Local activist and historian Allan Armstrong led today’s ‘Radical Auld Reekie’ tour as part of the Edinburgh People’s Festival. He explained the fascinating revolutionary history of the city and the struggles it is connected to from the 1790 to 1938 and highlighted key figures like James Connolly who led the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916, Thomas Muir the leader of the Reform movement in Scotland at the time of Burns and those who went to aid the Republican side in the Spanish Civil war of 1936-1938 amongst others.
Allan highlighted the many episodes of that most important side of Edinburgh, its working class history and struggles. You will not find any of his tour notes on the ‘Visit Scotland’ website, or BBC TWO’s ‘Festival’ coverage, or the Rough Guide to Edinburgh – but you will be able to see Allan for yourself soon on the Edinburgh People’s Festival website.
The picture shows Allan and part of his party in Calton Hill cemetery, where there stands a monument to Thomas Muir and the Scots radicals sentence to penal servitude for championing the rights of working people in the 1790’s, as well as the first statue erected to Abraham Lincoln outside the USA.