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Posts Tagged ‘2000s’

There was an anarchist group in Aberdeen in the 1890s but there does not appear to have been a formal group again until the late 1960s. The Aberdeen Anarchist Group was active by 1966, and by 1968 there were 2 groups (Aberdeen Anarchists and Aberdeen Anarchist Federation (a branch of the national group, The Syndicalists Workers’ Federation), as well as a student group at Aberdeen University. Local anarchists were involved in other campaigns as well such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Youth), Committee of 100, the anti-Vietnam war movement and tenants’ rights groups. Also of note is that the Scottish Anarchist Conference was held in Aberdeen in March 1969 and the Anarchist Federation of Scotland branch Scottish Secretary was based in Montrose.

The Aberdeen groups appear to have dissolved by 1970. From the late 1960s as well, local anarchists were now forming new groups, and calling themselves libertarian socialists: Solidarity (Aberdeen Group) (1967 – 1972), Aberdeen Libertarian Socialist Group (c.1973 – c.1982) and Social Revolution/Solidarity (c.1975 – c.1982). These groups were very active for many years, locally and nationally, and the Social Revolution group of the late 1970s was part of the Scottish Libertarian Federation.

There was an active anarchist group by the late 1980s and they issued a news-sheet titled ‘Titanic: Aberdeen Anarchist Monthly’. There have been numerous groupings active since then (such as Aberdeen Anarchist Resistance in the early 2000s), yet groups have often been short-lived and prone to lapse (the latest incarnation of a group was set up in 2016). There are strong connections with other groups such as Aberdeen Against Austerity and the Aberdeen Anti-Fascist Alliance.

Related entries: Aberdeen Against Austerity, Aberdeen Anti-Fascist Alliance, Aberdeen Libertarian Socialist Group, Aberdeen University Anarchist Group, Social Revolution/Solidarity and Solidarity (Aberdeen Group).

References: Aberdeen Press and Journal and Freedom newspaper sourced online.

Sources: some printed material (a copy of ‘Titanic: Aberdeen Anarchist Monthly’, c.1988, is held at the Scottish Radical Library/ACE archive in Edinburgh).

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A branch of the national organisation which had been founded in 1950 (as the Socialist Review Group), which became the International Socialists in 1962 and finally the Socialist Workers Party in 1977. Members are very active in campaigns in the city and selling the Socialist Worker newspaper.

Related entries: Aberdeen University Socialist Worker Student Society.

References: adverts in International Socialism newspaper.

Sources: national archive is held at Warwick University, Modern Records Centre.

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The national Fabian Society was founded in 1884 with the aim of developing political ideas and public policy on the political left. The Society is still active and affiliated to the Labour Party.

There is a vague reference to a local Fabian Society existing in 1892 but it has not been proved. An Aberdeen branch though was established in 1924 and a key member was Robert Raffan (he was a trade unionist and Labour councillor) who was Secretary for 40 years, from the late 1920s. It was reported that in the late 1930s Aberdeen was the largest branch in Scotland. The branch was very active organising meetings, many with visiting speakers.

Related entries: Aberdeen University Fabian Society.

References: Aberdeen Daily Journal and Trade Unionism in Aberdeen 1878 1900 (K. D. Buckley, Edinburgh, 1955).

Sources: papers of the national Fabian Society are held at the London School of Economics.

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The Industrial Workers of the World is an international labour union, that was founded in Chicago in 1905. The union is organised industrially, rather than, by trade. The union does not believe in working with employers and favours direct action by employees.

A group was briefly established by union members in Aberdeen in 2007. The group organised a May Day social night with folk music and also a film screening.

References: website.

Sources: unknown.

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Aberdeen United Against Fascism formed in 2004 as a response to The National Front attempting to march through Aberdeen on St Andrew’s Day. The group was co-ordinated through members of the Aberdeen Trades Union Council and was successful in lobbying Aberdeen City Council to ban the march. The result was an anti-fascism/anti-racism march on St Andrew’s Day 2005, a march which has become an Aberdeen Trades Union Council event to this day.

It is not clear whether the local group was part of the national campaign Unite Against Fascism which was formed in 2003, in response to the electoral campaigning of the British National Party. The similarity in name would suggest a link.

It is not known when this group wound-up, but it is likely that it simply morphed into another anti-fascist movement at a later date.

References: Aberdeen Trades Union Council Annual Reports.

Sources: unknown.

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The Grampian Regional Equality Council works to promote respect and combat discrimination for all people. At the end of the 1970s, Aberdeen welcomed Vietnamese families made refugees by the war in their country. It was realised that a support network was required and a committee of volunteers and representatives from local authorities and agencies was established. Over time, Grampian Community Relations Council came into being, then became Grampian Racial Equality Council and finally Grampian Regional Equality Council.

The organisation has led the way in promoting and campaigning for equality and diversity in the north-east of Scotland. The organisation also coordinates the North East Scotland Equalities Network (NESEN), formed in 2011, which aims to achieve equality in disability, gender, race, sexual orientation, age, religion and belief, through a network of public bodies and the voluntary sector.

References: Website.

Sources: unknown.

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Critical Mass Aberdeen aims to celebrate cycling as an alternative to motorised forms of transport for every day travel. There have been various mass cycle events in 1997, again from 2006 – 2008 and more recently.

There was also a University of Aberdeen society advertising in the Freshers’ magazine in 1995.

The Critical Mass movement is worldwide and started in America in 1992.

References: old website and University Freshers’ magazines.

Sources: unknown.

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