August 28, 2021
From Radical Glasgow (UK)

         1820, a date to remember in Scottish people’s struggle for freedom. That year the powers that be were anxious and very concerned at the unrest and radical movements springing up across the country and wider Europe. By guile, betrayal and subterfuge the state tricked the radicals into acting and so the 1820 insurrection was born, perhaps a little premature. After some bloody battles they were crushed, those captured suffered from the bloody savage hand of the vindictive state. Some were banished to Australia, others were executed, hanged and beheaded. One of those radicals James “Purlie” Wilson was hanged and then beheaded in a public state murder just at the entrance to Glasgow Green on August 30th. 1820

         To mark the occasion of this savage state murder a gathering will take place at the spot of the murder on Sunday August 29th. at 1pm. Come along and show your respect for those who gave their life for your freedom. James “Purlie” Wilson’s speech from the dock at the pronouncing of his punishment, is an impassioned, statement of our right to freedom, and our undying struggle to achieve that righteous ambition. Bring your friends, banners and your street with you.

Glasgow Green opposite the Glasgow High Court
Sunday, August 29th. 1pm. 
“Purlie” Wilson’s speech from the dock, before his state
murder on 30
August, 201 years ago. He was one of the radicals of the 1820

am not deceived. You might have condemned me without this mummery of
a trial. You want a victim. I will not shrink from the sacrifice. I
am ready to lay down my life in support of these principles which
must ultimately triumph.”

“My Lords and Gentlemen, I will not attempt the mockery of a
defence. You are about to condemn me for attempting to overthrow the
oppressors of my country. You do not know, neither can you
appreciate, my motives. I commit my sacred cause, which is that of
freedom, to the vindication of posterity.”

“You may condemn me to immolation on the scaffold, but you
cannot degrade me. If I have appeared as a pioneer in the van of
freedom’s battles; if I have attempted to free my country from
political degradation; my conscience tells me that I have only done
my duty.

“Your brief authority will soon cease, but the vindictive
proceedings of this day shall be recorded in history. The principles
for which I have contended are as immutable, as imperishable, as the
eternal laws of nature. My gory head may in a few days fall on the
scaffold and be exposed as the head of a traitor, but I will appeal
with confidence to posterity.”

“When my countrymen will have exalted their voices in bold
proclamation of the rights and dignity of humanity, and enforced
their claim by the extermination of their oppressors, then, and not
till then, will some future historian do my memory justice, then will
my name and sufferings be recorded in Scottish history – then my
motives will be understood and appreciated; and with the confidence
of an honest man, I appeal to posterity for that justice which has in
all ages and in all countries been awarded to those who have suffered
martyrdom in the glorious cause of liberty.”

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