Cash questions over Sheridan pro-indy rally

Geo sq

Demands for transparency over funding of George Square demo

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9th October 2014 by Graham Martin 16 Comments

Questions have been raised about the funding of a pro-independence rally being held by disgraced politician Tommy Sheridan.

People attending his Hope Over Fear demo are questioning why they have been asked to provide donations to the event at George Square, Glasgow on Sunday (12 October) – before and during it.

Meanwhile, mystery surrounds the involvement of an East Kilbride community organisation, Communities United Promoting Inclusion (CUPI).

A tweet which appears to have been sent by Sheridan under his @citizentommy handle – and subsequently retweeted by him and others – asks for cheques for the event to be made out to CUPI.

But although the organisation is based in Greenhills, the tweet asks for cheques to be sent to an address in Cardonald, Glasgow.

This happens to be Sheridan’s home address.

CUPI appears to be run by John Park, a supporter of Sheridan’s Solidarity party. He is described on CUPI’s website as an “organiser” and is involved in updating the group’s Facebook page.

People took to the Hope Over Fear Facebook page to ask questions about the event’s funding – looking for breakdowns of and transparency over how the money is being raised and how it will be spent.

One poster said: “There needs to be much more transparency about who is funding this event, how much they are paying and who any donations will be going to. Doesn't seem too much to ask... I've been to many rallies recently and none has asked for donations.”

Another said: “I hear others asking for transparency, give it to them! or risk the fact that peopke (sic) will ask questions as they have here.

“Personally I think allowing donations is fine to cover costs but nothing else. I believe in the cause and support you to keep up the momentum but please give us all the info asked for and I am certain donations will flow.”

Yet another queried: “I was at previous Yes rallies and know people who organised them... None asked for donations. And none were funded by millionaires or businessmen, all by volunteers. All I am asking for is a breakdown of the costs, after which like I said I will be happy to donate? You have only said it "costs thousands" but haven't said what parts actually cost money, surely a breakdown isn't too much to ask for?”

A Hope Over Fear page moderator said: “We as a group are not funded by any millionaires or businesses. All of this is being organised by working class campaigners. Costs for hosting a rally like this runs into the thousands.”

CUPI, Hope Over Fear and Sheridan have all been asked to comment.

The Hope Over Fear rally has already provoked controversy after foodbanks were drawn into a bitter row over who would be speaking at it.

Glasgow’s Needy, which organised a food collection in George Square following unionist violence after the 18 September independence referendum, claimed it has been “snubbed” by rally organisers when it asked to participate.

There followed accusations of threats and abuse being issued from both sides. East Kilbride based foodbank Loaves and Fishes has agreed to speak at the rally.

The Hope Over Fear event is based primarily around Sheridan, who was jailed for lying in court over claims he attended a seedy swingers’ club.

Its main movers are Sheridan’s followers and two small socialist factions – the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) – both of whom supported Sheridan when he broke from the Scottish Socialist Party.

Although they haven’t billed it as a party political rally, the CWI and the SWP have prominent members lined up to speak at the rally alongside Sheridan and Sweet Sixteen actor Martin Compston.

Sheridan organised a series of Hope Over Fear tours during the referendum after being frozen out of the official campaign by the leaders of Yes Scotland. Other prominent pro-yes groups, such as Radical Independence and Women for Independence, refused to share platforms with him.

9th October 2014 by Andy

That's nonsense, I've attended many rallies at George Square that have asked for donations towards hire of PA equipment and the open top bus that is sometimes used. I think people are deliberately trying to create division in an attempt to conquer the rising 45 movement! Don't let them do this! So what if Tommy Sheridan is handling donations for the gig? I'm sure he's not stupid enough to squander it on sunbeds, being very much under public scrutiny!

10th October 2014 by Carol Allan

I am absolutely disgusted by these accusations and the negative slant. Why o why do u constantly focus on someone's past have you not heard of restorative justice? It seems to me that individuals are trying to spoil the family rally on Sunday lets hope the majority of people refuse to let that happen

10th October 2014 by Chic Macgregor

I am disappointed that this has been raised in this manner. I would have preferred it if people from the SNP and any voluntary groups had spoken directly to Tommy Sheridan and the Hope over Fear organisers and only went public when you had something definite to say.Regardless of the fact that Tommy Sheridan may or may not have been disgraced in the past it is underhand to bring that up in this context. Not least because it implies that he is up to something underhand now. This is the type of character assassination that Alex Salmond was subjected to during the referendum campaign and it is bang out of order.Whatever may have occurred in the past Tommy Sheridan served his time and he has been nothing but a tireless and passionate ambassador for the Yes Movement during the campaign. If you suspect there is something wrong then call in the police but whatever you do get the facts right first.Just in case any of you are wondering I am not a member of Tommy's political party. I am one f the 75,000 who joined the SNP following the referendum and this is the first time in my life I have ever been a member of any political party. However, if this is how the SNP conducts its business I wont be a member for much longer and I suspect I wont b the only one. The man actually went public and asked people to vote for the SNP even if it meant his own party would lose votes. The very least you could do is make sure you have a cast iron case against him before going public.I am sure those Traitors in the Labour Party will be loving this at the moment.

10th October 2014 by jojo

chic mcgregor this is questions that tommy has been avoiding for weeks and blocking people and deleting comments instead of answering questions he has had ample oppertunity to answer them and has not! i believe he is trying to bring the 45 into disrepute

10th October 2014 by Craig B

@ chicIs it the SNP that are making the accusations or insinuations? That's not clear from the article. Is the suggestion that any donations are going to fund Tommy Sheridan personally, or his political party Solidarity, or to cover the costs of the rally?The accusers and also the defenders of Sheridan have an obligation to inform us fully about all aspects of this affair.

10th October 2014 by Lorraine

"Disgraced politician". So if Jim Murphy found guilty of expenses accuslations, will you describe him as a "disgraced politician"? I doubt it, one rule for radicals, another for the establishment. Bad jornalism throughout this argument, clearly putting across a bias. I expect better from Third Force News.

10th October 2014 by k Briggs

Transparency is always good,Tommy had asked all members of the SSP to vote SNP .this is not in my opinion the actions of a selfish man. I am not a member of his party

10th October 2014 by Mandy Moore Preston

Poor Tommy...always for the people..always trying but so many jealous haters..I'm an SNP member but it is clear to see the contribution made by TS...thank you to those organising this event.....I trust your intentions...& hope those trying to sabbotage it fail...shameful resentment & fear

10th October 2014 by Sean Oreilly

how can anyone trust a proven liar No official campaign collection No official statement of his the money will be used People attend to support not to be taken for ride It's a sham preying on the honest and vulnerable

10th October 2014 by davieg

this is not right,be truthful with us

11th October 2014 by Cameron

You do know this Unionist violence you refer to was actually started by Natz flinging flares and singing songs of terror? What a rabble you lot are - which is nice.Thieving, in-fighting, violence, intimidation and hero worshipping comrade Tommy, much to the amusement of us - the majority.No wonder you lost heavily.

11th October 2014 by JanC

This article seems to have one purpose undermine the rally tomorrow....a huge turnout is expected, a huge show of strength fornthe YES movement...the powers that be don't like it, hence the need to try to fracture the movement, cause division and superstition. Don't believe the hype folks. It will be a great day.

11th October 2014 by Chris

What a shit biased article!!! Total embarrassment to the halfwit that wrote this tripe.

12th October 2014 by I S Forrest

Who on earth are you lot? Which particular branch of the establishment pulls your strings? Who are you answerable to? Whichever vested interest concern you pander to I feel sure you are already preaching to the converted. As for the thousands of people supporting the 'hope over fear' rally tomorrow, they hear a different tune. One beyond your limited and blinkered view of people and events; and they will hear Tommy Sheridan speak and be buoyed up by his words in ways you can only dream of.

12th October 2014 by 45

Lies lies and more lies. Is this a spin off from a bbc website by any chance. Lying bastards. Government pawns here at third force news...probably taking fundraising themselves to lie about independence movements.

12th October 2014 by Margaret Monaghan

This article is complete poisonous propaganda from hateful hacks. MONEY is needed to organize rallies. The people of Scotland are UNITED to demonstrate our solidarity for the"Unstoppable Momentum". That is grassroots engaging as never before. Irrespective of your smears.,Tommy Sheridan is a working-class hero and always will be. He is not a " Disgraced Politician". The people of Scotland love and adore him and his wife Gail and their tireless and endless efforts - to get a fairer society against the oppression of the corrupt elite. AND WITH MAGNIFICENT LEAD FROM TOMMY AND HIS LIKE WE WILL ULTIMATELY WIN OUR RIGHT TO THIS! I don't see you mentioning " Disgraced politician" JIm Murphy fiddling expenses.