Volume 2, Number 9
17 October 2004
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
2. A Homage to Seamus Costello
3. The Water Tax Campaign
4. Polemics with Socialist Democracy
5. What's On
On the 10th anniversary of the loyalist ceasefire the UDA, an
organisation founded on hatred of Catholics, a tool of British
Intelligence and the RUC Special Branch, and in internal turmoil,
issued a statement saying it was drawing an Orange line around
Protestant areas. This is against a background where they allege there
is an ethnic cleansing policy being waged by republicans against
Protestant areas. Of course the reality is different. It is in areas
under the control of the UDA and/or UVF that there are attacks on
members of minority communities -- Chinese, Pakistani, Indian,
Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian; all have come under violent
attacks from the unionist paramilitaries. That is why there is a
vibrant anti-racist campaign in the North of Ireland at the moment.
The IRSP support that campaign and we are encouraging our membership
to ensure that any racist attitudes that are expressed where we have
influence and membership shall be challenged. We know there are racist
attitudes within both the unionist and nationalist populations.
Externally there has been since the loyalist ceasefires a persistence
of attacks on Catholics and nationalists. Sometimes they flare up
during the marching season but they have been continuous almost since
the foundation of the six county state. These attacks are tolerated by
unionist politicians and ignored by the British government. Now the
Frankenstein monster that both these groups created, the UDA/UFF, are
getting out of control.
The UDA can't be allowed to exert control over huge areas of working
class life. Their statement about Orange lines is not about preventing
attacks, it is about exerting apartheid-like control over Protestant
districts. The trade union sector, the community sector, the voluntary
sector all must unite to resist this fascism.
For our part we can state confidently that working class people living
in areas under UDA control have nothing to fear from the Republican
Socialist Movement. Their greatest threat comes from the thugs and
drug dealers of the UDA.
A HOMAGE TO SEAMUS COSTELLO
Friends and comrades, once more we gather to pay homage to Seamus
Costello, republican, socialist, revolutionary. Seamus in life was a
giant of a man politically. He stood out among his contemporaries for
his belief, energy, ideas, and charisma. In death he stands out for us
as an icon, a hero to emulate and a leader to mourn. As founder member
of the IRSP and the INLA he played his part in ensuring that the
authentic ideas of republican socialism would endure. The ideas of
Connolly and Mellows, the radical tradition of the Republican
Congress, and the more progressive ideas of the Republican Movement
were all encapsulated in the person of Seamus Costello.
But in paying tribute to Seamus we do not make the mistake of mindless
hero-worshipping. Irish republicanism has played a progressive role in
Irish society because of its ability to renew itself in each
generation and become relevant to the lives of the people from which
it had sprung. Seamus Costello was a catalyst in renewing the
republican tradition in the latter part of the 20th century. Seamus
played a major part in convincing many in the mainstream Republican
Movement that the time for clichés, flags, and faded memories of
old men was long past.
He pointed the way by standing for elections, taking his seat, playing
a full part in the community he came from while never forgetting the
national question and the crime of partition. Seamus saw a role for an
army of the people prepared to both defend the interests of the
working class whilst also prepared to challenge imperialism and its
hold over the whole of Irish society.
That is what we must learn from the leadership of Seamus: the ability
to adapt, to renew, and to avoid becoming stuck in the old ways. After
all the world he lived in has all but disappeared. The Soviet bloc no
longer exists, there is only one super-power, the Officials have
become irrelevant while the Provos of the seventies are but a distant
memory and dreams of the year of victory have become replaced with
that 'radical' revolutionary cry: implement the Good Friday
Those who claimed to have smashed the old Stormont now want to rebuild
it and look forward to working in a coaliation with the party of
Paisley. So much for the strategy of fragmenting unionism.
I wonder what Seamus would have made of it all?
Internally he would have been disappointed at the way his movement
lost its way in the aftermath of his death, particularly in the
eighties and early nineties. Since 1995 we have painfully examined our
past failures, held our hands up to past mistakes, and have taken this
movement back to the ideals, ideas, and beliefs that first motivated
Seamus and his fellow comrades to set up this movement. We have tried
to instil confidence, self-respect, loyalty to the movement, and a
fundamental belief in the primacy of politics. These attributes go to
the very heart of our ideology. Confidence in the class, self-respect
for our values of socialism, loyalty to our own movement but not
uncritical loyalty, and of course the primacy of politics.
But Seamus would not have been satisfied with just that. There is so
much more to be done. A huge emphasis must be placed by the incoming
leadership of this movement on political education, on activity, on
discipline, on democracy, and on being revolutionary agitators.
The days of the loud mouth in the pub are gone. The days of using this
movement as a flag of convenience for personal gain are gone. The days
of bullying working class youth are gone. The days of policing working
class communities are gone.
Those things were never on the agenda of the Republican Socialist
Movement but unfortunately some scum floated towards the top of this
movement in the past aided by the British. Their day is done.
Republican socialists must be servants not masters of the working
class. That's what we are about: taking the message of liberation, of
class struggle, of republicanism to the vast majority of people on
Externally I have no doubt that Seamus would have continued to be
anti-imperialist and socialist and republican. Seamus had beliefs. Not
Seamus's advocacy of the broad front was premised on the belief that
the coming together of radical and progressive forces was in the
interests of the Irish working class. Not for him or any republican
that adhered to Connolly socialism a reactionary alliance with the
most conservative forces in Irish Society. For how else can you
categorise the pan-nationalist front of Sinn Fein (Provisional), the
SDLP, and the coaliation of Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats:
an alliance with the every people who demonised republicans, who split
with gold the Republican Movement, who supported the most repressive
laws against republicans, who framed our comrades over the Sallins
affair, and persistently and consistently demonise this movement?
What republican in the tradition of Tone can accept an agreement that
reduces the anti-imperialist conflict of over two centuries to a
sordid little sectarian war between two "communities", for by signing
the GFA the signatories accepted the internal conflict argument that
British imperialism had been promoting for years: that the conflict in
Ireland was religious. The Good Friday Agreement has led to increased
sectarianism as the working classes are pressured into identifying
with the two sectarian blocs. Partition has been solidified.
We reject the notion that there are two separate divided communities.
Republican socialists reject the two community approach. There is one
community and a divided working class and while elements of that self
same working class clash those who benefit from the divisions of the
working class pocket their profits and come July jet off to quieter
and sunnier climates.
Was that what the conflict was about? That is no victory, nor indeed
an honourable draw. That was a crushing defeat for the progressive
forces in Ireland. Was it for this that men and women sacrificed the
best years of their lives in struggle, in prison, in exile, and in
Is it not time to call a halt to the endless round of talks about
talks about talks especially when the two main groups can not even
meet in the same room?
What kind of government can work when the leading partners don't even
talk to each other? And in relation to parliamentarism Seamus had it
right when he said, "Before the Republican Movement can achieve power,
we must succeed in breaking the confidence of the people in the
existing parliamentary institutions, and I would suggest that this
should be one of the main functions of our TDs. They should also be
full time revolutionary organisers in their own areas, thereby
demonstrating to the people who elected them the fundamental
difference between ourselves and the other parties."
Don't misunderstand what we are saying. The IRSP with the full support
of the INLA are in favour of dialogue. We emphatically re-state that
armed struggle is not the way forward today. That road may lead
somewhere but most assuredly not to the Republic. Yes, dialogue is
possible, but not with those who think we are lesser human beings. Why
should republicans seek to be talked to by right wing bigots of the
DUP? They don't represent the real interests of any section of the
working class. Let's reach out to the working class on the basis of
principled political positions not for temporary expediency.
Seamus Costello, a man before his time, pointed the way forward, and I
quote, "We maintain that any co-operation with the Protestant working
class must be on the basis of a principled political position. It must
be on the basis of explaining fully to the Protestant working class
what all our policies are. We must try and politicise them,
simultaneously with conducting a political campaign to get rid of
There is no permanent solution possible that envisages the continued
existence of the sectarian six county state. Those who pretend
otherwise fool not only others but themselves.
Unless and until the six county state is either totally abolished or
totally transformed, sectarianism will dominate politics here and the
imperialists can continue to present our conflict as a religious
Well, my friends, it is not. It is a political conflict against the
imperialist imposition of foreign rule on any part of this island.
Similarly the conflict in Iraq is not about fundamentalist Muslim
terrorism but about the imperialist exploitation of the resources of
Iraq. Those who are against that war should have a simple clearly
understood slogan for the British and US invaders: "Out of Iraq, Out
of Ireland." Any other position ignores the reality of the naked
brutal power of imperialism and lets them off the hook.
To those on the left who merely raise the slogan "Stop the War," catch
yourselves on. It is only by a consistent and principled opposition to
all forms of imperialism that wars can be ended. The bounden duty of
the left is not to patronise liberal opinion with platitudes but to
stand by the anti-imperialist fighters and extend critical support to
progressive anti-imperialist fighters. And it that offends the liberal
classes, well, tough.
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. Seamus
Costello was a freedom fighter, patriot, anti-imperialist, and
So it is only right to express our full solidarity with current
republican political prisoners in Maghaberry and reiterate our call
for the immediate release of Dessie O'Hare and the other qualifying
republican prisoners arising from the Belfast 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 jails if there was 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.
But, comrades, while we right emphasise the so-called bigger picture
of the political dispensation we must never forget the day to day
struggles of working people. We need to take the ideals of socialism
out of the realms of discussion and manifestos and elections and make
them directly relevant to our underprivileged communities. Poor
health, low wages, substandard housing, class-based education
services, crime, and anti-social behaviour are neither republican nor
loyalist, Catholic or Protestant, North or South, six or 26 county
issues. They are class issues and affect us all. We need to arouse in
our class the spirit of fraternity. That's the way to take on the
symptoms of neo-liberal capitalism: sectarianism, racism, sexism,
homophobia, anti-social behaviour, alienation, poverty, drug abuse,
and self-destruction. A real movement built on the values of
fraternity, solidarity, cooperation, and democracy will crumble away
these barriers to freedom in Ireland.
Our movement to be relevant must update its republican socialism. Too
close a concentration on the national question and an unquestioning
approach to the nature of imperialism in Ireland has distorted and
held back the struggle for socialism in Ireland and also incidentally
is the antithesis of the approach that Seamus would have taken.
From this platform today, may I appeal to all those progressive
republicans, republican socialists, or Connolly socialists to do as
Seamus did, get involved in the day-to-day activities of the class.
It's fine and useful to reminisce about the past, to write the
histories, to tell the tales of past heroic deeds, but, comrades, it
does not challenge the future.
These are glorious days to be alive and see the stirrings of class
struggle in the world. There is a growing anti-imperialism worldwide:
in Iraq, Nepal, the Phillippines, Pakistan, India, Venezuela, Bolivia,
and the former Stalinist states, the working class is moving into
battle. Now ask how you can aid this struggle. Everyone has something
to contribute no matter how small. Participate in your union branch,
join or set up a community group in your area to organise people,
protest, agitate, organise. Remember, to beat the system, you do need
comrades. From this platform we appeal to all genuine republican
Look around at the world we actually live in and I defy you not to be
angry at the injustice and inequality and not have the wish to change
things. There are enough resources in our world to feed and clothe
everyone. Yet every day thousands die from disease, famine, and
hunger. Why? Because of capitalism.
We have called in the past for the convening of a Republican Forum
where republicans and socialists of all hues can dialogue together to
map out a way forward for the future. That's in the tradition of
Seamus Costello's call for a broad front and building anti-imperialist
unity. But we recognise that many on the left think they can go it
alone and don't need to relate to any section of the republican left.
It will be part of our task to persuade not only the left but the
working class, by the things we do, by the actions we take, by the
examples we set, by the calibre of the comrades we attract to our
banner of the Starry Plough, that there is merit in working together.
For, comrades, many people still harbour illusions that Sinn Fein in
government North and South can make a difference to the social and
economic conditions in this country. They can not. They will not. At
best they may put a more human face on capitalism but it will still be
capitalism and that's a system that exploits, brutalises, and also is
destroying the world. It itself needs to be destroyed, not reformed.
Let us follow that example of Seamus Costello. Stand with the
marginalised, the downtrodden, the victims, the poor, and all who are
voiceless in the modern Ireland. Strive for equality, solidarity,
working class unity, human rights, and justice for all. Let us daily
work towards the socialist republic. In the end that's the only
fitting memorial to all our dead comrades, Seamus included.
Comrades, there is much work to be done. Let's do it.
(G. Ruddy, Ard-Chomhairle Member, IRSP)
THE WATER TAX CAMPAIGN
Derry IRSP Call On Politicians To: Stand Up & Be Counted!
The Derry Irish Republican Socialist Party has called on those elected
representatives of district councils who reject any forthcoming
introduction of a water tax as outlined by British government to
"stand up and be counted."
Spokesperson for the IRSP in Derry Yvonne Dalton said, "The majority
of working class people are already subjected to borderline poverty,
now communities will be forced to endure further hardships whilst
attempting to cough-up several hundred pounds in order to cover the
costs of this tax.
"We call on elected representatives of Derry City Council as well as
all the district councils whose members have already stated that they
are opposed to the water tax to make their positions clear, to stand
up and be counted. We have received many calls and enquiries with
regards to the possibility of a community based opposition to this tax
and we fully believe that there is a strong possibility that as a
defiant campaign gathers strength; things may just go to the wall. In
that we mean households having their water cut off, court summons and
even imprisonment for non-payment. This is far from whipping up
hysteria, in fact this is what working class households are examining
in the cold light of day when debating just how they or their
neighbours will deal with this tax.
"As republican socialists, our party will be calling on our class to
defeat this form of double-taxation by widespread non-payment and
direct action and clearly drawing upon the experiences learned from
similar struggles such as the anti-poll tax campaigns throughout
England, Scotland and Wales and the ongoing campaign against the bin
tax in Dublin."
Concluding, "There is also a real fear, that with any reintroduction
of Stormont rule public representatives throughout the occupied six
counties will merely continue to go with the flow and follow on with
current British government policy and guidelines. We have already
witnessed this happening on many occasions in the past when Stormont
was previously up and running, but are we going to have politicians
simply shrugging their shoulders and saying, 'look this has been
already made policy, and we're just doing our job'? This type of
behaviour just won't wash when things start to heat up and that is why
we are asking them now, who will stand up with the poorest people in
this society and be counted?"
POLEMICS WITH SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY
In The Plough Vol. 2-No. 5 we carried our response to criticisms made
by John McAnulty (Socialist Democracy) against the IRSP. Since then we
have learned about a response made by SD to our comments. Below we
carry that response. However so as not to bore our readers -- for we
recognise many find these small matters boring –- we have
interjected our responses to the comments.
In response to your open letter.
John Martin is correct to note that I was asked two questions about
the IRSP and one about unity and answered the question about unity
with only a footnote about the IRSP.
There's a reason for that. I responded to the question about
revolutionary re-groupment because I felt that any discussion of it
was important and that it might be of some help if my own organisation
presented its view of the state of the working class and of the issues
around which re-groupment could take place. On the other hand my views
of the nature of the IRSP are neither here nor there and discussion of
them is not going to advance the cause of the working class one iota.
I take it by this John means that discussion on his views will not
advance the cause of the working class. A fair point.
The IRSP response confirms all my fears about the dog's dinner of
abuse such a discussion would entail.
Where is the abuse except in John's comments?
It also confirms all my suspicions about the nature of the
What does his suspicions about the nature of our organisation mean?
You really can't leave things like that hang in the air, John.
To restate again the main content of my letter. I believe that a
republican regroupment that will lead the next stage of a working
class fightback is unlikely. I believe this because, despite the time
that has passed since the first republican ceasefire and the six years
of active Provisional republican attempts to support the stabilisation
of the British colony in the North, the political opposition has
remained that of a tiny minority and it has failed to develop a
political alternative. The main cause of that failure is the refusal
of the republican political resistance to agree opposition to the Good
Friday Agreement and social partnership as the political basis for a
John here lays his political position clearly on the table and for
that we should all be grateful. It is clearly the position of
Socialist Democracy and probably represents the views also of Tommy
McKearney. Mind you this political position has never been put to the
IRSP face to face because like a lot of the small Trotskyite sects
they preach to those they disagree with but never actually listen or
engage in real meaningful dialogue with them. For the record Socialist
Democracy has never meet with the IRSP nor sought to meet with us.
If this analysis is correct then it is of some significance. The tasks
that would arise if there were the possibility of a relatively rapid
and large-scale growth of a political resistance are quite different
from those where we are looking for the 'primitive accumulation' of
relatively small groups of revolutionaries and the hesitant growth of
independent working-class organisation and action.
What has John Martin to say about this?
Next to nothing!
A careful reading of the above text shows a reliance on "ifs" and
"woulds." Really, John, get a grip! Just like the SWP you think that
every little ripple of activity such as the anti-war movement heralds
the first stages of the proletariat revolution. In relation to the
question of social partnership in the South there is still a big job
in persuading workers that in the long term it is against their
interests, and in case you had not noticed there was a very large vote
for pro-GFA candidates in the North, regrettably so.
"We support such moves" (towards unity) he says, but is this form of
unity likely? What would be the political basis for unity? He argues
with some heat that his organisation opposes the GFA and "have taken
our arguments into as many areas and people as possible" so the
implication would be that opposition to the GFA would be the basis of
There is no such implication. Our position against the GFA is
independent of any realignment or regrouping.
That's not my experience.
I remember early discussions with republicans following the
establishment of the Stormont assembly around the questions of
elections. The usual issues of participation, boycott and abstention
from the new assembly were discussed. The leadership of the IRSP was
quite clearly of the view that the assembly could be used to make
political gains. A strange opposition that does not call for the
downfall of the chief mechanism on which the GFA rested!
John remembers well. Unfortunately he does not evidence his memory,
quote documents or papers. We have only his word for it. But even if
what he alleges is true, so what? Comrade, go back and read Lenin on
the whole issue of participation in the Duma in imperial Russia.
The early attempts to build a united opposition centred on the
This is the first we ever heard of this. So Fourthwrite was an effort
to build a united opposition? If it was it had nothing what so ever to
do with the IRSP and it is a funny effort that leaves out the largest
It then split with The Blanket on the issue of The Blanket's refusal
to accept that we should have a common policy, essential if a
political opposition to the GFA were to emerge. The IRSP member went
with The Blanket group!
My understanding of the reasons for the split was that those with the
Fourthwrite group wanted to form a party. But we were not involved so
it is up to those who were involved to clarify that for themselves.
As regards the IRSP member, Liam O'Ruairc, he was not representing the
IRSP in Fourthwrite, never pretended to and does not represent the
IRSP on The Blanket. He is there as a republican writer.
Up until recently a leading member of the IRSP was also a leading
figure in my union. I am totally unaware of any occasion on which he
brought the issue of the GFA into the union, although I gave him a
number of opportunities to support my interventions on the issue. I
then stood for the executive committee of the union on a platform of
opposition to social partnership and the GFA. The IRSP response was to
run a campaign in the union in support of a member of the Socialist
Party who was also standing. I was not surprised. My understanding was
that both the SP and IRSP opposed bringing up the issue of the GFA
inside the union and that both had a policy of uniting with the trade
union bureaucracy who were implementing the policy of social
partnership rather than campaigning against them.
This is, of course, nonsense and scarcely deserves a reply. However,
Gerry Ruddy, an IRSP member, was on the executive of the INTO and
indeed did support Mary Cahillane instead of John McAnulty on the
basis that it was a union election. Mary had a better understanding of
the issues affecting teachers, opposed the bureaucracy and was not a
single-issue candidate as John was. Incidentally John announced he was
standing without prior consultation with any of the left activists in
the union. Pre-emptive strikes don't always work, John. Try talking to
other socialists before setting out on a road that diminishes respect
for the left. The paltry vote you received weakened your whole
My experience is that the IRSP, to an even greater degree than most of
the republican groups, opposed making opposition to the GFA the basis
for united political action.
Where is the evidence for this outrageous statement?
Even if we were to jump over the little hurdle of uniting without
having anything to politically agree about there would still be an
outstanding problem –- that of the IRSP's history. John Martin may
well "not regard as feuding" the bloodbaths that occurred inside his
movement and prefer to see it as "re-asserting the primacy of
politics." I can assure him that not only Socialist Democracy, but
also the majority of the Irish left and of Irish republicanism, have a
different view both of this and of the history of the INLA overall.
I would be interested in what John's different view is. For the record
the Provisional IRA have killed more people in feuds that the INLA.
Finally there is John Martin's comment about "the hurler on the
ditch." This is a standard rant against socialists, based on the
republican militarist assertion that there were two struggles -–
the real struggle of the armed groups and the lesser struggle of the
socialists, political activists and, indeed, the whole mass of the
Irish working class.
That is a totally wrong interpretation of what is meant by the hurler
on the ditch comment. It is not macho posturing and no one has done
more to oppose militarism and machismos than the current leadership of
the whole Republican Socialist Movement. Let me quote you what
Ard-Chomhairle member G. Ruddy said to a meeting of Marxists in
Barcelona in August on this every issue:
"We have fought this struggle against British imperialism over the
past thirty years. During the course of that struggle, which involved
mass struggle, armed struggle, and mobilisations in the streets, our
comrades have been gassed, burned, arrested, tortured and murdered.
"The signing of the Good Friday Agreement was a defeat for Irish
republicanism and for anti-imperialism. The so-called peace process is
not a peace process, but a pacification process. The blame for that
pacification -– for that defeat -– rests squarely on the
shoulders of us Republicans who failed to take a class orientation."
"The lesson that we have learned from our own experience is this:
Where there is an anti-imperialist struggle it is the bounden duty of
Marxists and revolutionaries to give that struggle its support by
giving credible analysis as well.
"As an internationalist and as a revolutionary movement, our movement
sees itself as part of an international struggle and where comrades
are involved in a life or death struggle it is our bounden duty to
assist in whatever way we can, while at the same time retaining our
"Too often in the past not only did we receive conflict resolution
researchers but also academic Marxists who came to tell us how to wage
our struggle. The reality of revolution is that you deal with human
material and none of us are perfect and get it right all the time. So
we made mistakes and no doubt we will make future mistakes but because
we have a clear class position in Ireland which is this: the
liberation of Ireland is a duty and a responsibility which can only be
carried out by the Irish working class who, as comrade James Connolly
said, are the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for Irish
The hurler on the ditch comment was about those who fail to engage
with anti-imperialists. Socialist Democracy picks and choose which
anti-imperialists to engage with. I repeat what I have already written
before. Socialist Democracy has never engaged with the IRSP and I
write as both General Secretary and Political Secretary for more that
I do remember the time when the internationalist tendency with which I
presume Socialist Democracy is still associated with interviewed and
engaged with socialist republicans in the early seventies. Indeed they
interviewed leading republicans and published those interviews. They
travelled from as far away as the USA to do those interviews and to
carry their message of Marxism and internationalism to the radical
republicans then. Socialist Democracy today it seems can't even be
bothered to take a Falls Road taxi to 392 Falls Road and dialogue.
My response is a shrug of contempt.
Now it appears that tendency has only contempt for us. That is sad.
Sad for the whole of the left for why would the mass of the working
class place their faith trust and lives in the hands of those who only
reserve their contempt for those they are close to politically?
If I and the members of Socialist Democracy represent some lesser
breed of revolutionary why are you sending me open letters?
These terms of abuse are yours not ours. The reason for the open
letter in the first place was that you wrongly in my view published
private correspondence without permission and in your answer made
incorrect statements about the IRSP. Hence the necessity for the open
What could you possibly have to say to me or I to you?
This is a political response from the IRSP not an individual one. So
the Socialist Democracy should drop the "I and me" crap they are using
to try turn this into some personal dispute. There are clear political
issues here and they need to be addressed.
Our belief was, and is, that only a mass mobilization of the working
class could possibly confront imperialism successfully. The history of
the armed groups and their political representatives would appear to
confirm our view.
I presume this closes the correspondence.
Not yet it doesn't.
Now for the points that Socialist Democracy was asked by the IRSP to
"As SD did not exist in 1974 who exactly were involved in discussions
with the IRSP? Perhaps John for the sake of historical accuracy could
"Has John read the Ta Power document?"
"To facilitate him gaining information we are quite prepared to
arrange for Socialist Democracy to meet with five of our rank and file
members provided Socialist Democracy allow us the same access to their
Human without rights: asylum seekers in the 21st century
An exhibition of photographs by David Levene, Guardian Newspaper
Brought to Belfast by Law Centre (NI) and Refugee Action Group as part
of Belfast Festival at Queens
At: Law Centre (NI), 124 Donegall Street, Belfast
From: Saturday 23 October to Saturday 6 November, 10 am to 4 pm
Closed: Tuesdays and Sundays
Tuesday, 26th October, lunchtime 1.00pm-2.00pm
The following speaker, a Jewish campaigner for Palestinian rights,
will be speaking at an event at Queens University, Belfast (details to
be confirmed) at lunchtime 1.00pm-2.00pm on Tuesday 26th October.
Please take a note of it for your diaries.
Book launch and talk by Adah Kay, co-author of "Stolen Youth -- The
Politics of Israel's Detention of Palestinian Children"
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Queens University 'Friends of
Palestine' are proud to announce Adah Kay, co-author of "Stolen Youth
-- The Politics of Israel's Detention of Palestinian Children" who
will speak about Palestinian children including child prisoners and
the effects the Israeli occupation is having on them. Stolen Youth is
the first book to explore Israel's incarceration of Palestinian
children. Based on first-hand information from international human
rights groups and NGO workers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, it also
features interviews with children who have been imprisoned. The result
is a disturbing and often shocking account of the abuses that are
being carried out by Israel, and that have been widely documented by
human rights groups such as Amnesty International, but have never been
addressed by the international community.
The book presents a critical analysis of the international legal
framework and the UN system, arguing that a major failure of these
institutions is their appeal to neutrality while ignoring the reality
of power. The book offers an explanation for these failures by
locating the issue of Palestinian child prisoners within the framework
of the Israeli overall system of control as a long-term political
Adah is the daughter of Jewish refugees. Since 1967 she has opposed
the Israeli occupation. Some years ago she and her husband decided to
go and live in the West Bank to see how they could contribute more
directly. They went in 2002 when Adah volunteered with Defence for
Children International(Palestine Section) and co-wrote "Stolen Youth"
on Palestinian child prisoners. Adah now divides her time between the
UK and the West Bank. She spends much of her time in the West Bank
doing research, writing and workingwith children's NGOs.
Adah trained as a social anthropologist and urban planner. She is
currently Visiting Professor in the Centre for Charity Effectiveness,
City University London. Between 1978-86 she was Senior Research Fellow
and Co-Director of the Housing Research Group at the City University
and then for ten years was Chief Executive of Family Service Units a
national UK NGO that works with families and children.
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