The Plough #16
28 November 2003
E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. Election Comment
2. The Good Friday Agreement Revisited
3. African Family Devastated by Racist Death Threats
4. Education Spending
5. Open Letter to George Bush
6. Coca-Cola Boycott
7. North Belfast Teach na Failte Fundraising Night in Aid of New
8. What's On?
The election to a non-existing Assembly in the North of Ireland has,
it is alleged, come as a shock to the British government. It should
not have done so. The Brits had discredited the political process by
the almost casual way they had suspended the Assembly four times and
then postponed the elections last May in a vain attempt to shore up
David Trimble's position. It was only logical for unionists to swing
towards the DUP in these circumstances. Sinn Fein's remarkable
success continues. They are now the largest nationalist party but the
process of moving towards the so-called "middle ground" has seen them
shed some of their republicanism. The Gerry Adams leadership has seen
an almost Blairite make over of Sinn Fein. There are many parallels
between "New Labour" and New Sinn Fein such as the emergence of the
spin doctors, the emerging "educated elites" who can work the system,
the shedding of old ideological beliefs, the shafting of the
traditionalists, the obsession with total control and the suppression
of critical thinking. This is now what constitutes politics today.
Those of us critical of that, can no longer just sit on the sidelines
and condemn. Now more than ever we need to take our politics and
policies to the people and become involved in every struggle of the
people north and south of the border. The pathetic vote the so called
left candidates got shows how far divorced from the reality of
working class life the left sects are. They do not uphold the banner
of socialism. Rather they discredit it.
(The following article was first printed in "Models of Governance:
The Good Friday Agreement and Beyond, Some Personal Reflections"
published by Coiste Na Iarchimi and available from 10 Beechmount
Avenue, Belfast BT12 7NA. E-mail: info@Coiste.com
Other articles in the publication are by Harry Donaghy, giving the
view point of Official Republican Ex-Prisoners, Roy Garland giving a
Unionist perspective, Tommy McKearney from Expac, and Conor Murphy
giving Sinn Fein's point of view.)
The Good Friday Agreement Revisited
By Gerry Ruddy, Teach na Failte, 19 May 2003
Anyone steeped in the history of Irish Republicanism and taking a
Republican perspective would have learnt well the phrase "never trust
the Brits". It was with that firmly in mind that I approached the
Good Friday Agreement.
I voted against the Good Friday Agreement. I recognised that it was a
compromise believed necessary by those who negotiated it from a
republican perspective. I have no problems with compromise. I believe
however that the GFA was the wrong compromise.
Many others voted against the GFA and did so not from a position of
wishing for the maintenance of armed struggle but because they felt
that the GFA was fundamentally flawed. When the results of the
referendum on the GFA were announced however it was clear that the
wishes of the Irish people should be respected.
While sceptical about the GFA the Republican Socialist Movement took
the view that it would do nothing to try to bring down that
agreement. The view was that the GFA would collapse of its own
internal contradictions. The suspension four times in five years of
the Assembly and the power sharing executive and now the postponing
of elections because Blair did not want to see Ian Paisley as First
Minister would seem to indicate that our original analysis was spot
on. The democratic wishes of the Irish people were not, and are not,
There has been a growing disillusionment not only within the broad
republican and nationalist population but also within the broad mass
of people in the six counties not just with the GFA but also more
ominously with politics itself. This sadly contrasts with the
beginning of the peace process where apart from the saving of lives
there had been the rebirth of politics. People had been raising
issues that impinge on their lives, such as death drivers, teen age
drinking and drugs, bad land-lords, the impact that DOE planning has
on people, the inadequate housing supply, the absence of an effective
policing service, the chaotic transport system and so on.
But there was also in the growing politicisation awareness that a
grass roots approach to conflict resolution was necessary. Small
steps can create confidence and trust and can lead on to major steps.
Politics is about dealing with life in the working class areas where
it matters. It is at local level politics need to have an impact.
Community workers, activists and trade unionists within unionist and
nationalist areas were playing a more active part in their
Before the GFA, the working class had born the brunt of sectarian
attacks while the state passively looked on and did not intervene.
Indeed in many instances the agencies of the state instigated and
perpetuated sectarianism. Many workers were murdered because of
inflammatory speeches made by sectarian politicians who lived aloof
from the consequences of their speeches. The hope existed that the
GFA would bring an end both to the violence and the bitter
sectarianism that seems endemic in Northern society. Yet with all the
main armed groups on ceasefire there has been more rather than less
sectarianism on the streets. The crisis politics of the peace process
has consistently plunged working class communities into high
expectation then depression and then despair at the possibility of a
return to armed conflict.
Radical change had been promised by the signing of the Good Friday
Agreement. The old division over the constitutional issue was said to
be over-taken by events. Much was promised. Little was in reality
The institutions set up as a result of the GFA have proved
ineffectual. In resigning from the the Northern Ireland Human Rights
Commission, Inez McCormack delivered a damming indictment of the
Commission: "(it) cannot deliver on its remit under the Good Friday
Agreement. Even within its limited powers and resources, it lacks
direction on the strategies, policies and practices needed to carve
out a positive role for itself in protecting and promoting human
rights. Its internal processes have either broken down, or have not
even been formed. It is clearly not 'independent of government, with
an extended and enhanced role,' as outlined in the agreement."
Issues such as the human rights agenda, equality and justice should
never have been part of the bargaining process that led up to the
GFA. By so doing the universal rights of all citizens were diminished
by political bartering. Britain has only reluctantly agreed to the so-
called equality agenda so long as it is tied into the agreement.
Human rights transcend shoddy political deals and the issue of human
rights should have been kept separate from the talks on political
Loyalist violence continued despite some concessions gained from the
GFA. The war is to all intents over, whatever terminology is used.
The IRA decommissioned. Republicans have apologised for the suffering
they caused. Articles two and three have been removed from the Irish
constitution, and republicans participated in a Stormont assembly as
well as running Stormont departments. But some loyalist politicians
claimed that republicans were the only people who have gained from
the Agreement and suddenly discovered much poverty in loyalist
working class area. They sought to blame only nationalists for all
the post GFA ills. This naturally justified (in their own eyes) the
unleashing of sectarian violence from factions within loyalist
paramilitaries. There has been a constant barrage of sectarian
attacks on the Catholic population in an attempt to make republicans
break cease-fires and so destroy the agreement.
Yet the areas affected most by this violence are poverty stricken and
poverty does not ask the religion or politics of its victims. As the
Noble index of worst poverty affected areas shows, not one section of
the Catholic/Protestant working class communities can claim to be
suffering more deprivation than another.
The four main parties in the dissolved Stormont Executive (UUP, DUP,
SDLP, SF) have all lobbied Westminster to lower corporate tax from
30% to as little as 10%, and accepted the private financing of public
utilities. The privatising of public services means putting profit
The built in veto within the assembly at Stormont solidified the
existing sectarian power blocs and gives reactionary politicians the
power to prevent, within the remit of the assembly, any radical
measures to deal with the economic and social problems that exist in
the six counties. Martin McGuinness could not break the power of the
grammar schools that have discriminated against working class
children and Bairbe de Brun had an impossible task to reform the
decrepit health service.
The electorate and the political parties are pressured into
identifying with the two sectarian blocs. Political parties had to
identify themselves as unionist, nationalist or other. The antics of
the Women's Coalition and the Alliance Party in re-designating
themselves as unionists only discredited the political process. The
two tribes approach (for in essence that is what the GFA is) goes
against a core value of republicanism, the uniting of catholic,
protestant and dissenter. Under the politically correct designations
stemming from the GFA, I am classified as a nationalist/Catholic
(which I most certainly am not) and my two daughters are designated
as Protestants/unionists (which they most certainly are not).
The cross border institutions much heralded as an all-Ireland
dimension are in reality existing practices of co-operation tarted up
as some wonderful exotic all-Ireland creature. Even then Trimble was
able to stop their work for a time when he refused to nominate Sinn
Political prisoners were released on licence. Political status has
disappeared. Republicans should not recognise the right of anyone to
criminalize republican prisoners. We may disagree with the tactics of
some republicans and we do, but we recognise that their motivation is
political and they should be recognised as such.
There is not the political will to tackle the fundamental wrongs of
the Northern state. The British government has failed to seriously
tackle the thorny questions of the Northern judiciary and the RUC.
Even the Patten Report, a document most republicans did not accept,
has been neutered.
In the GFA there was an obligation on all parties to work for
decommissioning by all paramilitary groups. Yet none of the political
parties with the exception of Sinn Fein used "any influence to
achieve decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years"
(Page 20, GFA}.
In other words the whole question of decommissioning or disarmament
has been a farce, a gesture, a token to the unionists backwoodsmen
and a way of trying to humiliate republicans. On security the British
Army hope to reduce their troop levels to that of 1969. The Whiterock
and Henry Taggart forts have been removed, only to be replaced by the
massive technologically sophisticated police station at New Barnsley
complete with heli-pad. Two interrogation centres were closed at
Castlereagh and Armagh with much fanfare but few mentioned the
building of a new interrogation centre in Antrim.
If republicans instead of taking up their allocation of seats in the
Executive had refused them and gone into opposition they could have
avoided the whole issue of decommissioning, led the opposition to the
dismantling of the public sector, mobilised opposition to the
reactionary economic policy of the Programme of Government and been
in a position of articulating the demands of their wide constituency.
Instead, they were compromised, by participating in running the
Northern Ireland government, while the Northern Ireland state was
still essentially sectarian and irreformable. Constitutional
tinkering with the Northern state has not and will not eradicate its
fundamentally sectarian nature.
Britain has shown by the arbitrary actions of its local overlord in
postponing elections that it retains full sovereignty over the North.
Can we not now, with ample justification say, the whole point of the
exercise was to disarm, discredit and demoralise republicans?
Should we all now step back from the whole process and reflect on
what has been achieved and what has been lost?
The following report appeared in the Galway Advertiser and was picked
up and elaborated on in the Irish Daily Mirror.
African Family Devastated by Racist Death Threats
By Una Sinnott
A Nigerian family was in shock this week after they received an
anonymous letter threatening to shoot them on sight unless they left
The letter, which bears a swastika and purports to have been sent by
a well-known Northern Ireland paramilitary group, contains threats to
kill all African people living in Galway unless they leave. The
letter has since been passed onto the Garda and an investigation has
been launched into the matter.
The man who received the threats -- who did not wish to be
identified -- said he has experienced several incidents of racial
abuse since he moved to Galway with his family three and a half years
"I have had people telling me to go back to my own country, but I
never believed it would come to this," he told the Galway Advertiser.
A spokesperson for Salthill Garda Station confirmed that it had
received a report on the incident and an investigation is under way.
He said that while there were very few reported incidents of racial
abuse in the area the Garda treats all incidents of racism seriously.
This is the only reported case of a threatening letter being sent to
a member of an ethnic minority group in Galway. People have been
urged to report any similar incidents to the Garda.
Meanwhile the Galway One World Centre has condemned the threats.
"Racism and discrimination are illegal," a spokesperson for the
centre said. "These incidents should be recorded and the Gardai
Anyone with information on the incident should contact Salthill Garda
Station at (091) 514720.
[The letter purported to come from the INLA. It did not. We have been
assured that that organisation takes both a dim view of racist
threats and also the false use of its name to instil fear into
people. The IRSP wish to reassure members of ethnic minorities that
they have nothing to fear from the Republican Socialist Movement
However we have been informed by sources close to that organisation
those who falsely use the name of the INLA do have something to fear.]
(INTO PRESS RELEASE)
Ireland spends less on primary school pupils and more on third level
students than most other EU countries. At primary level spending
is the second lowest in the EU. At third level it is the fourth
This makes Ireland the most unequal country in the EU in terms of
educational investment. It also means that education policy is
contributing to inequality in Ireland instead of creating equal
opportunities or equal outcomes. The Minister for Education and
Science appears to back the argument that primary school pupils merit
smaller state investment than students at other levels of education.
What does this say for his pledges to tackle disadvantage and
introduce reform? In all countries more is spent on second and third
level education than on primary education. But in Ireland the
disparity is greater. According to the OECD Report Education at a
Glance 2003 for every Euro spent at primary in Ireland €3.3 is
spent at third level. This compares with Denmark where for every one
Euro spent on each primary school pupil €1.7 is spent on each
third level student. But apart from this Denmark also spends more
than twice as much in real terms on every primary school pupil.
In Italy spending is skewed in favour of third level but is much more
equal. For every €6 spent at primary level €7 is spent on
second level and €8 is spent at third level. In Austria the
comparative figures are €7, €9 and €11. But while spending at third
level in Austria is the same as in Ireland spending at primary level
is over twice as high.
Running costs cannot be used to defend this inequity in funding. Only
€110 per pupil is paid by government to primary schools to meet
running costs. The grant for second level schools is over €250
per pupil. There is no justification for the difference. The running
costs are the same. The oil prices are identical. Electricity prices
are the same. Insurance costs are the same. Why discriminate against
Arguments that more expensive equipment is needed as students advance
to higher levels of education are hard to sustain. Why do we need
Science labs at second level while younger children have to learn
Science with teacher made resources? Why must third level
institutions have language labs while primary pupils make do with
chalk and talk? Why do second level schools have indoor PE facilities
when most primary schools have to depend on the weather? In building
terms this type of funding is like skimping on the foundations while
putting the real money into the fixtures and fittings for all to
It is this philosophy that is failing thousands of primary school
children every year. Today's primary school children are computer
literate and are increasingly reared on a diet of high tech
television productions. They are highly sophisticated and demanding
in this regard and teaching resources must keep pace with changing
children. Children today have passed out chalk and talk, filmstrips
and home made resources. Government investment in primary schools
must enable schools to keep pace with modern life.
If we are serious about creating a fairer, more just society from
which each individual can benefit then every child must have the best
possible start. It is morally wrong to handicap some runners in a
race and then reward the winners.
23 November 2003
Open Letter to George Bush
By Eric Margolis
Mr. President, oil isn't worth dying for. President George Bush
should heed the wise old New York garment district maxim: "First
loss, best loss."
Translated from New Yorkese, this means when you get into a bad deal,
bail out fast. The longer you stay in and refuse to face reality, the
more you will end up losing.
That, alas, is just what Bush is doing in Iraq. Better he had gone to
the garment district for hard advice instead of the regal photo op in
London thrown for him by Queen Elizabeth and her dysfunctional
In spite of the royal welcome in a nation that increasingly resembles
a giant theme park for American tourists, many Britons were appalled
by the visit. They greeted Bush and his preposterously bloated
entourage, worthy of Kublai Khan, with about as much warmth as they
did the Spanish Armada.
Tony Blair, Bush's de facto foreign minister, salaamed and scraped
with unctuous zeal before the visiting Emperor of the West. But at
least the Queen summoned up enough pride to refuse White House
demands that heavily armed U.S. agents be granted full legal immunity
to shoot down threatening Britons.
Back to losing. President Bush's crusades in Afghanistan and Iraq
have turned into bloody, expensive messes. These neo-colonial
misadventures may soon cost $2 billion U.S. weekly, plus the deaths
and wounding of growing numbers of Americans, allies dragooned into
service in Iraq and Iraqi civilians.
The so-called political process in both nations is a farce. Their
U.S.-installed regimes are widely viewed as quislings. In Kabul, the
U.S. at least has an amiable figurehead, Hamid Karzai. No suitable
Iraqi yes-man has yet been found. But the White House, seeing its pre-
election popularity dropping fast, is desperately seeking some way
out of the Iraqi hornet's nest into which it so foolishly stuck its
Bush just announced - shades of Richard Nixon - that the Iraq war
would be "Iraqized." A facade of political power will be handed over
to an Iraqi government. But U.S. troops will stay on for years
for "security." What happens if the "independent" Iraqi regime tells
U.S. forces to leave? A speedy regime change, no doubt.
The Pentagon plans to build three major bases in Iraq from which to
police the central Mideast and guard America's new imperial oil
lifeline from Central Asia, down through Afghanistan, to the West.
Anyone who remembers Vietnam, which Iraq increasingly recalls,
knows "Iraqization" won't work. Meanwhile, Iraq's Shia majority
remains quiet only because it fears Saddam Hussein may return.
Ironically, if the U.S. hunts down and murders Saddam, the Shia will
rise up and demand an Islamic republic - just what the White House
seeks to avoid.
Any free vote in Iraq will produce the same result. Maybe that's why
Saddam has not yet been found. So take Bush's calls for Arab
democracy with much salt. The only truly free vote held in the Arab
world - most of which is controlled by the U.S. - brought to power in
Algeria a moderate Islamic government. It was promptly overthrown by
the army, with backing from the U.S. and France.
But Bush dares not withdraw American troops from Iraq so long as the
elusive Saddam stays alive. Imagine a triumphant Saddam mooning Bush
from "liberated" Baghdad. The Democrats would make falafel of the
Neo-conservatives insist the U.S. can't withdraw because of loss of
face and prestige. Retreat will encourage terrorism, claim these sofa
Nonsense. America shrugged off retreat from Vietnam and Indochina.
All good generals know when to fall back, and - unlike the neo-cons
who engineered these stupid wars - always leave open a line of
retreat. No one cared about Afghanistan when the Soviets killed 1.5
million of its people, nor about Iraq when it lost 500,000 soldiers
fighting Iran, or 500,000 children due to the punitive U.S. blockade.
Why care now?
"We just can't cut and run," said Bush in London, trying to sound
Churchillian. Why not? The best way to get the U.S. out of this
quagmire is to follow France's sage advice: bring in a UN-run
government as a fig leaf, declare victory, and pull all U.S. troops
out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, chaos will ensue. But Iraq and
Afghanistan are in chaos now, and terrorism, as we saw in Istanbul
last week, still rages.
Get out now before the U.S. gets sucked ever deeper by "mission
creep" into a decade-long morass in Mesopotamia. There's still time.
Yes, Saddam or his lieutenants and Arab radicals will crow, but
Israel survived similar crowing when it wisely ended its disastrous
colonial adventure in Lebanon.
Immediate retreat saves $100 billion-plus. Iraq and Afghanistan are
not worth the lives of one more American or Canadian soldier, nor
more wear on overstretched U.S. forces. Withdrawal will damp down
raging anti-Americanism around the globe.
Time to end the megalomania, paranoia and crazy biblical geopolitics
that drove the U.S. into these profitless conflicts.
Mr. President, be a real mensch and a true patriot by admitting you
were wrong, and just get out.
P.S. It's cheaper to buy oil than to conquer it.
Congratulations to the students of UCD where the referendum to
reintroduce Coke was defeated in UCD last week.
Students voted by a margin of 600 votes (increased from 57) to
boycott Coke. Turnout was up with over 4,000 students voting and
56% voting against the reintroduction of Coke (51% voted for the
boycott back in October).
It's good to see that with time more students are backing the
boycott. Coke must be regretting pursing for a second vote now.
Coke had taken a number of steps to try and win this time including
sending their communications director in from Latin American last
week, sponsoring the C+E society (one of UCD's largest societies) and
giving them free cans of Coke, taking students out to dinner, and
sending their workers in on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
So what about the rest of the colleges in the country? Anyone who has
contacts in any of them should be moving to get Coca Cola boycotted
on the campus to help save the lives of workers in Coca Cola bottling
plants in Columbia where to date eight have been murdered for trying
to form a trade union in the plant.
SAVE A LIFE THIS CHRISTMAS, BOYCOTT COCA COLA.
(E-Mail from Fearghas OhIr email@example.com)
North Belfast Teach na Failte Fundraising Night in Aid of New Offices
Friday 14th November saw an evening packed full of laughs,
entertainment and craic in a local social club in Ardoyne, North
Belfast when comrades, friends and supporters of the republican
socialist family came out in force to support a grand charity event
in aid of the newly acquired offices of Teach na Failte in North
Belfast. The evening mirrored the strength of support now growing for
the IRSM and the wider republican socialist family within the local
community and the realisation that revolutionary socialism is a
viable entity capable of securing a socialist worker's Republic. Joe
Baker, an local historian, began the evening with a lecture on the
events surrounding the McMahon family murders, carried out by the RUC
of that era, highlighting the long history of sectarian hatred
inflicted upon this community by these state enforced executioners -
accompanied by the willingness of the British government to endorse
this brutality and hatred. A gathering of some three hundred comrades
and supporters listened intently to the lecture and the audience
responded with thunderous applause at the end. The importance of
highlighting historic events of the past cannot be over stressed; the
future depends on an accurate understanding of history.
Teach na Failte would like to extend our utmost thanks to Mr Joe
Baker for taking the time from his hectic schedule to educate us on
this fascinating piece of our local history. He ably illustrated that
history and modern reality do not often differ! Mr Baker also donated
a total of one hundred books detailing the McMahon murders for sale
on the evening. The evening was then followed by two and a half hours
of entertainment from the fabulous Blackstaff who played brilliantly
to take the crowd into the final stages of the evening. A series of
ballots were then held for the generous prizes donated from the
community, ranging from pictures depicting and remembering the hunger
strikers to bottles of whiskey, vodka and liqueurs all donated from
local establishments within the area. These all culminated to provide
a splendid display of the effort and thought involved in organising
such an event. Our thanks are again extended to all those who gave so
generously and without whom it would have been impossible to raise
our overall grand total. One of the highlights was the auction held
for a fully installed and fitted uPVC door which finally went under
the hammer for a total of £390 - our thanks and appreciation
to the sponsor for the donation, and to the buyer who secured the
sale. The grand finale was a disco made up of the finest music
available mixed masterfully by the DJ. All experienced an enjoyable
night. It left everyone looking forward with eager anticipation until
the next gathering of these fine comrades and friends.
Teach na Failte would greatly like to extend its appreciation and
thanks to all who participated in this fundraising night, whether
organisers or revellers - all brought this together to become one of
the finest nights ever to be held in the history of the RSM in North
Belfast. Teach na Failte would also like to extend our gratitude
to the Committee, members and staff of the social club who hosted the
event, for their input and support which was unconditionally given in
order to host this evening, also to the supporters and comrades who
unselfishly gave their time and effort to make this happen, and
lastly to all those who participated by donating, purchasing tickets
and generally supporting in our struggles to make this come together
as a great tribute to the work that is carried out by the staff and
voluntary workers employed by Teach na Failte.
"My appeal is to the working class. I appeal to them exclusively,
because they, and only they, can bring about the time when the whole
world will be one brotherhood, on a sound economic foundation. That,
and that alone, can be the means of bringing about a reorganisation
of society. That can only be obtained when the people of the world
get the world and retain the world." - John McLean
In the Cause of Labour: A History of British Trade Unionism
There are many narrative histories of the struggles of British
workers. However Rob Sewell's book is different. The purpose of
this history of British trade unionism is not only to recite the
wrongs inflicted on working people, or simply to describe their
heroic struggles. It is an attempt to draw out the lessons of the
events that helped shape the Labour movement, and made it what it is.
This is a book that sets out from the proposition that the interests
between capital and labour are incompatible and takes sides in the
war between the classes.
Justice for Colombia
10am - 1pm Saturday 29th November TUC Congress House, Council Chamber
(5th floor), Great Russell Street, LONDON WC1 (nearest tube Tottenham
Other speakers: Brendan Barber (TUC General Secretary and Justice for
Colombia President); Isabel Hilton (The Guardian); Jeremy Dear
(National Union of Journalists General Secretary); Dr. Angela Roger
(Association of University Teachers Vice-president). Chair: Mick Rix
(Justice for Colombia Vice-Chair).
Places are limited, so please ensure you book in advance:
firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7794 3644
December 2003 Events
Friday, 5 December and Saturday 6 December
Oxfam, War on Want, World Development Movement
Worldfair's Fair Trade Xmas Market
Book your selling space at Worldfair's Fair Trade Xmas market before
10 October and get a 10% discount on the price of your stall. Unit 6,
Canonbury Yard 190a, New North Road, London N1
Tel: 020 7354 4231
Sat, 6 December U.S. TROOPS OUT OF SHANNON!
Blockade the Warport Assemble at 2 pm at Lidl Carpark in Shannon
Town. More details on IAWM website Buses will be organised from
Dublin (contact Aoife at 087 795 5013), Cork (for more details
contact John at 086 300 4573), Galway (details later),
All Anti War groups are requested to hold public meetings, if
possible in the weeks coming up to this protest. The public meeting
should be used to build for as large a protest at Shannon as
possible. Other up-coming anti-war events
NETWORK FOR PEACE CONFERENCE
Working for a peaceful future: Campaigning for peace against a
context of the never-ending "war on terrorism".
5-6 December Venue: Friends House, Euston Road, London.
Info and/or to book a stall contact: Network for Peace - tel: 020 72783267
Saturday 13 December 1-4pm opposite Downing Street
Public Rally Justice for detainees now!
Afghanistan. Iraq Belmarsh prison in the UK.... with speakers and a
petition calling for an end to imprisonment without trial! For
details contact CAMPACC on 020 7586 5892
Saturday, 13 to Monday 15 December
Major Women-only demonstration and blockade, Menwith Hill
THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AGAINST ISOLATION - CONFERENCE ON
It is an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POLITICAL PRISONERS and is being
held on Dec. 19th, 20th and 21st.
WHERE: The symposium will take place in Palazzio Vecchio in Salone
COMUNE DI FIRENZE,
Palazzo Vecchio P.zza Signoria
50122 - FIRENZE
HOW: The order is speakers is divided geographically. So, for
instance, the first day speakers from Asia, America, Africa will
speak, the next day from Europe and the final decisions will be made.
WHO: A list of organisations and persons, who have so far confirmed
their participation in the symposium:
* Ahmet Kulaksiz, he lost his two daughters Canan and Zehra during
the death fast in Turkey
* Ex-political prisoners from Turkey (and Europe)
* Wainer Burani, a lawyer from Italy, who will speak about the
prisons in Italy and the Anti-Terror-Law
* Gianfranco di Maio, a doctor from Italy, who will speak about the
* Mohammed Safa, a representative of the Al Khiam Rehabilitation
Centre for Torture Victims, he will speak about the Lebanese
prisoners in the Zionist prisons.
* Ibrahim Mahajna, a lawyer who lives in Ramallah and is member of
the Palestinian Human Rights Commission. He will speak about the
situation of the prisoners at Ansar 3.
* Marcella della Donne, professor at the La Sapienza University in
* A representative of the Cuban Embassy in Rome and probably a lawyer
who is the brother of one of the "Cuban 5", who are imprisoned in
* Representatives of the Austrian Committee "Free the Cuban Five"
* Haidi Giulani, mother of Carlo Giulani, who was killed by police
during the demonstrations in Genoa
* Representatives of Behatokia, the Basque Observatory for Human
* Rote Hilfe (Red Help)
* A representative of the London-based Irish Political
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Call 0031-20-675 09 26
or 0032-2-280 2228;
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