Tuesday 10 August 2004

The Plough Vol 01 No 51

The Plough #51
10 August 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1. The Republic of James Connolly
2. Impressions of a Revolution
3. Anti-War Court Case-Solidarity for Comrades
4. Anti-Racist Network
5. Police Ombudsman's Report -- 'A Whitewash'
6. Freedom to the Six Basque Nationalists Imprisoned in Mexico!
7. Colombia: Super Urgent Action
8. What's On



Speech for the Kevin Lynch Commemoration, Dungiven, delivered by
Gerard Murray on Sunday, 1 August 2004

Struggles take many forms and the republican struggle in Ireland has
taken many forms. Armed struggle against British imperialism, street
protests, riots, hunger strikes, pickets all have been weapons in the
armoury of republicans. The sacrifice of Kevin and his comrades and
their use of the hunger strike was on the immediate issue of
political status. The refusal since the republican struggle began in
the 1790s of Irish republicans to accept criminalisation is absolute.
Nobody, especially not an administration of Brits, whose hands are
covered with the blood of thousands of innocent Iraqis, has the right
to call republicans, who oppose their claim to rule this island,
criminals. We are not and we never have been terrorists. Kevin and
his comrades were never terrorists. They were freedom fighters,
patriots and anti-imperialists.

Today as we salute the memory of Kevin Lynch, hunger striker and
political prisoner, it would be remiss of us not to express our full
solidarity with current republican political prisoners in Maghaberry
and re-iterate our call for the immediate release of Dessie O'Hare
and the other qualifying republican prisoners under the terms of the
Good Friday Agreement. We make no distinction between different
republican groupings when it comes to solidarity with republican
prisoners. Do not forget there would be no republican prisoners in
gaols if there were a final settlement to the national question. And
so long as the national question is unsettled then so will there be
republicans who will wage a struggle to establish a republic on the
island for all the people of the island.

It has been a learning experience for many of us as we watch how the
Brits were able to transfer that same national question down to the
level of "divided communities." We have had recently various
spokespersons for the great and the good reduce the problems here in
the North to the levels of flag and parades disputes. This is now
called a community problem. In recent weeks statements from a wide
range of bodies including statements from two PSNI-RUC spokesmen
claimed that the communities could only resolve the issues. The
implication of this is that the "two communities" can sit down and
resolve the problem while the state bodies act in a mediating role!

Let me run that by you again. The state bodies act in a mediating

Ah, yes, now I see it --­ the paratroopers in Ardoyne on July
l2th, 2004 were mediating -- just like they did on Bloody Sunday,
1972. And, yes, the Parades Commission made two rulings that the
mediating RUC -- oops, sorry, PSNI -- overruled in order to allow
loyalists to trample the croppies back into the ground in Ardoyne and
Lurgan. And, oh, did you not realise that the British state is
neutral between the two communities and only want to help us get
together and be nice neighbours!! Really those Catholics and refugees
who are being petrol bombed and pipe bombed from their homes
by "decent loyalists" will really have to be nicer to their
neighbours and do nothing to offend them -- like being different.
Blame is allocated equally by the great and the good. We are all to
blame and those who claim jurisdiction over us really have our best
interests at heart.

But we know different. The reality is that sectarian elements in
unionism want to lord it over nationalists. It is a case of "croppy
lie down". They are aided and abetted in this by a range of state
bodies including the NIO, the police force, the prison service and
the intelligence agencies. Many employees of state bodies acquiesce
in sectarian attitudes and actions. The theft of security documents
by RIR soldiers from Castlereagh and the subsequent handing over of
them to the UDA shows the continuing close contact between armed
loyalism and the British military.

Six years after the Good Friday Agreement, in terms of troop levels
and collaboration, nothing has really changed. The Independent
Monitoring Commission has highlighted the ongoing high number of
British soldiers stationed in the North.

In a report on British demilitarisation, the commission said troop
levels in the North were at just under 15,000. This is larger than
the number of British troops in Iraq.

This number was supposed to be reduced to 5,000 as part of Britain's
commitments under the Good Friday Agreement.

Six years on from the so-called historic Good Friday Agreement we do
not have justice, democracy or freedom. We have a biased police
force, a bigoted prison service, and an arrogant bevy of British
overlords making decisions for us, no democratic assembly and naked
sectarian hatred given free range every July. Unionism simply does
not recognise the right of people in the North to be either
republicans or nationalists. Like the Bourbon Kings of France they
have learnt nothing!! July 2004 confirms that the state of Northern
Ireland is in essence still a cold house for nationalists.

It is very important for us as republicans not to fall into the trap
posed by the misuse of language. We all have seen how the spin
doctoring of the Blair government in Britain has turned language
around so that the truth becomes lies and lies become the truth. The
armed occupation of a foreign country becomes its liberation.

We reject the notion that there are two separate divided communities.
There are not two communities -- instead we have a divided working
class who clash in deprived areas. And while elements of that self
same working class clash particularly in July those who benefit from
the sectarian clashes jet off to sunnier climates tut-tutting about
the fighting going on amongst the lower classes.

Was it for this that men and women sacrificed the best years of their
lives in struggle, in prison, in exile and for many in death? Was it
for this that the hunger strikers died? Surely it is legitimate to
ask hard questions? Is it not time to call a halt to the endless
round of talks about talks about talks?

Don't misunderstand what we are saying. We republican socialists are
in favour of dialogue. We emphatically state that armed struggle is
not the way forward. To go down that road at this time is to go down
the road to nowhere. It is not an option. Armed struggle today is
emphatically not the road that leads to the Republic.

Yes, dialogue is possible but there can be no more pussyfooting
around. If there are those who refuse to talk to any section of
republicanism or nationalism then it should be clearly understood
that republicans can and will withhold their consent to the running
of the six county state. And we believe it should be clearly
understood that from the republican perspective any arrangement that
is internal is temporary, transient and transparent. Surely it is
time for republicans, socialists, radicals and anyone else who cares
to come together and say loud and clear -- the Good Friday Agreement
has not worked, does not work, is unlikely to work in the future.
Northern Ireland as a political entity does not work. There is no
permanent solution possible that envisages the continued existence of
the sectarian six county state.

Our whole history of struggle, our experiences of fighting the Brits,
of living under the thumb of reactionary unionism, of enduring
prisons, hunger strikes, brutality and sectarian hatred has steeled
into our souls the unbreakable belief that the only solution to our
problems is the establishing of a Republic that the workers, that is
the vast majority of the people of Ireland, Catholic, Protestant,
Dissenter and refugee, control.

At the end of the day the only class republicans can rely on is not
that class that sucks you in and then sells you out but the Irish
working class, the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom.
In perpetuating and honouring the name of Kevin Lynch, hunger
striker, soldier, socialist, we reaffirm our commitment to the
Republic of James Connolly.


By Heiko Khoo ­from The Hands off Venezuela Campaign

Caracas is a place where people have woken up. Revolution is part of
everyday vocabulary, not in the sense of the dead phraseology of the
former Stalinist states where the very word was designed to send
people to sleep, but in the genuine meaning. Everywhere, amongst
street vendors of cheap jeans and magic herbal potions, you also find
a vendor selling laws. The Law on Armed Forces, the Law on
Intoxicating Substances, the Law on the Rights of Women and Children,
and dozens of others. These law pamphlets are not for the consumption
of students at the law faculty but for the poor. Not so the poor can
to read the laws to become lawyers, but to know how to exercise their
rights according to 'their laws'. The masses feel that politics,
government and the state belong and should belong, to them. Further
along you find a vendor selling pirate DVD's of US films and
pornography, amongst the films Fahrenheit 9-11 and The Revolution
Will not be Televised are given pride of place. A vendor selling
posters has half his stall decked out in posters of supporting Chavez
and the revolution. When I asked their price he says they are not for
sale. A T-shirt saleswoman shows her Che and Chavez shirts, but also
has opposition ones, I ask 'what this?' She says they're for
the 'squalid ones' as the opposition are known. Two men digging
through piles of stinking bin bags in search of something of value
stand upright and I see they are wearing Chavez Will Not Go T shirts.
We stop and talk to older men and women in the Plaza Bolivar. On
hearing we are supporters of the revolution from Europe we are
welcomed as comrades with warmth, there is no hostility. They seek to
know our views and give back with power their own views. The more
radical the speaker the more the audience approves breaking into
applause as the crowd around listens intently. Here on the street the
phraseology is more direct and the overthrow of 'the capitalists' is
more readily spoken of than in intellectual circles. A cavalcade of
motorbikes takes off to defend and strengthen the resolve of the
masses by their hooting and flag waving. A man stands behind a
microphone 25 meters further on warning that after the 15th the day
of the referendum, 'we must deal with the traitors in red berets'. He
is referring to the enemies of the revolution who are seeking a
compromise with the opposition, with capitalism. He is referring to
those who are corrupt within the revolution, the bureaucrats and

Young teachers at the Bolivarian University tell me later that night
that this man, I assume they mean him by their description, is 'more
chavista than Chavez', they appreciate his determination.

At the Simon Rodrigez Experimental University, deep inside the
impoverished district of El Valle, a crèche full of children and
children's' party are noisily taking place, upstairs the local Ali
Primera Radio station is broadcasting in FM as the forum, voice and
self-organised entertainment channel of the community. On the
stairway, a group of twenty or so local activists for the NO vote
gather and discuss and plan their action, in another room the
Marxists are meeting, next door a room full of beds for those needing
rest, this building is a revolutionary centre, organisational,
cultural, political and social. There is to my knowledge not a single
building in all Europe used like this, this despite decades of
attempts to create 'alternative spaces' by the left, sometimes with
significant funds behind such projects!

The dynamism and creativity of revolution sweeps aside petty
bureaucratic formalism and impels the masses to participate. In a
nearby restaurant, well a room that passes as one, we are served food
and beer. Meeting me on the street afterwards the owner asks, why and
for whom I am filming, when I explain for Hands Off Venezuela a look
of great pride exudes from his face, I see him return to his open
door and shout out 'Viva la Revolution!' to his family inside.

At the experimental Bolivarian University symbolically located in the
former HQ building of the Petrol Company PDVSA, our guide Victoria
welcomes us as comrades, no suspicion or distrust. The professors
expound their thoughts and ideas and welcome ours. They are
more 'Bolivarian,' in the sense of believing in a theory of
encircling capital and its institutions rather than directly
attacking it. This does not at all mean they do not listen to and
discuss Marxist ideas, 'Chavez has said Marxism is an important
source of inspiration' they inform us, and at no stage do you feel
they have any barrier against you expounding and propagating your
views. One director who spoke more specifically of the 'Venezuelan
road', its 'uniqueness' and so on, welcomes us distributing Marxist
literature inside a prestigious event where the minister for higher
education was speaking. There is open an honest and open exchange of
ideas, what a relief after seeing movements in Britain from the
Labour Party to the Stop the War Coalition constantly react in a knee
jerk fashion to any serious criticism of their policies, strategy and
tactics, as if they have to repress opposition and alternative

At a rally of the Commando Maisanta Electoral Platoons of Caracas,
the bureaucratic tendency has a stronger hand; some ten thousand
activists pack the hall. A certain former police officer by the name
of Freddy Bernal, who is now the mayor of Caracas Libertador Council,
takes the microphone. He rallies the troops with chants and slogans
and then asks for each district patrol to stand up, which they do
almost in Mexican wave style. But then our friend Freddy warns that
when Chavez arrives to address them, he may want to know details
about how the campaign is being run in each area. So Freddy Bernal
calls up representatives to interrogate them and gets them to parrot
out his requested facts and figures about their local area commando.
A week or two before, someone on 'Alo President' castigated the local
organisation of the Commando, Chavez railed against the bureaucrats
responsible. Mr. Bernal's concerns appeared to emanate from a fear
for his own position more than the efficiency and success of the
situation on the ground. Bernal then called on each district to rise
to their feet and then for the leaders of each district to remain
standing, the 23rd January District rebelled, chanting 'We Are All
Maisanta', a chant which within seconds rung around the auditorium
from ten thousand voices. Freddy Bernal's face was visibly shaken,
and he was forced to desist from interrogating and demagogically
commanding. Chavez as it turned out did not request any such
information anyway, so Mr. Bernal was saved the public humiliation he
feared...for now.



Just a reminder about the anti-war trial on Thursday morning, 10.00
at Laganside, Belfast, N.I. We need to support the five charged as
they feel because it has gone on so long they have been forgotten.
They are Catherine Ross, Colette Dornan, Tomas Gorman, Padraig O
Connor and Darren Malone.



The first ever LMHR-ARN gig was held in the Empire Music Hall in
South Belfast last week and was a case of standing room to the back
door. Many attended from the Network, representatives from minority
ethnic organisations such as the African cultural and Chinese Welfare
association. Human rights activists and human rights organisations
from Amnesty International to the Equality commission, attended as
well as rank and file trade union representatives from NIPSA to
Unison, various grassroots community, women's and gay rights
campaigners also attended. Many people who came along to hear the
bands and to lend solidarity to the cause also joined grassroots
environmental, anti-war, anti globalisation, community, solidarity,
and campaign activists. So a broad collection of organisations and
individuals lend support, with many people joining up to the network.
A good night and thanks for all who came to lend support for the

The ARN will seek to hold a meeting in the near future to bring all
the various contacts that we have to date met, and who have held gigs
with us, and in solidarity for us. This as so to plan further gigs
around different towns and cities, similar to the ARN hosting
meetings in Sept to establish new groups of activists for the

PS -- At the end of the month the ARN logo shall be voted on {via the
whole network} so again if persons want to put their ideas forward
for the logo that will eventually go on the badges, caps tee-shirts,
placards, art, and of course our ARN local and Central banners then
send your designs to the network.

D. Carlin -­ ARN



Media revelations that the Police Ombudsman report is to clear police
of malpractice regarding the case of Dungannon man Noel Abernethy,
leads the 32 County Sovereignty Movement to conclude that the report
itself is a whitewash. Mr. Abernethy was acquitted last September of
attempted murder arising out of a gun attack on the RUC in
Draperstown in 2001. At his trial it was revealed that the police
investigating the case had routinely ignored forensic procedures and
incorrectly presented Mr. Abernethy's clothes to the forensic science
laboratory to be tested for gun residue.

Dr Anne Irwin, a senior forensic scientist told the court that the
police pressed her to test the clothes for forensics even thought she
had told them she could not. It was also revealed to the court the no
less than five police personnel of varying degrees of seniority
subsequently contacted Dr Irwin pressing for clothes to be examined.

In acquitting Noel Abernethy Judge Nicholson spoke of his concern
about the RUC/PSNI's requests.

The report by the Ombudsman cannot by any stretch of the imagination
claim to be impartial given that the ombudsman's office did not
contact Mr. Abernethy, his legal team nor, we assume Dr Irwin. Indeed
the ombudsman has to answer the question, is it or is it not wrong to
pressure the Independent Forensic Science Laboratory to ignore
procedure in order to secure a conviction or is the ombudsman
accusing Dr Irwin of perjury given that she testified in court that
this is exactly what happened. Mr. Abernethy was held by the RUC for
five days, an extension to his detention being granted when a senior
police officer lied to the court saying that machinery in the
Forensic science laboratory was defective. He then was remanded in
custody for a number of months in Maghaberry Gaol and following that
had his trial played out in public through the media. Now to add
insult to injury the ombudsman's office have cleared the police of
any wrongdoing and have not the courtesy to consult Mr. Abernethy nor
his legal team nor indeed do they have no plans to furnish them with
a copy of the report!!!

The message that this episode sends to the RUC/PSNI is clear, that it
is OK to ignore procedure and set up innocent people as long as you
don't get caught, and if you do get caught there are no consequences.
The message that this sends out to the nationalist community is
equally clear, that the ombudsman's office is just another British
state agency that exists, like the policing board, to vindicate and
lend credence the political police in the north. At its inception the
Police ombudsman was sold as an agency that would investigate and
uncover police malpractice it is clear that its real role is to
conceal or justify policing malpractice. The 32 County Sovereignty
Movement reiterate our demands for an independent, impartial non-
British inquiry into the internal workings, malpractice and
corruption of the RUC/PSNI, it is clear that one state agency cannot
adequately investigate another and that the police ombudsman has the
same political motivations as the RUC/PSNI.

Message Ends.





The Asociación Diáspora Vasca, nationalist collective with
presence in more that 20 countries, calls out to the international
community to sign a petition to free the Basque citizens Asier
Arronategi (Mexican by naturalization), Jon Artola, Axun Gorrotxategi,
Joseba Urkijo, Felix Garcia and Ernesto Alberdi, illegally detained
for over a year at the Reclusorio Norte in Mexico City. Pending
against them there is an extradition request to the Mexican Government
by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional, an institution heir to the Franco
era Tribunal de Orden Publico and used by the Spanish Government to
persecute Basque nationalism. The petition and all the signatures
will in turn be delivered to Mexican President Vicente Fox.
The case against this six Basque citizens, initiated as a result of a
political and law enforcement deal, is plagued with blatant
irregularities, among them, the manipulation of documents by the
Spanish Ambassador. If the extradition takes place and they are sent
to Spain, they would be in the hands of a state that, as indicated by
the UN's Committee Against Torture, Amnesty International and
numerous world-wide organizations, tortures the Basque prisoners both
physically and psychologically.

To the dignity of Mexico.

To the solidarity among nations.

Free the six Basque nationalist prisoners!

Sign the Petition:



Colombian Army executes three leaders in Arauca (Colombia)
Samuel Morales and Raquel Castro Detained


Humanidad Vigente Corporación Jurídica denounces and
energetically condemns the extrajudicial execution of HÉCTOR ALIRIO
Colombian Army. These three historic leaders were under the protective
measures scheme of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission.

Alirio Martínez was president of the National Peasants Association
ADUC-Asociación Nacional de Usuarios Campesinos, Leonel Goyeneche
was a member of the Executive Committee of United Confederation of
Colombian Workers-CUT Arauca and Jorge Prieto belonged to the
Executive Committee of the National Association of Hospital Workers-
ANTHOC and the CUT. The three leaders were assassinated in an
operation carried out this morning by the Revéis Pizarro Battalion
of the Colombian Army in the hamlet of Caño Seco, in Saravena

SAMUEL MORALES, Presidente of the CUT in Arauca, and RAQUEL CASTRO, a
member Arauca Teachers Association –ASEDAR were both detained in
the same operation.

These leaders have been spokesmen for the araucana community in the
numerous mobilisations, marches, civil stoppages that have taken
place in the face of military and paramilitary action against the
population that has cost so many lives. At the same time they have
led the continual and effective protests against the violation of
human rights that took place in the bombing of the village of Santo
Domingo in 1998.

The initial versions by the Reveiz Pizarro Mechanised Group reported
that the operation had "put down" three people and captured three

Later, a few hours afterwards, the National Army claimed that the
three leaders had attacked a military unit that was trying to rescue
a kidnap victim and so they gave a military response, and the
military claimed to have seized arms and munitions. They also
signaled that they had started an investigation of the murder.

We are enormously concerned by this account as well as the competency
of the military judicial jurisdiction to carry out the investigation,
given that there are already multiple cases in Colombia and
especially in Arauca, in which the military authorities manipulate
the evidence to hide their responsibility and put blame on the


Because of the above, we ask that you send messages immediately to
the people listed below demanding that the Colombian Government
urgently forms a Verification Commission composed of government
officials and Human Rights NGOs that goes to Arauca on 6 August to
verify the facts and avoid tampering with evidence, and to guarantee
an effective investigation.

… Programa Presidencial de Derechos Humanos y de DIH
Dr. Carlos Franco
Calle 7 N° 5-54
TEL: (+571) 336.03.11
FAX: (+57 1) 337.46.67
E-mail: cefranco@presidencia.gov.co
E-mail: fibarra@presidencia.gov

… Ministerio de Defensa Nacional
Dr. Jorge Alberto Uribe
El Dorado con Carrera. 52 CAN,
Tel. (57 1) 315 01 11
Fax: (+57 1)222.18.74
E-mail: siden@mindefensa.gov.co, infprotocol@mindefensa.gov.co,

… Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón
Carrera 5 No. 15-80
Santa Fé de Bogotá.
Tel: (57 1) 352 00 76
Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23
E-mail: anticorrupcion@presidencia.gov.co

… Fiscalía General de la Nación
Dr. Luis Camilo Osorio
Diagonal 22 B No.52-01
Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+571) 570 20 00
E-mail: contacto@fiscalia.gov.co; denuncie@fiscalia.gov.co

… Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Wolmar Pérez Ortiz.
Calle 55 No. 10-32
Santa Fe de Bogotá.
Tel: (57 1) 314 73 00
Fax: (+571) 640 04 91
E-mail: secretaria_privada@hotmail.com

… Presidencia de la República Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez,
Cra. 8 No.7-26,
Palacio de Nariño,

Tel: (57 1) 562 93 00
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71
E-mail: auribe@presidencia.gov.co

UN Human Rights in Colombia

… Oficina en Colombia de la ONU (Derechos Humanos), delegación
Nororiente colombiano.
Dra. Karen Sherlock
Tel: (57-7) 643 38 81, 657 26 47.
Fax: 1-6293637



Please also demand the immediate release of Samuel Morales and Raquel
Castro. In your message please express concern for their safety and
that they are not being tortured.

And, in the UK, send messages to:
Colombian Embassy (UK): mail@colombianembassy.co.uk
With a copy to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign at


What's On


Saturday, 14 August

Strategies for Fighting Racism and Fascism in Ireland -- A Panel

Venue: Pilot's Row Theatre, Derry @ 12 noon, Saturday 14th August

Speakers include: Dave Hann, Anti-Fascist Action Manchester, co-
Author of 'No Retreat' -- a first hand account of the success of
British anti-fascists in breaking up British fascism in the 70's,
80's and 90's Spokesperson for Anti Fascist Action, Ireland; Davy
Carlin, activist, WARN, West Belfast Anti-Racist Network; Roseanna
Flynn, Activist, RAR-Residents Against Racism, Dublin; Dr. Robbie
McVeigh, Activist, writer and researcher into racism and anti-racism
in Ireland. Also speakers from Fascists Out! North Antrim and the
Belfast Islamic Centre.

This event is hosted by the Pat Finucane Centre


Unity Gig that night, featuring Cruncher "viva la quintal brigada"
O'Neill, Decky "Bin Lid" McLaughlin and Seanchai (Irish American hip
hop from New York).

c/o PO Box 3355
Dublin 7



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