Volume 2, Number 15
28 November 2004
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1. Ukrainian Elections: Lessons for Ireland
2. Media Lies
3. Why Solidarity?
4. One-Eyed Police in Germany
5. From the Newspapers
7. What's On
UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS: LESSONS FOR IRELAND
Those who have been watching the TV news this week will not have
failed to notice that one of the main stories was the contested
results of the Ukrainian elections. Channels like the BBC have tried
to present this as as struggle between 'democracy' and
'authoritarianism'. Scepticism however is required, as what we are
witnessing constitutes what Jonathan Steele called a 'post-modern coup
d'etat': "Intervening in foreign elections, under the guise of an
impartial interest in helping civil society, has become the run-up to
the post-modern coup d'etat, the CIA-sponsored third world uprising of
cold war days adapted to post-Soviet conditions. Instruments of
democracy are used selectively to topple unpopular dictators, once a
successor candidate or regime has been groomed." (Ukraine's
Post-modern Coup d'Etat, The Guardian, 26 November 2004)
The opposition's electoral campaign "is an American creation, a
sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding
and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been
used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.
Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies,
pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US
non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in
Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box. Richard
Miles, the US ambassador in Belgrade, played a key role. And by last
year, as US ambassador in Tbilisi, he repeated the trick in Georgia,
coaching Mikhail Saakashvili in how to bring down Eduard Shevardnadze.
Ten months after the success in Belgrade, the US ambassador in Minsk,
Michael Kozak, a veteran of similar operations in Central America,
notably in Nicaragua, organised a near identical campaign to try to
defeat the Belarus hardman, Alexander Lukashenko. That one failed."
"'There will be no Kostunica in Belarus,' the Belarus president
declared, referring to the victory in Belgrade But experience gained
in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus has been invaluable in plotting to beat
the regime of Leonid Kuchma in Kiev. The operation -- engineering
democracy through the ballot box and civil disobedience -- is now so
slick that the methods have matured into a template for winning other
people's elections." (Ian Traynor, US campaign behind the turmoil in
Kiev, The Guardian, 26 November 2004)
Ian Trainor continues: "The Democratic Party's National Democratic
Institute, the Republican Party's International Republican Institute,
the US State Department and US Aid are the main agencies involved in
these grassroots campaigns as well as the Freedom House NGO and
billionaire George Soros' Open Society Institute. US pollsters and
professional consultants are hired to organise focus groups and use
psephological data to plot strategy...Officially, the US government
spent $41m (£21.7m) organising and funding the year-long operation
to get rid of Milosevic from October 1999. In Ukraine, the figure is
said to be around $14m."
The article concludes: "If the events in Kiev vindicate the US in its
strategies for helping other people win elections and take power from
anti-democratic regimes, it is certain to try to repeat the exercise
elsewhere in the post-Soviet world. The places to watch are Moldova
and the authoritarian countries of central Asia."
What should worry people in Ireland is this: what would stop the US
and the UK to do the same in Ireland? Imagine that in a future
election, a Republican Socialist candidate had serious chances of
winning, is it not reasonable to think that a similar 'post-modern
coup d'etat' would take place? Does this not vindicate our argument
that there cannot be an electoral road to socialism?
(Below we carry a short piece on a Sunday World article. Funny is it
not how at the same time that Spotlight, a BBC investigative
programme, are doing a programme on so-called INLA activity in
Strabane that the article appeared? Surely journalists and
investigative journalists at that, don't leak juicy if inaccurate
stories to the gutter press?)
The Sunday World on the 21st of November a news item "written," if
that is the word, by Stephen Moore: "INLA lodges cash in bank it has
robbed. Cheeky INLA bank robbers stashed their stolen cash on the very
bank they robbed. The terror gang is believed to be behind a
kidnapping which led to £300,000 being stolen from the Ulster Bank
in Strabane -- the same bank used by the terror group's political
This story is somehow misleading. It is a wrong inference from two
There was an incident in Strabane. There were media allegations that
the INLA was behind the incident. Willie Gallagher, an IRSP member,
also made some widely reported comments about that incident. However,
this is not sufficient evidence to prove that the INLA was behind this
incident. A professional journalist would not write that the INLA
carried out the robbery but that the organisation ALLEGEDLY carried it
Mr Moore contradicts himself when he states that the group is
"believed" to be behind the action, but at the same time categorically
states that it robbed the bank. This may be a small nuance, but it is
an important one.
The IRSP has indeed Ulster Bank accounts. This is no secret, and never
has been any secret. However, there are no connections whatsoever
between this and the robbery allegedly carried out by the INLA.
If so, could Mr Moore please provide proofs that £300,000 was
transferred to one of those bank accounts he refers to? Because the
amount of money in those accounts is nowhere near a six figures sum.
The security apparatus, contrary to Mr Moore, are well aware of this
It would be incredibly stupid of the INLA to transfer the money they
allegedly robbed on those two public bank accounts open to scrutiny.
Mr Moore's story would have sounded more accurate if he had written
that the organisation had invested that money in shares on the stock
exchange or had placed it in secret bank accounts in Luxembourg or
At the recent Ard-Fheis of the IRSP a motion of solidarity with the
people's wars in Peru, Nepal, India, Turkey, the Philippines and
Colombia was put forward. This is why.
The left in Ireland and in Britain talks all the time about
"anti-capitalism" and "anti-globalisation" and complains about the
lack of "proletarian leadership" in Iraq and Palestine, but it is
silent about the most significant Marxist struggles going on in the
world at present in the countries mentioned. For example, parties as
far apart as the SWP and the CPI have been silent about the trial of
Abimael Guzman or the persecution of Jose Maria Sison. So the IRSP
believes that it is important that it takes the right side in those
We have a lot to learn from the like of the New People Army of the
Philippines or the Nepalese CPNM, or the Naxalbari. The Philippines is
made up of hundreds of islands and hundreds of dialects and languages,
but the NPA was able to unite all those under a common socialist
banner. The same for the Naxalites in India. If the CPNM are able to
join in a common struggle with the Naxalbarri, it will change the
whole balance of forces in the Indian sub-continent and in Asia. (My
personal view is that Nepal and India are strategically the most
important in the global struggle for socialism today.) A victory there
would be of crucial importance for the cause of socialism world wide.
Regarding Turkey, the IRSP has a history of solidarity with groups
like the DHKC, TKP/ML, most recently during the hunger strikes there.
Peru is an important struggle that has been forgotten. The left knows
and loves the Zapatistas, but hardly speaks of the PCP/SL. With the
current trial of Abimael Guzman, it is important for the IRSP to side
with the Peruvian revolutionaries.
That said, the IRSP does not take a specific stance on questions such
as whether or not Luis Arce Borja and Adolf Oleacha are CIA agents,
the struggle between the two lines in the PCP/SL, the disputes between
the RIM and the MIM and other polemics internal to those revolutionary
(Liam O Ruairc)
ONE-EYED POLICE IN GERMANY
18 arrested at Nazi demo -- all of them anti fascists.
The thought that fascists can get together for a 'remembrance' demo
just a few days after the anniversary of the so-called 'crystal
night', the burning of all the German synagogues on Nov. 9th, 1938, is
absurd enough. But the events in the aftermath of this fascist
gathering are sickening and have to ring the alarm bells of all
anti-fascists in Europe.
On the way home after the neo-fascist gathering in Munich, two Nazis
were slightly injured in a scuffle with anti-fascists. The police
moved in on the anti-Nazi scene in hard-core style and arrested 18
people, several of them under age. In a follow up operation the houses
of the young people -- in some cases those of their parents
-- were searched. No judge had issued search warrants; the police
claimed that the prosecutor had given permission because of 'acute
danger'. Up to nine police officers stormed into the houses and even
observers of the scene who are far from progressive were surprised at
the heavy-handed operation. It took until the next day for what looks
to be the real reason to emerge.
Amongst the houses under police siege was the home of 19-year-old
Falko Blumenthal. He is the spokesperson of the Communist Youth
Movement (SDAJ) in Bavaria and was one of the arrested protestors.
Blumenthal's flat mate, Chris Sedelmair, a non-party aligned
anti-fascist, gave the following report: "It was a shock. I heard
someone coming through the flat door and thought it was Falko. The
flat was in darkness and suddenly I faced a large group of heavily
armed policemen; one of them pointed his gun at me. They had no proper
search permit, just an order under the 'acute danger' act. Falko was
actually in police custody at this point. They went into his room,
took his personal computer, his CD-ROMs and written documents. They
also searched the communal area, the kitchen and the bathroom."
Chris Sedelmair did not resist the search -- he couldn't have,
alone against a crowd of heavily armed policemen -- and informed
his solicitor. He views this outrageous act of police brutality as an
attempt to scare antifascist people in general and to criminalise the
SDAJ in particular. The Young Communists in Bavaria are a fast growing
region within the SDAJ, they are also known for their courageous and
very outspoken anti fascist work.
Though we know it can only be a symbolic gesture from so far away we
would like to assure Falko Blumenthal and his comrades of the
solidarity of the Irish Communists and indeed many other
anti-fascists. We will try our best to spread the information about
this as widely as we can. Keep up the good work, you are not alone. We
are getting stronger and more global.
(First printed in Unity, paper of the CPI)
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS
We have a society where in 1994, 2.8% of the people over the age of 65
were living on less than half the median income, but where in 2001 the
figure had risen to 18.2% and where the proportion of people with a
disability living on this income had risen six fold in the same time
period. The number of people in employment who were living in relative
poverty increased fivefold from 0.6 percent to 2.9 percent. The
proportion of people on old age benefit and living in poverty rose
from 5.3% in 1994 to 49% in 2001, and the proportion of recipients of
the widow's pension living in poverty rose from 5.5% to 42.1%. The
percentage of children living in relative poverty rose from 9.4 to
14.2%. Every budget during that period favoured the better off.
Irish society deteriorated during the reign of the Celtic Tiger not
just because of the income shift but because people were more stressed
and worked longer hours. There was an increase in depressive disorders
and despite the doubling of incomes since 1989, no increase in life
(The Sunday Tribune, 21 November 2004)
From: aiprf org
The Indian State did not allow the revolutionary forces to celebrate
the unity of revolutionary communist forces and the coming into being
of Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the capital city of India. The
decision not to allow the gathering was an attempt to tell the world
that revolutionary forces in India are contained in a few pockets only
and have a marginal presence. It was also an attempt to stop the
spread of revolutionary influence in the capital city. While
bourgeois parliamentary forces are allowed to carry on their huge
gatherings with State's all help and assistance the people's
democratic and revolutionary forces are denied even the right of
peaceful gatherings and protests. Even the movements of the workers,
peasants, students and other sections of the people struggling for
their genuine economic and partial demands are suppressed with arrests
Here we are sending you what happened with the November 25th peaceful
gathering in Delhi, which was to express solidarity with the people's
democratic and revolutionary movements and to hail the formation of
the CPI (Maoist).
We take this opportunity to inform you and seek your support for
exposing the grossly undemocratic and repressive attitude of the
Darshanpal -- President -- AIPRF
No person is illegal. Come out against state racism.
Next Wednesday December 1 there will be a candlelight vigil in front
of City Hall, Belfast to address the criminalization of those seeking
asylum who are being put in detention centres and prisons here in
Northern Ireland. The vigil is to coincide with the beginning of a
city council meeting (6pm) and the council members are being asked to
address the issue criminalizing the internationally recognized right
to seek asylum.
Details of the situation: In the Crumlin Road Detention Centre there
are at least 8 people, many of them black persons who were targeted
directly after arriving at the airport based on their skin colour and
foreign accent. At least one of them has legitimate papers and visa
and has been taken into custody on the suspicion of attempting to go
to the Republic of Ireland although he has committed no illegal
action! There is also a Chinese woman being detained at Hydebank in a
prison setting and with other prisoners. From what we know it seems
that she has been bullied by other prisoners including having water
thrown at her and her blanket pulled away from her. Her health is said
to be poor. She does not speak English and has no translators although
she now has a lawyer. The Human Rights Commission was recently refused
visiting rights to Hydebank by the prison authorities! At least one
person is also being held in Magaberry prison and the details of who
they are and when they will be moved to a detention centre are
No person is illegal. Come out against state racism! Candlelight
vigil- bring your banners and your holiday spirits 5pm Wednesday Dec.
1st in front of City Hall.
AT&G fury at privatisation of Northern Ireland's traffic wardens
3 Nov 2004
The Amalgamated Transport & General Workers union today totally
condemned the decision by government (2nd November) to transfer car
park attendants (road service) and traffic wardens out of the civil
service to a private company.
The AT&G said this was viewed as another attack by a Labour government
on public services, whilst promoting and expanding the private sector.
Along with proposals for the transfer of water service staff, the
union estimated that over two thousand civil servants will transfer to
private companies by 2006.
The union calls on all unions to oppose the transfer of public sector
jobs and the dismantling of public services by a Labour government in
For further information, please contact Albert Mills on 07712 899341
or the AT&G Belfast office 028 9023 2381.
Queens University Student Councils meeting held on 25th 11th 04,
passed the following motions:
1. This council opposes the war on Iraq and the war on terror, and
calls for the immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq.
2. This council support the Colombian trade unions call for a
worldwide boycott of Coca-Cola, until Coca-Cola apologise to, and
compensates the families of the Coca-Cola employees who were murdered,
because they were members of the trade union employed by Coca-Cola in
its bottling plant in Colombia. Moreover, the Coca-Cola Boycott will
only be removed when Coca-Cola recognise the human rights of workers
in Colombia to belong to a trade union of the own choice free from the
threat of murder/terror.
The council have place the boycott of all Coca-cola products into
immediate effect, further more: all profits made by the students union
from the sale of Coca-Cola products we be donated to the Colombian
trade union Sintraemcali to help fund their fight for justice for the
employees Coca-Cola, and for all workers in Colombia.
The ARN-North Belfast are organising a candle lit vigil outside the
City Hall on Wednesday 1st of December. It is to protest against the
detention of immigration detainees. We had a similar ARN vigil around
this time last year outside the City Hall, which was the first visual
event that the ARN organised at the City Hall. So a year on we urge
all to attend this important vigil.
Candlelight vigil -- bring your banners and your holiday spirits
5pm Wednesday Dec 1st in front of City Hall.
The vigil is to coincide with the beginning of a city council meeting
(6pm) and the council members are being asked to address the issue of
the criminalizing of the internationally recognized right to seek
Then on Thursday Dec 2nd at 4.30pm the S/B group along with the Queens
Students group are organising another picket at Homefinders on Botanic
Avenue. Again this is an important event and urge all to attend. The
picket is against the memo produced by Homefinders that says certain
homes should not be let out to people from the minority ethnic
And Not Forgetting -- Thursday night Dec 2nd, The ARN, Love Music Hate
Racism gig in conjunction with Open Windows Production. After the end
of a very active year come along and chill out or have a yarn and a
bit of craic with Anti Racism activists and supporters. Hear live
music from the 50's and 60's, as well as some county rock and other
music for the 'younger folk' -- with even throwing in some chilled out
vibes etc. £5.00 at the door -- Come and lend your support -- See
ya there -- Davy Carlin
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
Picket 6pm and 8pm Friday 10th December 2004 in Whitehall, opposite
End Human Rights Violations in Colombia
No Military Support for Uribe Regime
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was approved by the
UN General Assembly in 1948. Yet 56 years later, and despite the
ratification by Colombia of all the International Covenants that
followed the UDHR, the Colombian people continue to suffer gross
violations of their civil and political rights, but also of economic,
social and cultural rights. In the context of war that the country
endures, the state's repressive policies and impunity for right-wing
paramilitary groups fuels further violations. President Uribe has
opted for war and blocked the path to peace.
All principal articles of the UDHR are violated. Here are some
Article 2: everyone is entitled to rights without distinctions --
indigenous peoples such as the U'wa, Wayuu, Kankuamo and the Embera
Katios are being discriminated against on the basis of their ethnicity
and their struggle for autonomy, culture and land.
Article 3: the right to life, liberty and security of person -- is not
being observed, as shown by the assassinations of trade unionists,
social leaders and even students by paramilitary groups, often with
the complicity of the state forces. These rights are further
threatened by the US military intervention programme Plan Colombia.
Article 7: All are equal before the law and entitled to its
protection, under Uribe, the state has blurred the distinction between
armed combatants and the civilian population. The victims of state
sponsored paramilitary violence are unprotected, yet the authors of
blood crimes and harassment of the population go free, especially when
members of the armed forces (army and police) are involved.
Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or
exile, detentions have increased to more than fifty thousand. We
highlight the cases of Luz Perly Córdoba, Human Rights Secretary of
the agricultural workers union FENSUAGRO detained on 18th February
2004, and Samuel Morales, President of the Arauca Regional Committee
of the CUT trade union federation and Raquel Castro a teacher were
arrested in an early morning army raid on 5th August 2004 in which
three of their fellow leaders were assassinated.
Article 13 the right to freedom of movement and Article 17 no one
shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property: peasants, African
descendants and indigenous communities are violently driven off their
lands to make way for multinationals like BP. There are 3 million
Article 19: the right to freedom of expression. Social leaders,
lawyers and trade unionists who oppose the government's neo-liberal
policies are treated as military targets. Documents reveal
Operation Dragon, in which military intelligence has targeted the
entire leadership of public sector union SINTRAEMCALI and listed 80
opposition politicians for close surveillance, the normal prelude to
Article 23 the right to work and form a trade union: last year 681
trade unionists received death threats, and 47 were assassinated
between January and August 2004. The trade unionists killed while
protecting the interests of their fellow workers in Coca-Cola bottling
plants shows just how vulnerable is the realisation of this right.
Elections in Colombia are not free. Uribe is now trying to change the
constitution so that he can gain a second 4 year term, with full
backing from Bush and an international media offensive to clean his
British government support for Uribe helps whitewash a regime
responsible for the worst violations in the western hemisphere.
Despite a motion signed by 237 MPs calling for an end to it, Tony
Blair still supplies military aid. Now is the time for decent people
to insist on a change in policy.
We ask you to make a special donation to support our human rights and
campaigning work. Donations payable to Colombia Solidarity Campaign?
and send to: Colombia Solidarity Campaign, PO Box 8446, London N17 6NZ.
Colombia Solidarity Campaign
PO Box 8446
London N17 6NZ
Tel: 07743 743041
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: firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
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