The Plough #21
9 January 2003
E-mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. Racist Attacks
2. Asylum Seeker Needs Your Support
3. Derry City Council Rejects Arms Trade Investment
4. The True Inheritors?
5. Galway Activists Build for Arrival of EU Ministers
6. Is Another Europe Possible?
7. Bloody Sunday Commemoration 2004
8. What's On?
Once more racists living in the Donegall Road area of South Belfast
have attacked people because of the colour of their skin. Hua Long
Lin was at home watching television when a man burst in and smashed a
brick into his face. His wife was eight months pregnant. Outside the
kerbs are painted red, white and blue and Ku Klux Klan graffiti and
the "Chinks out" notices adorn the walls. A white Protestant family
told a community worker they couldn't offer a Chinese family
friendship in public or they would be "bricked" too. This is the fear
that fed the Nazis in the drive to power. The Six Counties holds the
UK's record for the highest rate of racist attacks: "spitting and
stoning in the street, human excrement on doorsteps, swastikas on
walls, pipe bombs, arson, the ransacking of houses with baseball bats
and crow bars, and white supremacist leaflets nailed to front doors."
There has been at least one racist incident a day for the past eight
months. Despite complaints to the police little has been done to stop
the attacks. Many victims don't bother complaining any more. In
loyalist working-class neighbourhoods there is pattern of
orchestrated house attacks aimed at "ethnically cleansing" minority
groups. This is similar to the tactics used against Catholics when
the civil rights movement first started.
It is happening in streets run by loyalist paramilitaries, both the
UDA and the UVF. Every Chinese takeaway owner already pays protection
money and the UVF have forbid any more Chinese to live in the
Donegall Pass area.
Peace walls are graffitied with swastikas and signs that read "keep
the streets white".
"The Village in South Belfast is a run-down network of loyalist
terraces where unemployment is high, union flags sag from lampposts
and almost every family has a link to loyalist paramilitaries." (The
In post-Good Friday Agreement segregation is the norm. Outsiders are
regarded with suspicion. The siege mentality against "outsiders" is
Attacks against pregnant Chinese women and new mothers have forced
them out of their homes. Ugandan, Nigerian and Romanian families were
also either burned out or forced out.
A six-foot plank was hurled through the front window of the home of a
Pakistani woman who was eight months pregnant. The spot where she and
her brother-in-law had eaten dinner 20 minutes before was sprayed
with glass. They had moved into the house 12 hours earlier.
There has always been a crossover of far right groups with loyalist
paramilitarism, while small racist groups are said to respect the
loyalists and style themselves as "paramilitary groupies". Combat 18
is written in marker pen near Chinese takeaways in the Village and
groups such as the White Nationalist Party have penetrated elsewhere,
threatening one anti-racist activist. Johnny Adair while a glue-
sniffing teenager was a member of a far right group.
A local estate agent said that he had told not to rent another house
to "Chinese, blacks or Asians". Ten of his tenants were forced out
The tolerance of a culture of sectarianism has not only spawned
violence against nationalists but is now spawning the evil of racism.
The IRSP expects nothing from the loyalist paramilitaries. We do not
expect them to stop the attacks for they are behind them and tolerate
them. However we do expect community workers, trade unionists and
republicans wherever they live to stand in solidarity with oppressed
minorities. Racism while now mainly occurring in loyalist areas also
exists in nationalist areas. We call on all to resist racism - but
lets be clear about this. The only way to deter these racists is to
beat them off the streets.
Asylum Seeker Needs Your Support
By Michael Gallagher - Residents Against Racism
Phone: 01 453 6856
Nimota Kate Bamidele is under sentence of death in Nigeria under
Sharia law. Her application for asylum in Ireland has been turned
Nimota Kate Bamidele was sentenced to death in Nigeria under Sharia
law. She has been in Ireland for a year and if she is returned to
Nigeria, she will be killed. The Department of Justice has turned
down her application for asylum, despite the circumstances.
Residents Against Racism are asking for letters of support for Nimota
Kate to be sent to the Department of Justice, under file reference
69/11276/02. Protest against the rejection of her application and
demand that the Minister for Justice use his power of review to grant
her asylum on humanitarian grounds.
For further information, contact Residents Against Racism at 01 453
Derry City Council Rejects Arms Trade Investment
A special meeting of Derry City Council has adopted an unprecedented
New Year resolution to introduce a "policy of opposition to the
city's economic participation in the international arms trade" and
instead elaborate a policy of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI).
The special meeting was convened at the request of the Foyle Ethical
Investment Campaign (FEIC) to consider the role of the Raytheon
Corporation in the production and proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. The company, one of the biggest defence companies in the
world, established a software development centre in Derry but claims
that only civilian work is conducted there; a claim fiercely
contested by members of FEIC at today's meeting. Production includes
work on I-ORION, an information system that enables Raytheon to
enhance its design, procurement and sales of armaments. A Green Party
member of FEIC described the Special Council resolution as historic
and a great source of pride and hope for arms trade activists in
Derry and across the world. "Derry can now retake its rightful place
as a place of hope and solidarity, where peace and democracy are
cherished for one and all."
(Peter Doran - Green Party)
The True Inheritors?
Below we publish a press release from Republican Sinn Fein. We do so
not because we agree with it but because we disagree with it. However
we quote it in full so that we cannot be accused of distortion.
Seán South Commemoration: RIRA should disband
Limerick Republican Sinn Féin
January 4, 2004
A leading member of Republican Sinn Féin has said that the Real
IRA should consider disbanding, and dumping arms because they have no
credibility and are not the true inheritors of the 1916 Proclamation.
Emmet Walsh from Tullamore, County Offaly was speaking at the annual
Seán South commemoration in Limerick when he said that the Real
IRA had stayed with the sell-out Provos for eleven years and as a
result were compromised and lacked political judgement and
"The RIRA has no role to play at present - they should dis-band and
call off their campaign because they are not the true inheritors of
1916," he told the commemoration in Mount St. Lawrence cemetery in
Limerick on Sunday 4th January.
"The leaders of the RIRA sided with the Provos in their surrender.
The Provos and their smug self-satisfied leaders have dis-
honoured Irish Republicanism. It is time they abandoned the noble
name of Sinn Féin and left it to true Republicans like so many
other organisations have done, from Fianna Fáil in the Thirties
down to the Workers Party in more recent times.
"It was wrong of the Provos to send out volunteers to face death or
long terms in prison knowing that they were going to call off the
military campaign against the British presence in Ireland. While the
Provos were planning surrender they were sending volunteers to their
deaths. That is immoral and the fact is they settled for less than
what was on offer at Sunningdale. They decommissioned arms obtained
for the freedom of Ireland - did they have approval for these acts of
treachery? What would Seán South think of the acts of surrender
and treachery by the Provos?
"Seán South did not go out and risk death and imprisonment for
what the Provos claim they have achieved - he was forced to take up
resistance to the injustice of partition -he had come to the
conclusion that the political and military establishment of the 26
Counties could not win the freedom of Ireland - he answered the call
of Mother Ireland for the freedom of her four green fields."
President of Republican Sinn Féin, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and
the locally based vice-president Des Long attended the commemoration
after a march led by a colour party and a lone piper from Bedford
We do not consider it appropriate for any republican organisation to
be calling on any other republican organisation to disband. Before
they split from Provisional Sinn Fein many of the members of RSF were
part of an organisation that habitually called for the INLA to
disband. Part of the rationale behind this is that they considered
themselves "the true inheritors of the 1916 Proclamation" and
therefore regarded anyone else as some how inferior or non true
republican. This elitism permeated the whole Provisional movement
from 1969. When RSF split from PSF they regarded themselves as the
only true republican inheritors of the men and women of 1916 and
therefore they despise those who stayed with the Provos. All who did
not walk away in the eighties were regarded with suspicion. So we now
have the position of having at least 4 IRAs in existence - the
Provisional, the Official, the Continuity and the Real, three of
which are in the Provisional tradition. The enmity between them is
not good for the struggle for self-determination.
We in the Republican Socialist Movement have strong disagreements
with all of the above organisations and the politics they represent.
For example references to Mother Ireland and the four green fields
resonate with a type of reactionary nationalism that ignores and
glosses over real class issues. These types of emotional appeals we
think are a distraction from real political issues.
But political disagreements do not inhibit us from co-operating on a
wide range of issues. An important issue, which requires the co-
operation of all republicans, was, is and will be the issue of
political prisoners. If republicans cannot co-operate here then we
are all the losers.
Galway Activists Build for Arrival of EU Ministers
On Wednesday 7th Jan, a public meeting was held in Galway under the
title "Another Europe is possible" and trade unionists, anti-war and
human rights activists have planned a protest against "war, racism
and privatisation" during next week's informal EU council of
employment and trade ministers in Galway City.
EU ministers and officials will gather outside the city centre in the
Corrib Great Southern Hotel and are due to attend a social evening
close to Galway's Eyre Square on Friday evening - when the march will
Some 70 representatives of anti-war and human rights groups, along
with trade unionists, will argue that "another Europe" is possible.
Mr Richard Boyd Barrett, chairman of the Irish Anti-War Movement,
called for a rejection of the idea that the EU should either align
itself with the US, or become a rival economic and military power.
Irish people should seek an alternative EU, which would be democratic
and concerned with the welfare of its people, he said.
Mr Peter Butler of the Galway One World Centre expressed concern
about EU trading practices, which he maintained had a detrimental
effect on economies in developing states, while Ms Tríona nic
Giolla Choille of the Galway Refugee Support Group said that recent
developments had seen the "progressive dismantling of the rights of
asylum." It was clear that "fortress Europe" was being strengthened,
The safety implications and effects on working conditions of
privatisation of the transport sector was highlighted by Mr Pat
Keane, regional secretary of the Technical, Electrical and
Mr Owen McCormack, a Dublin bus driver and member of the National Bus
and Rail Union, called for a coalition of trade unionists,
environmentalists and anti-racism groups to emerge during the Irish
EU presidency - similar to that in Seattle in the late 1990s, when
people mobilised against the World Trade Organisation talks promoting
privatisation of public services.
Is Another Europe Possible?
This is a time when Bertie and his Muppets have the crown of Europe
for the next six months.
This is the time when light from the world's media will shine upon
the country to gage reaction from all quarters on Europe.
This is the time when many are looking towards the European election
due in June/July.
This is the time when the European state will grow to 25 members
increasing its Power, Influence and Greater Control over all our
lives as the EU super-state takes its hold.
Already I've heard its anti-imperialist/anti-global street politics
or is it, which others have described it to be as and that's taking
part in the elections at local level to act global.
The question is: Is Another Europe Is Possible? If so what is our
Bloody Sunday Commemoration 2004
This year republican socialists throughout the North West are
mobilising again for the annual Bloody Sunday march and rally. The
IRSP in Derry are requesting all areas attend the first national
demonstration/commemoration of the year, and would also welcome
individual comrades from other areas to attend. Supporters are
welcome to join in also.
Floor space is already limited. However details of local cheap B&B's
are available for those travelling from afar or for the weekend of
events currently being organised by the BSC.
Members and supporters are requested to bring along a Starry Plough
flag for republican socialist solidarity section.
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland will launch its new report, Men's
Health in Ireland, on 15 January 2004 in Buswell's Hotel, Molesworth
Street, Dublin. Registration will begin at 10.30 am. The launch
will begin at 11.00 am. This report provides the most comprehensive
overview of statistics on men's health on the island of Ireland ever
collated. It also highlights key issues on men's health men die, on
average, six years younger than women do; poorer men have poorer
health; men are four times more likely than women to die from
suicide; men take more risks with their health; men are reluctant
users of Primary Care Services and often present too late for
effective treatments to be delivered; men's health is under-
researched - both clinically and in terms of health promotion.
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children in the
Republic of Ireland, Mr Ivor Callely, will launch the report. The
event will include an overview of the main issues and recommendations
within the report, as well as a keynote address from prominent
broadcaster and journalist Tommie Gorman.
All attendees will receive a hard copy of the report. Further copies
will be available for free downloading from the internet at
www.mhfi.org from 16 January 2004. Please RSVP to Kay Houlihan by 5
January 2004 on tel: 00 353 1 462 5364 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Democracy Commission Seminar
NICVA, Community Foundation NI and WEA will be holding a session with
the Democracy Commission, an independent body set up in response to
widespread concerns about the capacity of political institutions on
the island of Ireland, North and South. David Begg, General
Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and Chair of the
Commission, will chair the session, which will be held on 12 January
2004 at 2.00 pm at NICVA. To book a place contact Cathy Breslin
on tel: 028 9087 7777 or email: email@example.com.
Full details are available from:
A new 2004 full colour glossy calendar is available now on the RSM
It celebrates the brilliant work undertaken by the Teach Na Failte
Memorial Committees this past year throughout the six counties with
full colour photographs on each page.
Just in time for Christmas and the New Year this calendar can be
viewed online by clicking the link below
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