Friday 26 September 2003

The Plough Vol 01 No 07

The Plough
-E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
Number- 7 Date 26th September 2003
1. IRSP Mourn The Death of Edward Said
2. Loyalist watch
3. Sunday World
4. Aids Information
5. The Sovereignty of Cuba
6. The Ireland-Information Group in Sweden.
7. IRSP Belfast Meeting
8. Anti War News
9. Jailing of Bin Tax campaigners
10. More trouble for Fianna Fail.
11. What’s On
IRSP Mourn the Death of Edward Said
It was with great sadness that the Irish Republican Socialist Party heard of the death of
Edward Said, professor, author, and tireless champion of the Palestinian Intifada.
Edward Said made significant contributions to a number of fields of intellectual inquiry,
but reached beyond the world of academia in a manner, which few accomplish. Edward
Said helped transform the social sciences, especially those focused on the Arab world, but
he was also an activist who ceaselessly championed the cause of justice and tirelessly
sought to bring clarity and truth regarding the struggle of the Palestinian people and the
Arab nation to the world.
Edward Said was among the most effective voices for bringing to light the reality of the
Palestinian cause in the West through his newspaper columns, scholarly essays, books,
and interviews. Said made errors in his time, as all men do, but his works were important
for helping to humanise the reality of the Palestinian struggle and for adding the
credibility that is bestowed by the work of a genuine scholars. His voice and intellect will
be missed.
Peter Urban
Irish Republican Socialist Party
International Department Co-Secretary
Loyalist Watch. Sectarian Watch
Saturday 20th. Kieran Conlon while leaving Ballyskeagh greyhound track was
viciously assaulted by a loyalist gang from the nearby Seymour Hill estate. An iron
bar was used in the attack and when Kieran was on the ground a bottle was
smashed on him. The owner of the track said he had no plans to increase security at
the track and denied there was sectarian motive.
Four Catholic families were petrol bombed in Newtownabbey. One family who had
a 10-day-old baby were unaware their front door was on fire until a local girl
warned the family. The attacks are linked to the attacks on nearby Carnmoney
Sunday 21st An 18 year old Catholic was beaten in a sectarian attack as he walked
along the Albertbridge Road in East Belfast. Five men were involved in the attack.
The young man was hospitalised.
A suspected pipe bomb was left in the Mc Clure street area of the lower Ormeau
Road, a predominantly nationalist and catholic area. The hoax bomb was left by
loyalists from the Donegall Pass area. Clashes had occurred previously between
youths from both areas as golf balls ball bearings and paint had been thrown.
Tuesday23rd. A hoax bomb warning from the Catholic Reaction Force disrupted
two state schools in Larne. State schools in the North are predominantly protestant
and the hoax was believed to be in retaliation for a similar hoax on Catholic schools
in Larne five days before.
Wednesday 24th. It emerged that the Red Hand Commandos had played a leading
role in the protests and riots against the Catholic prayer service in Carnmoney
Cemetery. The RHC is a loyalist terror organisation under the direct control of the
UVF and closely linked to the Progressive Unionist Party’ leadership of Billy
Hutchinson and David Ervine. Hutchinson had to go to the RHC and let them know
in no uncertain terms that their activities were embarrassing the loyalist
organisations. In an effort to minimise the damage he spun the story that the
actions did not have ‘official sanctions’
Thursday 25th Rival groups of youths clashed in sectarian trouble in the Donegall
Pass /McClure street. This is generally known as ‘recreational rioting” that has the
potential to escalate into serious sectarianism. On the ground local republicans have
been trying to defuse the situation.
A pipe bomb device was left at the gates of The Dominican College, a Catholic
grammar school in North Belfast. This was the second such incident within a week.
Friday 26th.
2 school buses carrying pupils from the Girls Model school , a state school wwere
stoned and a number of girls taken to hospital with head wounds and shock.
Sectarian clashes then took place on the Crumlin road
Sunday World
On Sunday 21st of September the Northern Edition of the SW carried a ghoulish
front page picture of the body of Billy Wright, loyalist murderer after he was killed
by the INLA. Inside there followed nine more pages all about the killing of Wright.
The story was presented as a world exclusive. However nothing that was in the
paper was new. The whole story was a rehash of everything that has been written
before including the fact that Wright had traces of cannabis in his bloodstream.
This fact was released by the IRSP a good few years ago. The tabloid journalists in
the SW must have nothing better to do than to run through the back copies of their
paper and rehash old stories If they were serious investigative journalists they
would be uncovering the corrupt practices associated with planning applications,
landlords and building companies. But maybe that’s not sexy enough for the SW.
The ‘journalists’ involved in the SW articles on the Wright killing were Richard
Sullivan, Steven Moore and editor of the SW Jim McDowell. Relatives of Billy
Wright protested to the Sunday World about the publication of the picture of the
dead body.
A major international conference on AIDS opened in Nairobi, Kenya. There are
currently 42 million HIV positive people worldwide. More than three quarter of
them (29.4 million) is in Africa. In Africa, AIDS infects one adult out of eleven, and
15 million have already died. Fourteen million children have lost one of their
parents because of the disease, and this will grow to 25 million by 2010. The scandal
is that only one percent of HIV positive people in Africa have access to some form of
health care! In Asia, the situation is not better, only five percent have access to
treatment. Stephen Lewis, the special envoy of the Secretary General of the UN has
pointed that while it has not been a problem for the US government to find the
necessary 40 billion dollars to fight their so-called “war on terror” in Iraq, Western
governments are reluctant to invest the 10.5 billion dollars necessary for proper
preventive health care and medical treatment. (Le Monde, 22 September 2003)
Things are made even more difficult for African governments as the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank are pressurising them to introduce further
“structural reforms” to repay their debts, resulting in massive cuts in desperately
needed health care. It is time that we once again pressurise our governments to
cancel the debts of those poor countries and invest in human development rather
than imperial wars.
Liam O Ruairc
The Sovereignty of Cuba
The stance by Vaclav Havel, Arpad Goncz and Lech Walesa (18/09/03) on Cuba and the
recent sentencing of 75 mercenaries is astonishing in its ignorance and arrogance. Are we
really to believe that if when they were presidents in their respective countries of the
Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, and the most senior diplomat of a major foreign
nation had openly organised and funded groups of citizens to overthrow their
governments, that they would have stood back and done nothing. Those they refer to as
"dissidents" were proven to be working to destabilise and overthrow the Cuban
government by illegal means. The trials had absolutely nothing to do with human rights
but everything to do with the protection of Cuba's national sovereignty against external
interference. These mercenaries were not imprisoned on the basis of "mock trials", but as
a result of clear evidence being produced through internationally accepted legal channels.
This evidence proved that they were working with the chief US diplomat in Cuba, James
Cason, with the clear aim of destroying the Cuban Revolution.
The crime these mercenaries committed was not to criticise a so-called dictatorial regime,
but to conspire with a foreign government to overthrow a democratically elected and
populist state. To suggest otherwise is an utter distortion of fact and a perversion of the
term human rights. Such is 'democracy' in the eyes of Havel, Goncz and Walesa.
Cuba has suffered intensely at the hands of the US for over 40 years. As a small country,
which has managed against all the odds to pursue an alternative socialist path of
development, Cuba should be fully supported by all those who oppose the increasing and
aggressive US imperialist domination of the world.
(The author is the Belfast Co-ordinator of Cuba Support Group – Ireland and this article
was taken from ‘The Blanket” an excellent on line magazine which can be viewed at
The Ireland-Information Group in Sweden.
Our group will hold its first National Conference this autumn, on the 8/11 and it would be
very appreciated if you would send us a message of solidarity and comradeship to this
Our group has developed from the remains of the Ireland Solidarity Group, which was
dissolved after the truce and the negotiations leading up to the GFA, that group had some
roots from an even earlier North of Ireland Group formed in the late sixties.
We remain in support of the continuing struggle for Irish Freedom and the Republic of
Tone, Pearse and Connolly. We are not at present confining our support to any special
group or organization in Ireland, more to the freedom struggle against the British
We have members and supporters in our main four cities and are steadily if not fast,
expanding. The leading comrades have been active in Irish Solidarity for many years. Our
conference is for creating a more regular activity and a base for our work.
Our national conference will be held on Saturday the 8/11- 03 in Stockholm.
Messages of support are welcome
Our address is:
Ireland Information group
Box 201 31
S- 104 60 Stockholm
IRSP Belfast Meeting
A very successful meeting of IRSP activists was held in the City on Tuesday Night.
Forty comrades gathered to hear Ard Comhairle member Pol Little speak on the
current political situation, the failures of the Good Friday Agreement the coming
elections and the current problems relating to community policing, restorative
justice and young people. Gerry Ruddy gave a quick review of the roots of
Republican Socialism and the relevance of it to the issues facing working class
people. A lively discussion followed with comrades making constructive suggestions
on Party work and on the necessity to broaden the base of the Party. A follow up
meeting is being arranged for October. If you wish to attend please contact
International Day of Action Dublin/Belfast Saturday
27TH September march against the War
Press Release for Rally and March International Day of Action against the
occupation of Iraq. Saturday 27th September 2pm Art College
The Belfast Anti-War Movement is holding a Rally and March against the occupation of
Iraq by US and UK forces. Ann Fitzpatrick one of the organizers of the rally said,
It is clear from the information being presented at the Hutton Inquiry that the
government lied to the people about the need to go to war. There were no weapons of
mass destruction, they knew that, but they went to war anyway.
„When two million people marched in London and thousands marched in Belfast we
knew that the government had no case for war she continued. „The situation a few
months on looks very bleak indeed. The troops should be withdrawn, and the Iraqi
people should be given control over their own country. The Belfast Anti-War
Movement would also back up the major trade union figures that have called for Tony
Blair‚s resignation.
Ann went on to say “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.
Some journalists are suggesting that as many as one thousand Iraqi‚s die every weak. 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,” she continued. She said,
“Demonstrations occur daily because the infrastructure has not been rebuilt and
hundreds of thousands of children are without water or electricity.”
She suggested, “The effect of the occupation can be felt at home. Blair‚s lies to take us to
war have meant that we are now in the situation of having an occupation to maintain.
This is costing billions of pounds, while services and jobs are being cut and water
charges are being introduced. 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. . We are organizing a rally and march along with other anti-war movements
around the world. We were involved in a struggle to stop the war, now we are involved in
a struggle to end an occupation”
Please contact Anne Fitzpatrick for more information - 0774 0683767
Sep 27 national demonstrations in Dublin and Belfast
Sep 28 AGM -- conference begins at 11am in the Teachers' Club. Pre-conference report
Pre-conference Report from the Irish Anti-War Movement Steering Committee
The Irish Anti-War Movement came into existence soon after the launch of George
Bush’s war on terror‚ when about 400-500 meeting attended a meeting in Wynn‚s Hotel,
Dublin to hear Denis Halliday, former UN co-ordinator in Iraq, condemn the new drive
to war. The campaign was formalised when nearly 80 activists came together the
following week to elect a Steering Committee and decide on the overall platform of the
We brought together activists from around the country and from many different
organisations to campaign against the war on Afghanistan and the use of Irish facilities
in that war.
Many members of the IAWM went to the European Social Forum in Florence last year to
link up with others across Europe who opposed the new colonialism. It would be difficult
to underestimate the significance of that event for it was there that the call for the
international mobilisation against war on February 15th took place. Supporters of the
IAWM returned home with a mission to organise 10,000 on the streets for that day.
Before then, we had conducted a number of protests at Shannon Airport and in Dublin
city centre to highlight the use of the airport by the US war machine.
Our protest, plus significantly the actions of Mary Kelly and the Catholic Worker
Movement, and the observations by Tim Hourigan and others at Shannon, tore apart the
government‚s strategy of keeping the use of Shannon a secret. They had managed to run
this covert operation in the last Gulf war but were not successful this time, because of
both the bravery of individuals and the growing anti-war movement.
February 15th surpassed all expectations with over 150,000 marching in Dublin and
20,000 marching in Belfast. They key to the success was the development of a successful
united front. The Steering Committee made a conscious effort to involve broad forces
such as the Labour Party, SIPTU and representatives of religious organisations.
Our strategy was to use this broad mobilisation to promote a policy of mass civil
disobedience. This was carried on a number of occasions with pickets and sit-downs
outside the clinics of TDs. The most significant action was a thousand strong blockade of
TDs' in Dail Eireann for two hours.
However the scale of the civil disobedience was not sufficiently strong to break the will of
this government to support the US and Britain. The campaigns nominated Day X as the
key date for mass civil disobedience starting with a 10-minute stoppage and where
possible street blockades.
We estimate that approximately 20,000 people took part in actions on that day. However,
the social composition revealed a key weakness. The biggest groups of supporters came
from school students, many of whom faced disciplinary action from their school
authorities for their protest. Manual workers who might have brought the country to a
stop were significantly absent.
None of this, however, should feed into any cynicism about the prospects and possibilities
for people power‚. The anti-war movement may not have stopped this dreadful war, and
we have not yet forced a radical overhaul of the government‚s foreign policy ˆ but we
have won the hearts of thousands to an anti-war position. We have galvanised and
politicised people in a way that few social movements have done. This is a considerable
base from which to build for the tasks ahead.
The government is currently considering sending Irish troops to bolster the US
occupation if that occupation is given UN cover. It has refused to condemn an illegal war
and a colonial occupation, ignoring a wide array of international law. It continues to
permit the passage of weapons of mass destruction (such as Mark 77 firebombs,
equivalent to napalm) through our airports and over our airspace. And it continues to
persecute peace activists through the courts over their civil disobedience at Shannon.
The current Steering Committee has identified four key tasks that we need to address for
the future
1. Joining the global anti-war movement in resisting the occupation. This report is
written before September 27th ˆ but we believe that sufficient groundwork has been done
to make it a success. The IAWM must continue its enthusiastic participation in the global
movement. Internationalism has been the key to our success - and we need to keep that
For this reason, we should make a major effort to get as many supporters as possible
over to the European Social Forum and to follow up its decisions for action.
2. We need to highlight the issue of Shannon. The strategy of this government is to keep
quite and give full backing to the US. They blackmail the Irish people with fears of losing
US investment - knowing full well there was no huge of flight of US companies from
countries like France.
To highlight the cover up and lies of this government we need: a) to organise a return
March on Shannon in October
b) To distribute the movement’s pamphlet written by Colin Coulter and Kieran Allen
c) To produce more information posters and literature on the subject.
3. We need to mount an active defence of those who took direct action against the war
machine. We recognise that the defendants will conduct their own case and campaign as
they see fit. However, we should seek to generate the maximum of solidarity, by
fundraising, distributing literature and highlighting their cases in the media.
4. We need to mount a major information campaign to highlight the possibility that Irish
troops may be sent to Iraq. We believe that the government is contemplating this course
of action - but is hesitant because of the extent of public opposition. We need to stiffen up
that opposition and to somehow reach out to Irish soldiers to explain what they could be
facing if the government gets its way.
5. To do all this, we need to consolidate the Irish Anti-War Movement as a serious
organisation with a national identity and a growing paid-up membership. All too often
over the past year, our activities have been limited by lack of funds and lack of
organisation. Over the next few months, we must become a more professional
organisation which has the resources needed to mount a concerted campaign aimed at
ending the government‚s support for war and the US military occupation of Shannon.
Aoife Ní Fhearghail
Secretary Irish Anti-War Movement 087 7955013
Jailing of Bin Tax campaigners
The jailing of Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins and Cllr Clare Daly for one month for their
refusal to cease campaigning against the bin tax in Dublin is an attack on working class
peoples’ rights to protest against injustice.
Both Joe and Clare were elected to the Dail and Fingal County Council respectively with
a mandate to oppose the introduction of bin charges and to represent the thousands of
families who are opposed to bin charges. Bin Charges are a form of double taxation.
Service charges were introduced first in 1983 by Alan Dukes and Dick Spring and were
and are opposed by PAYE workers. More than 80% of all income tax is collected from
the working class under the PAYE system. At the same time Dukes then Minister of
Finance introduced legislation to jail tax evaders. Unfortunately no tax evaders have been
jailed. Instead since 1983 there were 3 separate amnesties offered and availed of.
Services charges whether for bins water or whatever, are really a way of preparing the
way for the privatising of council services to provide profit for the private sector.
The Government and the Councils try to portray the tax as an environmentally friendly
measure based on the principle that "the polluter pays". However, the point is that the
polluter manifestly does not pay in the southern State. A couple of years ago total
national waste came to 80 million tonnes. Of this, a mere 1.2 million tonnes was
accounted for by household waste. Most of the rest was accounted for by big business
and agriculture. Yet ordinary householders were hit with service charges and big business
was rewarded with the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe. Also no owner or operator
of an illegal dump has been arrested and jailed. All around Ireland illegal dumping has
taken place and members of the Gardai have been implicated in the practice of illegal
dumping. You can be sure none of the dumpers nor the owners of the land who allowed
the dumping will go to jail.
A proper waste management policy has to be implemented that will include the collection
of all bins adequate recycling facilities nation wide taxes on producers to reduce wasteful
packaging. We believe that like education and health care the collection of everybody’s
waste is necessary for the health not only of the individual but for the greater good.
Accordingly a progressive tax should be levied so that those who earn more pay more
The jailing of Joe Higgins and Clare Daly for fighting for the rights of the working class
is at the same time that millionaire tax dodgers have been found to have cheated the
taxman of a small fortune by hiding money in offshore Ansbacher bank accounts. Not a
single Ansbacher Man has seen the inside of a prison cell. That’s Ireland today
More trouble for Fianna Fail.
On a day when opinion polls showed a fall in support for Fianna Fail and a drop in the
popularity of Bertie Ahearn, two Fianna Fail Td’s were in trouble, one for drunken
driving and another for tax avoidance. The arrogance of those in power who think they
can flaunt the law while genuine defenders of the interests of the working class like Joe
Higgins and Clare Daly languish in jail. Meanwhile the lickspittle leader of the Labour
Party, former Workers Party member, Pat Rabbitte tried to carpet Labour TD Tommy
Broughan who has admitted he does not pay his bin tax. Remember Rabbitte was a
member of the Workers Party when its military wing was carrying out robberies and
operating control of a large number of building sites. There was silence then at illegal
activities but now Rabbitte reminds Broughan that Labour “did not advocate now or in
the past the non payment of legitimately imposed state charges.”
The IRSP salutes Tony Gregory, Finian McGrath, Sean Crowe and John Gormley for
expressing solidarity with the jailed protesters by visiting them.
The Annual Seamus Costello Anniversary Commemoration will take place on
Sunday 5th of October, Assembly Point Old Town Hall Little Bray. March and
Rally with Band and Colour Party. Main Speaker will be Ex Political Prisoner and
Blanket man, IRSP Ard Comhairle Member, Paul Little.
Seamus Costello Remembered
26th Anniversary Commemoration
Organized By the IRSP Commemoration Committee. Contact and Transport
Details, Contact Daithi on 0877570109 or All Welcome.
"I Owe My allegiance to the Working Class" Seamus Costello
Subject: Talk on Guyana
Speaker: Michael Mahadeo
Venue: One World Centre (4 Lower Crescent, Belfast - off Botanic Avenue)
Date: Wednesday, 8 October 2003
Time: 7.30pm
Everyone Welcome....................................Stephen McCloskey-Co-ordinator-One World
Centre for Northern Ireland-4 Lower Crescents-Belfast-BT7 1NR 028 9024 1879
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
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 Co-op.
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
Amnesty International Annual Lecture 2003
Xanana Gusmão,
President of East Timor
Peace, justice and reconciliation
Queen's University Belfast, G06 -Thursday 16th October, 7pm
-All welcome -Admission free but by ticket only
Supported by QUB Human Rights Centre
To book tickets, tel 028 9064 3000 / email:
Bobby Sands memorial lecture, Teachers Club, Dublin.
October 21st 8pm.
Speaker: Seán Ó Brádaigh. Lecture is about the lives of Robert
Emmet and Thomas Russell.
Sunday 26th October 2pm
A talk on Robert Emmett by Ruan O'Donnell.
Ruan is the author of a new biography on Robert Emmett, to be published this
autumn. This event will take place in the Library Annexe and is free.
Working Class Movement Library, 51 The Crescent, Salford, U.K. M5 4WX
0161 736 3601
James Byrne Commemoration Committee >
1st November 2003-09-11 Monument Unveiling & 90th Anniversary
Assemble 2pm Main Entrance Deansgrange Cemetery, Deansgrange, Co. Dublin, Ireland.
The newly-commissioned monument over the grave of Trade Union Martyr, James
Byrne, District Organiser, ITG&WU, who died on 1st November 1913 following a
hunger & thirst strike during the Great Lock-Out 1913 will be unveiled by Des Geraghty,
President, SIPTU. All trade unionists, political activists and members of the Public
[No Party Political Banners, please!]
The James Byrne Commemoration Committee has organised the erection of a fitting
memorial over the grave in Deansgrange Cemetery [Co. Dublin, Ireland] of James
Byrne, a trade union martyr who died on 1st November 1913 as a result of the effects of a
hunger and thirst strike during imprisonment for his role in the Great Lock-Out of that
year. James was District Organiser of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union and
held leadership roles in both Bray and Kingstown [Dún Laoghaire] Trades Councils.
In the course of James Byrne’s funeral oration James Connolly said:
”James Byrne truly died a martyr as any man who ever died for Ireland”
The Committee believes that the monument is a fitting tribute to James Byrne and hopes
that his grave may become a place of pilgrimage and source of inspiration for trade
unionists and socialists in the future. We are particularly pleased that the descendants of
James Byrne are fully supportive of the work of the >Committee.
Jason Mc Lean. PRO- James Byrne Commemoration Committee.
European Social Forum Paris, St Denis 12-15 November
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