I wanted to post something on 31 January, but it slipped past me — so on the subsequent Friday, I’m putting up this note to commemorate Bloody Friday, when 92 years ago, labourers and sympathisers gathered in George Square to demand the reasonable working hours that contemporary developed nations have come to take for granted. The epithet “bloody” is, thankfully, more an intensifier than a medical description — but as protestors gather in peaceful procession to express their solidarity in holding governments and administrations accountable, we ought not forget that we all benefit from the persistence and endurance of our predecessors. And while concern for public order and safety may motivate some degree of resistance to such demonstrations, we ought not underestimate power’s determination to oppose any change that endangers its own power (indeed, “to oppose change that endangers the expansion of its own power”).
How about a Billy Bragg music festival?
Let no one build walls to divide us
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone
Thank you, who have stood up for our interests before us; thank you, sisters and brothers around the world today; thank you, daughters and sons who continue the work we leave undone — from Red Clydeside.