Message of Support to Glasgow from Brazil
tony at gaia.org
tony at gaia.org
Mon Sep 3 16:01:54 BST 2001
GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
EMail. saveourpool at aol.com
THE FIRST MINISTER, HENRY McCLEISH, CHARLES GORDON, ALL SMP'S AND GLASGOW
CITY COUNCILLORS, BRIDGET McCONNELL, ALL CAMPAIGNERS ON LINE AND SAVEOURPOO=
WEBSITE, THE MEDIA
FROM GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL: SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
WE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE LAST WEEK FROM PATRICK, A LIBERATION THEOLOGIST AN=
CATHOLIC PRIEST FROM SCOTLAND WHO
SPENT 20 YEARS IN BRAZIL - WHERE HE LIVES NOW. HE KNOWS A LOT
ABOUT THE OPPRESSION OF PEOPLE STRUGGLING FOR JUSTICE. IT IS POSTED ON OUR=
WEB SITE, WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS HIGHLY RELEVANT
READERS MAY WISH TO PUT IT IN A CONTEXT OF THE HISTORICAL STRUGGLES IN
SCOTLAND FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.
IT HAS BEEN POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE AND MIGHT BE READ IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE=
MESSAGE FROM TARIQ PLACED THERE ON THURSDAY LAST
To the Glasgow Govanhill Pool Campaign
I was horrified to learn recently of the latest developments in the long
struggle to save the Govanhill Swimming Pool for the local community and t=
people of Glasgow. I had thought that the tactics used by Glasgow City
Council to impose it's will were restricted to the type of dirty
dictatorship that I lived under
as a missionary in Brazil for 20 years (1966 - 1986).
However the experiences of the peaceful protesters at Genoa in July, and
Govanhill and Sighthill in August, have shown me that mini-dictators and
their bootlicking followers continue to exist, even in the most democratic=
The circumstances are the same - a just cause and fierce
suppression. The more just the cause, the fiercer the reaction.
The means used are the same:
(1)Lack of consultation with the people involved, knowing that there will =
strong popular opposition.
(2)Use of the element of surprise. A 'fait accompli' is always harder to =
combat or reverse.
(3)Massive intimidation, using the forces of 'law and order' to carry out =
their plans and provide an air of legality to their actions and illegality=
(4)Suppression of any sign of dissent or criticism among state functionari=
who fear open or subtle punishment (dismissal, lack of promotion etc.)
(5)Unnecessary acts of provocation to get a few hotheads to
answer violence with violence, thus providing an excuse for more repressiv=
methods and photographs for the media.
(6)Manipulation of the media, distorting facts to put protesters in a poor =
light using terms such as 'fanatics', 'anarchists' etc.
(7)Ignoring the suffering their plans will bring to the weakest members of =
society - those with poor living accommodation, the unemployed, those in s=
optimal health, the physically and/or emotionally handicapped, children an=
the elderly, etc.
In contrast, history has shown that those regimes which used a high moral =
tone (all for the 'good of the people'), had millions stashed away in
foreign banks, a result of massive kick-backs from contracting firms and/o=
multinational companies seeking to explore natural resources.
Refusal to meet with protesters or their delegates.Appointment of an offici=
'trouble-shooter' to 'investigate' complaints (usually an appointee of the=
'dictator') or the setting up of a 'committee' to draw up a âreportâ wh=
will take months and years to issue some harmless 'findings'. If all else =
fails and protests continue, the campaign of violence, intimidation and
misinformation will worsen.
But the fact remains that as long as there is one person prepared to stand=
up and say 'NO', the dictator will not sleep easy. Such power has to be
absolute else it remains insecure, in spite of its best (or worst) efforts=
to give the impression that it is in full control and will never go back o=
Sooner or later, dialogue will have to take place.
Remember Bishop Desmond Tutu in the blackest days of South African Aparthe=
saying, 'We are on the winning team', and St. Paul writing to persecuted
Christians, 'You have not yet resisted unto death'.
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