GOVANHILL POOL LATEST!!!!
The Land Is Ours
office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 5 21:20:54 BST 2001
GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
FROM GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL: SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
EMail. saveourpool at aol.com
WE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE LAST WEEK FROM PATRICK, A LIBERATION THEOLOGIST
AND 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
the people of Glasgow. I had thought that the tactics used by Glasgow
City Council to impose itâs 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
be strong popular opposition.
(2)Use of the element of surprise. A âfait accompliâ 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
functionaries who fear open or subtle punishment (dismissal, lack of
(5)Unnecessary acts of provocation to get a few hotheads to answer violence
with violence, thus providing an excuse for more repressive methods and
photographs for the media.
(6)Manipulation of the media, distorting facts to put protesters in a poor
light using terms such as âfanaticsâ, âanarchistsâ etc.
(7)Ignoring the suffering their plans will bring to the weakest members of
society - those with poor living accommodation, the unemployed, those in
sub optimal health, the physically and/or emotionally handicapped,
children and 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/or multinational companies seeking to explore natural resources.
Refusal to meet with protesters or their delegates.Appointment of an
official trouble-shooter to investigate complaints (usually an appointee
of the dictator) or the setting up of a committee to draw up a report
which will take months and years to issue some harmless finndings. 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
on its decisions.
Sooner or later, dialogue will have to take place.
Remember Bishop Desmond Tutu in the blackest days of South African
Apartheid saying, We are on the winning team, and St. Paul writing to
persecuted Christians, You have not yet resisted unto death.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT saveourpool at aol.com
UPDATE UPDATE UPDFATE
The press coverage in general and Latest on Website give most information.
However it has been announced that as a result of our formal complaint and
the large number of complaints received from individuals Strathclyde police
have asked Fife Police to formally investiage. t
Our views are expressed below and were widely reported in the Scottish press
We are just about to launch a major healthy living survey of Govanhill
combined with a measure of views about the pool, its use and the way the
matter has been handled by the council. We believe that it is a disgrace
that the council has made no attempt whatsover to conduct such an audit and
we remain deeply concerned that the professionals in the Council saw no need
for it even though a number of very senior health officials have given full
backing to this campaign. Unfortunately they have asked not to be named
because of their relationship to or appointment by the council. Like many
councillors they are afraid of the power that the leader Charles Gordon
wields. The failure of the Culture and Leisure Services Department to consult
with any other department prior to the closure marks another astonishing
chapter of professionalism in this matter.
The feasibility study by EDAW is making no such effort to measure the
realities of Govanhill and surrounds. It has been forced by the council to
abandon the community workshops it was planning and is now "putting up a
display in the library" for people to see and react to. See previous message
from Brazil for guidance !
RECENT PRESS RELEASES
GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
MSP's TOMMY SHERIDAN AND NICOLA STURGEON IN ASSOCIATION WITH LOCAL PEOPLE AND
POOL USERS CONDEMN POLICE AND COUNCIL FOR THEIR FLAGRANT MANIPULATION OF
INFORMATION ABOUT GOVANHILL CAMPAIGN AND CONTRAVENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS ACT.
MSP's will attend a press conference with pool campaigners on Thursday 30th
August outside Govanhill Pool at 10 am. They are calling for an independent
inquiry into the events of Tuesday 7th August They will be making statements
(a) the blatant and cynical manipulation of public opinion through the media
by the press office's of the Strathclyde Police and Council Leader Charles
Gordon in order to "criminalise" and "politicise" the campaign and its
members for their own ends. (*See Notes below)
(b) serious concerns that Strathclyde Police is
investigating its own behaviour of August 7th with no element of
independence and that so far it has made no attempt to respond to the
preliminary dossier of complaint made by the campaign two weeks ago or
indicate when they will do so. Grave concern that Strathclyde Police is now
seeking to use (and using) independent news groups for additional
surveillance of the public. (BBC and STV)
(c) the hours of video footage (of police surveillance) and still photos
taken from various positions by campaigners on 7th August and an
independent company filming the whole campaign (lodged with lawyers).
(d) the leaking by the police of information about their investigations to
the media with regard to the involvement and surveillance of the Scottish
Socialist Party and "leading campaigners" prior to and during 7th August.
This matter is being fully investigated with regard to the Human Rights Act
and freedom of association. (*see Notes below)
(e) clear intimidation and harassment by the police of local residents and
complainants since the 7th August. Clear witness statements that officers
on duty at the pool are reporting that "the SSP were the instigators of
events on the night of 7th and had in fact infiltrated the campaign for some
MSP's Dorothy Grace Elder and Robert Brown may also attend the press
*Scotsman. Dan McDougall Crime Correspondent 11th August 201
"Strathclyde Police sources confirmed that members of Scotland's fifth
largest political party were placed under surveillance in the run-up to the
(and ..It is understood that members of Scotland's fifth largest political
party are being investigated by Strathclyde Police over allegations they
helped to orchestrate a riot in Govanhill which resulted in Glasgow's worse
night of street violence for years - 24th August 2001)
Police sources claim that details of the ringleaders movements are likely to
have already been passed to the National Criminal Intelligence Service and
even MI5 for assessment.
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police confirmed the use of surveillance cameras
before and after the riot.
Yesterday a CID insider confirmed that undercover police officers had been
involved in a covert police operation to film the demonstration ringleaders
for the last month.
He said: "It is fair to say that we anticipated things to come to a head in
Govanhill but certainly not in the violent scale that we witnessed. We did
have surveillance units watching the ringleaders, including members of the
Scottish Socialist Party, who took a more active part in the events than
most of the other demonstrators.
It is understood that members of Scotland's fifth largest political party
are being investigated by Strathclyde Police over allegations they helped to
orchestrate a riot in Govanhill which resulted in GlasgowâÃÃ´s worse
street violence for years.
MSP Robert Brown says to campaigners in a letter.
"I think the issue backs the need for an independent element in the
police complaints procedure on which the Scottish Executive is currently
consulting.... the Chief Constable should voluntarily include such an
element in this investigation, which needs to be seen to be independent.
Perhaps I could do this on the back of your press release if you keep me
in touch with when it is.
You have run a wonderfully inventive and successful campaign, but the
central point of that is the sustained demonstration at the pool with the
associated events. Half of Glasgow thinks the Council and the Council leader
are arrogant, unresponsive and out of touch. However half of Glasgow has
also been left, rightly or wrongly, with the vague impression that the
protest is associated with public disorder. This view is being milked by the
Council and is letting them off the hook.
I entirely support action through the police complaints procedure where
people feel they have a legitimate grievance. I think also that a request to
the Chief Constable to investigate the appropriateness of the policing is
reasonable e.g. in such matters as the use of police horses in a stationary
I also think the issue backs the need for an independent element in the
police complaints procedure on which the Scottish Executive is currently
consulting. If it would be helpful, I am prepared to say that the Chief
Constable should voluntarily include such an element in this investigation,
which needs to be seen to be independent. Perhaps I could do this on the
back of your press release if you keep me in touch with when it is."
A campaigner and Council employee said
"So-called hard man and one time active member of the communist party, now
Leader of the council Charles Gordon, has recently told the press that he
would be "kicking ass" and "banging heads together to get the right
decisions" . He speaks of Govanhill as "clapped out" when his own surveys
say it is not. His language of violence and abuse is used by abusive
bullying managers acting tough. I work in the council and any manager using
this language would quickly be disciplined under our own bullying and
harrassment procedures. The council is bullying a community in a shameful
way. This community will not stand for it that's for sure."
*Note from Save our Pool on its web site
Oh dear, welcome to democracy in the 21st century. Our Orwellian Govanhill.
The easy answer to events of Tuesday would be to blame some radical wing of
political group, but this is not the case as film and photographic footage
shows. The fact remains that children and young people who had not actively
been involved in the many peaceful activities of the campaign used the
provocation of such a strong police presence to vent their anger. Consistent
campaigners tried in earnest to bring peace to the day. The bitter pill to
swallow for our council leader is that rather than some minority political
point scorers there is a majority in the area who have had enough of
suppressing, bully boy tactics and are looking for a voice. A Swetto in
end of press release
PRESS RELEASE EMBARGOED UNTIL 11-30am TODAY
Members of the Campaign will hold a strategy group meeting in the foyer of
Strathclyde Police Headquarters at approximately 11-30am today 3oth August
2001 to discuss next moves in the struggle to keep a healthy living centre in
This campaign has nothing to hide.
Strathclyde police has been conducting secretive investigations and
surveillance of ordinary people for several months - even filming small
children in George Square with their mothers at an afternoon demonstration.
This being a direct consequence of the Glasgow City Council and its leader
Charles Gordon's determination to justify an unjustifiable and unnaccountable
policy regime in Culture and Leisure Services.
GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
POOL PROTESTORS PEDAL TO LINK GLASGOW SWIMMERS TODAY !
Govanhill Pool Campaigners for the the return of their pool and a healthy
living centre are hitting the road pedalling today. They started at 10 am
and will finish at Govanhill Pool around 4pm. Contact Larry above for
Updates on arrivals/departs at each pool.
Around 20 pool users and community members are cycling around all of Glasgow
Swimming Pools - a distance of some 46 miles. They will all be wearing the
now popular and easily recognisable SAVEOURPOOL T-SHIRTS. They will stop
for a while at each pool and make their point about the closure of Govanhill
and have available T-SHIRTS and information about the campaign.
This ride makes the point that Govanhill must be kept in the loop of healthy
living facilities in Glasgow.
The ride is to unite the thousands and thousands (30,000 signed petitions) of
people who support this campaign. It makes the statement yet again to
Glasgow City Council that this closure is not wanted and is totally
unjustified. It has been taken by a small group of unnaccountable
councillors and professionals agaist the will and wishes of Glasgow people.
Children of the campaigners, not to be outdone and for safety reasons will be
cyling around Queen's Park between 10am and 12 noon.
Bill Ward (known to everyone as Bicycle Bill, the organiser and key
campaigner said on the ride today;
"I had this idea to let people all around Glasgow see this campaign. I bike
everywhere and used to cycle to the pool regularly for a proper swim. So
what better way of bringing bring it all together, and have a bit of fun and
exercise at the same time. People are fantastic lots of people are chanting
save our pool as we ride by ! "
Andrew Johnson, campaigner said:
"This campaign is growing in strength and popularity by the day. More and
more people join because they are increasingly aware that Glasgow City
Council lead by Charles Gordon is out of touch with communities. He thinks he
can personally steam roller anything through without a jot of consultation
with ordinary people"
Aneesa Ahmad said;
I've joined this campaign and this ride because what the council is doing is
so wrong for not talking to my community. When I heard as well that the
council would not even let the campaign put up adverts in the pools or the
library about these great events, street parties and the rest, I thought that
was horrible. So here I am to help advertise and get fitter !
It is expecte that the bikers will arrive back at Govanhill at approximately
CONTACT LARRY (ABOVE) FOR REGULAR UPDATE AND STORY OF RIDE AND TIMES OF
ARRIVAL AT POOLS
The Land Is Ours
... A Landrights Movement for All
The Land Is Ours campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its resources
and the decision making processes affecting them, for everyone -
irrespecitive of race, age, or gender.
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