Sunday 21 November 2004

The Plough Vol 02 No 14

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 14
21 November 2004

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1. Third Report of the IMC
2. Teach na Fáilte North Belfast Welcome Speed Ramps
3 The Shining Path
4. From the Newspapers
5. Letters
6. What's On



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

3.4 In our first report we described INLA as a volatile mix of people
which, though less prominent than it had been, was still a significant
terrorist group. It remained active, and though it had declared a
ceasefire it had been involved in attacks in early 2004. INLA was
heavily involved in criminality, especially drugs, and we assessed it
as presenting a high threat of re-engagement, either as an
organisation or as individuals.

3.5 The picture of INLA's potential remains essentially unchanged. We
believe it was responsible for a combined robbery and kidnapping in
July. Over the six months covered in this report we believe that it
committed a number of shootings and assaults. Members of INLA remain
actively involved in organised crime.]

The above is taken from the 3rd IMC report. A number of points in
response to the above collection of lies distortions and politically
motivated comments need to be made.

It is significant that the heading includes both the INLA and the
IRSP. It is also worth noting that the other anti-Good Friday
Agreement republicans have their alleged political connections also
included. So we have the headings "Continuity Irish Republican Army
(CIRA) and Republican Sinn Féin (RSF)" and "Real Irish Republican
Army (RIRA) and Thirty-Two County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM)."

But lo and behold, despite having their so-called political parties
penalised as a result of the first IMC report, the pro-Good Friday
Agreement armies are mentioned without their political connections. So
we have the headings for them reading "Provisional Irish Republican
Army (PIRA)" and "Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Red Hand Commando
(RHC)" but no mention of Sinn Fein or the Progressive Unionist Party.
Strange or what?

As to the content they are totally wrong about drug dealing. Despite a
number of requests all those who claim that the INLA are involved in
drugs have so far failed to produce any evidence. No INLA volunteer is
serving time for offences connected with drugs. But of course if you
repeat a big lie often enough people believe it. We know that criminal
gangs use the initials "INLA" as part of a carefully orchestrated
Special Branch plan to discredit republican socialism.

Reading the above comments regarding attacks there is no clarification
of what the nature of those attacks are? Were they shooting attacks on
security forces, police or what? By leaving it suitably vague any
interpretation can be put on it. No evidence is presented just vague
assertions. Any right thinking person who takes the IMC reports
seriously lives in a dream world. Even the British government which
set up the IMC in the first place snubbed it publicly by recognising
an UDA ceasefire scarcely a week after the IMC reported that the UDA
"was responsible for half of the paramilitary murders committed
between January 2003 and February 2004 and continued to be responsible
for shootings, assaults and exiling. It was also heavily engaged in
crime, including drugs and its feuds associated with criminal activity
had contributed considerably to violence in Northern Ireland. We
believed that these activities were known to the members of the UDA
Inner Council," and "The UDA remains heavily involved in many kinds of
organised crime, and remains an active organisation capable of more
widespread violence, with the will to commit it if judged

Ignored by the British government, snubbed by most of the relevant
community groups actually working on the ground and despised by
republicans of all hues there they are, the IMC, surrounded by their
only friends, the securocrats, spies, double agents, informers, drug
dealers and a few anti-republican academics.

Lord, its lonely at the top!!!



Teach na Fáilte North Belfast have today welcomed the preliminary
proposals set out for the traffic calming measures proposed by the
Roads Service.

After a campaign, lasting almost two years, addressing the need for
speed ramps in the Highbury Gardens and greater Glenard area, which
consisted of petitions and a long tireless process of letters and
telephone calls to the Road Service, Teach na Fáilte representative
for the area and organiser of the campaign, Paul Carson, said,

"Teach na Fáilte North Belfast welcome the proposals set out in the
plans for this traffic calming initiative. After campaigning for this
for the last two years, I am pleased to see that our cries haven't
fallen upon deaf ears. The need for these speed ramps throughout the
area should be the priority of the Road Service.

"Too many children in this area are constantly running the risk of
being knocked down by drivers speeding excessively throughout the
streets. There is also the fact that the black taxis and private hire
vehicles are using these small streets as short cuts through the area,
in order to escape the speed ramps in other parts of the district.
This can no longer be accepted in this day and age.

"Speeding drivers are capable of so much death and destruction, and as
the streets of Ardoyne are our children's playground, we have to
ensure their safety at all times. Their very lives depend on us.

"What needs to be addressed now is the size and position of the
individual ramps and for us to ensure that we have the right ramps for
the area. The increase in death driving and drink driving throughout
the Glenard area highlights the urgency of this matter.

"While we welcome the initiative we must be mindful that time is of
the utmost urgency for this to be completed, before some child is
killed on our streets. Teach na Fáilte would call upon the Black
Taxi Association to ensure that the drivers on the Ardoyne run are
complying with the designated route for the area and desist from using
the other streets as 'short-cuts'.

"We would also call for the co-operation of the various taxi depots in
the area to ensure that their drivers drive responsibly throughout the
district. Taking short-cuts is all well and good, but a life is

Teach na Fáilte would encourage residents of the working class
communities to begin to take ownership of these initiatives. We offer
our full help and resources to the community in order that they can
carry out these projects successfully. Teach Na Fáilte encourage
and support all initiatives that bring about self-empowerment to the
working class. For further information we can be contacted at,

Unit 8
Flax Centre
Ardoyne Avenue
BT14 7DA
Tel: 9075 1705

Costello House
392A Falls Road
BT12 6DH
Tel: 9023 8321



In this book, Gustavo Gorriti presents a journalistic account of the
founding and early years of the Shining Path guerrilla insurgency in
Peru. Conducting its first armed raids in May of 1980 as the country
was returning to civilian rule after twelve years of military
government, over the next decade the Shining Path would lead Peru into
one of the most bloody civil wars Latin America has witnessed.

This is an important book, which challenges standard interpretations
and assumptions about the Shining Path, and it has done so since its
initial publication almost a decade ago in Spanish in Peru. Now
presented to an English-speaking audience in the University of North
Carolina's Latin American in Translation series, it will lead more
scholars, activists, and policy makers to reconsider this tragic
period in Peruvian history.

Many previous writings assumed ignorance of Shining Path ideology
because the guerrilla group did not find it necessary to disseminate
their propaganda broadly. Likewise, the Shining Path acquired a
reputation as an isolated movement cut off from international
organizations. Part of this assumption grows out of their strict
Marxist determinist view of history that society would move through a
series of stages with minimal human intervention. Nevertheless,
Gorriti utilizes interviews, Shining Path publications, and government
reports to describe the organizations ideology and strategy. He
maintains that outsiders could (and should) have known of the
insurgents' philosophy and intents had they only bothered to pay
attention to what the Shining Path was saying.

The Shining Path is commonly viewed as led by an elite cadre of urban
intellectuals who focused on rural zones in the Maoist strategy of
encircling the cities, which only later in the war led the insurgent
forces to close in on urban areas. Gorriti's book effectively
disabuses us of that idea. It demonstrates that for the Shining Path
the city was always as important of a theatre for the war as the
countryside, but at the onset of the conflict internal criticisms led
the leadership to minimize emphasizing urban actions in their

Gorriti also illustrates the Shining Path maintained important
international connections with Maoist organizations including ones in
Albania, France, and Berkeley. His descriptions of these interactions
present a new image of an organization, which saw itself as the
vanguard of an international revolutionary movement. Unlike what Che
Guevara mandated in his foco theory, the Shining Path did not seek a
jungle canopy for cover, but rather operated openly among the
population. The Shining Path also inverted the normal equation of
subjugating political to military concerns by privileging ideological
correctness over military strategies. One of the most
thought-provoking aspects of this book is Gorriti's reflection on the
implications of that reversal.

Observers often note the irony that the Shining Path turned to
violence just as Peru was returning to democratic governance. Gorriti
attempts to explain why the Shining Path rejected an electoral route
to change, but his bourgeois values and anti-Communist biases blind
him to the full significance of this decision. The book begins in
January 1979 with Abimael Guzman, the leader of the Partido Comunista
del Peru-Sendero Luminoso (Peruvian Communist Party-Shining Path),
arrested during a general strike in Lima. He seems to imply that had
the military government not released Guzman at that point the country
would have been saved the subsequent tragedy, which befell the

Throughout the book, the government failure to understand the nature
of this insurgency led to inappropriate responses, which deepened the
crisis. At the onset of the war, the Peruvian military was determined
to find Soviet or Cuban support for the guerrillas. No evidence of
these connections ever emerged, simply because the Shining Path
assumed a political line opposed to those doctrines. In fact, during
the height of the insurgency both the Soviet Union and Cuba would
become very critical of the Shining Path. Furthermore, the Peruvian
military was trained to confront Che Guevara-style guerrilla warfare,
not the type of war which Shining Path launched. Gorriti indicates
that the Shining Path insurgency was different from other guerrilla
movements in Latin America, but he fails to explain fully how and why
it was different.

Gorriti notes the failure of civilians to contain the Shining Path and
proceeds to champion a strong-armed government response as the one
path, which would have stopped the bloodletting. This is ironic since
Gorriti is often associated with human rights issues and the police
and military committed the majority of human rights abuses during the
war. This also reveals Gorriti's urban perspective and a lack of
understanding of conditions in the countryside, which led to the war.
For Gorriti, the guerrillas are misguided and misled, but he fails to
explain why so many Indians and peasants would join the Shining Path's
forces. He primarily sees the negative impact of the war on his world,
rather than the years of destruction and exploitation the white world
waged on the rural, Indian and peasant world. This book attempts to
analyze Guzman's motivations for launching the war, but says nothing
about what led the rank and file to join him. If, as Gorriti states,
people did not want the war, why did so many participate?

Gorriti's journalistic style presents the advantage that his writing
is interesting and easy to read. Robin Kirk has done an excellent job
of translating the book into English and interpreting cultural
references, which results in a work that is accessible to an
undergraduate or general public audience. The book, nevertheless,
includes several liabilities, which may hinder its usefulness in the
classroom. The book is very descriptive in nature, and is generally
short on analysis and interpretation. Finished in 1990 at the height
of the war, the book has a very presentist sense to it that will make
it difficult for students unfamiliar with Peru's subsequent history to
make sense of Gorriti's arguments. He describes the beginnings of the
war during which the Shining Path's military objectives were quite
limited and they did not yet engage in executions of popular leaders
or seemingly random terrorist attacks, which would later gain the
group a reputation for being pathological murderers and a death cult.
From the descriptions, which Gorriti presents in this book, the
Shining Path does not appear to be much different from the current
Zapatista uprising in Mexico or other more benign popular uprisings.
The alarmist tone of the book would ring true for a 1990 Lima
audience, but may not make sense for those unfamiliar with this

For a general audience, it is disappointing that the book does not
contain a single map. In its original Peruvian edition where the
audience would be familiar with the country's geography, such a map
would not be necessary, but I suspect that for many readers of the
English edition, a map would clarify the early course of the war. The
book also lacks a broader international context for the emergence of
this conflict. Even a brief explanation of the Cultural Revolution in
China or Reagan's preoccupation with the Sandinista government in
Nicaragua would help explain to a non-specialist the events
unravelling in Peru.

This was to be the first of three books on the history of the
guerrilla insurgency, but the 1992 Fujicoup and subsequent detainment
of Guzman derailed plans to complete the other two volumes. The result
is a single volume with a chronologically narrow focus, which
minimizes exploration of the broader significance of the war. This
book does not explore the deeper roots of the conflict nor its
subsequent development. A much better work in this regard is Steve
Stern's recent edited volume Shining and Other Paths (Duke University
Press, 1998), but is unfortunately too long for most classroom use.
Although anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of this
conflict in Peru will want to read this book, there is still a need
for a synthetic interpretive discussion, which would pull together
what we know about the Shining Path and help us make sense of it.

[Gustavo Gorriti Ellenbogen. The Shining Path: A History of the
Millenarian War in Peru. Trans. Robin Kirk. Latin America in
translation/en traduccion/em traducao. Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press, 1999. xiii + 290 pp. Notes and index. $60.00
(cloth), ISBN 0-80-784676-7; ISBN 0-80-782373-2; $24.95 (paper), ISBN.
Reviewed by: Marc Becker, Division of Social Science, Truman State
University. Published by: H-LatAm (October, 1999)]



Vincent Browne made the following comments about a photograph of Mary
McAleese at her inauguration in Dublin Castle: "So many of those who
feature in that photograph could not imagine living on the average
wage here -- around 30,000 Euros -- let alone on the income at which
one quarter of the population live, less than 13 500 Euros. Of course,
it is better than it was previously, but is it fair? Is it fair that
thousands of barristers, solicitors, medical consultants, accountants,
even some broadcasters earn well over 500,000 Euros a year and think
that they are under earning? Or even over 100,000 Euros? When the
average is 30,000 Euros? Is it fair that so many struggle with medical
bills, school charges, even elementary household expense while so many
of the rest of us don't have to think about them? And, worse than
that, the political agenda ordains that nothing of any consequence
will be done about this in the foreseeable future..."

[Sunday Business Post, 14 November 2004]





We know that Fianna Fail styles itself as "The Republican Party". Last
week, Bertie Ahern declared that he was "one of the few socialists
left in Irish politics" (The Irish Times 13 November). Is it perhaps a
matter of time before Fianna Fail will call itself "The Republican
Socialist Party"? In this week's edition of The Village, Vincent
Browne outlined ten good reasons why Bertie Ahern is no Socialist:

1. Inequality has grown under Ahern. Ireland has the greatest income
inequality in the pre enlargement EU. ESRI statistics show that the
proportion of the population living on incomes below 60 percent of
median income rose from 19 percent in 1997 to 21 percent in 2001.

2. His first five budgets gave over 40 per cent of tax cuts to the
richest 20 percent of the population and fewer than 5 percent to the
poorest 5 percent.

Due to stealth taxes, the overall cost of living in Ireland is 18
percent above the European average, affecting most the more
disadvantaged sections of the population.

3. More people became homeless: the official count of homeless rose
from 2,501 in 1996 to 5,581 in 2002.

4. More people are waiting for housing. Households on waiting lists
for local authority housing rose from 27,427 in 1996 to 48,413 in

5. Fewer people could access free health care. Low-income medical
cardholders fell from 34.6 per cent of the population in 1997 to 25.7
percent in 2004.

6. A 2 billion Euros investment in the most deprived communities
promised under the RAPID programme has not materialised.

7. He has done little for Travellers. In 1998 11,448 travellers
families were living on the road. In 2004, 1,568 families need

8. Bertie Ahern is reneging on his commitment to the poorest
countries. Overseas development aid will increase to 0.5 per cent of
the GNP by 2007, not the target set of 0.7 percent.

9. The citizenship referendum fanned racism.

10. By permitting US troops to use Shannon airport, he has implicated
Ireland in the US led-war initiated in defiance of the UN.

Very interestingly, the article suggested "Ten Ways to be a Socialist

i. To reduce inequality, a Socialist Taoiseach should introduce a
series of redistributive budgets, which increase tax on the rich
(income tax, inheritance tax, capital tax, close loopholes) and reduce
tax on low earners (cut indirect tax, end stealth taxes).

ii. The budget should seriously increase social welfare rates. Higher
social benefit payments funded by higher taxation are the chief means
by which other states reduce poverty and inequality.

iii. House the homeless instead of putting them in bed and breakfasts.

iv. Increase local authority house building. Start by delivering on
Government targets of 40,100 new houses between 2000 and 2006.

v. Introduce free GP care, the norm in Europe.

vi. Deliver on the promises made to the deprived communities at the
launch of the Rapid Programme.

vii. Implement the Government's own National Traveller Accommodation

viii. Increase overseas aid by 180 million Euros a year in order to
meet the target of 0.7 percent of the GNP.

ix. Grant citizenship to the families of all children born in Ireland
to date. Introduce legislation, which restores birth right
citizenship. Introduce a green card immigration system where residency
rights are not tied to a particular job.

x. Withdraw landing rights for US military planes at Shannon.

Republican Socialists will study this minimum programme very



Dear friends,

The second ARN-Love Music Hate Racism {LMHR} gig has been set up for
December the 2nd. This is being done in association with UNISON
activists and shall take place in the John Hewitt in central Belfast.
We will be getting a few bands to play and as I know many are linked
into our network I am therefore putting out a call to those who are
willing to give a bit of their time and talent to e-mail us at or myself at!

After a solid year of activity through raising the issue of, and
standing against, the tide of racism and racist attacks that had
become almost daily 'reported' occurrences, this will be a good chance
for us to get together at the end of the year. So book it into your
diaries now, as it will be a chance for the ARN and its activists and
supporters to come together for a bit of craic. I will keep you

Davy Carlin


Open Letter to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign from Victory to the

A recent article by Linda Grant entitled Talking Tough in Gaza?
(Guardian Weekend Supplement, Saturday 13 November) exposed once again
Marks and Spencer's involvement and support for the illegal
settlements in the occupied territories through its illegal
importation of settlement goods. The Gush Katif Settlements even have
their own ethnic minorities: foreign workers from Thailand and the
Philippines who, at the time of the first intifada, were brought in to
replace Palestinian workers in the hothouses which grow organic
produce such as tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce and houseplants they
say is bound for Marks and Spencer.

Palestinians are literally starving today with massive unemployment,
unable to move around to trade their goods or farm their lands, which
are confiscated and bulldozed daily. Amidst this the war criminal
Ariel Sharon was reported in the Sunday Telegraph to be up for
nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize when it is clear that his project
is far from peace, it is the continued policy of expansion of Israel's
borders and the ethnic cleansing, genocide and oppression of the
Palestinian people. It is essential that any boycott campaign in
solidarity with the Palestinian struggle is effective and reaches the
consciousness of ordinary people all over Britain. There is a need to
focus on one particular store in order to have maximum effect and that
has to be the biggest British offender Marks and Spencer.

PSC groups throughout the Country are getting active in the campaign
to Boycott Marks and Spencer as part of the Boycott Israeli Goods
Campaign. On the international day of action against the Apartheid
Wall on 6 November, PSC groups in Nottingham and Brighton held pickets
outside Marks and Spencer in their respective cities calling on the
public to boycott the store.

They joined VTI activists in London, Manchester, Durham, Canterbury,
Leicester, and Stratford-upon-Avon who are organising regular
demonstrations to Boycott M&S. As you know VTI have been boycotting
M&S weekly since the beginning of the intifada.

The national boycott of M&S, initiated by Victory to the Intifada,
targets M&S not simply because it stocks so many Israeli goods and
illegal settlement products, but because it is Britain's biggest
corporate sponsor of the Israeli Government and a symbol on every high
street in the UK of the occupation of Palestine.

We are calling on the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign to give their
full support to the National Boycott of M&S.




Tuesday, 23rd November, 8pm

"The Chilean Economy: Neo-liberalism, Imperialism and the Poor"

Talk given by Chilean economist Orlando Caputo

Over the last 30 years, since Pinochet dictatorship, Chile has been
subjected to all sorts of economic experiments by the gang of "Chicago
Boys" (economics students from that university) that ruled the country
hand in hand with the military. It became an actual laboratory for
neo-liberal policies. These policies have affected the standard of
life of the working class dramatically, transforming the country to
one of the most unequal in the whole world (it's now the 7th worst).

In this process the hand of US imperialism hasn't been absent, having
an active role in shaping our country into the interest of an ever
narrower local ruling class, and of the US big businesses who rule the
fruit business, the copper mines and many other resources of a
primary-exporting economy.

The Chilean example becomes a paradigm for the New World Order. The
process of impoverishment of the Chilean working class and the
progressive reduction in the limits of democracy are global trends.

Meeting: WSM office, 5 Merrion Row (off St Stephen's Green), ring the
"Latin American Solidarity Centre" bell.

Speaker: Orlando Caputo Leiva, Chilean Economist, currently an
academic in UNAM (Autonomous National University of Mexico), member of
CLACSO (Latin American Council for Social Sciences) and ex-member of
CODELCO council (Chilean National Copper Mining Company) under the
Unidad Popular Government (1970-1973).

Tuesday, 23rd November, 8pm

Hosted by the Workers Solidarity Movement


Thursday 25th November

Migrating Songs
Linen Hall Library
Thursday 25th November at 8pm

Tickets only £7.50 to members, to book call 028 9032 1707.

Playing five string banjo, and accompanied by her son Kieron Means on
guitar, Sara Grey will be tracing the migration of songs from
Scotland, through the north of Ireland and onto America.

As a youngster in North Carolina Sara Grey was surrounded by music.
She got her first banjo at the age of 15 and her Dad played the
fiddle, which Sara remembers as: "a bit of Cape Breton, a bit of
classical stuff, some Quebecois tunes." She started collecting songs
during the late sixties -- exchanging ballads in the logging camps of
northern Ontario, and the fishing communities of Nova Scotia and Cape
Breton -- swapping a song for a song. Interested in the migration of
songs across the Atlantic she made several collecting trips to the UK
and eventually she moved to Scotland in 1970, where she still lives
today, on the Isle of Skye.

Although helped by Radio 2's Mike Harding, she first found it
difficult to get gigs in the traditional folk clubs, as they didn't
want an American singer. But she quietly proved that there is interest
in the ballads that traveled, and "got honed down, mislearned, or
improved," as The Tradition Bearers' Brian Peters describes it. Some
stayed exactly the same, as Sara discovered with the County Fermanagh
broken token song Her Mantle So Green, which is sung in just the same
way in New Brunswick, just north-east of her old home in New


10 December 2004

Women's Rights are Human Rights - summit conference

Women into Politics will mark International Human Rights Day with a
conference on Globalisation and the challenges for Women's
participation and leadership. This conference entitled Women's
Participation and Leadership in Global Processes is a summit following
a series of workshops on globalisation and its impact on women's lives
-- locally and globally. The day is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, the
Burmese pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

The summit will address themes that increasingly define our world and
that pose enormous challenges to women, women's movements and
feminists worldwide. The conference takes place on 10 December 2004
in Grosvenor House, Glengall Street, Belfast, from 9.00am to 4.00pm
and will analyse the diverse forms of globalisation in local,
regional, and global arenas and its impact on communities and on every
woman’s right to participate at all levels of society and will
also explore ways of showing global solidarity.

There are limited places left so please contact Carola Speth on tel:
028 9024 3363 or email: to register.


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