Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
As a young man, Rowland joined the Labour Party Young Socialists, helping to organise the Stirling branch. Later, he joined the International Marxist Group and was elected to the central committee in 1973. Over the years, he served in the leadership of various political parties and movements including Scottish Labour, Scottish Nationalist Party, Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity. He was also one of the founders of the Scottish Socialist Movement.
Throughout his life, Rowland was a supporter of movements for national independence, including Zimbabwe, Ireland and, of course, Scotland.
After the Chilean coup of 1973, Rowland co-founded the Chile Solidarity Committee in Stirling and was a great friend of exiled Chileans in Central Scotland. Tributes at his funeral made clear that Rowland’s persistent campaigning had undoubtedly saved lives in Chile. He also helped found the Ecomemoria Grove in Stirling’s Kings Park, which commemorates persecuted Chileans. A memorial bench for Rowland is to be sited there.
In the seventies, Rowland started a tenants group in Stirling’s Raploch area after being approached by local women who assumed he was a councillor, because he wore a suit and gave out leaflets. As a consistent supporter of women’s rights, it was no surprise that he looked after the crèche, while the women tenants attended the council chambers and put forward their case themselves. The final campaign, which broke Rowland’s health, was also on housing; helping to achieve a successful vote against the housing stock transfer in Stirling in 2006.
Rowland was a champion of making links between the global and the local. For more than thirty years, it could be guaranteed that any campaign in Stirling had been co-instigated by him. He encouraged others, particularly young people, to be politically active. Ever buoyant, even in his final weeks he inspired local activists to organise a symposium on the US economy.
Without a university education, Rowland was a true intellectual. He was exceptionally well read and had a great knowledge of science, the arts, literature, sport and many aspects of history. He had an affinity with children and was a friend to many, encouraging a love of reading and chess. Above all, he was a family man; a loving brother to Linda and uncle to Clare, Stephen, Suzy and their families.
For more information www.rowlandsheret.org
Campaign groups highlight UK complicity in Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses.
Three founders of Momentum talk to Ashish Ghadiali about the two years that have transformed their lives and the fortunes of the British left.
Andrew Smith from Campaign Against the Arms Trade gives the run-down on one of the UK's most profitable - and most deadly - industries.
The real story behind the fire in Grande Synthe’s Linière refugee camp, Dunkirk. From 'Bordered Lives – How Europe fails refugees and migrants' by Hsiao-Hung Pai
Javier Pérez De La Cruz writes about the working class Berlin neighbourhood wrung dry by gentrifiers.
Across the world, thousands of protesters are taking on the planet’s biggest fossil fuel companies. We should support them – and if we can, we should join them. By Kara Moses
Students are suffering the effects of financial instability, stress, and slashed mental health services. Mark Crawford reports.
They're not defending free speech - they're just seeking to shore up their own power, writes Ilyas Nagdee
How can the heavily-armed Israeli state claim to be victimised by one teenage activist? By Richard Seymour.
Governments are manufacturing a new 'enemy within', write Yasser Louati and Malia Bouattia
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism