by Democrat reporter
THE ANNUAL rally organised by the 1820 Society in memory of the Scottish radical leader James Wilson was held on Saturday 14 June in his native Strathaven.
A wreath was laid at the monument erected in Wilson's memory in 1846. This was followed by a minute's silence, the playing of a lament by a Scottish piper and speeches from a number of prominent guests.
Scottish culture minister Linda Fabiani, local Labour councillor James Molloy, South Lanarkshire SNP group leader Anne Maggs, John Glen of the Communist Party of Scotland and the Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, James Holloway, were among those who spoke at the event.
Although the 1820 Insurrection was one of the most important events in recent Scottish history, relatively few people are even aware that it took place, explained Scottish culture minister Linda Fabiani. She said that the Scottish government was determined to redress this by ensuring that significant events in the history of ordinary working people were taught in schools.
Other speakers sought to link the events of 1820, particularly the ideals of James Wilson and the Scottish radicals, to the continuing struggles in Scotland for social justice, democratic rights and political independence.
The Chairman of the 1820 Society, Ian Bayne, commented on the first class nature of the contributions and publicly appealed to East Kilbride District Council to repair the headstone to the martyr, which is sadly lying on its face in the nearby cemetery. Before closing proceedings, he invited Stephen Coyle to make a financial appeal on behalf of the Society.
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