Friday 21 December 2018

Festive greetings and best wishes for 2019

Aberdeen Trade Union Council wishes all our delegates, affiliates, associates and friends our best wishes for a wonderful festive season and a happy and peaceful New Year.

We particularly send greetings to those providing essential services over the holiday period.

Thanks to you all for making our 150th centenary year one to remember. 150 years on Aberdeen Trade Union Council is still going strong, fighting for workers's rights and human rights at home and across Scotland, the UK and the world.

Best wishes to you all.

Monday 3 December 2018

John Maclean commemoration 3rd Dec - speeches from the event

Fiona Napier
Speech from Fiona Napier, ATUC Secretary, welcoming those gathered and giving some background to John Maclean's visit to Aberdeen 100 years ago.

"Thank you for being here this morning! 

"We’re here today to speak about a great man, a true working class hero – Glasgow schoolteacher and revolutionary socialist – John Maclean. He was a man who campaigned all his life against the injustices he saw in society - imperialist wars, poverty, inadequate housing – a fight that saw him labelled ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’ by the British intelligence services. Dangerous, because he challenged injustice wherever he saw it, and refused to be silenced, and dangerous because he inspired others to action. 

"He publicly – and ceaselessly - opposed the First World War, encouraging working class men to defy conscription. Three times MacLean stood in court, accused of sedition and offences against the Defence of The Realm Act, and on his 3rd appearance he was sentenced to 5 years and sent to Peterhead jail. There he was subjected to brutal treatment, including a harsh regime of force-feeding. His health never recovered from the damage done to him in jail, and he died far too soon, aged only 44.

"When he was released from Peterhead prison on 3rd 1918, 100 years ago to the day, he began his train journey back to Glasgow, stopping for a time in Aberdeen, where he was greeted by comrades at the station and joined a reception organised for him by ATUC. 100 years later, we are proud to be here today, commemorating the life and works of this courageous man. John Maclean died too young, but his legacy lives on. The injustices that he fought against all his life are still with us today, and we’re here to fight them"

ATUC commemorates John Maclean's release from Peterhead jail 100 years to the day

Aberdeen Trades Union Council delegates and friends gathered at Aberdeen Railway Station today, Monday 3rd Dec to remember “the great John Maclean,” schoolteacher and revolutionary socialist.

It was 100 years to the day that our ATUC comrades gathered to welcome John Maclean as he journeyed back to Glasgow on his release from Peterhead Prison, having been jailed on a charge of sedition for opposing the first world war.

The John Maclean Memorial Band (aka Irn Broo) provided the soundtrack to the event and had the train station rocking with their renditions of the John Maclean March, the Freedom Come All Ye and the Ballad of John Maclean, as those gathered added their voices to the singing.