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Message of Support to Glasgow from Brazil

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  • tony@gaia.org
    GLASGOW S GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE www.saveourpool.co.ukEMail. saveourpool@aol.comTOTHE FIRST MINISTER, HENRY McCLEISH, CHARLES
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2001
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      GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL:SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE
      www.saveourpool.co.uk

      EMail. saveourpool@...

      TO

      THE FIRST MINISTER, HENRY McCLEISH, CHARLES GORDON, ALL SMP'S AND GLASGOW
      CITY COUNCILLORS, BRIDGET McCONNELL, ALL CAMPAIGNERS ON LINE AND SAVEOURPOO=
      L
      WEBSITE, THE MEDIA

      FROM GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL POOL: SOUTHSIDE AGAINST CLOSURE

      WE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE LAST WEEK FROM PATRICK, A LIBERATION THEOLOGIST AN=
      D
      CATHOLIC PRIEST FROM SCOTLAND WHO
      SPENT 20 YEARS IN BRAZIL - WHERE HE LIVES NOW. HE KNOWS A LOT
      ABOUT THE OPPRESSION OF PEOPLE STRUGGLING FOR JUSTICE. IT IS POSTED ON OUR=

      WEB SITE, WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS HIGHLY RELEVANT

      READERS MAY WISH TO PUT IT IN A CONTEXT OF THE HISTORICAL STRUGGLES IN
      SCOTLAND FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE.

      IT HAS BEEN POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE AND MIGHT BE READ IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE=

      MESSAGE FROM TARIQ PLACED THERE ON THURSDAY LAST

      To the Glasgow Govanhill Pool Campaign

      I was horrified to learn recently of the latest developments in the long
      struggle to save the Govanhill Swimming Pool for the local community and t=
      he
      people of Glasgow. I had thought that the tactics used by Glasgow City
      Council to impose it's will were restricted to the type of dirty
      dictatorship that I lived under
      as a missionary in Brazil for 20 years (1966 - 1986).

      However the experiences of the peaceful protesters at Genoa in July, and
      Govanhill and Sighthill in August, have shown me that mini-dictators and
      their bootlicking followers continue to exist, even in the most democratic=

      countries.

      The circumstances are the same - a just cause and fierce
      suppression. The more just the cause, the fiercer the reaction.

      The means used are the same:

      (1)Lack of consultation with the people involved, knowing that there will =
      be
      strong popular opposition.

      (2)Use of the element of surprise. A 'fait accompli' is always harder to =

      combat or reverse.

      (3)Massive intimidation, using the forces of 'law and order' to carry out =

      their plans and provide an air of legality to their actions and illegality=

      to protesters.

      (4)Suppression of any sign of dissent or criticism among state functionari=
      es
      who fear open or subtle punishment (dismissal, lack of promotion etc.)

      (5)Unnecessary acts of provocation to get a few hotheads to
      answer violence with violence, thus providing an excuse for more repressiv=
      e
      methods and photographs for the media.

      (6)Manipulation of the media, distorting facts to put protesters in a poor =

      light using terms such as 'fanatics', 'anarchists' etc.

      (7)Ignoring the suffering their plans will bring to the weakest members of =

      society - those with poor living accommodation, the unemployed, those in s=
      ub
      optimal health, the physically and/or emotionally handicapped, children an=
      d
      the elderly, etc.

      In contrast, history has shown that those regimes which used a high moral =

      tone (all for the 'good of the people'), had millions stashed away in
      foreign banks, a result of massive kick-backs from contracting firms and/o=
      r
      multinational companies seeking to explore natural resources.

      Refusal to meet with protesters or their delegates.Appointment of an offici=
      al
      'trouble-shooter' to 'investigate' complaints (usually an appointee of the=

      'dictator') or the setting up of a 'committee' to draw up a “report” wh=
      ich
      will take months and years to issue some harmless 'findings'. If all else =

      fails and protests continue, the campaign of violence, intimidation and
      misinformation will worsen.

      But the fact remains that as long as there is one person prepared to stand=

      up and say 'NO', the dictator will not sleep easy. Such power has to be
      absolute else it remains insecure, in spite of its best (or worst) efforts=

      to give the impression that it is in full control and will never go back o=
      n
      its decisions.

      Sooner or later, dialogue will have to take place.

      Remember Bishop Desmond Tutu in the blackest days of South African Aparthe=
      id
      saying, 'We are on the winning team', and St. Paul writing to persecuted
      Christians, 'You have not yet resisted unto death'.

      (Padraig)

      FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT saveourpool@...
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