Saturday, 8 March 2008

Happy International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women's Day celebrated throughout the world. So the Independent Republic of the Canongate wishes all the women out there a good one.

When looking for an appropriate wee story for our daily blog I found this poster.

100 years ago the Labour Party were fighting against evictions and private landlords. 96 years later they are pulling down the things they fought for decent housing at affordable rents, the Sailors Ark to feed and support the homeless, an Edwardian school that can no longer educate the children of the Old Town because their parents have been out priced from the area to move away and the demolition of a building that is used as affordable work space for artists, artisans and small businesses for a fancy 5 star hotel, conference centre, luxury apartments and more shops to spend our money in.

"The outbreak of war in 1914, and the sudden migration of thousands of workers into munitions districts in Glasgow, intensified pressure on available housing. Many landlords saw this as an ideal opportunity to increase rents, which quickly led to increased hardship for many working class households led by women.

Women from these areas organised to resist threats of evictions from landlords and began a campaign of non-payment of rents which forced the government to pass legislation preventing any war-time increases in rents.

The rent strikes saw the first mass organisation and involvement of Glasgow working class women in political agitation."

The Macrae tenements built by the City architect Ebenezer Macrae were built as a direct result of the Housing Act brought about after the Glasgow Rent strikes so workers could have access to affordable housing owned municipally.


Today we find out in the Edinburgh Evening News here that former Labour Councillor and Planning Convenor Trevor "the finger" Davies has become an disHonourable Professor of Urban Design at Glasgow University.