Scotland Reacts To Thatcher Death

Hundreds of cheering people held parties to 'celebrate' the death of Baroness Thatcher.

A crowd of 300 people assembled in Glasgow's George Square where in 1989 protests to the introduction of the former prime minister's poll tax took place. 

Some wore party hats and launched streamers into the air while a bottle of champagne was opened with a toast to the demise of Baroness Thatcher. 

Members of various organisations including the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Working Party, the International Socialist Group, were joined by members of the public to mark the occasion. 

Meanwhile, More than 100 people gathered in Brixton, south London - the scene of fierce riots in 1981 - two years into her first time in office. 

Some scaled the nearby Ritzy Cinema to rearrange the lettering advertising films to read ``Margaret Thatchers dead''. 

In Glasgow anti-capitalist campaigners shouted from loudspeakers, ``Maggie, Maggie, Maggie'' as the crowd replied ``dead, dead, dead''. 

Crowds gathered from 5pm yesterday despite a statement from Glasgow City Council discouraging anyone from attending the event which was organised over social media. 

Within minutes of the announcement of the death of the former prime minister a call was made for a demo in Glasgow's city centre. Bryan Simpson, 24, who is a member of executive council for Unite the Union created the Facebook event page, Thatcher's Deed - Party in George Square - Tonight! 

More than 1,000 people said they would attend via the social networking site, with a number of people referring to the stroke that killed her as ``a stroke of good luck''. 

There were four other similar event pages created via Facebook calling people to attend the ``death party''. 

There has been preparation for the day Margaret Thatcher died for many years. Martin Chomsky, the lead singer of Chomsky Allstars, penned the song So Long Margaret Thatcher a number of years ago. 

He performed the song in George Square last night. 

He said: ``There are mixed emotions. I was never brought up to celebrate anyone's death but the pain she brought to Latin America, Europe and around the world should be remembered. 

``I would rather that Thatcherism was dead because she is mostly to blame for what is going on today. 

``She is responsible, but not solely, for the massive gap between the rich and the poor.'' 

In Brixton, some were carrying banners, with one saying: ``Rejoice, Thatcher is dead.'' 

They also opened champagne and cheered, shouting: ``Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead.'' 

One shouted: ``Free milk for all.'' During the ``party'' a green smoke bomb was held in the air by one member of the crowd and a firework was set off but the event was peaceful and no arrests were made, according to police. 

There were performances by musicians including a rendition of the tune dubbed the Bedroom Tax Song called You Cannae Have A Spare Room In A Pokey Cooncil Flat by Alan Smart which has received more than 130,000 views on YouTube. 

Angela McCormick, a socialist from Glasgow, said: ``I'm here for a generation that didn't have a future when they left school and didn't have jobs. I'm here for the members of my family who have been devastated by the economic policies or the economic crimes of Margaret Thatcher in the 80s in Glasgow. 

``She started with saying 'it's all about individuals there's no such thing as society' and now Cameron is saying there's no such thing as welfare. This isn't nostalgia, this is a fight for our lives and many of us feel fortunate to have survived Thatcherism and we're telling David Cameron right now, we'll survive him just like we put an end to Thatcher.'' 

When asked if she thought it was appropriate to celebrate Baroness Thatcher's death, Ms McCormick said: ``It's not right and appropriate to wage war on the poor, to channel thousands and millions of pounds into making the rich richer and expect ordinary people to lie down and roll over and put up with it. She was inappropriate, her killing and murder has put blood on her hands and that's why it's appropriate to be here today.'' 

Mr Simpson said: ``This is to celebrate the death of somebody who has for 35 years been a bane on society. 

``The reason we are here today, apart from celebrating the death of Thatcher is to point out that what she began is being continued by the Tories now. David Cameron is a child of Thatcher and is absolutely continuing her neo-liberal policies. The bedroom tax that has been brought in has been brought in because she got rid of all the social housing. We would have enough social housing for everybody but she sold it off. 

``What I think we want to change is this perception in the media that Margaret Thatcher is a god, with some kind of pariah status within society, she's not. She is one of the worst prime ministers we have ever had.'' 

Bruce Morton, 53, member of The Greater Shawlands Republic, said: ``She was one of the most strident advocates and driving forces behind a rampant capitalism which saw communities broken up, industries torn down, deregulation of this, privatisation of that and as one of the older more patrician Tories said at the time, she sold off the family silver. To my mind there was no need for any of those measures, no need for such drama back in those times. It was just an ideology which I think has proven to have failed.''