Social justice campaigners like these give hope that a better world really is possible – Neil Findlay

Last week, I launched my new book ‘If you don’t run, They can’t chase you’.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:30 pm
The late Labour MP Maria Fyfe is one of Neil Findlay's political heroes (Picture: Allan Milligan)

It’s an inspiring collection of accounts from people who have been in the frontline of the fight for social justice. They are a timely antidote to the dark times in which we live.

Over the last few years, I have interviewed people who, through events and circumstances, became key players in these campaigns.

Many are ordinary citizens who were just going about their daily lives, only for personal tragedy, political decisions or industrial conflict to drive them into life-changing campaigns.

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Some like the Scottish mesh survivors have achieved major victories, others like the miners experienced crushing defeat but all of the 16 stories in the book tell us a great deal about humanity, solidarity, resilience, determination and what happens when ordinary people are driven by a sense of injustice to do extraordinary things.

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Some of those featured like Jim Swan (the British Leyland work-in) and Alistair Mackie (the workers cooperative at the Scottish Daily News) were political mentors to me as a young activist.

Others like Dennis Skinner (the Miners’ Strike) and Maria Fyfe (women’s rights) are political heroes of mine whilst Elaine Holmes, Olive McIlroy (mesh) and Dave Smith (blacklisting) and ‘Andrea’ (Spycops) are people I have worked with on campaigns. They are truly inspirational.

These people and their stories give all of us who believe in a fairer, more equal and just society hope that a better world really is possible. I hope they will inspire the activists of today.

‘If you don’t run, They can’t chase you’ is out now and available from neilfindlaybooks.com and Luath Press.

Neil Findlay is a former Labour MSP and is now a director of social enterprise Unity Consulting

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