IBMT's AGM weekend in Edinburgh

Post date: 23/10/2013

Gordon Munro (on left of the International Brigade memorial) addresses the meeting in East Princes Street Gardens. Daniel Gray (on right of the memorial) looks on.


NB: Download the draft minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting below.


IBMT's AGM weekend in Edinburgh

The IBMT’s Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh on 12 October was preceded by a gathering of more than 120 supporters at the International Brigade memorial in East Princes Street Gardens in the heart of the Scottish capital.

Speakers included local Labour city councillor Gordon Munro and historian Daniel Grey, the main organisers of the weekend of activities linked to the Trust’s AGM. They were joined by IBMT Scotland Trustee Mike Arnott and Reinhardt Silbermann of the KFSR German International Brigades friendship group.

Wreaths were laid by, among others, representatives of GMB Scotland, the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association and Unison North Lanarkshire Branch, all of whom helped fund the weekend’s events.

There was an “Evening of Spanish Songs and Stories” at the Canons’ Gait pub, which was packed for the occasion. The main attraction was local group Gallo Rojo, made up of Scots musicians and locally-based Spaniards. Daniel Grey, read extracts from his book, “Homage to Caledonia”, about the Scottish volunteers and poems were recited by Gordon Munro and IBMT Secretary Jim Jump.

The AGM itself was attended by some 70 members. They re-elected the Executive Committee for a further 12-month term of office and approved the committee’s report of activities and financial report.

The AGM heard that the IBMT’s financial deficits of the previous two years had been reversed. Thanks to the 2013 subscriptions increase and the affiliation of 10 national trade unions over the past 12 months, a suplus of £9,795 was achieved in the financial year to April.

Strong support was voiced at the meeting for the Trust to redouble efforts to secure a memorial to the merchant seafarers who died and risked their lives while sailing to Republican Spanish ports in the face of aerial and naval attack from Franco’s warships and by bombers and submarines sent by his allies Hitler and Mussolini.

The weekend also featured a radical tour of the Cowgate area of Edinburgh led by Gordon Munro. The walk began at the memorial to Irish republican and socialist James Connolly, who lived in the city for several years. There was also a special screening of the two-hour 2009 Scottish TV documentary “The Scots Who Fought Franco” at the White Horse Bar.

To welcome the IBMT’s AGM in Edinburgh, Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian, tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament noting “the considerable contribution made by hundreds of Scots as part of voluntary international forces in the fight against fascism in Spain” and recognising “the tireless work of Scots in contributing to the Aid for Spain movement.

The motion added: “The Edinburgh events will reflect a commitment to opposing modern fascism, racism and prejudice. Parliament commends the International Brigade Memorial Trust for what it considers its ongoing and unstinting work in keeping alive the memories of the Scottish contingent and all those other brave men and women who made up the InternationalBrigades as they hold their Annual General Meeting in Scotland.”


Gallo Rojo performing at the IBMT social.


IBMT AGM 2013 minutes

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