The Plough #32
26 March 2004
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) "Disruptive Prisoners"
2) Wasted in Dublin
3) Up in Smoke
4) The Intifada - Some Facts
5) The Assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin
6) What's On?
There is an A4 sheet entitled "Starry Plough Bulletin" which purports
to be for a 32 County Irish Workers Republic. It arrives through the
post to our offices and with a Newcastle upon Tyne postmark. No doubt
there are other people and organisations that also receive this
publication. It purports to be anti-Good Friday Agreement and
regularly castigates the Provisional Republican Movement. We do not
know who prints this publication. It has no forwarding address nor is
connected to any organisation.
It has nothing to do with the IRSP or any section of the Republican
The Scottish Parliament has backed measures allowing Political
Prisoners to be transferred from Northern Ireland to Scottish Jails.
Northern Ireland secretary Paul Murphy wants the power to
remove "disruptive prisoners" across the Irish Sea in a bid to help
the peace process. Scotland's Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry said
the power would only be used in "exceptional circumstances." He added
they would have the final say on which prisoners were transferred.
The Ard-Chomhairle of the IRSP totally condemns such draconian
measures backed by the Scottish Parliament. When Paul Murphy states
that he wants to remove disruptive prisoners, what he is actually
saying is he wants to remove those political prisoners who will not
submit to a criminalisation policy, and have the resolve to organise
and execute prison protest against any attempts to suppress their
political identity. Not only will this measure serve to isolate the
chosen "disruptive prisoners" from their comrades, but will also
cause immense hardship for their loved ones many of whom would find
it impossible to raise funds for a visit. This is a contentious issue
that can be resolve around a united broad front campaign involving
the participation of all Republican Groupings opposed to such a
If we allow this measure to go unchallenged, what will stop the
securocrats in the future from sending Irish Republicans to prisons
in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Jersey?
Wasted in Dublin
Steering Committee member Cieran Perry of the Campaign Against the
Bin Tax, who is co-ordinator of the campaign in Cabra, said:
"By jailing 22 of our activists last year the City Council has
previously applied the big stick, which did not work. Then they tried
to blackmail us with the media campaign 'Race Against Waste'. Now Mr
Cullen is presenting a carrot. However the proposals are totally
lacking in any detail and differ little from previous vague promises
to introduce a fairer system.
"The reality is that Fianna Fail has begun canvassing for the local
elections and has been getting abuse on the doorsteps in relation to
the Bin Tax. This announcement, just ten weeks before the poll, is
aimed at defusing public anger on rising stealth taxes and cutbacks.
Mr Cullen is fooling no one."
Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Dublin
City Council show that only one third of households have fully paid
all their bin charges. After over three years attempting to force
ordinary people to pay the charges the majority continue to reject
double taxation. Due to the strength of opposition promises to start
Œnon collection' of bins have not been implemented in the City
Council area, despite claims by the City Council that this would be
operational by October 2003.
Joe Mooney, Secretary of the Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax,
said: "The issue of double taxation still remains, we have already
paid for refuse collection through our PAYE system. This pay-by-
weight system proposes a flat charge, plus a top up cost per unit of
waste. The crucial point is that the flat charge can be raised by the
City Manager, as can the current flat charges. There are no
guarantees whatsoever that either the flat rate or the 'tag cost'
will not rise at up to 30% per annum, as has happened in the past.
The Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax is urging householders to
continue to refuse to pay the Bin Tax and to raise the issue
forcefully on the doorstep with canvassers from all political
More Information: Cieran Perry, Cabra/Dundard/Navan Road Against the
Bin Tax Ph: 086 2594158
Joe Mooney, Secretary, Dublin Campaign Against the Bin Tax Ph: 087 6698587
Up in Smoke
As the smoking ban comes into operation in the Free State thereby
giving many in the bar trade a healthier environment it is ironic
that the European Union is set to reject proposals that would end it
spending E963 million (£642 million) each year encouraging farmers
to grow tobacco while it pushes through a barrage of anti-smoking
The EU spends 70 times as much on subsidies for tobacco farmers as it
does on anti-smoking campaigns. The tobacco subsidies - 20 times as
generous as subsidies given to wheat farmers - are the most widely
derided part of the Union's agriculture policy and are strongly
opposed by northern European governments, health groups and
However, the Commission's proposals to stop the subsidies, which were
discussed by agriculture ministers in Brussels, are opposed by a
coalition of mainly Mediterranean nations, which insist that the
subsidies are essential to preserve the way of life in poor rural
The Intifada - Some Facts
Since the Intifada started in Palestine the number of dead has been
3,828. Palestinians who died were 2,874 and there were 886 Israelis,
a ratio of 3 to 1. Of the Palestinian deaths at least 326 were killed
in Israel's targeted assassination attacks. 160 of these were
innocent bystanders including 25 women and 36 children
IRSP: Zionists Wall Up the Living, Pile Up the Dead
The International Department of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
today condemned the assassination of Hamas founder and leader, Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin. Sheikh Yassin was killed along with his son and two
Hamas fighters when the Zionist military occupying Palestine blew up
the car they were driving in with an air-to-ground missile.
"While the Irish Republican Socialist Party has made no secret of
its support for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as
the Palestinian revolutionaries most similar to itself in seeking to
wed the national liberation struggle in Palestine with the struggle
of the working class for socialism," said a spokesperson of the IRSP's
International Department, "and disagreed with Hamas on many
programmatic issues, we nonetheless salute the resolve demonstrated by
Sheikh Yassin consistently in resisting the Zionist occupation of
"Sheikh Yassin sought a sectarian, religious state, whereas the IRSP
remains strongly secularist and anti-sectarian. Sheikh Yassin was a
life-long opponent of the secular, pan-Arabist, and socialist views
that once informed many anti-imperialist movements throughout the
Arab Nation, beginning with his opposition to the anti-imperialist
regime of Gamal Nasser. These are not views we share and we do not
wish to misrepresent ourselves on these matters. That having been
said, however, we recognise that the Zionist occupation of Palestine
also represents a sectarian, religious state, one that exists to
provide a surrogate for the imperialist powers of Europe and North
America. The Israeli Zionists enslave and murder the people of
Palestine, destabilise the entire region, and help to perpetuate some
of the most reactionary regimes existent today in the Middle East
through their presence.
"Despite our differences, we salute the courage and determination of
Sheikh Yassin in resisting the Zionist occupation, as well as
resisting the false 'peace' talks though which Israel sought to
entrap the Palestinian nation. There is only one kind of peace that
Israel seeks for the nation of Palestine, and that is the peace of
the dead. The wall they are presently constructing is intended to
serve as a tomb for the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian
nation. This cannot and will not be allowed to happen.
"For many throughout Palestine, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was an
incarnation of the militant resistance to the Zionist occupation."
In closing, the spokesperson said, "The IRSP express our solidarity
with them in this hour of their grief and salute the unwavering
resistance they and the whole of the Palestinian people have
Next meeting: March 31, Multicultural Resource Centre, in Belfast at
The recent attacks on Asian men in Botanic, the targeting of Filipino
nurses in South Belfast and the distribution of the race-hate leaflet
in the same area have lead us to believe that there must be a
response by students at Queens University.
The Queens Anti-Racism Network and The Islamic Students Association
of Northern Ireland have proposed that there be an anti-racism rally
at Queens University
This rally will be held on Thursday, 1st April - at 1pm (venue - more
than likely in front of the main building). To help out or to find
out more details e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Workers Union (IWU)
1st annual conference, 9:00 am-5:00pm, 3rd April 2004, Victoria
Hotel, Patrick St. Cork City
Guest of honour...Mick O'Reilly AT&GWU
The newly formed Independent Workers Union (IWU) will be publicly
launched at its first conference in the Victoria Hotel, Cork City on
Saturday 3rd April.
The IWU will not seek affiliation to the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions believing that the so-called Partnership is detrimental to the
interests of Irish Workers and that meaningful partnership with this
Government, IBEC and the ISME is a delusion and no beneficial results
have emerged or will emerge for working people.
This government is:
Pressing ahead with privatisation.
Not implementing a fair and equitable tax system.
Jailing workers for opposing service charges.
Refusing to introduce pro worker legislation.
Tolerating and/or encouraging dismally low wages in many sectors.
And while the current government does this:
Workers are being policed by their own trade unions and the ICTU.
Democratic decisions of trade union members are overturned by the
union leadership and workers are prevented from leaving one Congress
Union to join another.
May Day - Dublin
Sat April 3rd, Open meeting to discuss the organising of events for
Teachers' Club, 36 Parnell Square (West), Dublin, 2 p.m.
National Protest at Belmarsh Prison - Sunday, 4th April, 12 noon
Irish Friends and Comrades, please help us to mobilise for this
demonstration at Belmarsh! We want you to participate with your
banners, flags, bring your friends and supporters! TÁL
Sunday 4th April 2004 12pm
With speakers, live performance & signing of expressions of
solidarity with the detainees being held without trial. 14 men are
currently held in Belmarsh - Britain's very own Guantanamo Bay. These
men are detained under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act
2001, which allows police to arrest people who are not suspected of
actually committing any offences or contravening any laws, on the
basis of secret evidence neither they nor their lawyers are allowed
to see. They are being held indefinitely on the basis that they are
'terrorist suspects' who threaten national security. They were
never questioned by the police and they will not go to trial! Amnesty
International has expressed serious concerns about the conditions in
which the men are being detained.
Come and Protest: let the detainees know they have not been forgotten!
Visit our website at http://www.safp.org.uk/ or contact SAfP for more
information: PO Box 241, Brighton BN1 3UQ or email@example.com or
07815 983022 or 07961579728
NO JUSTICE: The Home Secretary has publicly pledged to fight for
a 'fair deal' for those British citizens still held by the US at
Guantanamo Bay. Yet Britain has been complicit in those ongoing
detentions and it continues to hold 14 foreign nationals who have
never been convicted of, or even charged, with any offence. Most of
them are being held in high security at HMP Belmarsh, in cells
described as 'concrete coffins' and in conditions that are tantamount
to torture. It is cruel and inhuman treatment to keep people locked
up in isolation, without any prospect of release or trial, and
without telling them why they are detained or when they might be
released. The psychological pressure they are suffering is immense
(one detainee is now in Broadmoor).
CAMPACC demands the immediate release of anyone detained under this
anti-terrorism legislation especially those interned without trial.
We demand repeal of all such anti-terrorism laws.
Sussex Action for Peace supports the aims of CAPACC and this Protest.
We are urging people from Sussex to attend the Protest. Members of
SAFP will be meeting at Hove Station 9.40 am to travel to the protest
Speakers include: Gareth Pierce, human rights lawyer; Jean Lambert
MEP; Dr G.Siddiqui, Leader of the Muslim Parliament; Baroness Sarah
Ludford, MEP; Helen John, a Vice-Chair of CND; representatives from
Liberty, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Peace & Justice in
East London; Paul Donovan, journalist; Gareth Evans, Voices
UK.Performances from: Clear Air Turbulence theatre and Double
Negative music. We will also be writing messages to the detainees,
which will be passed on to them by their lawyers.
Directions & trains: Belmarsh prison is on Western Way, London, SE28,
just north of Plumstead station. Trains leave every half-hour (e.g.
11.01am, 11.31am) from Charing Cross to Plumstead station, arriving a
half-hour later. Trains stop on the way at London Bridge and
Greenwich. From East London, you can connect via the DLR going from
Stratford to Greenwich stations.
Map of Belmarsh can be found by clicking:
Contact: CAMPACC, http://www.cacc.org.uk/ , Estella on 020 7250 1315
or Fahim on 07818 442526.
International Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday 28th April 2004
Calling on all Trade Union Health and Safety Reps all over to promote
the Workers Memorial Day.
163 workers died in 2003.
To show our solidarity and have at least a minute's silence or the
planting of a tree, even the unveiling of a plaque in the work place.
Memorial day usually meets a total Press black out everywhere, so it
is up to the workers to get this point across. Recent reports of a
Chinese immigrant worker dying after stamping the word Samsung on
microwave ovens continuously for 24 hours has brought home the
horrors of overwork.
Working time was one of the key issues in which the unions were first
organised. We are now working longer and harder and the 1998 working
time regulations have had little or no impact.
Now the European Commission is consulting unions in a review of the
working time Directive. We must amend the Directives it offers
workers real protection.
Campaign for the Living
Remember the Dead
Mayday No Borders
Dublin Grassroots Network - Mayday No Borders weekend line-up of
For more information, downloadable flyers, and contact details please
visit the website at http://www.geocities.com/eufortress/
Friday April 30th
CRITICAL MASS began in San Francisco in 1992 and has since spread
around the world. Join us for this celebration of non-motorised
transport, as we take a leisurely tour of the city streets, on bikes,
skateboards, pogo sticks, or just on foot.
Saturday May 1st (daytime)
BORDER CONTROLS STREET THEATRE: Welcome to the official day of the
new Fortress Europe. Warning: You may be subject to stops by one of
the Dublin Grassroots Police Network who will be patrolling the city
in the morning. Experience the full reality of Fortress Europe with
ID & background checks, verbal harassment, intimidation, and possible
imprisonment without trial if you do not measure up to the strict
BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS: During the war on Iraq, many private and state
businesses supported the transport of murderous arms and US troops
through Shannon Airport in Ireland. This action will make the public
aware of who they are by painting the streets and footpaths around
their premises in blood red colour. No war should ever be supported
WELCOME THE BOAT PEOPLE: Many asylum seekers and refugees attempting
to breach the Fortress Europe barrier do so in boats and ships. Upon
detection, they are often sent back to their country of origin. This
time however, the people arriving by boat will be welcomed. No human
being is illegal - everyone should be free to travel and live where
they want without fear of persecution.
HOMES NOT JAILS: Dublin expands, swallowing up the countryside. Rents
skyrocket and house prices are beyond the reach of many with average
incomes. The number of homeless people sleeping on the streets rises
every year without any action by the State. Yet all around the city
are derelict buildings, crumbling into the ground. This action aims
to highlight this appalling situation by occupying one of these
buildings and transforming it into a living space.
PUBLIC BEATINGS STREET THEATRE: Europe is reverting to old-style
policing and jailing policies. Rather than look at what causes crime
and dealing with problems in society, the State increasingly utilises
prisons (often in terrible unsanitary condition) as a way of sweeping
the issues under the carpet. How long before the stocks and gallows
make a return? Today's the day. Come along and watch true medieval
THE POLLUTER PAYS: The message during the recent anti bin tax
campaign was to tax the polluter. Is the public responsible for waste
when companies release their products in layers of unnecessary
packaging? How much waste is produced by heavy industry that is not
recycled? These actions will be encouraging everyone to bring their
recyclable packaging back to the businesses that produce it.
RECLAIM THE CITY: The idea of the "common or public space is rapidly
disappearing from the city, as rich and powerful individuals claim it
for private personal use. This action will temporarily reclaim a part
of private land, and open it to the public for a picnic and games in
the May sunshine.
Saturday May 1st (evening)
BRING THE NOISE! The EU Ministers dine in the opulence of Farmleigh
House on Saturday evening at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. We
intend to march to their doorstep and disrupt their dinner, to show
them that we do not agree with their vision of Fortress Europe! Bring
pots and pans, bells and whistles, horns and drums to generate the
biggest noise possible. May 1st is historically a day for the
ordinary people's wishes to be heard. They have chosen to ignore us
but they cannot keep it up if we scream and shout.
Sunday May 2nd
NO BORDERS, NO NATIONS - NO BORDER CAMP: Join us as we set up a No
Border camp on the 2nd day of the new Fortress Europe. We are not
against the new ascension states citizens coming to Ireland - we
think all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants should be allowed
to travel here, regardless of origin, ethnicity, or background. The
No Border camp will be open to everyone. Activities will include
workshops, discussions, teach-ins, planning for the future, as well
as music and food.
Monday May 3rd
NO BORDERS RECLAIM THE STREETS: The only party worth joining in town!
Reclaim The Streets happens again on the May bank holiday to wind
down the weekend. Unlike the State's street party, everyone from
around the world is welcome to come to Dublin for this, not just
those that satisfy the demands of Fortress Europe. Expect music and
dancing, drinking and face painting, a day for all to come and enjoy
a vision of the Europe that we really want.
The Wall Must Fall
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