Friday 29 August 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 03

The Plough
-E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
Number- 3 Date August 29th 2003
1. Eamon McCann
2. IRSP response to Press Association story
3. The U.S.S.R and Nazi Germany
4. The Politics of Food
5. Belfast Anti-War Movement
6. Anti-war meetings in your area
7. Joint Communiqué of the FARC-EP and the ELN
8. Forthcoming events
9. Plough details.
On Eamon McCann
Eamon McCann writing in the Pro-Good Friday Agreement newspaper the Belfast
Telegraph had a sideswipe at the IRSP in the course of an attack on a so called republican
principle that
“-leads its adherents to believe that the paramilitary group they support has a right to
kill people who challenge its authority?
In terms of the Republican tradition as expressed over the past 30 years, it goes back to
the "mandate" of 1916 and the notion of the "army" as the legitimate representative of
the will of the Irish people.”
McCann has cleverly lumped all republican groups together as a way of denigrating the
whole left wing republican tradition. He totally distorts a statement from Terry Harkin in
which Harkin was contrasting the principles of the GFA with the actual implementation
of it in practice. Efforts by statutory authorities to halt a memorial to dead INLA
volunteers contrasted strongly with their failure to deal with offensive flags slogans and
murals that incite the murder of Catholics. Large numbers of PSNI moved in force to
facilitate the removal of the monument contrasting with their inactivity over UDA flags
in Sandy Row 200 yards from Donegall Pass police station
Nowhere is there any indication that the INLA have ever claimed a mandate for their
activities. . But the INLA on the 5th Anniversary of the INLA ceasefire said explicitly
and this was read out at the Maghera Memorial
“In August 1998 the leadership of the INLA with the full support of the volunteers of the
People’s Army called a ceasefire in response to the will of the Irish people as expressed
through the Referenda on the Good Friday Agreement. “-The INLA has no interests
outside the liberation of the working class and the establishment of a socialist society.”
Yet McCann feels free to distort facts and peddle the big lie,
“Brendan Convery and Gerald Mallon may have been sent out by their INLA bosses. But,
to the IRSP, they actually carried a mandate from "the indigenous Irish."
It is mystical nonsense of this sort that the killing of Danny McGurk tells us we need rid
It is a fact that of all the republican left tendencies it has been the Republican Socialist
movement alone that has consistently and persistently attacked the notion of “republican
legitimacy ‘ from either the 1916 Rising or the First Dail. We have advocated the
centrality of the Irish Working class to the struggle in Ireland. We as a movement never
gave any credence to mystical concepts such as “Mother Ireland” or peddled any kind of
pseudo nationalist claptrap. We are internationalists, socialists and revolutionaries.
Indeed it is ironic that a “revolutionary socialist” such as McCann, a defender not of the
1916 rebellion, but an upholder of the 1917 revolution in Russia which certainly had no
mandate from the Russian people and during which the Bolsheviks seized power, should
seek to denigrate the only Republican group which explicitly recognised in its ceasefire
statement the expressed will of the Irish people while believing that the people had made
the wrong choice.
IRSP Ard Comhairle member Terry Harkin has accused the DUP of "Pot Boiling"
following what he called an "intensive media misrepresentation campaign," carried out
by the DUP and Press Association yesterday linking the five year old INLA Cease Fire to
the extradition of deportee John Eddie McNicholl to the North.
Mr. Harkin said. "from this story first surfaced on UTV last night we have been very
concerned about the motives behind these reports". "We are very angry about this attempt
to link the fate of a man who, having lived for over 20 years peacefully in the US was
abducted out side his family home and deported for no other reason than being accused of
having links with a group that George Bush Jnr. doesn't like because they wont accept the
validity of US government involvement in Irish affairs and even worse are socialist in
their outlook".
"Now, we have these strange bedfellows in the PA and DUP trying to link him to the
validity of the INLA Cease Fire. This is not the case, no segment of the Republican
Socialist Movement has met with the Free State or any government over Mr. McNicholl's
case, no nods, wink's or any other form of Monty Python politics has taken place between
representatives of our movement and anyone over John Eddie. No one from our
movement has spoken to anyone from the PA about this story but we can be sure that the
only grain of truth in this is are the quotes from the DUP's William Hay because that's
where the whole story came from". "No RSM personnel spoke to Alan Erwin, he never
phoned our office he made no attempt to check this old fashioned cod's wallop out."
"Let me make one thing very clear, the INLA Cease Fire was called because of the wish's
of the Irish people as expressed in the referenda and is not contingent on any one person.
It is a stand-alone case, John Eddie Mc Nicholl's situation is a stand-alone case, and they
have no connection whatsoever. The DUP are pot boiling to back up Jeffrey Donaldson
and Burnside in keeping Trimble under pressure. It's all Co. Derry sheep droppings and
spin, it's also to complex for the DUP to work out on their own". "Me thinks we detect
the sickly hand of a former professional spin doctor in all this".
Real Politic rather than Ideology
The U.S.S.R and Nazi Germany
In 1935, the Soviet Union proposed establishing a system of collective security in
Europe, aimed against German and Italian fascist expansionism. Britain and France
refused and followed a policy of "neutrality" in 1936 when the fascist powers intervened
in Spain to help Franco establish his fascist dictatorship. Then London and Paris
negotiated in Munich with the fascist powers and handed over the Sudetenland region of
Czechoslovakia to Hitler. At the same moment, Hitler's Germany signed a declaration
with Great Britain according to which they would never again go to war one against the
other. The repeated appeals of Stalin to form a collective defence system remained
without effect: Britain and France even allowed Hitler to occupy the whole of
Czechoslovakia in March 1939. In fact, they were inciting Hitler to make war in the
From June to August 1939, the Soviet Union carried on last minute negotiations
with Britain and France for an anti-fascist alliance. In July, however, Chamberlain
held secret negotiations with Hitler, to whom he guaranteed freedom of action in the
East and the South-East of Europe, also promising to break off relations with Stalin.
In August 1939, Stalin understood that London and Paris had decided to let Hitler
occupy Poland and thus leave the way free to the Soviet Union.
Hitler was determined to beat the Soviet Union, France and Britain, but he did not
want a war on two fronts. He wanted either war against Britain and France alone,
or against the Soviet Union alone. On 20 August, he proposed a pact of nonaggression
to the Soviet Union. Stalin, faced with the possibility of having to
confront Nazi barbarity alone, immediately accepted. The decision was also taken in
the context of the Japanese army attacking the Soviet Union on May 11 1939. The
non-aggression pact allowed the Red Army to concentrate on smashing the Japanese
invasion without having to fight on two fronts.
In fact, the Soviet Union concluded this pact with the clear understanding that
sooner or later war with Nazi Germany was inevitable. Once Germany had decided
to sign an accord with the USSR, Stalin forced out of Hitler a maximum of
concessions, ensuring the best possible conditions for the war to come. Hitler
offered Stalin all east Poland up to the River Vistula and Warsaw. When the Poles
collapsed, not before, Soviet troops moved only to the River Bug, only into those
annexed lands. The September 23, 1939 issue of Pravda wrote: `The only thing that
was possible was to preserve from German invasion Western Ukraine, Western
Byelorussia (two provinces seized from the Soviet Union in 1920) and the Baltic
countries. The Soviet government forced Germany to make the engagement to not
cross the line formed by the Thasse, Narew, Bug and Vistula rivers.' The most
realistic Western politicians saw clearly that by advancing its troops, the Soviet
Union gave itself a better starting position for the coming war. For example,
Churchill declared on October 1, 1939: `(T)hat the Russian armies should stand on
this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace. At
any rate, the line is there, and an Eastern Front has been created which Nazi
Germany does not dare assail.'
Knowing that war with Germany was inevitable, the Soviet government was
extremely worried about Leningrad's security, as it was only 32 kilometres from the
Finnish border. On October 14, 1939, Stalin and Molotov sent a memorandum to
the Finnish government about the problem of the defence of Leningrad. The Soviet
Union wished to be able to `block the access to the Gulf of Finland'. It asked of
Finland that it be ceded by lease the Port of Hanko and four islands. To ensure the
defence of Finland, it asked for part of the isthmus of Karelia belonging to Finland.
In exchange, the Soviet Union would offer to Finland part of Soviet Karelia, twice
the size. Encouraged by Germany, Finland refused. On November 30, 1939, the
Soviet Union declared war on Finland. It should be noted that the Finnish leader,
General Mannerheim, had been a leader of the Finnish White forces and had openly
fascist sympathies.
The German-Soviet Pact and the defeat of Finland prepared the conditions for the
Red Army's victory over the Nazis. France and Britain, which had both refused
throughout the thirties a collective security system, were forced into an effective
military alliance with the Soviet Union once Germany broke the German-Soviet
Pact. The Soviet Union was able to advance its defences by 150 to 300 kilometres.
This factor had great influence on the defence of Leningrad and Moscow at the end
of 1941. The Soviet Union won 21 months of peace, allowing it to decisively reinforce
its defence industry and its armed forces. However, the Pact included a number of
objectionable sub clauses like sending numbers of German dissidents that had taken
refuge in the USSR back to Germany. Soviet policy was clearly motivated by clever
real politic rather than ideology or a demonic will to power.
A recent report by the UK Food Commission highlighted the fact that the health of the
children around the world is being put at risk by the aggressive marketing of junk food.
Highlights of the report included the following:
n The food-industry's global advertising budget is $40bn, a figure greater than the
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 70% of the world's nations.
·n For every $1 spent by the World Health Organization on preventing the diseases
caused by western diets, more than $500 is spent by the food industry promoting these
·n In industrialised countries, food advertising accounts for around half of all advertising
broadcast during children's TV viewing times. Three-quarters of such food adverts
promote high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
·n For every $100 spent invested in fruit and vegetable production; over $1,000 is being
invested in soft drinks and confectionery.
·n Companies such as KFC, Burger King, McDonald's, Kinder, Mars, Cadbury's,
Nestlé, Coca Cola and Pepsi are criticised in the Food Commission report for targeting
children. The report calls for international controls on the marketing of high-calorie, lownutrient
food to children.
·n Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland do not permit commercial sponsorship of
children’s programs. [3] Sweden and Norway do not permit any television advertising to
be specifically directed to children under 12 and no advertisements are allowed during
children’s programming.
(From an article by John Barry of the Green Party)
Belfast Anti-War Movement
RE: Endorsements for International Day of action against the
occupation of Iraq.
The Belfast Anti-War Movement is calling for support and endorsement of the
International Day of action against the occupation of Iraq.
The occupation, far from bringing peace and stability, has turned into a nightmare for
ordinary Iraqi’s. Every day between 15 and 25 Iraqi civilians are killed. No one is safe. A
TV cameraman was shot because US troops were unable to distinguish between a camera
and a rocket launcher from 50 metres away. A family was gunned down because they
misunderstood a command at a checkpoint. US troops shoot into crowds demonstrating at
the lack of services and basic necessities.
While oil pipelines are supposedly secure, water, electricity and other basic services are
unavailable. Demonstrations occur daily as the Iraqi’s wonder why their supposed
liberators institute curfews and laws preventing them moving about freely in their own
George Bush and Tony Blair lied about the war on Iraq. The Hutton enquiry is exposing
Tony Blair’s lies daily. Neither Bush nor Blair has been able to show a shred of evidence
of Weapons of Mass Destruction. They lied about the reasons for going and now they lie
about what is happening there. While millions of Iraqi’s welcomed the end of Saddam
Hussein, they certainly didn’t want an occupying army, instituting a US friendly regime
with no support locally. The resistance grows daily. Iraq looks increasingly like another
The occupation costs over a billion dollars a week to maintain, while services and jobs
are being cut at home. The millions around the world who marched against the war on
February fifteenth have been proven right. That the war was unjust, unjustified and
illegal. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam, as brutal a dictator as he
was, was not a threat to the region or to the UK or the US. It was a war for oil, and US
dominance in the region.
There will be international days of action against the occupation around the world
between September 25th and 28th. In Evian in Switzerland, at a meeting of the European
Social Movements, it was suggested that Europe’s day of action be Saturday, September
The Belfast Anti-War movement is asking all those who endorsed and participated on the
International Day of Action on February 15th, to endorse and participate on September
27th. There will a rally and march on that day. The rally will, commence at 2pm at the Art
College and will march to City hall, via the US consulate.
In the run-up to September 27th, the IAWM is organizing a series of local meetings to
discuss the Occupations of Iraq & Palestine. These include:
28/08 Madisson‚s Pub, Rathmines; 02/09 Civic Centre, Ballyfermot;
03/09 Parish Centre, Bray 03/09 Phibsboro
04/09 Oakfield Lodge Hotel, Clondalkin 08/09 Dundrum Family Recreation Centre
09/09 Abberley Court Hotel, Tallaght 09/09 Waterford
10/09 Wynn‚s Hotel, Dublin City Centre 16/09 Kingston Hotel, Dun Laoghaire.
For full details of venues, times, speakers contact 087 6329511.
Benefit gig for the Pitstop Ploughshares People up in court for civil disobedience in
Shannon takes place Mother Redcaps, Wed. 3rd Sept - 7:30-11:30. Admission •5 (poor)
or •10 (less poor).
Performers Include... - Donal O‚Kelly (spoken word), - Les Keye (acoustic), - Paul
O‚Toole (contemporary), - Cantori di Aradia (italian duo), - Rúaidhri OEJail Break‚
McAuliffe (acoustic), - Keith & OEThe Truth‚ (electric), Arresting Garda (spoken word)
& more to be announced. Flyers available can be downloaded here
The AGM takes place on Sunday September 28th in Dublin. Paid up members and
affiliated organizations will soon receive an invite along with details of the event. If your
local group is not no the IAWM website but you have affiliated or would like to, then
contact us now on 087 7955013 to ensure that you have voting rights at the AGM.
Anyone needing crèche facilities should let us know asap.
(Aoife Ní Fhearghail Secretary ˆ Irish Anti-War Movement 087 7955013 )
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army, FARC-EP, and the
National Liberation Army of Colombia, ELN, inform the Colombian and Latin American
people that:
We, the leadership of both organizations, met recently in the mountains of Colombia in
an atmosphere of camaraderie, fraternity and mutual respect, fully agreeing in:
Characterizing the current regime of Uribe Velez as the enemy of peace, a warmonger by
conviction, the generator of misery for the broad national majorities, and a prostitute of
imperialist policy for our peoples and nations.
Because of this character, we confirm that while the illegitimate government of Alvaro
Uribe Velez persists with its fascist and militarist policies, we will not proceed with any
process of political rapprochement and national dialogue.
Nevertheless, we reiterate our commitment to peace and the pursuit of political solutions
to the social and armed conflict that is bleeding our Colombia, and for this aim we will
persist in:
- Pushing forward all the political processes that favour peace with social justice and the
pursuit of political alternatives in opposition to Plan Colombia and the FTAA.
- Confirming the policy of an exchange of the prisoners of war and political detainees
being held by the sides.
- Supporting the struggles of the Colombian people against the disastrous privatisations,
the repression of all just social protest, the cutting of pension rights, the fiscal adjustment
programme, and in defence of the public wealth and national sovereignty.
We call upon the Colombian people and international public opinion to mobilize and
denounce the anti-democratic policies of the current government that aims to cut the few
civil, citizen, democratic and political freedoms, through application of the anti-terrorist
statute, the policy of “Democratic Security”, and the embroiling of the civilian population
in the war.
We reject the Referendum called by the regime for the coming days in order to use it to
strengthen state terrorism, militarist authoritarianism and the surrender of our national
sovereignty. In the face of the present social and political crisis we Colombians are
suffering, we reaffirm that all the democratic, patriotic, revolutionary and guerrilla forces
are compelled to work for the formation and construction of a new democratic and
patriotic government to once and for all face the process of national reconstruction and
unity within a framework of defence of our sovereignty and of the dignity of the national
Committed as we are to make of Colombia a nation that is just for all; we of the FARCEP
and the ELN will persist with renewed strength and revolutionary enthusiasm on the
roads blazed during our 39 years of existence, holding high the banners of unity,
patriotism and anti-imperialism.
For the FARC-EP
The Secretariat of the General Staff
For the ELN
Central Command
Mountains of Colombia, July 13, 2003
Political Status for Republican POWs!
Anti Water Tax Coalition (AWTC)
The Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network (NIAPN), Communities Against the Water
Tax (CAWT) and Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) have come together to form the
Anti Water Tax Coalition (AWTC)
The Anti Water Tax Coalition are holding a public meeting on Saturday 30th August
2003 @ 11:00 am at the Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre, 45/47 Donegall
Street, Belfast.
If you are planning Anti-Water Tax events in your area, let us know!
NIAPN 028 9087 5010,, CAWT 028 9074 9147,
ICTU 028 9024 7940
Ard-Comhairle IRSP 392 Falls Road Belfast 10.30- 5.00pm Saturday
30TH August A/C members and delegates only
Anti- Imperialist Camp in Assisi, Italy.
Sunday to Saturday 31st August to 6th September.
7.30pm Queens Common Room
Monday September 1st
1 College Gardens, Belfast
Robert Emmet
With plans by RTÉ to screen a 'Mint Production' documentary on Robert Emmet on the
anniversary of his execution (ie September 20th) people may be interested to know that a
commemoration to mark the 200th Anniversary of the execution of Robert Emmet will be
held in Dublin on Saturday, September 20th next; the procession will assemble at the
Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 1.30 pm and march to St Catherines Church
in Thomas Street, where those present will be addressed by author Seán Ó Brádaigh.
(From R.S.F.)
International Day of Action Dublin Saturday 27TH September
George Monbiot, a regular feature writer in The Guardian, is the author of Captive State
and The Age of Consent.
The One World Centre, The New Ireland Group and The de Borda Institute have
organised the following events:
1 GEORGE MONBIOT The 2nd One World Centre annual lecture, 12 noon to 2
p.m., Thursday 9th October, Room G07, Peter Frogatt Building, Queen’s
University. Everyone welcome.
Further information available from The One World Centre, 4 Lower Crescent,
Belfast BT7 1NR, Tel 90241879, e-mail
2 GEORGE MONBIOT “Unionism, Nationalism or Globalisation?” 7.30 for
7.45 p.m. on Thursday 9th October, in The Elmwood Hall, Belfast Tickets £5
(concessions £2.50), includes a free glass of organic wine from the Belfast Food Coop.
Tickets and further information available from either The New Ireland Group, 7
Slievedarragh Park, Belfast BT14 8J or The de
Borda Institute, 36 Ballysillan Road, Belfast BT14 7QQ
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
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