Young, Sarah

Young, Sarah

Sarah Young

28 August 2012News

Coal site shutdown

On 14 July, 45 people invaded Scottish Coal’s Mainshill open-cast coal site near Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and shut it down for the day. Machines including a ‘prime mover’ were occupied and all work was stopped completely.

The occupation was part of an action camp held in Douglas Valley in the Southern Uplands from 12-18 July. Other actions included blockading the entrance of Broken Cross open-cast coal site and ‘open-casting’ the lawn belonging to Lord Home, who makes…

1 March 2012News

Would ousting Trident from Scotland spell a end to the weapons system?

Scottish CND’s new report investigates where Trident might go if it couldn’t be in Scotland and concludes that there are no viable options. The hope is that this will boost the prospects for ridding the world of nuclear weapons, though, of course, the politics of any deal on Scottish independence would also have an impact.

Scottish CND’s latest statement on the independence referendum states: ‘We want to ban the bomb in Scotland and in Britain and beyond. We are delighted that the…

1 November 2011News

The continued resistance to cuts and a wider protest against global economic injustice and the financial system has been expressed through occupations in Scotland’s main cities.

The occupations were initiated on 15 October, International Day of Action against Austerity and War. In Edinburgh, the St Andrew’s Square occupation is situated at the heart of Scotland’s financial centre, right next to the Bank of Scotland.

Meanwhile, Occupy Glasgow is sited in George Square.…

1 October 2011News

Hundreds attend annual Scottish CND event.

On 17 September, Glasgow’s George Square was the venue for the Make Peace Festival, organised by Scottish CND. Hundreds gathered for the event which included speakers, stalls and live music. A large selection of four hundred children’s pictures was also exhibited in the square, each inspired by the theme “Paint for Peace”.

Speakers included Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie and Bill Kidd, the Scottish Nationalist MSP. Those who came along combined to form a large CND symbol, in human…

1 September 2011News

Scottish Goverment responds to open letter.

In July, the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre received a promising reply to an open letter sent to the Scottish government immediately after the Scottish elections in May. The letter was concerned with the Scottish government’s role regarding the removal of Trident and the wider debate on nuclear non-proliferation.

In the reply, Bruce Crawford MSP, the cabinet secretary for parliamentary business and government strategy, restated the government’s opposition to the possession and…

1 September 2011News

Cuts and compulsory redundancies to end.

Students at the University of Glasgow are celebrating after the university’s principal Anton Muscatelli conceded defeat, so ending the longest student occupation in UK history. Hard-won concessions include a new postgraduate club, no further cuts to courses and no compulsory redundancies at the university. As part of the deal, students will be able to question the principal in a mass open meeting in October as there has been a perceived lack of transparency surrounding management decisions…

13 August 2011Feature

Five protestors were arrested on 29 August, and charged with disrupting the performance of the internationally-acclaimed Israeli Jerusalem Quartet at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall.

The Quartet were playing as part of the official Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) program and have other tour dates in the UK. The protest, organised by Scottish Palestine Solidarity (SPS), stopped play on four occasions during the concert, whilst a leafleting protest took place outside the building…

13 August 2011Feature

Morning vigils are being planned to take place during parliamentary sittings up ’til the end of 2008. The aim is to maintain awareness amongst MSPs about Trident replacement by creating a presence at the entrance to the Scottish Parliament.

Following the decision of the Scottish Parliament in June 2007 not to replace Trident, a Scottish Parliament working group on Trident replacement was set up to take this further.

The group, chaired by Bruce Crawford MSP, (see photo)…

13 August 2011Feature

Sarah Young reports on the Peace Chain Around Faslane

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like at Faslane. If you think about a port, then images of dockland housing, pubs and assorted services spring to mind. But Faslane is an isolated port, with none of the usual hinterland, surrounded by an impenetrable perimeter fence. It sits in a fabulous loch-side setting with a jagged mountainous backdrop.

Military bases focus our minds on the reality of what state power is and what that power represents. Power created through the acquisition of…

13 August 2011Feature

The Unity Centre is tiny – the opposite of a Tardis – a corner shop space crammed with people, computers, filing systems, sofas, chocolates and a whole lot more. It is unique because of how it is organised, what it does and how it came into being. Unity Centre volunteers Jane and Phill helped me to understand more.

The Centre’s origins can be traced back to the 2005 anti-G8 mobilisation in Scotland, where one of the focuses was the Dungavel detention centre and the No Borders…

13 August 2011Feature

Anxieties and demands in connection to the financial crisis and the government’s so-called “recapitalisation” of the banks were voiced in Edinburgh on 24 October.
A small crowd gathered in the gloaming outside the headquarters of HBOS, formerly the home of the Bank of Scotland. The building features prominently on the Edinburgh skyline, topped with a golden female figure that appears to be juggling a pair of doughnuts.
The gathering included Scottish Socialist Youth, Praxis…

13 August 2011Feature

PN: Tell us some background about ACE.

M: ACE dates back to the council-funded Edinburgh Unemployed Workers' Centre in the 1980s. The Centre had been prominent in the movement for non-payment of the poll tax and other sorts of direct action.

In 1992 the council cut off all funding. So the Centre users took it over and ran it collectively.

In summer 1994, the council issued an eviction notice and then we occupied the building 24 hours a day until…

13 August 2011Feature

Passengers hurrying into the main check-in at Edinburgh International Airport on August 22nd were greeted by an unusual sight. A massive banner proclaimed: “MEXICO... Sun… Fun… bloomin’ nice beaches…”, alongside a painting of a palm tree. A somewhat eccentric Mexican tourist board initiative perhaps?

Not exactly. “Torture… Death squads… Human Rights Breaches…” continued the lower half of the banner, with a carefully painted AK47 illustrating the point.

Demonstrators from…

1 April 2011News

I met Karen and Alice at the Heatherington Recreation Club student occupation at Glasgow University. They and numerous others are occupying and looking after a beautiful building, a former club for research students that had been left to waste by the university authorities.

Heatherington is now being used as an educational and cultural venue as well as a space from which to organise on issues in higher education and the wider anti-cuts agenda. Scotland’s academics took two days…

1 April 2011News

On 10 March, Stirling hosted Scotland’s White Ribbon march, organised by men taking action against violence against women. The event was sponsored by Stirling Council and supported by Amnesty International. It was also supported by the local police force, so it was the first march I have been on where the police were simultaneously policing and marching (openly at least!).

Perhaps this will be repeated in the coming months when the police try to gain our support against cuts to…