Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.
Published at 12:05 on 11 September 2015
LEFT wingers in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth have set their sights on the Scottish Parliament elections, next year, after the official launch of the new political party RISE.
Standing for Respect, Independence, Socialism, and Environmentalism, the birth of the new political party has grown out of a coalition between the Scottish Left Project and the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP).
Standing for a society without racism, sexism, discrimination, they party also supports Scottish independence, but are against membership of NATO, the monarchy, and austerity.
Launched at a special conference in Glasgow, on August 29th, local organisers of the movement say that Cumbernauld and Kilsyth was “well represented”.
Local supporters of the new movement, named ‘RISE Scotland’s Left Alliance’ participated in the special launch event which fired the starting gun on the party’s campaign for seats in the Scottish Parliament.
The movement’s organisations say that they will field candidates in some constituencies, but that the main aim is to get their people elected via the Holyrood regional list system.
Meetings across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth pre-empted the party’s official launch in Glasgow, but now that the party is officially together, local organisers are appealing for supporters to attend the first local branch meeting.
Jordan Daly is one of the group’s local organisers. He’s appealing for local supporters to band together and get involved with the new party.
“The national launch of RISE reflected how vibrant and inclusive this new movement is,” he explained.
“People from across Scotland and beyond came to discuss how a movement can be built that can develop solutions that will tackle the grotesque inequalities in wealth and opportunities for millions in Scotland.
Jordan added: “Our key principles are outlined in our name which is about Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism. It is a banner that people can unify under and positively use to shape another Scotland that is about the millions and not the millionaires.”
Starting to find their political feet, ahead of the group’s first Cumbernauld branch meeting in Greenfaulds Community Centre, on September 23rd at 7pm, the local RISE branch has already sunk their teeth into a contentious local issue.
RISE member Kevin McVey has lampooned a decision by Aberdeen-based transport firm, First Bus, to withdraw their x5 Cumbernauld to Glasgow and reduce the town’s x3 service.
“The need for our movement is highlighted by the fact that First Bus can arbitrarily decimate public transport in this area because presumably they are not happy with their profit margins,” Kevin said.
“People who rely on buses for being able to travel to work or other essentials could be enormously inconvenienced because our public transport system is in the hands of private companies.
“We will be campaigning for this threat to be withdrawn but also making the case for a public transport system that is publicly owned and integrated. Alternatives are needed and that is what RISE is all about,” he added.
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