Sunday 16 May 2004

The Plough Vol 01 No 39

The Plough #39
16 May 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) The IMC Report
2) Dublin "Stealing Our Right to be Irish"
3) Capitalism versus Socialism
4) Lessons from Vietnam
5) What's On?



Apologies to our readers this week. The Plough is a bit top heavy
with long articles. We know some of our readers prefer shorter and
snappier articles. Unfortunately due to lack of contributors the
editor has to take what he gets. If interested in writing short
snappy articles please please do so.



Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) and Irish Republican Socialist
Party (IRSP)

The INLA came into being in 1975 as the paramilitary wing of IRSP.
Its initial core members were disaffected members of the Official IRA
and the Provisional IRA following the 1972 ceasefire. The INLA is a
very volatile mix of people from many and varied terrorist
backgrounds. It has a reputation for extreme violence and internal
feuding centred round leadership disputes which regularly lead to
fragmentation of the group.

3.6 While the INLA may not be as prominent now as in the past it is
still a significant terrorist group. It declared a ceasefire in 1998,
which still survives after a fashion.

The INLA remains active. In January 2004 it carried out an attack on
a 14-year-old boy in North Belfast and the shooting of a man in
Strabane. The group is heavily involved in criminality, especially
drugs, and finances itself by extorting money from both legitimate
and illegitimate sources. In our view it continues to constitute a
high threat of re-engagement, either as individuals or as an

(The Independent Monitoring Commission's first report)

In 1998 in its ceasefire statement the INLA said, "We have accepted
the advice and analysis of the Irish Republican Socialist Party that
the conditions for armed struggle do not exist. The Irish National
Liberation Army has now shifted from the position of defence and
retaliation to the position of complete cease-fire."

The INLA was involved in a war of national liberation against British
imperialism and its local allies. In accepting that the conditions
for armed struggle against that imperialism no longer existed it
recognised that a particular stage of struggle had ended. The time
for taking the war to the imperialists and their reactionary loyalist
allies had come to an end.

But no section of the Republican Socialist Movement thought that the
Good Friday Agreement was the end game. The IRSP called for a no vote
in relation to that agreement. Six years on the question has to be
asked were the sacrifices endured by the republican population in
over nearly thirty years of armed struggle wasted by sordid political
trading that has in the end produced little but electoral gains for
one republican political organisation. It should be noted that the
current electoral strength of Provisional Sinn Fein is just slightly
ahead of the electoral strength of Sinn Fein in the 1950s.

Britain still claims sovereignty over part of Ireland. The divisions
among working class people in the North have sharpened and economic
exploitation continues on both sides of the border. Loyalist murder
gangs still exist and are manipulated by both the Special Branch and
British intelligence agencies. There has been no satisfactory
resolution of the burning issue of collusion. Attacks on perceived
nationalist families continue and street demonstrations of a virulent
anti-Catholic and racist nature have been commonplace since the first
IRA ceasefire while the British overlords and their lackeys either
have done nothing or wring their hands in mock despair. No amount of
political tinkering will change the virulent anti-Catholic nature of
the "Northern Ireland" state. Those who think they can fundamentally
reform that state are simply wrong. The leaders of unionism so long
as they have the backings of the British imperial state have no
desire or incentive to reach any satisfactory accommodation with the
rest of the inhabitants of the island. The leaders of unionism have
shown by their complicity in sectarianism that they are incapable of
overcoming their own historical baggage.

Not everything is doom and gloom however. It would be churlish to
fail to acknowledge the positives developments that have occurred
over the past few years. Many people in nationalist areas now have
slightly more access to job opportunities. A new political self-
confident, even arrogant political elite is emerging and the Catholic
middle classes have rising expectations. Compared to many parts of
the world the Six Counties is comparatively well off.

Many ex-political prisoners have used the cessation of violence to
develop both their personal and political skills. Many working class
communities have used the peace money flowing from Europe to benefit
their local communities and heroic work at interfaces have reduced
some of the sectarian tensions.

The recent Independent Monitoring Commission Report puts all the
positives from the ending of the armed conflict at risk. Political
prisoners subsequently released under the terms of the Good Friday
Agreement had to acknowledge that they belonged to an armed
organisation that was now on ceasefire. Many of them on release gave
a commitment to work within the ex-prisoner community to better the
conditions of the whole ex-prisoner constituency. They joined and
supported Teach Na Failte, the Republican Socialists Ex-Political
Prisoners Association, on the basis that they were ex-INLA prisoners.
Working in Teach Na Failte they have participated in peace-building
exercises, taken conflict resolution courses, mediated in local
disputes and encouraged the politicisation of working class
communities. Much of this work has been on a voluntary basis as Teach
Na Failte was denied proper funding for a long period. Much of this
work has also been behind the scenes and confidential. This work has
involved them in direct contact with members of the INLA as Teach Na
Failte sought to consolidate and spread non-violent responses to anti-
social behaviour. All sections of the Republican Socialist Movement
have endorsed the work of Teach Na Failte.

All of this is in jeopardy if the IMC report is acted on. The
recommendation in 8.7 that "no organisation, statutory, commercial or
voluntary should tolerate links with paramilitary groups" and that
the onus should be on the person believed to have paramilitary links
to "show there is no basis for that suspicion" is a recipe for witch
hunts, innuendo, gossiping, lying and demonisation. It is going back
to the days of Douglas Hurd who introduced political vetting thus
preventing many groups from funding because of alleged connections to
someone who may or may not have been associated with armed
organisations. How on earth can a person show that there is no basis
for suspicion?

It is very clear from even a cursory reading of that report that the
IMC is not an independent body. We totally reject that the members of
the IMC are independent.

Lord John Alderdice is a failed politician who jumped ship as leader
of the Alliance Party to take up a well-paid sinecure as speaker in
Stormont. He supports the retaining within the British Army of
soldiers guilty of the murder of Peter McBride. The two
representatives from Ireland and Britain both had portfolios for
dealing with so called "terrorism" and the USA representative Dick
Kerr was deputy director of the CIA, which produces books on how to
torture, kill, assassinate and so on as well as having been involved
in the overthrow of democratic elected governments. During his time
in the CIA that organisation engaged in drug dealing and illegal arms
trading. Hardly an individual to lecture any Irish republican on
respect for the law.

It produced its first report three months early at the specific
request of the two governments and specifically to address the
Kelly's Cellars incident of the 20th of February. It names the four
individuals allegedly involved in the Tohill affair. As of this
moment they are not guilty of anything yet are publicly named in an
official document. At the same time an individual charged with the
killing of a Catholic whose death the IMC says was paramilitary
related is not named. Why the different treatments for republican and
loyalists? Furthermore the report totally ignores the whole issue of
collusion. The running sore not only of the Pat Finucane case but
also of numerous other deaths due to security force collusion with
loyalist murder gangs is not addressed. Yet the IMC sees fit to take
evidence from the same security forces believed to be implicated in
murder. The IMC cannot be seen as independent. It even admits that
the British government has not yet given it permission to address the
whole issue of de-militarisation of the British forces.

This whole politically biased report is clearly directed at
republicans. It also makes clear that it sees its role as making "the
rule of law work." There is still strong political disagreement as to
what constitutes the rule of law and who should be enforcing that law
within the Northern state. Furthermore the IMC seem to think that
policing is not a political issue. They believe all political parties
should support the current policing set-up. They miss the point
entirely. Many republican deny the legitimacy of the Northern state
and so cannot support the police force of that state. That is a
highly charged political issue and the IMC miss that point entirely.

The evidence that the IMC reached its conclusions is not available.
They claim to have a wide variety of sources including British
security forces yet do not specify what those sources are. This opens
the door to malicious muck spreading by people with their own petty
vendettas. It echoes the McCarthy era in the USA in the 1950s.

The IMC also acknowledge that they don't require the same level of
proof that would be required in a court of law and yet they are
prepared to name and shame individuals.

That part of the report concerning the INLA is factually wrong,
politically biased and based on inaccurate falsified Special Branch
documents. The IMC did not seek the views of the Irish Republican
Socialist Party. No member of the Republican Socialist Movement gave
evidence to the IMC. Nor will any member of this movement give
evidence to the IMC.

"It declared a ceasefire in 1998 which still survives after a
fashion. The INLA remains active." (IMC report 3.6)

Let us be very, very clear. It is our very clear understanding that
the INLA ceasefire was not the result of an agreement, negotiations
or vague promises. The INLA did not make any secret deals with anyone
and the ceasefire did not depend on gaining the goodwill of any
group, government or agency. It is not for the IMC, the British
government nor the Irish Government to define the INLA ceasefire.
That is solely a matter for the INLA itself.

We reject utterly the following allegation from the IMC, "The group
is heavily involved in criminality, especially drugs, and finances
itself by extorting money from both legitimate and illegitimate

No member of the INLA is involved in drug dealing. The IRSP have
challenged those journalists who have made these allegations in the
past to produce the evidence. We repeat that challenge. We have
specifically approached two well known journalists who have repeated
these allegations in to produce the evidence of INLA involvement in
drug dealing. We are still waiting. We note that one member of the
IMC was a former leader of an organisation that traded drugs for guns
in the 1980s so we will take no lectures from those who hands are
stained with the blood of the poor of Nicaragua.

We are however aware that a small number of pseudo gangs, and former
members of not only the INLA but other republican armies, are engaged
in extortion, racketeering and drug dealing using the name of the
INLA. Some of these gangs are operating obviously with the full
approval of the so-called security forces.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party reject in its entirety the first
IMC report. It is a hastily prepared cut and paste job totally devoid
of intellectual rigour, factually incorrect, politically biased,
without any understanding of the republican position on the national
question and based on a mishmash of half truths, gossip and extracts
from the more lurid stories of the gutter press. The IMC's
independence is a sham; it is a tool of policy for both the British
and Irish governments with a mandate to isolate and demonise
republicans. The haste with which the whole of the great and the
good, including the political and church elites, endorsed this badly
researched piece of work only exposes their own political bias. Those
who have endorsed the IMC report have been sold a pup.

John Martin, Political Secretary, IRSP



Everyone in the North of Ireland will lose their right to Irish
citizenship under controversial Irish government plans, a leading
republican socialist warned last night.

Derryman Terry Harkin: "This is a racist referendum which is all
about delivering British and American values to the Irish population
about immigration will also have the knock on effect of taking away
the rights of Irish citizenship of every member of the population in
the North of Ireland," he told the Derry News. "The right to be Irish
will be entirely taken away. I am 42 years of age and I have spent my
entire life struggling for the reunification of the nation and now
Bertie Ahern is telling me I'm not Irish. And not only is he saying
that to me, he is saying that to every man, woman and child in the

The Ulster Unionists are also set to challenge the referendum in the
courts because they believe it represents the Dublin government
interfering in affairs north of the border -­ even if they do so
with Tony Blair's consent.

Meanwhile, Mr. Harkin also hit out at the racist nature of the
amendment "arguing that the Irish government have been quick to
forget the history of their own nation and the Irish Diaspora
scattered across the globe.

"We have fled famine, oppression, genocide and pogroms," he
declared. "We went to every corner in the world and the world
welcomed us but now, when we are asked to welcome the world, we turn
round and spit in their face."



The debate between socialism and capitalism is far from over. In fact
the battle of ideas is intensifying. International agencies,
including the United Nations, the International Labor Organization
(ILO), the Food and Agricultural Organization, the World Health
Organization and reports from NGO, UNESCO and independent experts and
regional and national economic experts provide hard evidence to
discuss the merits of capitalism and socialism.

Comparisons between countries and regions before and after the advent
of capitalism in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Europe as well as
a comparison of Cuba and the ex-communist countries provide us with
an adequate basis to draw some definitive conclusions. Fifteen years
of "transition to capitalism" is more than adequate time to judge the
performance and impact of capitalist politicians, privatisations,
free market policies and other restoration measures on the economy,
society and general welfare of the population.

Economic Performance: Growth, Employment and Poverty

Under communism the economic decisions and property were national and
publicly owned. Over the past 15 years of the transition to
capitalism almost all basic industries, energy, mining,
communications, infrastructure and wholesale trade industries have
been taken over by European and US multi-national corporations and by
mafia billionaires or they have been shut down. This has led to
massive unemployment and temporary employment, relative stagnation,
vast out-migration and the de-capitalization of the economy via
illegal transfers, money laundering and pillage of resources.
In Poland, the former Gdansk Shipyard, point of origin of the
Solidarity Trade Union, is closed and now a museum piece. Over 20% of
the labor force is officially unemployed (Financial Times, Feb.
21/22, 2004) and has been for the better part of the decade. Another
30% is "employed" in marginal, low paid jobs (prostitution,
contraband, drugs, flea markets, street vendors and the underground
economy). In Bulgaria, Rumania, Latvia, and East Germany similar or
worse conditions prevail: The average real per capita growth over the
past 15 years is far below the preceding 15 years under communism
(especially if we include the benefits of health care, education,
subsidized housing and pensions). Moreover economic inequalities have
grown geometrically with 1% of the top income bracket controlling 80%
of private assets and more than 50% of income while poverty levels
exceed 50% or even higher. In the former USSR, especially south-
central Asian republics like Armenia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan, living
standards have fallen by 80%, almost one fourth of the population has
out-migrated or become destitute and industries, public treasuries
and energy sources have been pillaged. The scientific, health and
educational systems have been all but destroyed. In Armenia, the
number of scientific researchers declined from 20,000 in 1990 to
5,000 in 1995, and continues on a downward slide (National
Geographic, March 2004). From being a centre of Soviet high
technology, Armenia today is a country run by criminal gangs in which
most people live without central heat and electricity.

In Russia the pillage was even worse and the economic decline was if
anything more severe. By the mid 1990s, over 50% of the population
(and even more outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg -- formerly
Leningrad) lived in poverty, homelessness increased and universal
comprehensive health and education services collapsed. Never in peace-
time modern history has a country fallen so quickly and profoundly as
is the case of capitalist Russia. The economy was "privatised" --
that is, it was taken over by Russian gangsters led by the eight
billionaire oligarchs who shipped over $200 billion dollars out of
the country, mainly to banks in New York, Tel Aviv, London and
Switzerland. Murder and terror was the chosen weapon of "economic
competitiveness" as every sector of the economy and science was
decimated and most highly trained world class scientists were starved
of resources, basic facilities and income. The principal
beneficiaries were former Soviet bureaucrats, mafia bosses, US and
Israeli banks, European land speculators, US empire-builders,
militarists and multinational corporations. Presidents Bush (father)
and Clinton provided the political and economic backing to the
Gorbachev and Yeltsin regimes which oversaw the pillage of Russia,
aided and abetted by the European Union and Israel. The result of
massive pillage, unemployment and the subsequent poverty and
desperation was a huge increase in suicide, psychological disorders,
alcoholism, drug addiction and diseases rarely seen in Soviet times.
Life expectancy among Russian males fell from 64 years in the last
year of socialism to 58 years in 2003 (Wall Street Journal,
2/4/2004), below the level of Bangladesh and 16 years below Cuba's 74
years (Cuban National Statistics 2002). The transition to capitalism
in Russia alone led to over 15 million premature deaths (deaths which
would not have occurred if life expectancy rates had remained at the
levels under socialism). These socially induced deaths under emerging
capitalism are comparable to the worst period of the purges of the
1930s. Demographic experts predict Russia's population will decline
by 30% over the next decades (WSJ Feb 4, 2004).

The worst consequences of Western supported "transition" to
capitalism are still to come over the next few years. The
introduction of capitalism has totally undermined the system of
public health, leading to an explosion of deadly but previously well-
controlled infectious diseases. The Joint United Nations Program on
HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) published a comprehensive empirical report which
found that in Eastern Europe and Central Asia "infection levels are
growing faster than anywhere else, more than 1.5 million people in
the region are infected today (2004) compared to 30,000 in 1995" (and
less than 10,000 in the socialist period). The infection rates are
even higher in the Russian Federation, where the rate of increase in
HIV infection among young people who came of age under the Western-
backed "capitalist" regimes between 1998-2004 is among the highest in
the world.

A big contributor to the AIDS epidemic are the criminal gangs of
Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Baltic countries, who trade
in heroin and each year deliver over 200,000 "sex-slaves" to brothels
throughout the world. The violent Albanian mafia operating out of the
newly "liberated" Kosova controls a significant part of the heroin
trade and trafficking in sex-slaves throughout Western Europe and
North America. Huge amounts of heroin produced by the US allied war
lords of "liberated" Afghanistan pass through the mini-states of
former Yugoslavia flooding Western European countries. The
newly "emancipated" Russian Jewish mafia oligarchs have a major stake
in the trafficking of drugs, illegal arms, women and girls bound for
the sex-industry and in money-laundering throughout the US, Europe
and Canada (Robert Friedman, Red Mafiya ,2000). Mafia billionaires
have bought and sold practically all major electoral politicians and
political parties in the self-styled "Eastern democracies," always in
informal or formal alliance with US and European intelligence

Economic and social indicators conclusively document that "real
existing capitalism" is substantially worse than the full employment,
moderate growth, welfare states that existed during the previous
socialist period. On personal grounds -- in terms of public and
private security of life, employment, retirement, and savings -- the
socialist system represented a far safer place to live than the gang-
controlled capitalist societies that replaced them. Politically, the
communist states were far more responsive to the social demands of
workers, provided some limits on income inequalities, and, while
accommodating Russian foreign policies interests, diversified,
industrialized and owned all the major sectors of the economy. Under
capitalism, the electoral politicians of the ex-communist states
sold, at bargain prices, all major industries to foreign or local
monopolies, fostering monstrous inequalities and ignore worker health
and employment interests. With regard to ownership of the mass media,
the state monopoly has been replaced by foreign or domestic
monopolies with the same homogenous effects. There is little question
that an objective analysis of comparative data between 15 years of
capitalist "transition" and the previous 15 years of socialism, the
socialist period is superior on almost all quality of life indicators.
Let us turn now to compare Cuban socialism to the newly emerging
capitalist countries of Russia, Easter Europe and south-central Asia.
Cuban socialism was badly hit by the turn to capitalism in the USSR
and Eastern Europe. Industrial production and trade fell by 60% and
the daily caloric intake of individual Cubans fell by half.

Nevertheless infant mortality in Cuba continued to decline from 11
per 1000 live births in 1989 to 6 in 2003 (comparing favourably to
the U.S.). While Russia spends only 3.8% of its GNP on public
healthcare and 1.5% on private care, the Cubans spend 16.7%. While
life expectancy among males declined to 58 years in capitalist
Russia, it rose to 74 years in socialist Cuba. While unemployment
rose to 21% in capitalist Poland, it declined to 3% in Cuba. While
drugs and criminal gangs are rampant among the emerging capitalist
countries, Cuba has initiated educational and training programs for
unemployed youth, paying them salaries to learn a skill and providing
job placement. Cuba's continued scientific advances in biotechnology
and medicine are world-class while the scientific infrastructure of
the former communist countries has collapsed and their scientists
have emigrated or are without resources. Cuba retains its political
and economic independence while the emerging capitalist countries
have become military clients of the US, providing mercenaries to
service the US empire in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. In
contrast to Eastern Europeans working as mercenary soldiers for the
US in the Third World, 14,000 Cuban medical workers serve some of the
poorest regions in Latin America and Africa in cooperation with
various national governments that have requested their skills. There
are more than 500 Cuban medical workers in Haiti. In Cuba, most
industries are national and public with enclaves of private markets
and joint ventures with foreign capital. In ex-communist countries,
almost all basics industries are foreign-owned, as are most of the
mass media and "culture industries." While Cuba retains a social
safety net for basic foodstuff, housing, health, education and
sports, in the emerging capitalist countries the "market" excludes
substantial sectors of the unemployed and underpaid from access to
many of those goods and services.

Comparative data on economy and society demonstrate that "reformed
socialism" in Cuba has greatly surpassed the performance of the
emerging capitalist countries of Eastern Europe and Russia, not to
speak of Central Asia. Even with the negative fall-out from the
crisis of the early 1990s, and the growing tourist sector, Cuba's
moral and cultural climate is far healthier than any and all of the
corrupt mafia-ridden electoral regimes with their complicity in
drugs, sex slavery and subordination to U.S. empire building. Equally
important while AIDS infects millions in Eastern Europe and Russia,
Cuba has the best preventive and most humane treatment facilities in
the world for dealing with HIV. Free anti-viral drugs, humane cost-
free treatment and well-organized, extensive public health programs
and health education explains why Cuba has the lowest incidence of
HIV in the developing world despite the presence of small-scale
prostitution related to tourism and low incomes.

The debate over the superiority of socialism and capitalism continues
because what has replaced socialism after the collapse of the USSR is
far worse on every significant indictor. The debate continues because
the achievements of Cuba far surpass those of the emerging capitalist
countries and because in Latin America the emerging social movements
have realized changes in self-government (Zapatistas), in
democratising land ownership (MST Brazil) and natural resource
control (Bolivia) which are far superior to anything US imperialism
and local capitalism has to offer.

The emerging socialism is a new configuration which combines the
welfare state of the past, the humane social programs and security
measure of Cuba and the self-government experiments of the EZLN and
MST. Wish us well!

(From Capitalism versus socialism: The great Debate Revisited by
James Petras -- Rebelion )



Fifty years ago, on May 7th 1954, the French army surrendered in Dien
Bien Phu to the victorious Vietnamese forces. The fact that a small
nation of peasants was able to defeat the French colonialists and
later the US, the largest imperialist power in the world is of
immense significance. The struggle of the Vietnamese people for
national liberation and socialism provided inspiration to colonized
and oppressed people all over the world. Today, Iraqi patriots
resisting US and British occupation forces from Fallujah to Najaf
will draw many important lessons from the people's war in Vietnam.
Why were the Vietnamese successful? In 1961, General Vo Nguyen Giap
summed up "The Factors of Success":

"The Vietnamese people's war of liberation was victorious because it
was a just war waged for independence and the reunification of the
country, in the legitimate interests of the nation and the people,
and which by this fact succeeded in leading the whole people to
participate enthusiastically in the resistance and consent to make
every sacrifice for its victory. The Vietnamese people's war of
liberation won this great victory because we had a revolutionary
armed force of the people, the heroic Vietnam People's Army. Built in
accordance with the political line of the Party, this army was
animated by an unflinching combative spirit, and accustomed to a
style of persevering political work. It is an army led by the party
of the working class. It also inspired in the people and the army a
completely revolutionary spirit that instilled into the whole people
the will to overcome all difficulties, to endure all privations, the
spirit of a long resistance, of resistance to the end."

Apologies to the reader for such a long quote, but it sums up very
well the decisive factors which allowed the victory of the people's
war for national liberation and socialism: a just cause, a party an
army and a united front (both of them under party leadership), a
revolutionary theory, international support, and the existence of an
alternative government. The French and US forces had a great deal of
technical know-how but no sense of political know-why. The decisive
strength of the Vietnamese patriots was their ability to put politics
in command. They relied on a strategy of politicizing the masses and
mobilizing them on an economic, political and military level. The
current resistance of Iraqi patriots is not comparable to the
Vietcong precisely because they lack their kind of political
leadership. Note that the achievements of the Vietnamese revolution
are not only extraordinary in terms of a successful struggle for
national liberation, but also on how it rebuilt the country from

Vietnam is one of the world's poorest countries, which half a century
ago was still in the middle of colonialism and feudalism. It had to
go through 40 years of wars and massive destructions. The US army, in
its own words, brought the country "back to the stone age." However,
in 25 years of socialist construction, it was able to achieve more
than many countries in terms of social and economic development. The
World Bank begins its report on poverty in Vietnam by stating
that "the achievements of Vietnam in terms of diminishing poverty are
one of the greatest success in the history of economic development)."
(Vietnam Development Report 2004, ).

From 1945 to 1999, the number of medical doctors has increased 700
times (from 51 to 37 100). Today, Vietnamese people have a life
expectancy of over 68 years against 38 in 1945. Infant mortality is
42 for 1000 births (against 135/1000 in neighboring capitalist
Cambodia for example). The world average of infant mortality is of
83.2. Economic growth over the last few years averaged 7 percent, and
the country aims to become an industrialized nation by 2020! (Do not
forget that a country like Belgium, for example, took about two
hundred years to evolve from an agricultural to industrial economy.)
The UN recognizes that in Vietnam "the government places the
individual human being at the center of development and promotes
human potential and the well being of all." (International
Development Targets / Millennium Development Goals Progress - Viet
Nam. July 2001 ). The World Bank acknowledges
that the benefits of economic growth have benefited the population as
a whole rather than a rich minority. It notes, "the greatest success
of the period of economic growth is that it has not been matched by
greater inequality." (Le Vietnam realize ses engagements, Evaluation
de la Banque Mondiale (Rapport 2003) in Faites connaissance avec le
Vietnam, ed. The Gioi, Hanoi 2004)

Those spectacular achievements of socialist Vietnam should not
obscure the fact that there remain many challenges to face. One of
the most significant issues facing the country is the problem of
corruption and bureaucracy. The Communist Party of Vietnam itself
recognizes that there is not enough struggle against bureaucracy and
corruption. One of the resolutions of its ninth congress concluded
that the problem of corruption was a life or death question for the
party. (Report on half term of ninth Party Congress's resolutions
announced, Nhan Dan ), 4/02/2004)





Tuesday 18th May

Just to remind you that as part of Rural Community Network's summer
school, on Tuesday 18th May at the Rural College, Draperstown, the
theme is Equality and multiculturism and we are privileged to have Dr
Roi Kwabena as a keynote speaker. Roi will be staying for the 3 days
so there will be opportunities for people to chat with him. Roi is
also a musician and will be bringing his drums to entertain us in the

Dr. Roi Ankhkara Kwabena was born in the Caribbean island of
Trinidad. He is a cultural anthropologist whose creative work is
regularly commissioned by many cultural, educational & local
government authorities. He has worked with all age ranges in Europe,
Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean for over twenty-nine years.

Currently Vice-Chair of Birmingham Partnership against Racial
Harassment, he was recently appointed the European Representative for
the IAAR, International Alliance Against Racism Xenophobia & Related
Intolerance, the UNCHR registered NGO-charged with the responsibility
of seeking Reparations for Human Right violations. A published writer
and historian Roi was also Poet Laureate for Birmingham City 2001-
2002 and also served as a Senator in the Parliament of his birthplace.

His positive cultural advocacy has ensured his suitability for a
variety of specialist projects addressing wide ranging issues such as
functional and Cultural literacy, therapeutic harvesting of Memories
by elders and young people (including cross generational dialogue)
Anti-Racism, Community Cohesion, Social Inclusion, Cultural
Diversity, redefining the Heritages of Indigenous peoples plus
confidence building for excluded and traumatised students, Refugees,
etc. Dr Kwabena uses story-telling and critical analysis to examine
the historical roots of racism and to assess the direct relevance
this has on our lives today.

If you wish to register for this event please contact Marion Green or
Anna Clarke on 02886766670 or email



Belfast Exposed

Screening: "Guerrilla Wars: Cuba, Vietnam and Afghanistan." Studio
WGBH Boston Video (1999). 18 May 2004. 9.00pm

South Vietnam, 1966, the face of war changed when bands of
highly motivated guerrilla warriors showed that they could defeat
even the most powerful armies in the world. The model for guerrilla
warfare was set in Cuba when a small band of revolutionaries wrestled
control from Battista's armies. The mobilization of the peasants to
support the revolution created a prototype that would be copied
around the world. In Afghanistan, the people resisted communist
ideals, believing them a threat to the traditions of Islam. In
these "people's wars," the guerrillas drew strength from the local
population which furnished recruits, supplies, shelter and
underground intelligence. The people remember: Vietnam War, Cuba,
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Vietnam Tet Offensive, tunnels,
Afghanistan, Russian offensive and Mujahideen.



Belfast Exposed

Screening: "Battle of Algiers." Director: Gillo Pontecorvo (1966). 20
May 2004. 9.00pm.

The Battle of Algiers concerns the violent struggle in the late 1950s
for Algerian independence from France. It was banned on its release
for fear of creating civil disturbances. Shot in a quasi-documentary
style, The Battle of Algiers uses a cast of untrained actors coupled
with a stern voiceover. Pontecorvo balances cinematic tension with
grimly acute political insight. He doesn't flinch from demonstrating
the civilian consequences of the F.L.N.'s bombings. However the
closing scenes of the movie provide thought-provoking images in
support of the liberation struggle.


Fri 21/Sat 22 May

PRISON PROJECT (USA) -- 8pm -- Fri 21/Sat 22 May
Dóchas Centre, Mountjoy Women's Prison
Tickets: €10. Booking: 01 806 2820

"One of the nation's most innovative programmes for prisoners." --

The Prison Project

The 2004 festival is hosting a very special multi-disciplinary arts
project at Mountjoy Women's Prison. Led by Seattle based
choreographer Pat Graney, "The Prison Project" is an arts residency
programme that has evolved over a period of twelve years of working
within the American prison system. This is the first time that Graney
and members of her team are working in a prison outside the USA and
to ensure the relevance and integrity of this work within the Irish
prison service, they will team up with an Irish writer and

Over a two week period, the women prisoners at the Dóchas Centre
in Mountjoy Prison will be encouraged to focus on their creativity as
a means of expression through the vehicles of dance, writing and
visual art. The residency will culminate in performances for the
public, video documentation and a published anthology of the
prisoners' writings. At the same time as undertaking the work within
the prison, Graney and her team will also offer an intensive training
to Irish artists in order to ensure the longevity of the project.

Post-performance discussion: each night.


North Antrim

Monday 24th May

Next Meeting Monday 24th May 7.30 p.m.
Rasharkin Women's Group 22/23 Bamford Park Rasharkin


Tuesday 25th May 2004

Spring Seminar: Sport, a force for good on the island? A discussion
about sectarianism in sport.

Tuesday 25th May 2004 6:30-8:30pm The House of Sport, Upper Malone
Road, Belfast


Dr Alan Bairner Reader in the Sociology of Sport, Loughborough

Peter Quinn, Former President of the Gaelic Athletic Association and
member of GAA's Motions Committee.

Jimmy Boyce, President, Irish Football Association.

For more information contact Paul Mc Erlean, President of the Irish
Association, 02890339949,

The Irish Association is grateful for the support of The Sports
Council for Northern Ireland in the organisation of this event


Friday 11th of June

The School of Politics and International Studies

The Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict In conjunction with the
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) presents a one-day
conference: 'Interpreting ongoing crises in the Northern Ireland
peace process: International dimensions'

Professor David Schmitt (North Eastern University)
The US War on Terrorism and Its Impact on the Politics of
Accommodation in Northern Ireland.

Dr Christopher Farrington (Queen's University Belfast)
'We're not quite as interesting as we used to be': Conflicting
interpretations of the international dimension among Northern Irish
political elites

Professor Paul Arthur (University of Ulster)
The American-Irish Dimension: Have the dynamics changed?

Dermot Nesbitt MLA (Ulster Unionist Party)
The Northern Ireland problem in the 21st Century European context

Professor Elizabeth Meehan (Queen's University Belfast)
From the EU in NI to NI in the EU

David Russell (Democratic Dialogue)
The unintended consequences of power-sharing: A compared exploration
of the Belfast Agreement and Lebanese Ta'if Accord.

Professor Adrian Guelke (Queen's University Belfast)
The lure of the miracle? The South African connection and the
Northern Ireland peace process

Eoin O'Broin (Sinn Féin)
Sinn Féin and Batasuna: Fact and fiction in an evolving

Professor Michael Cox (London School of Economics)
'Bringing in the international' Revisited

Places will be strictly limited. If interested please contact
Christopher Farrington, School of Politics and International Studies,
Queen's University Belfast, , 028 9097 3231.


Wednesday 7th July, 2004

Professor Arend Lijphart

The de Borda Institute has invited Professor Arend Lijphart, a well
recognised protagonist of consociationalism and a patron to The de
Borda Institute, to conduct a seminar on voting procedures in The
Linenhall Library at 10.30 - 12.00 on Wednesday 7th July, 2004.

All welcome on a first-come-first-served basis, but places are
limited. Further details from The de Borda Institute:


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