Felicity Garvie, from Fife, got the bus to Glasgow on Nov 6th and was blown away by the size and peaceful, multicultural atmosphere of the demo but also furious and dismayed by five wasted years since Paris COP.

She spoke to Socialists for Independence.

It looks like the world leaders are about to waste more time – the targets for cutting carbon emissions by 2050 mean the planet will heat up to 2.4C. Wrecking the environment, destroying precarious parts of the planet and condemning millions of the world’s poorest.

The poorest in the global south are the biggest losers as climate change destroys their ability to establish even survival-level lives. They are paying the price for the industrial north’s ruthless exploitation of the planet’s fossil fuels.

There has been a pledge of $500bn from COP6, to pay for the terrible consequences of climate change in the poorest developing nations, but Felicity points out that it’s nowhere near enough.

It’s a disgrace that the pitiful US$100bn a year promised in 2009 has not materialised, and although they have now increased this to $500bn, this won’t be until 2025.

Closing down tax havens and making the super-rich pay their fair share would release billions.

Trillions were found to get us through the pandemic, the same can be done for poorer countries where people are dying right now due to climate change.

There were 500 representatives of multi-national coal, gas and oil producers at COP26, do you think they had an influence?

It’s a disgrace that those 500 even got to attend but they achieved their industries goals – coal is to be ‘phased down’ not ‘phased out’ as originally stated, there’s not even a time limit to this and gas and oil aren’t even mentioned.

In future these profiteering, planet-wreckers should be banned.

What about Boris Johnson speech, do you think it was positive?

He could’ve put serious pressure on other big polluting nations with just three policy announcements to COP26:

· To revoke the licence for the Cambo oilfield in the North Sea

· To stop the coal mine in Cumbria going ahead

· To reverse the air fuel duty decrease in the Budget

Instead he chose to grandstand and show-off – another point in favour of Scotland being a fully independent nation. We’d have the power and the will to take on the global corporations who are trashing our children’s future in their greed for unsustainable growth and mega-profits.

Do you think the demo had any effect?

All walks of life, ethnicities, ages and ideologies were there in lashing wind and rain. Everyone felt the power that we had that day, when we march together and take control for ourselves.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the world leaders were paying attention. But over 100,000 in Glasgow and millions across the world made it quite clear what the planet needs, and it’ll happen again and again with bigger and bigger numbers.

We cannot let the rich and powerful destroy everything to maintain their wealth and privilege.

This has been a game-changer – it shows we’re not willing to listen to lazy politicians and profiteering capitalists any longer.

Who are Socialists for Independence?

What is Socialists for Independence?

SFI is a dynamic and constructive new voice within the broad Yes movement. We are affiliated to no political party, and we will work with all those who support Scotland’s right to decide its own destiny and shape its own future.  

Our founders range from veterans of the anti-Poll Tax movement that brought down Margaret Thatcher to a new generation of younger activists fighting to protect our natural world against rampant corporate capitalism.

Why is it necessary to create another pro-independence organisation?

We believe that a pro-independence organisation that speaks the language of working class socialism can inspire and mobilise support for independence among the poor, the young, the low paid and the marginalised. Without these forces on board, we will struggle to deliver a resounding majority for independence.

SFI is a dynamic and constructive new voice within the broad Yes movement.

Is socialism more important than independence, or vice versa?

Our support for independence is unconditional. The politics of an independent Scotland will be decided democratically by the people of that new nation state. Since the British electoral franchise was first widened almost 200 years ago, the Tory Party has won just five general elections in Scotland – and 30 times in England. 

The  Scottish Parliament we have today lacks the powers needed to radically transform society. It has no control over employment laws, corporation taxes, VAT, National Insurance, energy policy, defence, international relations, the monarchy, the House of Lords, overseas trade, immigration, citizenship, the financial system, pensions or social security. Without full independence,  even the most progressive Scottish Government lacks the power to truly transform the lives of millions. 

What is SFI’s long-term vision?

We want a clean, green nuclear-free independent Scotland that protects nature; ends extraction of fossil fuels; narrows the income and wealth gap between rich and poor; takes into public ownership and democratic control our energy, transport and banking networks; restores trade union rights; expands communal ownership of our land; regulates and taxes multinational corporations and other large companies operating in Scotland; breaks its links with feudal institutions such as the monarchy and the House of Lords; reduces its defence spending to the minimal level necessary to deal with emergencies;  opens our borders to new migrants; guarantees all our people a basic living income; and builds strong alliances with progressive forces internationally.

We cannot impose these policies, but by playing a major part in the ongoing struggle to achieve national independence, we believe that SFI will be well-placed to influence the direction of a future independent Scotland.  

Is SFI a rival to the SNP and the Greens?

No. Our enemy is the Anglo-centric, isolationist, millionaire government in Westminster, dripping with privilege and drooling with contempt for the natives of North Britannia. And those other politicians who collude with the notion that Scotland’s future should be decided by an old Etonian in London who has ventured across the border half a dozen times in his  57 years.

We will, however, work cooperatively with other pro-independence forces, including members of the SNP and Greens and with other genuine democrats across the UK and further afield who recognise the right of nations, including Scotland, to self-determination. 

We believe that a pro-independence organisation that speaks the language of working class socialism can inspire and mobilise support for independence among the poor, the young, the low paid and the marginalised.

Can anyone join SFI? 

Yes. Members of all political parties and none are welcome to join SFI, if you broadly agree with our aims and accept the conditions of membership.

Labour activists, who disagree with their party leadership’s obsessive infatuation with the United Kingdom, are more than welcome.