The Plough #36
25 April 2004
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) Editorial: The IMC
2) Some Interesting Facts
3) Belfast Councillor's Statements Irresponsible
4) Derry IRSP Statement
5) Reply to Eamonn McCann by Philip Ferguson (from The Blanket)
6) African National Congress
8) What's On?
So the International Monitoring Commission has published its first
report. The sole purpose of the report was to put pressure on the
Provisional Republican Movement. The IMC claims to be independent and
yet it responded to the British Government's request to especially
look into the "Bobby Tohill affair." It has not yet investigated the
steps towards demilitarisation promised by the Brits but not yet
delivered. The British Government has not yet authorised them to
report on this. So where is the independence?
The report is littered throughout with references to democracy and
the rule of law and it attempts to put pressure on all political
parties to endorse the new policing arrangements. It also calls on
all public bodies not to fund groups with alleged paramilitary links.
These are all clear political positions. The IMC is an instrument of
British Imperial policy. It is implementing British policy and all
the nice liberal editorials from the media have rushed to endorse the
report before examining its content.
That content is crap. A young man is charged with a killing in
Bangor. The IMC says this was loyalist killing. The PSNI say it was
not. The accused is not named in the IMC report. Four people are
charged with the kidnapping of Bobby Tohill. The PSNI allege that the
PIRA are involved. The four men are named despite the IMC themselves
talking about due process and not wishing interfere with the legal
The references to the Republican Socialist Movement are a cut and
paste effort from the back pages of the Sunday World and have as much
relevance to the truth as the Sunday World journalists have to
The IMC says its sources came from a wide range of people. They don't
require the same element of truth required in a court case and thus
have given carte blanche for every twisted individual to invent lies,
stories and gossip and have it treated as serious by the IMC.
The IMC are a bunch of pompous, hypocritical and self-serving
individuals only too eager to do the bidding of Her Majesty's
Some Interesting Facts
The rich are getting richer. "Northern Ireland's rich never had it so
good. The top ten richest people in the province have a combined
wealth totalling £2.235m, compared with £1.520 in 2003 -- an
increase of 47%" (Sunday Times 18 April 2004). The richest people in
the six counties are not the only one to be doing well financially:
"Britain's richest 1000 increased their wealth by 29.8 percent to
£202.4 billion last year. This amounts to a doubling of wealth in
four years" (Ibid). One can wonder whether the ordinary workers'
wages have increased by 47 percent in one year, or if the Job
Seeker's Allowance has doubled in four years... Interestingly,
speaking of philanthropy, "The richest 20% in Britain give 0.7% of
their household expenditure to charity, while last year the poorest
20% gave as much as 3%" (Ibid).
One rarely hears our politicians talking about the economic
contribution of criminal activities to the GNP.
"The generous contribution of prostitution, drugs and smuggling to
the Irish economy will, for the first time, be measured for inclusion
in the country's national wealth statistics. The illegal activities
will add up to a massive 1.32 billion Euro annually, following
international recording patterns."
According to Brian Newson, the head of Eurostat's national accounting
unit, "Generating income -- for example, by producing and
distributing drugs -- looks like an economic activity like any other.
But it happens to be illegal. The practical problem arises in
measuring these illegal activities." (The Sunday Business Post, 4
After all, business is business. If these activities were legal, they
probably would be eligible for tax exemption.
"The outrageous fortunes of those who jumped to the private sector" --
such was a recent headline in the Sunday Tribune (11 April 2004).
This article pointed to the very close links that exist between
senior civil servants, political advisers and capitalists, and how
their private work and consultancy projects can conflict with public
"Quinlan was a senior tax official in Revenue over ten years ago,
when he spotted the potential in finance minister Charlie McCreevy's
budget decision to give generous tax breaks to investors...Quinlan
promptly left revenue, and armed with the experience gleaned, he set
up his own company, Quinlan Private, which offered wealthy
individuals high-yield investment opportunities which maximised Mc
McCreevy's tax breaks...Though Quinlan might be the most quietly
successful of the former mandarins who left to try their luck in the
market, there are others."
For example, "Michael Buckley was a high ranking official in the
Department of Finance when he upped and joined Allied Irish Bank,
eventually taking over as Chief Executive of the bank. Buckley now
has shares in the bank valued at over 3 million Euro and annual
salary of 1.4 million Euros. Along the way, he also headed up the
body which sets salaries for top level public servants such as the
Taoiseach, ministers and judges -- an irony which is not lost on his
former colleagues in Finance, who hold the purse strings." One
wonders what would be the public reaction if some politician set up
an office advising unemployed people how to get the maximum amount of
benefits from the state! "Current mandarins who aspire to the
corporate life will have to get permission...before they can make a
move into the more lucrative private sector." However,
unsurprisingly: "But they may not have that much to worry about as
the draft code has been on the table for the last four years and has
yet to be formally adopted."
Belfast Councillor's Statements Irresponsible Say IRSP
The IRSP in North Belfast have hit out at a Belfast councillor as
grossly irresponsible for alleging that the INLA and UDA were
responsible for recent sectarian attacks in the Ligoniel area.
Councillor Eoin O'Broin stated in last week's North Belfast News that
an incident at the "turn of the road" was the responsibility of the
INLA. The IRSP met with Councillor O'Broin last week following his
IRSP representative Paul Little said: "The IRSP have long said that
sectarian attacks in North Belfast have to stop immediately and we
fully support community initiatives that aim to bring these attacks
to an end.
"Councillor O'Broin is well aware that loyalist attacks are not
reactive and driven by pure sectarian hatred; his attack on
Republican Socialists is opportunistic, inaccurate and lends credence
to loyalist claims that sectarian attacks by loyalists are merely a
response to nationalist attacks.
"We reiterate the IRSP's total rejection of sectarian attacks on
North Belfast's interfaces and further we call on protestant working
class communities to support the various community initiatives aimed
at eradicating this blight on all our futures.
"In the meantime communities need to remain patient and to confront
those involved in sectarian attacks within their own communities.
However, any resident has the right to defend themselves from
sectarian attack on their person or their property. The IRSP defend
The following statement was issued by the IRSP in Derry following an
article in the Derry Journal on Sunday, 18 April 2004.
Following the spurious and sensationalist reporting of a recent
punishment attack in Galliagh the IRSP have been in touch with the
Derry Brigade of the INLA to fully ascertain the true facts as to
their involvement or otherwise in this alleged attack.
The INLA have assured the IRSP that they had no units on active duty
in the Galliagh area on Friday 16th April. They have also pointed out
to us that the INLA in Derry have never used nail-studded implements
in any such incident.
The IRSP are extremely concerned at this latest attempt to demonise
the IRSM without one shred of evidence. We would urge all those
reporting on such matters to get in touch with the IRSP in Derry to
ascertain the facts before going to press with outright lies.
The IRSP take this opportunity to call for an inclusive community
response to the problems that affect the lives of people in these
estates. Joyriding, burglaries and vandalism are making people live
like prisoners in their own homes. The IRSM will not be falling into
the trap of demonising all the young people in these estates. We know
there are many good young people who have nothing else to do in the
evenings but hang around street corners. But there is a tiny minority
of these people who are intent on pushing the community to the limit
of their patience and patience is wearing thin. We call on these
young people make peace with their community. Parents, youth workers,
concerned community activists and local politicians in these
marginalised estates must come together and make a concerted attempt
at solving these problems and to promote active citizenship amongst
these disaffected young people.
Reply to Eamonn McCann by Philip Ferguson (from The Blanket)
Eamonn McCann's essential argument is that "To attack the current
Sinn Fein leadership for reneging on principles is to miss the main
point: they are not deviating from but are following closely along
the path trodden by every previous Sinn Fein leadership because of
their nationalist ideology." McCann suggests the logic of
republicanism has always been to sell out. This is wrong on a number
Firstly, it lets the SF leadership off the hook. In fact, the
republican goal has always been an independent Ireland with
fundamental socio-economic change in the interests of the people of
no property. Even in periods when this was poorly articulated, this
was still the underlying aim.
In recent years that has been abandoned in exchange for the chance of
assisting the British imperialists in running the six counties. And
this would logically be complemented by a future coalition
arrangement with Fianna Fail in helping administer neo-colonial
capitalism in the other twenty-six counties.
People who see no good reason why the sacrifices of the past several
decades should be thrown away like this have every good reason to
view this as a betrayal.
Secondly, there is an inspiring tradition of republicans who did not
sell out, beginning with Wolfe Tone and continuing through Robert
Emmet, Fintan Lalor, the Fenians and IRB section led by Tom Clarke
and Padraig Pearse.
Thirdly, since McCann declares himself to be a socialist, there is
the fact that the founder and greatest figure of Irish Marxism, James
Connolly, was a republican. He was a republican because he was a
Marxist and understood that you cannot be a Marxist in Ireland
without being a republican. Connolly understood the difference
between the nationalism of the imperialist oppressor and that of the
national liberation struggle.
Connolly understood that rejection of republicanism per se by
some "socialists" had no progressive or redeeming elements. It simply
meant capitulation to imperialism and, thus, to the existing state of
affairs in Ireland.
The fact that McCann's own organisation managed to sit out the
struggle in the north, not able to summon up so much as the energy to
throw a stone against thousands of occupation troops, indicates the
sorry state of his "socialist" alternative to the Provos. One can't
help but be amused by the idea of an Irish SWP-type group in Iraq
today. Presumably they would be counselling the Iraqis against
anything so outrageous as armed actions against the occupying forces,
although I assume Iraq is safely far enough away that they can
support the slogan of self-determination there which they find so
hard to identify with in Ireland itself.
Indeed, in the local body elections the SWP-CP front, the Socialist
Environmental Alliance, managed in its tame manifesto to evade
mention of the thousands of imperialist troops in the six counties.
Their highest horizon in relation to the local sectarian police
force, meanwhile, was to suggest that if any SEA candidates got
elected they would monitor its activities. Very revolutionary indeed.
I'm sure the British ruling class and their fellow bourgeois in the
six counties are losing sleep over the daunting revolutionary aims of
McCann, of course, also does not mention the political trajectory of
all those "socialists" who have evaded the national question or
failed to take a lead in the struggle for national liberation.
What happened to those whom Connolly labelled "gas and water
socialists" for failing to take up the national question in the early
1900s? What happened to the Irish Labour Party after Connolly, as it
forsook the national question? What happened to the Officials when
they abandoned the national question?
History would tend to suggest that there is a logic, a clear
opportunist and rightist logic, to the politics of those "socialists"
who take fright at the revolutionary -- and therefore difficult --
implications of the national question and prefer their "socialism" to
be less arduous and more of the gas and water variety. They all moved
right and accommodated themselves to the existing state of affairs.
McCann's group, with their desire to merely monitor the RUC,
while "fighting" within the confines of social democratic trade
unionism for a bit of butter on the workers' bread, are hardly an
inspiring alternative to the political bourgeoisification of the
Provisionals. They merely represent the other side of the same
If there is to be any serious challenge to the status quo in Ireland
it has to retrieve Connolly and develop a Connolly-type perspective
for today. That means uniting the national and class questions and
building an all-Ireland revolutionary movement against imperialist
domination and its local allies and underlings, partition,
sectarianism and the exploitation of the working class and small
African National Congress
The African National Congress has coasted to an easy victory in the
South African elections. More significant than its two-thirds of the
vote, however, was the greatly reduced voter turnout. From more than
90 per cent in the first post-apartheid election in 1994, voter
turnout dropped to about 70 per cent in 1999 and is predicted to be
just over 50 per cent this time. This reflects soaring mistrust in
the ANC among black voters in South Africa's poorest communities. The
ANC victory, for those who voted, merely reflects the lack of a
credible national alternative. Voter mistrust has a simple
explanation. Most black South Africans have suffered a reduction in
their standard of living after 10 years of ANC rule, and there are
ominous signs that South Africa will implode in the coming years if
ANC economic policy continues to favour the wealthy at the expense of
the poor. Following its election to power, the ANC developed an
economic strategy known as Gear (Growth, Employment and
Redistribution). This promised 6 per cent annual growth by the year
2000, and 400,000 new jobs every year. It has not delivered. The
official jobless rate grew from 16 per cent in 1995 to 30 per cent
last year. However, when discouraged job seekers are added in, the
actual unemployment rate now stands at 42 per cent nationwide and
more than 80 per cent in some rural areas. The process was
accelerated from 1996 when the ANC adopted a World Bank plan for
South Africa's economy, which, among other things, involved
commercialising and privatising government services. About 20,000
people lost their jobs when South Africa's Telekom was sold, and
another 30,000 became redundant in a privatised electricity sector.
Many millions of blacks have now lost access to essential services,
such as running water, electricity and telephones, because they
cannot afford to pay the charges set by the private corporations.
Predictably, poverty has deepened, with the economic gaps between
blacks and whites widening.
According to the Chronic Poverty Research Centre at the University of
the Western Cape, the average income of black households dropped by
19 per cent from 1995 to 2000, while over the same period the average
white household income grew 15 per cent. Absolute poverty levels
increased from 20 per cent in 1995 to 28 per cent in 2000. It is not
the hopes of South Africa's impoverished black majority, which have
been fulfilled by democracy, but those of South Africa's
corporations, global investors and the white minority. While the
incomes of the black majority have been reduced, the corporate sector
has been on the gravy train. Corporate tax rates were cut from 48 per
cent in 1994 to 30 per cent by 1999. Many activists dubbed the ANC
policy "reverse Gear" as its effects bit, and wealth was transferred
from the poorest sections of South African society to the richest.
These issues are familiar to New Zealand. Our economy was hijacked by
the Labour Government of 1984 and delivered to the private sector;
the ANC has done the same thing in South Africa with precisely
parallel effects. Organisations are now beginning to emerge in the
black communities across South Africa to challenge the ANC. Typically
they are organising around community service issues, such as housing,
water and electricity, and are met with the same brutal violence as
the white minority once dished out to black activists. In February,
in scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of apartheid South Africa,
two black school students, 17-year-old Dennis Mathibithi and 15-year-
old Nhlanhla Masuku, were shot and killed by police as they joined a
protest to prevent poor families being evicted from their homes in
the township of Kathlehong. In the run-up to the election, ANC
activists disrupted meetings organised by community groups such as
the Anti-Privatisation Forum and the Gauteng Landless Peoples
Movement. There are ominous signs that South Africa will implode in
the coming years because there is no indication that ANC policies
will do more than change the cThe Plough-36.ems olour of the skin of
those who conduct the repression. In essence, South Africa has
shifted from racial apartheid to economic apartheid.
Reprinted from [John Minto: ANC victory highlights the lack of a
credible choice 20.04.2004 - COMMENT NZ Herald]
As a sympathiser of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement I agree
with the political line of the movement and I am happy that Ireland
has a non-revisionist left with the IRSP. But now I have a criticism,
which I want to express. When I visited the merchandise homepage of
the IRSP yesterday I was surprised that they/you sell a t-shirt with
the slogan "Stop Bush" in which the "s" of Bush is replaced through a
I will try to explain why I totally disagree with the analogy of us-
imperialism and nazi-fascism and why I think that this is a risky
politic. I have to say that I am from Germany and because of that I
maybe have another kind of view on German history. It would be nice
to get some answers, especially from some persons of the IRSP.
The comparing of the politic of the USA (especially since Bush is
president) and the German Nazis is very popular. These happen in a
lot of ways: like at this t-shirt or with pictures on which Bush
stands next to Hitler in a similar posture and so on. All these
analogies advising that the imperialist politics of the USA and the
Nazis look alike. But there are a lot of varieties and the holocaust
is only one of them. But which are the varieties? Firstly I have to
explain what my definitions of Fascism and the German fascism are.
Like a lot of other German leftist I am geared to the fascism-theory
of Reinhard Kühnl. Kühnl is professor for politics at the
university of Marburg, a Marxist and important position in the
dispute of German historians about fascism, which were discussed
maybe 20 years ago. In his opinion fascism is a kind of capitalist
governance, which is used, when the capitalist order is in danger.
When a socialist revolution is imminent, the fascist movement, the
power elite of economy, military and bureaucracy creates an alliance.
The smallest consensus of this alliance is anti-Marxism and the
struggle against the social democratic workers movement. The social
structure of each fascist system is to get the voice of the dependent
working people in silence -- from Italy 1922 to Chile 1973. The
ideology of fascism combined six main motives. In differences
to "normal" dictatorships only the cooperation of this six motives
addict fascism. The motives are:
1. A "companionship ideology" in which nationalism is an important
2. An ideology of authority which meets in the principle of leader.
3. An ownership ideology which meets in militant anti-communism.
4. An appearance of anti-capitalism against high finance.
5. A philosophy of scapegoats which gives an explanation for the
evils of the world and delivers an object on which the masses can
vent ones' anger without danger.
The social functions of fascism are:
1. The maintenance of the capitalist social order in crisis.
2. The abolishment of revolutionary and reformist movements.
3. Safeguarding of social privileges of the upper class and extension
of profits of the capital.
4. Extension of the economic power of the state which meets in an
upgrading of political power.
5. Creation of the political and military conditions for an
The particularity of the German or Nazi fascism runs in the
industrial extermination of Jews (called Holocaust or Shoah). For
this the Nazis built special extermination camp. 6 million Jews,
which were arrested from the occupied countries all over Europe, were
murdered. Just in the concentration- and extermination camp Majdanek
the Nazis murdered 200.000 people. At the conference of Wannsee in
1942 the Nazis decides the extermination of European Judaism.
Additional to the holocaust the Nazis murdered over 20 million of so
called "subhuman beings" in the Soviet Union to create "living space"
for the Germans. The Second World War, which was started when the
Nazi-Wehrmacht occupied Poland in 1939, the holocaust and the brute
force against the opposition (especially communists) killed 60
million people. The reasons of the extermination of the Jews are not
completely explored until today. But there are a lot of motivations,
which are known:
1. Irrational anti-Semitism which has a long tradition in Europe,
especially in Germany.
2. "Extermination through work": millions of prisoners of
concentration camps, displaced persons and prisoners of war had to do
compulsory labor for the German industry. The industry paid money for
this to the Nazis. These workers had to work under worst conditions
until they died. They offered the cheapest manpower.
3. The "experience" of the first world war with ended in an abortive
revolution at the front at home in 1918. One of the reasons for the
1918 revolution was the hunger in Germany. As a doctrine of this the
Nazis calculated that they had to reduce the population to avert
hunger in the backcountry for their planed war.
All these facts leads me to the awareness that the politics and the
system of the USA are neither a fascist system nor comparable with
the German kind of fascism. In antagonism to a fascist system unions
are allowed, there are "free" elections; communist groups are not
As leftist we have good arguments and analyses, we don't need to
shorten our denegation of imperialism as a logical evolution of
capitalism. But the analogy of us-imperialism and nazi-fascism is not
only stupid; it's dangerous and reactionary, too. Taking the
particularity of German fascism is grist for the mill of the German
fascist movement and German imperialism.
In association with campaigns against the exhibition "Crimes of the
Wehrmacht" which shows, that the Wehrmacht were a necessary part of
the Holocaust, the nazi movement try to propagate that the Wehrmacht
was a "normal" army. But it wasn't. The Wehrmacht was part of the
holocaust. As long as the front stood, the Nazis were able to keep
their system of extermination. Also in the occupied countries the
Wehrmacht massacred civilians and freedom fighters.
Taking the particularity of German fascism is also in the interest of
German imperialism. Like other imperialist countries, Germany want to
achieve economic interests using the instrument of armed
interventions and war. Since the nazi-fascism was destroyed in 1945
the German imperialism fought against the stigma of nazi-
fascism. When the federal republic of Germany was founded in 1949
the consensus in the German population called: Never again war from
German floor. The formation of the new (western) German army, the
Bundeswehr, was only able with reference to the necessity of a NATO-
membership. In official terms the Bundeswehr was a defending
army. The use of these forces was in these times not enforceable
because of the existence of the GDR and the Soviet Union. Since the
collapse of the real existing socialism things have changed.
1. With the so-called German Unification Germany became a "normal"
western state and demanded a sovereign foreign policy.
2. After the ending of cold war the USA declared that they don't want
to pay the costs for the interests of other western countries in
The next important step for the German imperialism followed with the
war in Yugoslavia. This war was the first war in which a German army
fought since the end of the Second World War. The arguments of the
German governance changed. In the past a cooperation of the German
army at war was not possible because of the German holocaust. But the
Yugoslavia war was justified because of the holocaust. The German
governance found parallels between the German Nazis and the Serbs.
They presented "arguments" for concentration camps and the so-
called "Hufeisen"-plan for ethnical displacements.
"Arguments" like the "Hufeisen"-plan emerged very fast as fakes,
which came directly from the defence minister and in the co-
called "concentration camps" no one were gassed. At a press
conference about Yugoslavia the foreign minister and former militant
left Joschka Fischer defended the war with the words "Auschwitz -
never again". The negative answer of the US-American demand for
German help at the Iraq war is no pacifism. It is the new self-
conception of a new redefined Germany.
Together with France Germany was one of the best business-partner of
the Iraq of Saddamm Hussein. No need for a system-change in Iraq.
Every minimisation of the nazi-fascism is a beat in the face of the
victims and stupid, unhistorical, non-scientific partisanship for
German warmonger. Imperialism sucks without having analogy to the
THE ASSAULT AGAINST THE CUT TRADE UNION MOVEMENT IN COLOMBIA HAS NOT
THE GOVERNMENT IS NOW ONLY INTERESTED IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RE-ELECTION
There is a special conjuncture in Colombia right now: the Congress of
the Republic manipulated and revived the proposed regulations for the
Anti-terrorist Statute, that had been archived; allegations abound of
infiltration by narco-trafficking and the paramilitaries in the
National Attorney General's office, and the National Police; yet
the Government's only concern is to get a law through Congress that
will guarantee the re-election of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez
en route for an even more reactionary struggle.
In the midst of this panorama trade unionists continue to be
assassinated, threatened and kidnapped -- all with complete impunity
for the perpetrators.
28 March in the city of Chiquinquirá, Boyacá department the
teacher ALEXANDER PARRA a member of the School Teachers Union
SINDIMAESTROS–FECODE was assassinated.
1 April in Medellín, 35-year-old teacher JUAN JAVIER GIRALDO was
assassinated. This took place as he was travelling from his workplace
to his home. He was a member of the teachers union Asociación de
Institutores de Antioquia ADIDA–FECODE.
12 April JOSÉ GARCÍA, a teacher at the Rural School Santa Elena
Vereda in Tame, Arauca departament and a member of Aruaca Teachers
Association ASEDAR–FECODE was assassinated.
14 April JORGE MARIO GIRALDO CARDONA, a teacher working at the
José Felix de Bedouth College in Medellín, and a member of the
Asociación de Institutores de Antioquia ADIDA–FECODE was
14 April in Yumbo – Valle del Cauca there was an attempt on the
life of comrade EDGAR PEREA Vice-president of the Metalworkers Union
SINTRAMETAL in which his brother RAÚL PEREA was killed.
27 days ago trade union leader LUIS CARLOS HERRERA MONSALVE Vice-
president of the Departamental Employees Association of Antioquia was
kidnapped. We demand that his captors, presumed to be the FARC,
return him safe and sound to his family and his union as soon as
Threats and harassment against leaders of the food industry union
SINALTRAINAL are continuing, who have staged a hunger strike against
sackings by the multinational COCA COLA y and the corporation BURNS
Finally, as Director of the Human Rights Department of the CUT –
Colombia, my family and I continue to be victims of constant death
threats and a supposed plan to assassinate me. The security
authorities have themselves expressed concern for my security and
that of my family. I have the firmness and the conviction to continue
in the work as a trade unionist defender of human rights from the CUT
or from wherever necessary.
We call on the international community to continue with the universal
principle of solidarity with the men and women workers of Colombia.
We will not desist in our struggle.
TO THIS DATE 17 TRADE UNIONISTS HAVE BEEN ASSASSINATED AND NOTHING
HAS BEEN DONE...
DOMINGO TOVAR ARRIETA
Director Human Rights Departament
Bogotá, D. C. 15 April 2004
Tel: PBX y FAX (00571) 3237550-3237950
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- email@example.com
ANTI-WAR IRELAND bulletin, 15/4/04
Anti-War Ireland is a broad-based, and inclusive, national alliance
of independent anti-war groups. It is explicitly anti-racist and anti-
Convenor: Fintan Lane (087 1258325)
PROs: Caoimhe Butterly (087 2134160), and Tim Hourigan (087 9777703).
Anti-War Ireland organising meeting. Meeting to discuss the
forthcoming AWI national conference. This meeting will be held in
Limerick on Saturday, 24 April - for information phone Fintan Lane at
Over the past week or so, the violence and brutality of the US
occupation of Iraq has been fully exposed. The US military onslaught
on Falluja has resulted in the deaths of more than 600 people, the
majority of whom were almost certainly civilians. This collective
punishment was supposedly in retaliation for the killing and
mutilation of four private security contractors in the city, but it
is clear that the real point was to use overwhelming force to
indicate who is boss in the 'new' Iraq. In the process hundreds of
innocent men, women and children have been killed. This is an outrage.
Elsewhere, the US faces an armed uprising of Shia Muslims who have
clearly had enough of the continuing occupation of their country.
This rising has finally and savagely exposed the lie circulated by
the Bremer regime that the resistance in Iraq was composed entirely
of "former regime loyalists" and "foreign fighters". It is now clear
that the opposition to the occupation is growing among ordinary
Iraqis, both Sunni and Shia.
In Ireland, Bertie Ahern and his government continue to facilitate
the US killing machine at Shannon airport. Indeed, the extent of
Irish complicity was underlined recently when the Evening Herald
published photographs of US military aircraft landing at Baldonnel to
avail of refuelling facilities there. Ireland remains a cog in the US
Anti-War Ireland believes that a key aim of the anti-war movement in
this country must be the ending of Irish government complicity. We
must disengage this State from the US war machine, and we must make
clear the extent of Irish opposition to the belligerence of the Bush
Anti-War Ireland is organising a national conference for 15 May to re-
organise and re-mobilise the anti-war movement in Ireland. Details
will be posted closer to the date.
Anti-War Ireland is also building for a large protest to be held at
Shannon airport on Friday evening, 25 June, to 'welcome' the
warmonger George W. Bush as he arrives in Ireland. We intend to meet
and greet as he arrives, to voice our objections to his
administration's actions in Iraq and elsewhere (such as his recent
support for Israeli land-grabbing in Palestine), and simultaneously
protest at the misuse of an Irish civilian airport for US military
purposes. We are hoping and expecting buses to travel from all over
Ireland, and beyond, for this demonstration.
(If you wish to include an event/notice in future bulletins, please
email the relevant information to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
phone: 087 1258325
Remember Palestine at Belfast May Day March Saturday 1st May: 12.00pm
Annual May Day March in Belfast City Centre The IPSC will be
represented as usual in this year's march the theme of which is March
against racism! Come along and show your support for the cause of
Palestine. Bring flags and posters. Join 6000 trade unionists and
working people in the annual May Day March through Belfast city
centre accompanied by brass, pipe and samba bands Assemble College of
Art, Lower Donegall Street, Belfast, 12pm for speeches before the
march through the City centre past the City hall and into St George's
Market at the back of the City Hall. Afterwards take part in the
Family festival in St. George's Market 1pm-5pm, where there will be
food stalls and family entertainment.
The 5th William Thompson Weekend takes place at the Firkin Crane
Centre in Cork over the May bank holiday weekend.
The theme this year is 'Class' and a full programme will be posted
closer to the date.
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