case. The rally heard from speakers including the student groups who had organised the march, Palestinians, and number of campaigners.

According to Mahmoud Mahdy, one of the march organisers; 'This has been a brilliant day. The demonstration was organised entirely in two days. This shows the level of anger that people feel. But today was just the beginning. We need to escalate the action for Hana and for all the hunger strikers. An intifada is taking place inside the walls of Israeli prisons. And we must respond! That means that we need to use today as a launch-pad to reinvigorate anti-imperialist struggle in Scotland'.

For more information on the campaign please contact [email protected]

From International Socialist Group site.

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