Volume 2, Number 17
10 December 2004
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
2. Half of Kids Suffer War and Poverty
3. Water Tax: Who is the Real Victim?
4. Old Bailey Bomber Ashamed of Sinn Fein
5. From the Newspapers
7. What's On
So after all the talks after all the to-ing and fro-ing there is still
no deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein. Frankly we are not surprised.
Paisley has spent his entire political and religious life ranting and
raving against nationalists and Catholics. He has incited young
working class Protestants to violent acts and he has colluded with
loyalist murderers. Those republicans who still adhere to the basic
tenets of republicanism as outlined by Wolfe Tone can see no way that
any self-respecting republican can envisage serving in a government
under Paisley control. Nor should any republican give credibility to
segregation. We have in the Six Counties segregated housing,
segregated jobs, and segregated communities. This segregation is given
credence by the Good Friday Agreement itself. The power sharing nature
of that agreement puts people into two boxes, unionist and
nationalist. The very structures established under the GFA legitimise
We have said consistently and persistently that the six county state
is irreformable. Every attempted effort to establish a stable
administration here since 1972, that is 32 years of effort, has
failed. Any new power sharing arrangement will also fail and in the
process to establish it sectarianism will be strengthened. No
republican, no socialist can accept that.
It is imperative that efforts are re-doubled to forge class unity
between workers from all backgrounds and that republicans win the
argument that the interests of all the people can be best served by
the establishment of a socialist republic.
HALF OF KIDS SUFFER WAR AND POVERTY
AIDS UNICEF report blames governments for permanent damage
More than half the world's children are suffering the effects of
poverty, war and HIV/AIDS, denying them a healthy and safe childhood,
UNICEF's annual report said Thursday.* The United Nations children's
fund report on The State of the World's Children found more than 1
billion children were growing up hungry and unhealthy, schools had
become targets for warring parties and whole villages were being
killed off by AIDS. Compiled by UNICEF and researchers at the London
School of Economics and Bristol University, the report found more than
half the children in developing countries lived in poverty without
access to basic goods and services.
It also said:
* One in six children was severely hungry.
* One in seven had no access to health care.
* One in five had no safe water.
* One in three had no toilet or sanitation facilities at home.
The report found 640 million children did not have adequate shelter;
300 million had no access to information such as TV, radio or
newspapers and 140 million children, the majority of them girls, had
never been to school.
Poverty was not confined to developing countries, the report said, as
the proportion of children living in low-income households in 11 of 15
industrialized nations rose in the past decade. More than 10 million
child deaths were recorded in 2003, with an estimated 29,158 children
under 5 dying from mostly preventable causes everyday. UNICEF reported
conflict around the world had seriously injured or permanently
disabled millions of children, while millions more endured sexual
violence, trauma, hunger and disease caused by wars. Nearly half of
the 3.6 million people killed in conflict during the 1990s were
children and around 20 million children were forced from their homes
and communities by fighting. UNICEF said almost half a million
children under 15 died of AIDS in 2003, while another 630,000 children
were infected with HIV. By 2003 some 2.1 million children under 15
were living with HIV/AIDS, most of whom were infected during
pregnancy, birth or through breast-feeding. From 2001 to 2003, the
number of children who had lost one or both parents to AIDS rose from
11.5 million to 15 million and around 80 percent of those were living
in sub-Saharan Africa. The UNICEF report said the world had the
capacity to reduce poverty, conflict and HIV/AIDS and improve the
plight of the world's children. It said Millennium Development Goals,
which aim to improve the world through human development by 2015 and
were agreed to by the U.N.'s 191 member states in 2000, could be
achieved at an annual cost of $40-$70 billion. In comparison, world
spending on military in 2003 was $956 billion. Bellamy said the
quality of a child's life depended on decisions made by the global
community and the world's governments. "We must make those decisions
wisely and with children's best interests in mind. If we fail to
secure childhood, we fail to reach our larger, global goals for human
rights and economic development," she said.
(From - LONDON, England (Associated Press))
WATER TAX: WHO IS THE REAL VICTIM?
By Charlie Clarke
The issue of water tax is a very complex one. It can be difficult to
understand and comprehend, but I will explain it as simplistically as
I can. Although there is a wide spread awakening to the issue of the
water tax throughout the province, I can see that there are some
problems facing the campaign, and if left can be detrimental to any
action that the campaign may endorse in the future.
One of the obstacles standing in the way of the success of the
campaign is poor attendance at the arranged meetings. This I believe
is for two reasons:
1. That the working class community are afraid of the consequences of
standing up to the government and refusing to pay for the water.
2. The working class community have been lured into the false sense of
security that it won't happen for a while yet.
The community needs to be educated on the seriousness of the Water Tax
with a series of educational flyers or documents BEFORE we invite them
to any such arranged meeting. Public interest and distaste at the
proposed tax needs to be aroused first and foremost as this cannot be
seen to be any one party or individual trying to achieve political or
personal gain from the hardship of the working class victim of this
The statutory bodies that are dripping this information out to the
public are playing a cat and mouse game with us. They are listening
to the public opinion and are forming their plans around that. We
need to be careful. The other fact is that there are other political
parties that support the implementation of such levies on the working
classes (PSF, SDLP included!) and are cleverly working in the
background with the information that they are receiving from these
meetings. ALL of the political parties involved in this so-called
'Good Friday Agreement' have signed up to the principle of the water
tax. No matter what public stance these parties seem to take, they
have and will continue to endorse the Water Tax. In fact, the parties
here are hoping that the direct rule situation that we are in at
present will implement this for them!
So with the political parties of the GFA against us, who is going to
support and assist us? Who is going to organise and maintain such a
campaign against this tax? What directions are we going to take in
order to successfully fight this and win? There are so many
unanswered questions that need to be put to the people of our areas
before we can win their support for this campaign. The working class
community need to be convinced that there WILL be support for them on
the ground and that they are not going to be abandoned by any of the
campaigns that are asking for their support. They need to be
truthfully told and informed of the consequences that such a campaign
can bring. People will go to jail, ordinary working class people!
This cannot be distorted or brushed under the carpet! People are
going to receive severe fines and penalties for non-payment of their
bills, and this will eventually result in imprisonment. Failure to
inform the working classes of this will bring the campaign crashing
around our knees and the imperialist will have won. There will be
some of us who will experience imprisonment for this cause but what we
have to remember is that THEY CANNOT JAIL US ALL!
We need to have strategies and counter strategies in place. We need
to have contingency and back up plans so that we may tackle every
thing that the government throws our way. Families are going to have
to be supported in the event that incarceration occurs. We have had
to do just that before, so there must be no change to the eligibility
of this assistance. If a member of a household is incarcerated for
non-payment of their water tax because the campaign has called for
them to do so, then their family needs to be financially supported.
This needs to be addressed. People need to be convinced that this is
a honourable cause. We can lie down and allow the politicians and the
government to walk all over us, to implement the taxes that they wish
and allow them to privatise the human rights of the working classes.
Who is going to pay us for it? Who is going to subsidise us for the
extra expenses that we will inevitably have to pay out? Our incomes
are to remain the same but we are expected to pay out more than we can
afford. It is only by refusing to conform to their wishes that we are
going to win. We must rise together and stand against this
imperialism that is oppressing us.
The working classes are the targets for this new tax. We already pay
for our water through the rates that we pay to the city council.
Household water bills averaging at £340 per year will begin coming
through your door in 1st April 2006. Yet we already pay for our water
through our rates - 37% of our rates bill already goes to the Water
Service. Here are a few facts concerning the proposed Water Tax.
1. NO household will be exempt from water charges. Families on
benefits, pensioners and those on low income will still be forced to
pay 75% of their water bills.
2. Much needed investment in water & sewerage can be found without
additional domestic water charges.
3. The water tax will do nothing for the environment or to safe guard
4. A new water company is being set up. This will be sold to big
business to maximise private profit from public charges.
5. The water tax can be defeated - the poll tax was defeated in 1990
and in Dublin water charges were abolished - both defeated by a mass
campaign of non-payment.
The truth surrounding the whole issue is that we will be forced to pay
for this over and over again. It is a double tax. We are paying for
it in our rates, we will be paying for it with the water tax, and we
will be forced to pay increases in prices by small and big businesses
that are also going to have to pay this levy; e.g. the ladies haircut
that normally cost £30 will inevitably cost more as the hairdresser
will have to pay for the water that they have to use so liberally,
etc. All business will be affected by this new tax, and in the rules
of trading it is the consumer that pays for rent, wage, tax increases
etc. Profit margins will remain the same so the additional revenue
has to come from somewhere. It will be left to the working classes to
foot the bill for everybody.
Why should we pay for this when the government are upgrading the water
service and the sewerage to sell it off to the big business for
profit? Companies are buying up the rights to all the water in the
world. They are buying the rights to the rain! Farmers are being
taxed for collecting rainwater in barrels, and from fetching water
from streams. It is ridiculous and it is a breach of our human
rights. Water is a human right! It is the essence of life itself!
What gives the 'fat cat' the right to sell to us what doesn't belong
to him in the first place! What is next? Privatising the air?
There are no easy answers to this problem. No quick fix solutions
that will eradicate the plans of the government and stop them from
enforcing this charge upon the working class. They will use the
excuses that they are not charging for the water, but are merely
charging for the use of their services and systems. This is a lie!
37% of your rates bill pays for the use of sewerage and water
supplies! This goes directly to the Water Service. They will
threaten that the revenue needed for this will not be found by any
other means and that failure to pay this by levy will result in a
reduction in budgets for the already under funded schools and
hospitals owned by the government. Why then can it not come from the
massive defence budget?
They say that they cannot find the money elsewhere. Why can they not
reduce the ridiculously high salaries of the MPs and the MLAs who
represent their government and put it towards the cost, instead of
endorsing ludicrous pay rises for the already highly overpaid fat
cats? The reason is that they don't want to and that they don't have
to. The working classes will pay.
The water companies that will buy over the water and sewerage
provision will also advocate the turning off of supply to your home in
the event of non-payment. They will restrict you from having your
human right to water. The Anti-Poverty Network states that if you do
not have access to clean running water then you are in serious
poverty. These multi-national companies will do just that!
The government is saying that we are so worthless and insignificant
that we do not have the right to water. They are saying that if we
refuse to pay for it then they will disconnect our services, they will
impose heavy fines and they will eventually imprison us! WE are the
only people who can fight this and WIN! In order to do that though,
we must join together and support the Anti-Water Tax campaign.
OLD BAILEY BOMBER ASHAMED OF SINN FEIN
7 December 2004
Old Bailey Bomber Ashamed of Sinn Fein
By Suzanne Breen
A well-dressed, articulate, middle-aged woman, Marian Price wouldn't
look out of place on a Sinn Féin negotiating team meeting Tony
Blair or Bertie Ahern.
But she'd face jail and hunger-strike all over again rather than take
part: "I would be ashamed to be on any delegation to Downing Street
given what's on the table. The only reason for going there should be
to negotiate the freedom of our country.
"If I went to agree to British rule, restoring Stormont, or signing up
to a partitionist police force, I'd hope at least to have the decency
to hang my head in shame."
The last time Price visited London was to blow it up. With her sister
Dolours and Gerry Kelly, now a Sinn Féin negotiator, she was part
of an 11-strong IRA unit which in March 1973 planted bombs at the Old
Bailey, New Scotland Yard, Whitehall, and the British Forces
They were arrested attempting to fly home from Heathrow Airport. A
200-day hunger-strike and force-feeding regime made the sisters
household names. "I did what I believed in," Price says. "Nothing
Provisional IRA or Sinn Féin leaders do can denigrate that.
"But I'm very angry when I see so much has been sacrificed for so
little. All these lives have been lost - IRA volunteers, civilians,
policemen, British soldiers - and for what? If this is what they're
settling for, we all could have joined the SDLP back then."
Price (50) came from a staunch republican family in West Belfast. She
believes IRA membership is too often explained away as an emotional
response to events: "I made an ideological choice to join. It wasn't a
reaction to Bloody Sunday, internment or anything else."
Her childhood ambition was to be a nurse. She left school with a
string of 'O' and 'A' levels and secured one of only five places on a
course at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She denies there was a huge
contradiction between IRA membership and nursing.
"One day, a wounded British soldier was brought into casualty. He was
wearing a dirty vest. He looked frightened. I felt very sorry for him.
That night, I told my comrades and one joked that I should have
finished him off.
"I asked why on earth I'd do that. He was no longer a soldier, he'd
been taken out of the battlefield. He was a patient now, I'd have no
difficulty looking after him."
The bombing mission was the Provisional IRA's first to England. The
idea and planning came from the sisters. Price travelled on the
Dublin-Liverpool ferry with one of the four car bombs which was then
driven to London.
Did she never consider the morality of planting bombs in densely
populated areas?: "The warnings given were twice as long as in
Belfast. That was a conscious decision because we knew the English
lacked experience of evacuation. We didn't want civilian casualties,
from a moral or pragmatic viewpoint."
Yet there were casualties. Two bombs were defused but those at the Old
Bailey and Whitehall exploded, injuring 200 people, mainly with flying
glass. Price expresses regret but says the injuries "weren't
"I've never had a sleepless night over anything I've done as an IRA
volunteer. Bombs are weapons of war. Western states have used them far
more brutally than we ever did.
"George Bush and Tony Blair send other people's sons out to die
without ever venturing onto the battlefield themselves. They drop far
bigger bombs from B52s on women and children and they don't give any
warnings at all."
Price is an atheist: "When I look around the world, I think if there's
a God, he's a bad God."
After her arrest at Heathrow, she was interrogated for five days. "I
was stripped in the police station and given a grey blanket to wear. I
was embarrassed because there were a lot of policemen about and I was
"They used no physical violence but I wasn't let sleep once. The
lights were kept on in my cell and the police were there at all times.
If I started to doze off, they clapped their hands."
She remained remarkably unfazed: "I remember a detective saying to me,
'I bet your mother will be proud of you' and I thought 'yes, she will
be very proud of me.' My father was on a bombing mission to England in
the forties, so it was a family tradition."
The sisters were charged and moved to Brixton Prison. They were
strip-searched daily and locked 23-hours a day in cells where again
the lights were permanently on.
As a 19-year-old facing potential life imprisonment in England, wasn't
she depressed?: "It never entered my head. I'd known what I believed
in and the risks involved.
"My mother, her sisters, and my granny had been in Cumann na mBan. My
Aunt Bridie was badly injured lifting an IRA arms dump in the 30s. It
exploded and she lost her hands and sight. She was 26.
"When we were growing up, it was never a case of 'poor Bridie.' We
were just proud of her sacrifice. She came home from hospital to a wee
house with an outside toilet, no social worker, no disability
allowance, and no counselling. She just got on with it."
Price claims that during their 1973 trial, the bombers learned they
had been compromised by a high-placed informer in Belfast who knew all
the details but didn't take part in the operation.
"It emerged in court that customs at Liverpool realised one of the
cars had false number plates. They phoned Scotland Yard but were told
to wave it through.
"The authorities allowed the bombs to happen. They had details of the
operation in advance that could only have come from a senior figure in
Belfast. We learned that photos of Dolours and I had been circulated
at airports and ports across Britain nine hours before the bombs
exploded," says Price.
She claims that during the trial they agreed it would be less damaging
for the IRA if they appeared "young, stupid and incompetent," rather
than publicly exposing an informer. She claims to know the identity of
the alleged informer whom, she says, remains in a leadership
The Price sisters, Gerry Kelly and Hugh Feeney went on hunger-strike
in Brixton Prison in November 1973 as part of a campaign to be
repatriated to serve their sentences in Northern Ireland.
"Four male prison officers tie you into the chair so tightly with
sheets you can't struggle," says Price. "You clench your teeth to try
to keep your mouth closed but they push a metal spring device around
your jaw to prise it open.
"They force a wooden clamp with a hole in the middle into your mouth.
Then, they insert a big rubber tube down that. They hold your head
back. You can't move.
"They throw whatever they like into the food mixer - orange juice,
soup, or cartons of cream if they want to beef up the calories. They
take jugs of this gruel from the food mixer and pour it into a funnel
attached to the tube.
"The force-feeding takes 15 minutes but it feels like forever. You're
in control of nothing. You're terrified the food will go down the
wrong way and you won't be able to let them know because you can't
speak or move. You're frightened you'll choke to death."
Price was force-fed 400 times over six months. "I knew nothing about
force-feeding beforehand," says Price. "I thought it was like when you
hold a baby's nose and put a spoon in its mouth. Ignorance was
After the sisters went on hunger-strike, the British Home Office
dispatched eminent psychiatrist Peter Scott to examine them. "He said
he'd been sent to certify us so we could be force-fed. He left saying
we knew exactly what we were doing and the problem was we were too
sane," Price says.
They built a good rapport with Dr Ian Blythe, the prison doctor: "He
called us 'my girls.' As the hunger-strike went on, he arm-wrestled
with us, pretending it was a game but really testing us to see how
much we were weakening."
Dolours was first to be force fed, three weeks into the
"I met her in the exercise yard afterwards. She was in a terrible
state. She said it she couldn't go through that again. I told her she
didn't have to, she could come off the hunger-strike immediately, but
I'd stay on.
"She said we'd come off together or not at all. She was much braver
than me because she was so much more afraid of force-feeding yet she
didn't give in." Two days later, Marian was force-fed.
While Dolours endured the procedure once a day, Marian suffered it
twice daily because she vomited so often afterwards. "I always threw
up when they pulled the tube out of my stomach. It was vile. I would
be exhausted afterwards but you couldn't even lie in bed in your cell
in privacy because the screws came in with you.
"Sometimes when they arrived to force feed me, I would struggle; other
times I didn't have the energy to fight. The low point was having no
control over your weight. But not for one minute did I think of giving
up. They were never, ever going to break me."
One day, a doctor put the tube into Price's lung, not her stomach, and
water flooded in. "I felt like I was drowning. I passed out. They
carried me back to my cell. The doctors were standing over me when I
came round. If had been food, not water in the tube, it would have
killed me. The medical and prison staff told the authorities they
wouldn't force feed me again."
A fortnight after that incident in May 1974, the hunger-strike ended
and a deal was reached. The sisters were moved to Armagh Prison the
The British Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, was loathed by republicans
for his treatment of the hunger-strikers. Price says she doesn't hate
him: "He was caught up in the politics of the situation. He followed
orders. I once asked the psychiatrist Peter Scott who knew him to
invite him to Brixton to visit us. He said he wouldn't come because if
he met us, he'd want to send us home."
Price was freed after five years in Armagh Jail, suffering from
anorexia and tuberculosis. Ten-and-a-half stone when she was arrested,
she left prison half that weight.
On release from jail, she says she was in no physical or mental state
to rejoin the IRA and had no interest in a Sinn Féin career: "I
like politics but not politicians. To be a politician, you must be a
liar and a hypocrite."
Still, she was initially positive about Sinn Féin’s rise,
believing it would strengthen the IRA campaign: "I remember watching
TV as Sinn Féin swept down the stairs in Belfast City Hall with
Tricolour ribbons and champagne after an election victory.
"My father was disgusted. He pointed to Gerry Adams and said, 'I've
been around longer than you, that boy will sell you out.' I told him
to give Sinn Féin a chance. I was wrong."
From 1994, Price had "serious concerns" about the leadership's
political direction but "loyalty to the movement" kept her quiet.
Eventually, she spoke at one 'republican family' meeting in West
Belfast, expressing doubts. A senior IRA member visited her home: "He
told me what I was saying wasn't appreciated and he'd shot people for
She claims the Republican Movement underwent a transformation: "People
began to make financial gain from the movement. Those who had never
worked a day in their lives, now had better homes, cars, and holidays
than their neighbours.
"It used to be what you could do for the movement, now it's what the
movement can do for you. In the past, to be a republican brought
financial hardship. But that was okay because to be a republican was
to be something special. You knew you were right."
Price says that while the peace process has secured "a measure of
equality" for Catholics, a British withdrawal and the ending of
partition is further away than ever.
Five years ago, she joined the 32 County Sovereignty Movement which
security sources say is the Real IRA's political wing, a claim the
group denies. She says her military days are over but she won't
condemn others "for doing what I did myself."
She claims 'armed struggle' is morally justified "while the British
occupy part of this country." The Real IRA has proved itself incapable
of waging a sustained campaign against the state and lacks popular
support. Physical force republicanism has never been weaker in recent
Price refuses to recognise 'armed struggle' is now pointless:
"Sometimes it's necessary to do something just to let it be known
there are people out there who don't accept the status quo.
"Being a minority of a minority is nothing new for republicans. You
don't join for an easy life or to be popular. As a child, I remember
50 people at an Easter parade on the Falls Road."
Despite everything, she has no regrets: "Disappointments maybe. I'm
disappointed in Gerry Kelly. I expected more of him but I'd never
detract from the physical bravery he showed. Gerry Adams and I were
once friends. We certainly aren't now. He may have difficulty
admitting his IRA past but I'm very, very proud of mine."
Reprinted from IRISH FREEDOM COMMITTEE® NEWSLIST
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS
7 December 2004
By Mark Almond
People Power is on track to score another triumph for western values
in Ukraine. Over the last 15 years, the old Soviet bloc has witnessed
recurrent fairy tale political upheavals. These modern morality tales
always begin with a happy ending. But what happens to the people once
People Power has won?
The upheaval in Ukraine is presented as a battle between the people
and Soviet-era power structures. The role of western cold war-era
agencies is taboo. Poke your nose into the funding of the lavish
carnival in Kiev, and the shrieks of rage show that you have touched a
neuralgic point of the New World Order.
All politics costs money, and the crowd scenes broadcast daily from
Kiev cost big bucks. Market economics may have triumphed, but if
Milton Friedman were to remind the recipients of free food and drink
in Independence Square that "there is no such thing as a free lunch",
he would doubtless be branded a Stalinist. Few seem to ask what the
people paying for People Power want in return for sponsoring all those
rock concerts. As an old cold war swagman, who carried tens of
thousands of dollars to Soviet-bloc dissidents alongside much better
respected academics, perhaps I can cast some light on what a Romanian
friend called "our clandestine period". Too many higher up the food
chain of People Power seem reticent about making full disclosure.
Nowadays, we can goggle the names of foundations such as America's
National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and a myriad surrogates funding
Ukraine's Pora movement or "independent" media. But unless you know
the NED's James Woolsey was also head of the CIA 10 years ago, are you
Throughout the 1980s, in the build-up to 1989's velvet revolutions, a
small army of volunteers - and, let's be frank, spies - co-operated to
promote what became People Power. A network of interlocking
foundations and charities mushroomed to organise the logistics of
transferring millions of dollars to dissidents. The money came
overwhelmingly from NATO states and covert allies such as "neutral"
It is true that not every penny received by dissidents came from
taxpayers. The US billionaire, George Soros, set up the Open Society
Foundation. How much it gave is difficult to verify, because Mr Soros
promotes openness for others, not himself.
Engels remarked that he saw no contradiction between making a million
on the stock market in the morning and spending it on the revolution
in the afternoon. Our modern market revolutionaries are now inverting
that process. People beholden to them come to office with the power to
privatise. The hangover from People Power is shock therapy. Each
successive crowd is sold a multimedia vision of Euro-Atlantic
prosperity by western-funded "independent" media to get them on the
streets. No one dwells on the mass unemployment, rampant insider
dealing, growth of organised crime, prostitution and soaring death
rates in successful People Power states. In 1989, our security
services honed an ideal model as a mechanism for changing regimes,
often using genuine volunteers. Dislike of the way communist states
constrained ordinary people's lives led me into undercover work, but
witnessing mass pauperisation and cynical opportunism in the 1990s
bred my disillusionment.
Of course, I should have recognised the symptoms of corruption
earlier. Back in the 1980s, our media portrayed Prague dissidents as
selfless academics who were reduced to poverty for their principles,
when they were in fact receiving $600-monthly stipends. Now they sit
in the front row of the new Euro-Atlantic ruling class. The dowdy
do-gooder who seemed so devoted to making sure that every penny of her
"charity" money got to a needy recipient is now a facilitator for
investors in our old stamping grounds. The end of history was the
birth of consultancy.
Grown cynical, the dissident types who embezzled the cash to fund,
say, a hotel in the Buda hills did less harm than those that launched
politico-media careers. In Poland, the ex-dissident Adam Michnik's
Agora media empire - worth EUR400m today - grew out of the underground
publishing world of Solidarity, funded by the CIA in the 1980s. His
newspapers now back the war in Iraq, despite its huge unpopularity
among Poles. Meanwhile, from the shipyard workers who founded
Solidarity in 1980 to the Kolubara miners of Serbia, who proclaimed
their town "the Gdansk of Serbia" in October 2000, millions now have
plenty of time on their hands to read about their role in history.
People Power is, it turns out, more about closing things than creating
an open society. It shuts factories but, worse still, minds. Its
advocates demand a free market in everything - except opinion. The
current ideology of New World Order ideologues, many of whom are
renegade communists, is Market-Leninism - that combination of a
dogmatic economic model with Machiavellian methods to grasp the levers
of power. Today's only superpower uses its old cold war weapons, not
against totalitarian regimes, but against governments that Washington
has tired of. Tiresome allies such as Shevardnadze in Georgia did
everything the US wanted, but forgot the Soviet satirist Ilf's wisdom:
"It doesn’t matter whether you love the Party. It matters whether
the Party loves you." Georgia is of course a link in the chain of
pipelines bringing central Asian oil and gas to NATO territory via
Ukraine, of all places. Such countries' rulers should beware. Fifty
years ago, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the "politics of the
permanent purge" typified Soviet communism. Yet now he is always on
hand to demand People Power topple yesterday's favourite in favour of
a new "reformer".
"People Power" was coined in 1986, when Washington decided Ferdinand
Marcos had to go. But it was events in Iran in 1953 that set the
template. Then, Anglo-American money stirred up anti-Mossadeq crowds
to demand the restoration of the Shah. The New York Times's
correspondent trumpeted the victory of the people over communism, even
though he had given $50,000 and the CIA-drafted text of the
anti-Mossadeq declaration to the coup leaders himself.
Is today's official version of People Power similarly economical with
[Mark Almond is lecturer in modern history at Oriel College, Oxford]
Sunday Business Post
5 December 2004
THE DYNAMICS OF IRISH POLITICS
By Vincent Brown
There are huge inequalities in health, as evidenced by the differences
in mortality rates between rich and poor, and massive neglect of the
most marginalised; mental patients, travellers, refugees, prisoners.
There are enormous problems in education, particularly in primary
education, where deep disadvantage is compounded. There are huge
problems in housing, and unfairness through and through in the legal
system, notably in the criminal justice system. All the opposition can
do on these issues is whine a little, because they are fettered by the
constrains of the set agenda: low tax, low public spending, alarm over
crime. Nobody dares to campaign for a different agenda - and for a
simple reason: it would not yield results quickly enough.
The objective is to get into government after the next election, and
this cannot be accomplished by confronting the prevailing political
Changing that culture would take a decade at least. By then the
socialists will be 70 (remember the 1960s slogan 'the seventies will
be socialist'?) and the chance of ministerial office lost to the
present aspirants. But there is no point to ministerial office other
than to make radical changes.
That's the whole point of republican socialist politics. We are going
against the grain of prevailing political culture and we are not going
to let ourselves be fettered by the constrains of the set agenda. But
we hope that this happens before the socialists will turn 70.
Statement by John Carr, General Secretary, Irish National Teachers'
Organization, on Educational Disadvantage.
3 December 2004
INTO Publishes Survey Results on Disadvantaged Schools.
The INTO has released the results of a survey of almost 300 of the
country's most disadvantaged schools. The survey was conducted during
the months of October and November this year and replies were received
from a total of 289 schools representing over 3,600 teachers. The
results point to major difficulties in the areas of staffing, special
needs, funding and attendance. Teachers also identified key resource
provisions that must be implemented in order to combat problems in
these areas. "The results show the extent of the challenge facing the
Department to increase provision for the disadvantaged in line with
government policy to promote social inclusion. Without concerted
action at school based level the cycle of poverty and educational
disadvantage will not be broken," said John Carr.
Under the new system of allocating special needs teachers to schools
proposed by the previous Minister for Education and Science more than
over a third of the country's disadvantaged schools were set to lose
teachers. The survey showed that 117 schools would lose teachers
compared to 102 that would gain. There was no change in provision for
the remainder of schools. "This shows that the new Minister, Mary
Hanafin was correct to order a review of the system," said John Carr.
"It is totally unacceptable that the most disadvantaged schools in the
country would suffer a loss of teachers for children with special
needs. The INTO welcomes the commitment of the current Minister to
ensure that no child would lose resources to which they are currently
Teacher turnover in disadvantaged schools is a major problem. Only
about a quarter of all teachers in disadvantaged schools have been in
their schools for more than twenty years. About 45% of teachers have
less than five years' experience. Over the past two years there has
been an annual turnover of ten percent of teachers each year. "During
the past five years there has been an exodus of teachers from
disadvantaged schools," said Carr. "This clear out is a huge loss of
valuable experience to these schools and new ways have got to be found
to encourage teachers to remain in these schools. A salary allowance
for teachers in disadvantaged schools and increased professional
development opportunities should be among the Minister's priorities."
One result of this turnover is that many of the teaching posts were
filled by persons with no teaching qualifications. Although this has
improved in the last year the survey shows that there are still 37
persons with no teaching qualifications in these schools. In addition,
there are 111 second level teachers working in disadvantaged primary
schools. One teacher in the survey commented that the effects of
non-qualified personnel on children's learning must be examined and
corrective action taken.
Over one in five pupils miss more than twenty school days in the year.
This is substantially higher than the national average in primary
schools, which is roughly ten percent. In the most disadvantaged
schools nearly a third of all pupils miss more than twenty days. There
are clearly serious problems with behaviour although suspension from
school is used sparingly. Only 134 pupils out of a total pupil
population of 46,584 were suspended from school for more than six days
during the last school year.
Over a third of principal teachers in disadvantaged schools have full
time teaching duties. This was highlighted as a problem by teachers
who argued that principals needed more time free from teaching duties
to deal with issues such as behaviour, attendance and administrative
Over two thirds of the pupils in these schools receive free books with
the most disadvantaged schools reporting a take up on this scheme of
one hundred percent. Disadvantaged schools are almost completely
reliant on state funding to meet annual running costs. Schools
reported that about eight percent of income came from fundraising and
voluntary contributions from parents. This compares with other INTO
evidence, which shows that in non-disadvantaged schools more than
thirty percent of income comes from non-state funding. Just over half
of the schools run a homework club while 40% run a breakfast club or
have another type of school meal facility.
Priorities for teachers in disadvantaged schools are:
The development and roll out of a Speech and Language Service for
pupils, ideally at school based level.
Smaller class sizes.
Additional support for special needs pupils.
The full development of the National Education Psychological Service.
Extension of the Early Start Projectsto all schools on a full day
Child Psychiatric Services and Family Guidance Centres.
Issue two of Street Seen is now on the streets. Street Seen is a
street newspaper both for those living on the streets and to bring to
attention the issue of homelessness in its many forms to a wider
audience. Street seen also has and will deal with various local and
International issues, from Anti War, Anti Sectarianism and Anti
Racism, to dealing with such other local issues as drug addiction, the
environment and Trade Unionism. It shall also deal with the 'real'
interests of the multi national and global corporations, as well as
that interest that has seen recent arson attacks on some of our
wonderful buildings and architecture around Belfast. We shall deal
with issues of poverty, privatisation - water charges and raise
important questions while dealing with important issues.
Street Seen is available from vendors in Belfast, This issue as with
the first, also covers the activism of the ARN. Yet although only the
second issue, Street Seen has also hit the streets of other cities
around the country and has been requested from abroad.
Street Seen - Only a quid - A worthy cause and a worthy and
Davy Carlin of the Editorial Board - Street Seen
New Hands Off Venezuela website
We ask you to make a special donation to support our human rights and
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
INVITATION TO THE THIRD EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAYS OF STRUGGLE
This year we are going to organize the activities in relation with the
"International Days of Struggle against Isolation" with an
international symposium against isolation in Berlin.
THE PROGRAM FOR THE THIRD YEAR
15-18 December 2004, Berlin
15-17 December: Symposium
18 December: International Festival
15 December 2004
Speakers: IRSP, IRPWA, Marion Price (Veteran of the 1981 hunger
PALESTINE / IRAQ
Speakers: Addameer (Palestine), IKP (Cadre), Iraqi patriotic alliance,
Cihan Keskek (Turkey, human shield), Azmet Begg (England, father of a
THE GREAT RESISTANCE AGAINST ISOLATION IN TURKEY AND HUMAN RIGHT
Speakers: Ahmet Kulaksiz (father of Canan and Zehra who died both by
Death Fast), Niyazi Agirman (his son hanged himself in an F-type cell
and his daughter was killed some weeks ago by the army), Cezmi
Ersöz (writer), a Death Fast veteran, Feleknaz Uca (Deputy of the
European Parliament, PDS), Rüdiger Göbel (editor of the daily
newspaper Junge Welt), Paola Cecchi (Women International League for
Peace and Freedom)
16 December 2004
BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN-FRANCE
Speakers: Behatokia (Basque Observatory of Human Rights), Askatasuna,
Ex-prisoner from Basque country, Endavant (Catalonia)
CUBAN 5, MUMIA ABU JAMAL
Speakers: Cuba Si, FG BRD-Cuba, representative of Cuban embassy,
Basta Ya, James Cockroft
BLACK LIST, OPERATION OF 1st APRIL
Speakers: International Platform against Isolation, Naime Kara,
Nazmiye Kaya, Mehmet Göçebe, CAMPACC (England), Bernd Häusler
(Representative for human rights of the bar association in Berlin)
17 December 2004
Speakers-representation: Greece (Greek Social Forum, Lawyer
Rollhäuser), Italy (Assamblea Nazionale Anticapitalista,
Solidarieta Proletaria, Senza Censura) Germany (Spartakisten,
Internationale Solidarität), Palestine (Palestinian community-
Austria) Nepal (Nepalese People's Progressive Forum), Iran, Turkey
(Anatolian federation), Sweden, Denmark (Internationalt Forum,
Opror), Austria (International Solidarity forum) Peru, Chile
(Colectivo Europeo Contra la Impunidad), Marocco (Annahj
Addimocrati), Algeria (PADS) etc.
END DECLARATION AND ASSESSMENTS.
Information number and email-address:
In a Dublin City venue at 8pm, Saturday the 18th of December,
traditionally known as Prisoners Month, the Irish Republican Socialist
Party will be hosting a benefit night to raise funds for republican
socialist prisoners and their dependents. It will feature a sponsored
hair-shaving event with participation from current and ex-prisoners
and IRSP members and supporters. There will be music and ballads by
Beggars Bush and a fundraising draw on the night, prizes to include
Portlaoise hand-crafted mirrors and bodhrans plus a Castlerea Harp,
and an auction of a specially commissioned painting of Michael Collins
by renowned artist, Mr. Eddie Garland.
Admission is 5 euro only and is by ticket only, for more information
For those (particularly our friends and supporters in America, Sweden,
Canada, England, Scotland, and Wales, etc.) who wish to make a
donation or indeed provide sponsorship via account transfer, please
credit Allied Irish Bank, Capel Street Branch, Dublin 7, Account
Number 19186018, Branch Code 931101.
Remember the prisoners and their families this Xmas.
Cork Anti-War Campaign Public Meeting,
LOCATION: Tig Filí, McCurtain St., Cork, 13th December, 8pm.
by Ray Hanrahan - Cork Anti-War Campaign
The Year in Review, Our Hopes for 2005
The Cork Anti-War Campaign invites all anti-war activists in the Cork
area and beyond to come to a public meeting at the Tig Filí,
McCurtain St. at 8pm on Monday, 13th December to participate in a
review of the year's activities of both the Cork Anti-War Campaign and
the Irish anti-war movement generally. We are also interested to hear
the ideas and opinions of people about what we as a local organisation
and as a national movement can/could/should be doing in the coming
Tim Hourigan and Ed Horgan will speak, and after the speakers the
meeting will be open to the floor. This is an ideal opportunity for
all those activists and supporters of the anti-war cause to re-engage
with each other and to re-invigorate the CAWC, and we hope for a
productive and enjoyable night. Everybody is welcome to come along and
contribute ideas or give reflections on the past year's activities.
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Teach Na Failte Memorial Committees - A new 2004 full colour glossy
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