Friday 23 January 2004

The Plough Vol 01 No 23

The Plough #23
23 January 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1. Loyalists and Brits Collude
2. Bin Campaigners Slam High Court Ruling, Plan Appeal
3. The Case of John Graham
4. Convention of the Left - Derry February 14th 2004
5. People's Forum Against Coca-Cola
6. 31st Day of Hunger Strike
7. What's On?


Loyalists and Brits Collude

The meeting between the UDA and the British security minister, Jane
Kennedy, was a disgrace. It is clear that the Brits place more value
on a bunch of racist sectarian thugs and their opinions than they do
on the voice of any section of republicanism. In the last two weeks
the fascists of the UDA have launched a series of attacks on
republicans in West Belfast, attacked the homes of members of ethnic
minorities in the loyalist Village area of Belfast, rioted in
Maghaberry Jail causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and
engaged in a prolonged hunger strike of over two whole days!!!!

Consequence? The Brits meet them and the Free Staters are preparing
to meet them next week. Republicans draw a clear lesson from this.
The whole peace process is a sham designed to castrate republicans
and empower loyalism. There is no doubt that all republicans are
being forced to re-examine their present positions, re-­evaluate
their current stances and work out the best strategies for advancing
the republican agenda. Following the nationalist path is not the


Bin Campaigners Slam High Court Ruling, Plan Appeal

Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax has strongly criticised today's
High Court decision in a case brought by three Finglas residents
regarding the fairness and legality of the imposition of bin charges.
The case centred on the polluter pays principle and challenged the
legality of the imposition of a set bin charge which did not take
account of the volume of waste produced. The High Court ruled that,
although the Waste Management Plan required the polluter pays
principle to be implemented, the City Council does not have to
provide specific incentives to encourage householders to recycle or
reduce waste Costs were also awarded against the three residents
taking the case. Joe Mooney, Secretary of the Campaign said: "This
High Court decision makes a mockery of the polluter pays principle,
it makes the nonsensical claim that although a provision is included
in the Waste Management Plan the Council has no legal obligation to
actually implement what is stated in it's own Plan. We have
constantly argued that the imposition of a set fee by City Council
actually discourages recycling. Now the High Court has ruled that
this unfair set fee is lawful and gives the green light to City
Council to further harass law abiding householders who oppose unjust
double taxation."

Cieran Perry, an activist with the Cabra Campaign, said: "All our
advice was that we had a very strong legal case, but it comes as no
surprise that the High Court decision should back up the City Council
and the Government position in support of bin charges."

In a previous case the High Court actually ruled in favour of Fingal
bin protestors, stating that the Council was legally obligated to
collect all bins regardless of whether charges had been paid. In 2003
the Dail rushed through the "Protection of the Environment Act 2003",
which permitted councils to refuse to collect bins of non-payers.
After going to all this trouble to legalise their illegal double tax,
it was very unlikely that the High Court today would embarrass the
government by delivering a second blow to plans for ever increasing
stealth taxes.

The Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax will be taking legal advice
concerning an appeal to the Supreme Court against High Court's

Subject: Bin campaigners slam High Court Ruling, plan Appeal
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 15:05:21 -2400
Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax


The Case of John Graham

A 48-year old Canadian aboriginal man from Whitehorse, Yukon, was
arrested on a US indictment in Vancouver on December 1, 2003, and is
currently being held in a Vancouver jail awaiting an extradition
hearing. John Graham is a father to eight, a community organizer, and
an advocate of aboriginal issues.

John Graham is charged with the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, who was a
friend and colleague in the American Indian Movement. Graham has
repeatedly stated that he is not guilty of this crime, which occurred
in South Dakota nearly 28 years ago. According to Graham, in the
weeks before she disappeared, Aquash confided that she had been
arrested and threatened by FBI Agent David Price, who told her that
she "would not live out the year" if she did not become an FBI

The last time they were together, John Graham drove Anna Mae Aquash
to a house near the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. It was
the last time he saw her alive. When Anna Mae's frozen body was
discovered on the reservation, FBI Agent David Price was one of the
first to examine the body. Despite having interviewed her just weeks
earlier, he claimed he could not identify Aquash. He had her hands
cut off and sent to Washington, DC for identification and buried her
as "Jane Doe". At that time, Agent Price claimed that there was no
need for a criminal investigation, stating that she had died of

Leonard Peltier, also a friend and colleague of John Graham's, has
been serving time in a U.S. prison for 27 years, charged with "aiding
and abetting" in the murder of two FBI agents who died during the
shoot-out at Pine Ridge. Following the acquittal of Peltier's two co-
accused in a preceding trial which ruled the men had acted in self-
defence, Peltier's subsequent trial is widely recognized as a
travesty of justice and has attracted the condemnation of human
rights activists and organizations, including Amnesty International,
Nelson Mandela and Jesse Jackson.

Peltier's extradition from Canada, at the request of the U.S., was
based on fabricated evidence and false affidavits presented by the
FBI. Former justice minister and judge who allowed the extradition,
Warren Allmand, later said he would never have agreed to the
extradition had he known some affidavits and evidence presented by
the US were false.

Leonard Peltier recently noted, "I fear that John (Graham) will not
receive a fair trial in the US anymore than I did. I must remind you,
it is court record that the FBI lied to extradite me back to the

Bob Newbrook, the police officer who arrested Peltier in 1976, is
currently an Amnesty International member. He was recently quoted in
the Dec. 5, 2003 issue of BC's The Province newspaper as saying, "My
greatest fear is that the U.S. will use the same kind of flimsy and
trumped-up evidence that they used against Leonard Peltier to justify
the extradition of John Graham, a Canadian citizen, to the U.S."

The U.S. government has sixty days from the arrest on December 1, to
make their case for extradition.

I encourage you to examine the facts around this matter and the
history of how the FBI extradited John Graham's fellow activist
Leonard Peltier, and to encourage Canada's Justice Minister Irwin
Cotler to direct his officials to thoroughly scrutinize the evidence
presented by the U.S.

Having reviewed these facts myself, I am firmly opposed to the
extradition of John Graham. I hope you will also oppose this
extradition to prevent another Canadian human rights tragedy.

For more information about the matter of John Graham, please visit
the John Graham Defence Committee website at


Convention of the Left - Derry February 14th 2004

For everyone's information (from the SEA web site)

We are writing to invite you to a Convention of the Left to be held
in Derry on February 14th 2004. The purpose is to discuss a united
Left slate in the June 2004 European election.

We are writing to invite you to a Convention of the Left to be held
in Derry on February 14th 2004. The purpose is to discuss a united
Left slate in the June 2004 European election. The SEA sees it as an
imperative that there should be a left alternative in the field in
June. If no one else is willing to come along with us we are minded
to go forward on our own. In that circumstance, Eamonn McCann is
willing to stand.

However, we realise that a broad alliance covering the North would be
hugely preferable. We are very open to argument from others as to how
best we can jointly achieve this.

We envisage an electoral alliance of different parties, campaigning
groups and individuals offering voters a radical, anti-sectarian
alternative to parties based on one or other of "the two
communities." The results of the SEA interventions in Foyle and East
Londonderry by Eamonn McCann and Marion Baur make plain that a
credible, united left campaign can attract a level of support, which
cannot be derided or ignored. Without such an intervention, the
European election, for practical purposes, will amount to yet another
referendum" to determine who will champion each community vis-a-vis
the other. It will take a united, broadly based campaign to make a
Left intervention credible.

The issues bringing together socialists, environmentalists, defenders
of the public sector, anti-racists, women's rights campaigners and
anti-war groups in other countries affect us here too. Millions of
Europeans rallied to these issues in 2003, particularly in anti-war
demonstrations on February 15th. Our Convention marks the first
anniversary of those huge protests - which saw one of the biggest
ever marches in Belfast that did not reflect sectarian divisions.
We must break out of the circular argument, which holds that Northern
Ireland is so polarised along communal lines that there's no point
trying seriously to challenge its communal politics. A June campaign
would offer a chance to link day-to-day local concerns to major
issues being fought out at European level. Issues of water charges
and environmental protection cannot be understood other than in a
European perspective. The rise in racism on our streets is connected
to the "Fortress Europe" project. Local civil rights issues now arise
in parallel with the crackdown across Europe associated with the "war
on terror." Privatisation schemes in our schools and hospitals are
entangled with European directives on freeing market forces. And so

It is only in the context of the fight for a social Europe and
against a neo-liberal Europe that we can pursue these issues in
Northern Ireland. The notion that a better Northern Ireland and a
better Ireland is possible is an element in the broader notion that
another Europe is possible. As to when and by whom a serious
political effort is to be made to bring this about---if not now,
when? If not us, who?

The Convention will be held at the Verbal Arts Centre, located on the
City Walls at Bishop Street, Derry. A crèche will be provided. A
more detailed Agenda will be issued shortly.

Yours sincerely
Marion Baur and Eamonn McCann


People's Forum Against Coca-Cola

"We have to build an international alliance to battle the

For Immediate Release January 19, 2004

Contact: Amit Srivastava, Global Resistance +91 9892 239 439; Sujani K. Reddy, Global Resistance +91 22 33661947

Mumbai, India: Coca-Cola is in trouble. In a historic march on
January 18, 2004, over 500 protesters marched and rallied to condemn
Coca-Cola's operations in India. Protesters, including over 150
residents who live in and around Coca-Cola's bottling facilities in
India, were joined by a large group of international supporters at
the World Social Forum in Mumbai. The events were organized under the
banner of People's Forum against Coca-Cola.

The protest drew attention to a pattern that has emerged among Coca-
Cola's Indian bottling plants. Three communities in India -
Plachimada in Kerala, Wada in Maharashtra and Mehdiganj in Uttar
Pradesh - are experiencing severe water shortages as a result of Coca-
Cola's mining of the majority of common groundwater resources around
its facilities. And the multinational's indiscriminate dumping of
wastewater into the ground has polluted the scarce water that
remains. In Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu, residents are opposing a proposed
Coca-Cola facility because of fears that they too will face water
shortages and pollution.

"Coca-Cola's actions are symbolic of the vulgar arrogance and
criminal power of corporations that are looting people of their basic
needs, water in this case", said Medha Patkar, coordinator of the
National Alliance of People's Movements. "Our right to water, land
and forests is at stake and added Ms. Patkar.

The March and rally launched an international campaign to hold Coca-
Cola accountable for its actions. Javier Correa, president of
SINALTRAINAL, addressed India's Coca-Cola affected communities,
declaring that, "Colombians affiliated to SINATRAINAL will unite with
Indian communities' struggle for truth, justice and reparations."
SINALTRAINAL union leaders and organizers of workers at the Colombian
Coca-Cola bottling subsidiary have been subject to a gruesome cycle
of violence in Colombia. Many have been murdered, kidnapped and
tortured by Colombian paramilitary forces.

Tests of Coca-Cola products in the Indian market in September 2003
confirmed the presence of pesticides in the soft drinks, sometimes 30
times higher than those allowed by the European Union standards. The
government of India has initiated an inquiry into the findings and
the parliament of India has actually banned the sale of Coca-Cola and
Pepsico products in the cafeteria.

"This is a classic case of double standards by Coca-Cola," said Amit
Srivastava, coordinator of US based Global Resistance. "Coca-Cola
thinks that it can get away by abusing communities in India and
selling sub-standard products in India. We are ready to bring the
battle to the US, to Coca-Cola's home turf," he continued. The
international campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable has planned a
series of events in the US to force Coca-Cola to clean up its act.
Sponsors of the People's Forum against Coca-Cola include Coca-Cola
Virudha Janakeeya Samara Samithy (Kerala), Joint Action Council
Against Sakthi Coke in Sivagangai (Tamil Nadu), National Alliance of
Peoples Movements (India), SINALTRAINAL (Colombia), Colombia Action
Network (US), Colombia Demand Justice Campaign (Australia), Chilean
Popular and Indigenous Network (Chile), Global Resistance (US),
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. (US) and
Colombia Solidarity Campaign (UK).

For background information on Coca-Cola, visit and our website





Over three years ago (in December 2000), the government of Turkey
sent in thousands of soldiers and police into over 20 of the
country's prisons. The aim was to force inmates into new F-Type
isolation prisons. 28 prisoners were killed and hundreds wounded
during this process. Hunger strikes in protest at the attack and
against extreme forms of prison isolation have continued since then.
In all, 107 people have lost their lives opposing the prison policies
of Turkey's government, and the deaths are continuing.

Protests have continued outside prisons as well, and also outside
Turkey in countries like Britain which have a significant Turkish-
speaking minority. A 45-day hunger strike in a tent started on
December 22 near Seven Sisters underground, at the junction of High
Road with Seven Sisters. Several people there are on hunger strike
throughout this period, while others are on hunger strike for shorter
lengths of time. The aim is to increase public awareness of the
highly oppressive prison policies of Turkey's government and to
register opposition. Despite a racist stabbing of one of the Seven
Sisters hunger strikers on January 6, he and the others will pursue
the protest to the end.

A rally outside the tent is to take place at 2 pm, Saturday January
24, when a press statement will be read out. Progressive-minded
groups and individuals are welcome to participate to show solidarity.
For state oppression and isolation imprisonment is not confined to
Turkey, as we have seen in the case of the Guantanamo detainees in US-
occupied Cuba and the Belmarsh detainees in this country, to cite
just two of many other examples.

HOC (Front for Rights and Freedoms)
Contact details: 07765 165491 Or 07966 739061 or e-mails: or


Republican Socialist Prisoners of War

Castlerea Prison
Declan Duffy [9 years-20 August 1973-Armagh/Dublin-April 2008]
Dessie O'Hare [Life-N/A-South Armagh-No Fixed Date]

Number 2, The Grove
Castlerea Prison
Castlrea, Co. Roscommon

Portlaoise Prison
Gerry Burns [5 years-7 October 1962-Dublin-May 2005]
Cathal Gartland [4 years-N/A-Dundalk-May 2007]
Kevin McLaughlin [4 years-13 November 1965-Belfast-August 2004]

Portlaoise Prison
Dublin Road
Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Letters, cards, birthday greetings, and so forth are welcome.


To all Party members, associates and friends

Donations or standing orders/direct debit to the Party can be paid
into: First Trust Bank
Account Name: Irish Republican Socialist Party
Branch: Andersonstown Belfast
Account Number: 70490-21
Sort Code: 93-84-75


What's On?



Programme of Events 2004

Wednesday 21 January
Free Derry Corner, 11.00am. Launch of black ribbon and programme.

Tuesday 27 January. Holocaust Memorial Day

Gasyard Centre, Lecky Road, 1.00pm. Launch of "Making an Exhibition
of Ourselves - Derry and the Arms Trade". Exhibition by the Foyle
Ethical Investment Campaign (FEIC).

Sandino's Bar, Water Street, 8.00pm. Launch of "The Battle of
Venezuela" by Michael McCaughan. Introduced by Eamonn McCann. Hot on
the heels of the award-winning Irish documentary "The Revolution will
Not be Televised", comes "The Battle of Venezuela", a new book in
which Irish journalist Michael McCaughan brings audiences up to date
on the remarkable events taking place in this oil-rich Latin American

Wednesday 28 January

Sean Dolan's GAC, Creggan, 10.00pm. Bloody Sunday Commemorative Table
Quiz. Entry fee is £10 per team, with all proceeds going to the
Bloody Sunday Trust.

Thursday 29 January

Bookworm, Bishop Street, 1.00pm. The launch of "Crimes Without
Punishment", the 30th Anniversary Bloody Sunday Lecture by Robert
Fisk. Robert Fisk looks back on Bloody Sunday and its aftermath as a
journalist who directly witnessed what he describes as the 'Bloody
Sunday of Lebanon', the massacre of 1700 Palestinian refugees in the
camps of Sabra and Shatila, ten years after Bloody Sunday. Crimes
without Punishment' compares and contrasts the peace processes in
the North and the Middle East and examines the bias and wordplay with
which mainstream journalism reports such war crimes. In particular it
explores the circumstances and forces at play that have dictated that
while a second inquiry into Bloody Sunday was won, many of the
victims of the crimes of Sabra and Shatila continue to lay in
unmarked graves. A Gaslight Production in association with the Bloody
Sunday Trust.

Calgach Centre, Butcher Street, 8.00pm. From Opposition to
Mainstream - the challenges facing Sinn Féin and the DUP.

Sinn Féin and the DUP are now the two largest political parties in
the north, and both are traditionally seen as representing the
working class in their respective constituencies. But it is a
perceived political reality that the focus of any political party
changes once it gains power. The responsibility of government is
often seen as blunting the radicalism of opposition. Both Sinn
Féin and the DUP have championed radical policies on social and
constitutional issues in the past and the question now is how these
policies will be affected by their ascent to political primacy in the
north. Speakers Conor Murphy and Gregory Campbell will outline how
their parties plan to deal with this challenge, and will face
questions from an invited panel of interested parties and the

Playhouse, Artillery Street, 7.00pm. Premier of Laurence
McClenaghan's play, "The Long Auld Road", which focuses on the impact
of Bloody Sunday on one family as they wait for family members to
come home from the march. The play will also be performed on Friday
and Saturday night.

Friday 30 January

Bloody Sunday Monument, Rossville Street, 4.15pm. A minute's silence
to mark the time 32 years ago when British paratroopers opened fire
on the crowd in Rossville Street. Please join the families of the
deceased for a moment of silent reflection. Please note that part of
Rossville Street will be closed to traffic for the duration of this

St Mary's Church, Creggan, 7.30pm. The annual memorial mass for those
killed on Bloody Sunday.

Calgach Centre, Butcher Street, 8.15pm. Bloody Sunday Memorial
Lecture, to be given this year by former Old Labour MP and
veteran socialist Tony Benn. Admission by donation.

Bogside Inn, 10.00pm. Fundraising event for the Pat Finucane Centre.
Alternative disco ­ Ska, Punk, Funk and Reggae.

Saturday 31 January

Pilots Row, 12noon - 4.00pm. Film Screening: A series of short
programmes, including the 1969 broadcast of Panorama focussing on the
Battle of the Bogside.

Pilots Row, 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Update on the progress of the Bloody
Sunday Inquiry.

Gasyard Centre, 11.00am ­ 4.00pm. The Impact of the Article 2
Judgement in the North. Organised by The Pat Finucane Centre.
This seminar will focus on the implications of the European Court of
Human Rights Article 2 judgement of May 2001 in the case of Jordan,
McKerr, Shanaghan, Kelly & others. The aim of the seminar is to
provide a comprehensive update on the ongoing implications of the
Article 2 judgement and will provide an opportunity for legal
practitioners, NGOs and relatives to share information ideas and
strategies. Advance registration only - limited spaces available.

Calgach Centre, 7.30pm - 9.30pm. "The Truth about Truth
Commissions". Would a truth commission be a help or a hindrance to
those bereaved or hurt by the conflict? Panel discussion organised by
the Pat Finucane Centre. See press for details of speakers.

Solas Arts Centre, Gt James St, 8.30pm. Beidh an dara Oíche cheoil
agus siamsaíochta Tír Chonaill/Doire a chur i láthair in
Ionad Ealaíne Solas, Mórshráid Shéamais, Dé Sathairn
31 Eanáir, ag tosnú ar a 8.30i.n. Beidh scaifte as Gaeltacht
Thír Chonaill ag teacht go Doire do mhórshiúl
chuimhneacháin Dhomhnach na Fola, idir Baill de Bhuíonta Cheoil
Rann na Feirste agus Gaoth Dobhair agus ceoltóirí agus
amhránaithe den scoith. Beidh Cór Cholmcille ag coinneáil
cuideachta leo ar an ardán. Beidh táille de £5 ar an doras
agus thig libh bhur gcuid dí féin a thabhairt isteach libh. Bígí

Once again as part of the Bloody Sunday Commemorative Weekend,
singers and musicians from the Donegal Gaeltacht will join with
friends from Derry, including Cór Cholmcille for a concert in
Solas Arts Centre. Come along and enjoy a great evening's
entertainment. Doors open at 8.30 p.m. Admission £5.00, bring
your own.

Gasyard Centre, 9.00pm - till late. Bloody Sunday Weekend fundraiser,
with Cruncher O'Neill, Decky McLaughlin, The Shambelles and others.
Admission £5.00, bring your own. Organised by the Gasyard Wall

Sunday 1 February

Bloody Sunday Monument, Rossville Street, 11.00am. Wreath laying
service. Please join the families as they lay wreaths and offer
prayers for those killed and injured.

Creggan Shops, 2.30pm. 32nd Commemorative March and Rally. Speakers
from Sinn Féin and the SDLP and a representative of the deceased
and wounded. Soup and sandwiches will be available free in Sean
Dolan's GAC, Creggan, before and after the march.

Sandinos after the march. Soup, sandwiches, music and craic.
Revolutionary tax £2.00. All proceeds to the Bloody Sunday Weekend

A number of other events and exhibitions are planned for this years
commemoration. Further details will be published in the local press


Bloody Sunday Commemoration 2004 - Sunday, 1st February

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


Benefit for next Grassroots Gathering - Cork March 5/6/7 <<<<<<<

Roots Reggae Firehouse Skank Sound System

@ The Blue Angel (Top Floor) Cork Opera House
(use Main Entrance)

(This) Friday 23rd Jan 04
11 pm To Late ... swear

Only 8 euros by ticket only.'

Contact 087 9572438

Grassroots Gathering - an alternative gathering of libertarian
socialists, anarchists and activists of the direct action persuasion
will take place in Cork at the beginning of March. Further details
on agenda/venue soon.....


Anti-Racist Network- There will be a demonstration at Belfast City
Hall on Tuesday 27th of January at 1pm {lunchtime rally} on Jan 27th
at the front of the city hall. All republican socialists and
republican socialist ex-prisoners are encouraged to attend


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The new Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP:


A new 2004 full colour glossy calendar is available now on the RSM
online shop.

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

Republican Socialist Online Merchandise - New Website

A new website that offers a central place to go on the Internet to
find good quality items with a distinct Republican Socialist theme.
Proceeds from sales from this effort go towards the IRSM and it's
various projects.

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