Volume 2, Number 43
15 July 2005
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) The London Bombs
2) Orange Marches
3) Report from the Conference on Isolation and the Struggle Against
4) Letter from Michael Devine Jr.
5) Holidays in Turkey?
6) Make Imperialism History
9) What's On
THE LONDON BOMBS
The IRSP totally condemns the London bombings. Ordinary working
people going about their daily routines were blown to smithereens by
young suicide bombers presumably influenced by religious fanaticism.
These were not legitimate targets. There was no military or political
objectives in the bombing, just slaughter
Al-Qaida are not a liberation movement but a fundamentalist loose
grouping of organisations who would impose a reactionary and backward
philosophy on all who they would control. Some may justify the
attacks by pointing out the USA led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq
and the continuing imperialist aggression all around the world. While
we support the struggle for national liberation in Iraq and believe
that armed struggle there is justified we do not believe that
individual acts of terror such as the London suicide bombings are the
way to liberation.
The victims were soft targets for al-Qaida, mostly working class
people on their way to work. The victims bore no responsibility for
the actions of the British ruling class or the British government in
Iraq. The people of London like the people of Iraq didn't deserve to
be punished for the crimes of the British or Iraqi ruling class.
We recognise that none of this would have happened without the
imperial ambitions of the US and Britain in the Middle East. Their
using the state of Israel has nurtured the emergence of groups such
as Hezbollah and Hamas and after all it was the CIA that taught Bin
Laden his terrorist skills.
The London bombs have now given the British ruling classes the
opportunities to introduce even more reactionary security laws and
have unleashed a wave of anti-Muslim racist feelings. The way to
resist that is not by young Muslims in Britain or Ireland seeking
refuge in fundamentalism but in joining together with other young
working people to campaign against the war in Iraq. Clear political
action is the best way forward for all who despise imperialism. There
is an alternative to imperialism and it is not called fundamentalism.
It is called socialism.
[By John Martin - Political Secretary, IRSP]
Now that the main bulk of the Orange marches have passed it is time
to evaluate some part of the processes of dialogue that have
surrounded the whole issue of marches. In Derry the business
community in conjunction with the Bogside Residents Group held
indirect talks with the representatives of the Orange Order and
eventually facilitated an orange march within the walls of Derry.
These talks were isolated from anything else happening in the
North. They were stand-alone talks.
Despite the fact that the nationalist community in Ardoyne were to be
twice subjected to Orange marches on the 12th against their will not
one of the negotiators in Derry seems to have connected the two
issues. And they are connected. The result was that despite the best
efforts of many republicans who did not wish to see any sectarian
rioting the youth of Ardoyne vented their spleen and righteous anger
against the PSNI/RUC who once more showed their Orange colours.
It is clear that the main concern of republicans from a Provisional
background was to have a peaceful 12th in order to clear the decks
for the expected statement from the IRA(P) about its future intent.
It is also clear that other republicans hoped to benefit in
recruitment terms from outbreaks of sectarian rioting. That is one
reason why blast bombs were thrown in Ardoyne.
The republican socialist position was and is that sectarian rioting
is in no ones interests as all it does is set poor Catholics against
poor Protestants while the well off patronisingly dismiss the rioters
and tell them to "get a life." Republican socialists supported and
are part of the Parades Dialogue Group in Ardoyne. We took the
position that while we would support a protest we would not police
young people. It is not the job of republicans to police nationalist
youth. But it is our job to show that there are alternatives to
We regard the Orange Order as a sectarian anti-Catholic organisation
that uses the false arguments of a British culture to justify its
hate filled creed. Until the Loyal Orders negotiate directly with
nationalists and recognise their equal rights as citizens then we
believe there should be no accommodation by nationalist groups with
Loyal Orders. No talk, no walk. It's that simple.
[By Gerry Ruddy]
REPORT FROM THE CONFERENCE ON ISOLATION AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST
[Michael Devine Jr. gave the following speech to the above conference
in Istanbul on Saturday June 25th 2005.]
Comrades and friends,
I am honored to have been invited to speak at this conference on
isolation and the struggle against isolation. I feel however
inadequate to be able to fully express the depth of my emotions when
I hear the heroic stories of the struggles of those prisoners here in
Turkey and all around the world who day and daily struggle in their
prison cells against criminalisation and isolation. Let there be no
mistake, and I speak as an Irish republican, those who struggle
against imperialism are neither criminals nor terrorists.
Isolation is designed to break the spirit of resistance. It never
worked in Ireland. For over two hundred years Irish republicans have
in their resistance to British colonialism gone to jails and were
faced with horrendous conditions. During the 19th century conditions
in British jails were so vile that some prisoners lost their sanity
in their isolated cells. But republicanism was not broken. Even when
republicans died on hunger strike republicanism was not beaten.
Instead inspired by the courage of their forefathers other
republicans took up the resistance.
Over the nearly thirty-one years the Irish Republican Socialist
Movement has existed, members of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
and the Irish National Liberation Army have been imprisoned by the
British imperialist state for their role in the struggle for national
liberation and socialism in Ireland. Our class analysis has remained
the backbone of republican socialist politics through the years of
struggle, both armed and unarmed, for a socialist republic. It will
continue to do so as we determine the best way forward for our class,
our cause and our struggle. We do not ever forget the suffering of
the families and loved ones of our fallen comrades have endured,
indeed still endure in the uncertain political climate of today.
On the 1st of March 1981, Bobby Sands, followed by nine comrades of
the Irish Republican Army and Irish National Liberation Army, began a
hunger strike that would change the face of Irish politics and in
particular the nature of the engagement between Ireland and Britain.
My father Michael Devine was one of those hunger strikers. He was the
last of the hunger strikers to die. His death was of course a
personal tragedy for me as I lost a father. It was a tragedy for the
INLA/IRSP for they lost a good comrade and a future leader.
My father chose to join the Republican Socialist Movement as the INLA
and the IRSP represented the unity between class struggle and
national liberation. He was a soldier, a political activist, a
product of a corrupt state, a state that engaged in, encouraged and
actively promoted sectarian division among the working class as a
means of maintaining British rule in Ireland.
During his time in the H-Blocks the British state attempted to
isolate, degrade and break my father and all his republican comrades.
For years republicans were on dirty protest against the attempts to
criminalise them. They were brutalised daily by the system but they
did not break and no convict's uniform was put on them. They knew and
the Irish people knew that republicans were political prisoners
engaged in a just struggle.
Irish republican socialists know full well what it means to be part
of a community oppressed by colonialism and imperialism, and we stand
in solidarity with all peoples struggling against such oppression.
Although in response to the wishes of the Irish people the INLA
called a cease-fire, the Republican Socialist Movement rejected and
still today rejects not only the Good Friday Agreement but also the
pacification process that runs parallel with the Good Friday
Whilst believing in national self-determination for the Irish people
our movement has never deserted the internationalism that is central
to republicanism in favour of a narrow nationalism. My father in his
day was well aware of the international struggles of the working
class taking place around the world in his day. Like his comrades he
saw himself and our movement as part of a wider worldwide struggle
for freedom and socialism.
Only recently our political secretary was in the Basque country on a
speaking tour and expressing our complete solidarity with the Basque
prisoners and condemning the efforts by the Spanish state to isolate
the prisoners from each other and their families by jailing them many
miles from their homeland. Another of our leadership went to
Venezuela to see a revolutionary process underway and work with the
working classes in their struggle to build a socialist society. This
weekend a number of our ex-prisoners have gone with an international
work brigade to Cuba to show solidarity with the revolutionary
My comrade Eamon and myself are here today at this conference
expressing our internationalism and our solidarity with the victims
of the widespread practice of isolation. That we believe is our duty
as socialists. We believe you cannot condemn what imperialism is
doing around the world without at the same time identifying with the
victims of imperialism. And let there be no doubt that prisoners are
victims of imperialism no matter what so-called crimes the allies of
imperialism say they have committed. It is not for us to condemn
those who resist imperialism. That would be gross treachery to
the concepts we hold dear.
We have no time for those who from afar condemn those who practice
resistance. These so-called socialists and Marxists are only playing
with the notion of revolution. My father didn't play nor did his nine
comrades who died in that hunger strike. Nor are the victims of
isolation playing with revolution. They are living it. Comrades and
friends, you cannot be a committed Marxist or socialist and not be a
So can I on behalf of our movement condemn the giving away of the
gains that the 10 dead hungers sacrificed their lives for - political
status? Those gains were bargained away as part of the Good Friday
Agreement. That was a shameful bargain. I also want to express our
solidarity with republican prisoners in the jails of the North
regardless of what organisations they belong to. We recognise them as
genuine anti-imperialist fighters regardless of our differences on
On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, we stand in
solidarity with all the victims of imperialism and with the struggles
for the national liberation and the freedom of all oppressed people.
We are one class of people waging the same struggle for human
liberation, boldly going forward in our shared struggle for socialism
and the liberation of humankind from the shackles of capitalism and
imperialism. Saoirse Go Deo! Freedom Forever!
LETTER FROM MICHAEL DEVINE JR.
My initial thoughts on the conference are of a deep respect and
regard for the Tayad members and their supporters who helped make the
conference a thoroughly professional and fitting event.
Overall it is my opinion that the situation has reached a critical
point and necessary steps must be taken in order to alleviate the
suffering that the prisoners and their families are having to endure.
The affects on the people involved in the struggle were clear to see
during my short stay and in particular those who have lost loved
International pressure must be brought to bear on the Turkish
government in order to initiate some sort of process were the
prisoners' human rights are adhered to.
This deadlock between the state and the prisoners must be resolved in
the international arena. In my opinion the censorship issue can be
tackled more affectively in this arena and because of this the
committee that was formed during the conference must work on the same
agenda I would like to pay special tribute to some of the people I
met during the conference. The father of two death-fasters, Fahrettin
Keskin, has showed me that even when we suffer the most horrendous of
tragedies we can still come out of it with the strength and
determination to defeat these imperialist regimes. I spoke with an ex-
prisoner who experienced the horror of the attack on the woman's
prison on 19th December 2000. She explained some of the realities of
the conditions in the prisons. Some of the other stories I heard have
helped me become more aware of the inhumane practises that the
prisoners are having to endure.
[From Michael Devine Jr., son of INLA hunger striker Mickey Devine]
HOLIDAYS IN TURKEY?
It is easy to say that Turkey is a country that does not care too
much about human rights. We read about horror stories that come out
of its prisons, police stations and military camps. The treatment of
its own people who stand up to this oppression are unquestionable,
political opponents still disappear and what happens to its ethnic
minorities breaks each and every human right you could name.
Generally, Turkey gets away with these crimes because it has U.S. air
bases in its country. Things have improved slightly lately, for
instance the Kurds are allowed to wear their traditional clothes,
speak and teach their language and dance to Kurdish tunes, all
illegal until recently. These rights were not given by the Turkish
government out of the goodness of their hearts, they were given under
pressure as Turkey tries to enter the E.U. and they are trying to
make it look like they are "cleaning up its act" on human
Apart from attending some protest meetings or embassy pickets, we are
told the best way to help end this situation for these people is to
boycott Turkey as a holiday destination. As the hunger strike
continues, over 100 people have now died, and attempts to raise
public awareness in Ireland about this, people are again being asked
to look else where to top up their tans. This of-course is an ideal
way to try and make a point, and as Ireland is the country where the
first boycott took place, against evictions, we understand, probably
more than most, that it can work.
About four years ago I went to Turkey for a holiday, this was at the
height of the prison protests, and before I went, I had reservations
because I was slightly aware of the protests and the Kurdish
campaign. I seriously thought of changing the whole holiday over
this, as the tickets were already booked before I knew where we where
going, I went ahead with the holiday. I soon realised it was not a
country to go on a family holiday, there was nothing for young
children do, to me it looks like its holiday resorts are trying to
be the new Ibiza, great for 18 to 25 year olds, anybody out side that
age group will feel out of place. Though some men with receding
hairlines trying to relive their youth, and looking foolish doing it
or single women over 40 in bikinis that fit their teenage daughters,
looking as foolish as they try to catch the eyes of the young Turks
who call them "white chickens" makes me wonder why when people talk
about the "sex trade" they mean "dirty old men" going to Far Eastern
countries looking for young girls for sex, yet nobody talks
about "dirty old women" going to Turkey looking for young men? Maybe
it's a sexist thing and I am still trying to catch up with "political
correctness"? Who knows? Not me.
In Turkey people are going through what we in Ireland went through,
state oppression, state murder, state imprisonment and people dying
in state prison camps on hunger strike. In the H-Blocks ten men died,
in Turkey it is ten times worse, and yet the world ignores their
plight, why? In Ireland the world's media watched on with our pain,
yet where are the media with the pain that is still going on in
Why is it when people mention Turkey two images come to mind?
Depending on who you are talking to, it is, sun, sea and sex
holidays, or state oppression and death. And never the twin shall
So why should we boycott holidays in Turkey? Oppression, murder,
torture and the imprisonment of dying hunger strikers. These are all
good reasons to boycott the country by themselves. But let's look at
the alternatives for a holiday. Maybe Spain, but surely they have the
same system as Turkey when it comes to political opponents,
oppression and imprisonment of the Basque and Catalan peoples?
Germany? But are they not guilty of human rights violations
with "white torture" against prisoners and years of solitary
confinement, against their own laws and European laws? Britain? Well
we all know how many laws they have broken with civilians and
prisoners, so the less said the better. Surely Ireland is a safe bet
for a holiday without offending anybody? Are you sure you want to bet
on that? Ask some of our ethnic peoples and they will tell you how
they are faced with state oppression and racism from people on this
island. We are not squeaky clean when it comes to oppression and
racism; we even deport Irish children. But what really gets me
thinking about this boycott, and I would support it totally, is the
fact that the same people calling for the boycott see nothing wrong
with going to the U.S. on family holidays, or worse still, "nipping
over to New York" for St. Patrick's Day and living it up for four
days. Surely if you are against oppression, it is all oppression? If
you want to boycott Turkey to hurt its economy to try and force
change, why stop there? By going to the U.S. on holiday you are
helping their government's economy, which helps build its military,
which it then sends to U.S. airbases in Turkey, which are then used
to bomb cities and towns in Iraq, which surely they are against? But
I suppose they were not thinking of the bombing raids over Iraq as
they drank their "green beer" in "Irish pubs" or walked around
Disney Land with their families, helping, in their own small way, to
pay for this war of oppression, but feeling good that they didn't go
to Turkey because of human rights abuses in that country!!!
To me they are hypocrites, but I am also one, I have not done enough
to help people around the world, and I know I could do more. The
clothes I buy are cheap, no doubt made in "sweat shops", the food I
eat is picked and packed, probably, by underpaid workers. I
understand we all have to live as best we can, do what little we can
to help others. But to call for a boycott against Turkey because of
its human rights record and ignore the biggest violator of all, the
U.S., and help it economically in its war in Iraq, is wrong. Yes I
do agree that there should be a boycott against Turkey, not just as a
holiday destination, but also on holiday homes and property and all
its products. Why is this not being called for? Is there a reason for
this, after all we are asked to support the B.I.G. campaign, Boycott
Israeli Goods, why not a boycott Turkish goods? Could it be because
they don't own any homes or property in Israel? Maybe I am being too
cynical. All I am asking is why nobody is saying the same about the
U.S., Germany, Spain or Britain? All played a part in the war of
oppression in Iraq; all are violators of human rights. Also let's not
forget the part our own country is playing in the Iraq war, Shannon
Airport is used day and daily by the U.S. as its war planes make
their way to Iraq, and of-course our own government's human rights
abuses against our ethnic peoples. So as I sit here and ponder
where in the world I should go to top up my tan without helping a
government that is not an oppressor.
All I can think of is renting out a sun bed, not as much fun as a
holiday, but me in bathing shorts is a sight that no unsuspecting
person should be exposed to.
But at this moment in time I will go anywhere were there are no
middle-aged men and women trying to convince younger people that they
are not middle aged because they don't look it. Oh yes you do, and
the young ones know it and laugh at your attempts to hide the fact
that your hairline is now behind your ears, and ladies do this middle
aged man a favour, get into a one piece swimsuit, believe me, those
bikinis are for your daughters.
[By Gerard Foster]
MAKE IMPERIALISM HISTORY
6 July 2005
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the Irish
Republican Socialist Committees of North America has issued the
following statement regarding the Group of Eight meeting in Scotland
and the Make Poverty History campaign, and sends its solidarity
greetings to those protesting against the G8 meeting.
The G8 meeting is nothing less than a board meeting of some of the
most powerful imperialist nations on the planet, who exploit the
developing world for the benefit of their capitalist masters. The G8
governments and corporations are historically responsible for most of
the problems of developing countries, and remain so today, yet their
propaganda machine is hard at work to convince people of their good
intentions. On June 10, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon
Brown announced that the G8 would cancel the national debts of the 18
poorest countries in the world, which comes to roughly $34 billion
Euros, but this will not end the imperialist exploitation of those
countries. In exchange for debt relief, those countries will be
expected to remove any barriers to further exploitation by
Meanwhile, the Make Poverty History campaign and Bob Geldof's Live 8
project have been trying to gather support for doubling aid, fully
cancelling debt, and delivering trade justice for the developing
world. The reality is that these measures, even if fully enacted,
will not make poverty history in nations brutally exploited by
imperialism because they don't challenge the root cause of that
poverty. The only solution is to put an end to poverty and
exploitation by putting an end to the system, which is their root
cause. If the people involved in these campaigns genuinely want to
end poverty, they must start by working for truly revolutionary
The Live 8 project has specifically targeted aid and debt reduction
for Africa, yet has said nothing about supporting the struggle for
African self-determination and the struggle against the exploitation
of their people and resources by imperialist nations and
multinationals. Kofi Maluwi Klu, a leading Ghanian Pan-African
activist, has said: "We have a saying in the African liberation
movement - 'nothing about us, without us'. Make Poverty History is a
massive step backwards in this regard...The campaign is
overwhelmingly led by Northern NGOs and its basic message is about
white millionaire popstars saving Africa's helpless. The political
movements still fighting for liberation on the ground are
In conclusion, on behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement,
we give our unconditional support to the masses in Africa and
elsewhere who are struggling to liberate themselves from the shackles
of capitalism and imperialism. We do not advocate reformism, which
alleviates some debt but leaves the imperialists in the driver's
seat, nor do we wish to erase political movements fighting for
liberation on the ground. We also send our solidarity greetings to
those who are protesting against the G8 meeting. The only way to make
poverty history in the developing world is to make imperialism
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
PO Box 8266
Austin TX 78713-8266
Holy cowboy President
for an assassin
for a poor Liberation priest
Capital Dome Holy Rome
Church and State
in a world Crusade
a moral absolute reigns
with God on their side
[By Ray Collins]
It was like a breath of fresh air reading Tomas Gorman's report
from Venezuela in The Plough Vol. 2, No. 36. He is quite correct when
he states many on the right would trumpet the fall of the Soviet
Union as the death knell to Socialism/Communism as a working
ideology. This train of thought is of course capitalist propaganda
and should be viewed as such. Despite the USSR's many grotesque
deformities it always gave revolutionary groups around the globe a
focus and it was a serious counterbalance to the USA. The Soviet
Union was always portrayed by the Western media as an evil regime
when in actual fact despite its imperfections in the stakes of being
evil it could not hold a candle to the United States and Western
capitalism. It was such a repressive regime that it, and its
satellite states, allowed themselves to crumble under the weight of
USA backed peoples power who, in fact, were not actually asking for
the demise of communism to be replaced by capitalism, as the West
would have us believe, but more reform of the system into what it
was originally supposed to be. Could anyone for one minute imagine
Western or US capitalism allowing itself to be brought down by
peoples' power? Could anybody perceive the possibility of Margaret
Thatcher allowing the National Union of Mineworkers to bring down
British capitalism as the Polish authorities did with Solidarnosc
(Solidarity)?, allowing them to first undermine then bring down the
However despite the negative outlined very briefly above there is a
positive and Tomas's report from Venezuela epitomises that note of
positivism. The nationalisation of the INVEPAL factory complex is an
example of what some people have been trying to say for a number of
years regarding a minimum and maximum programme for the 32 counties
of Ireland. This model, the nationalisation of INVEPAL, could be
placed at the higher end of the minimum programme, with all major
industry nationalised in the 32 counties, and the lower end of the
maximum programme with a democratically elected administration. What
has happened in Venezuela under the presidency of Hugo Chavez could
be described as an embryonic light for modern Marxists to look upon
for an example of what can be achieved given the correct political
will and conditions even with the eternal threat of US imperialism
not too far to the North.
For students of the politics of James Connolly parallels could be
drawn between what has happened in Venezuela and Connolly's
descriptive in Labour In Irish History about the establishment of an
agricultural Socialist colony at Ralahine, County Clare in 1831. The
aim of the Society was that ultimately all stock, implements of
husbandry, and other property become the joint property of the
Society. Perhaps a historical parallel can be drawn between the
nationalisation of the INVEPAL factory complex in Venezuela and
the Socialist colony established in Ralahine, which unfortunately
being surrounded by capitalism did not survive after the demise of
its custodian a Mr Vandeleur when the Association was broken up by
the new less sympathetic owners. Just as INVEPAL is proving in
Venezuela that socialism does work so too did the limited experiment
in Ralahine all those years ago. The question to put to the world is
if so much human progress can be made with a small injection of
socialism as is occurring in Venezuela then imagine what a large dose
of the same could achieve on a global basis (for further details
of what is happening in Venezuela read Tomas Gorman's report from
Northern Venezuela dated 04/05/05 in The Plough Vol. 2, No. 36). Of
course the international capitalist class would not see things in
this light but, after all, it is this class who are the ultimate
cause of working class peoples problems. Let us be clear about it
they and their system have to go. There is no reason that given the
correct political will and socialist administration why such a plan
could not be carried out in Ireland. We may risk invasion from big
brother North of what at the moment is the border, or from the USA
after all their multinationals have been nationalised.
However with the organised working class in what will be a 32 county
socialist, ultimately communist, republic on the side of
socialism/communism such an invasion could be repelled, after all
such an attempt was beaten off in Cuba at the bay of pigs. After the
nationalisation of all the major industry in Ireland, coupled with
the democratisation of the proletariat all power will then be handed
to the democratically elected workers councils. This will signal the
end, as it appears to be doing in Venezuela, of production
for capitalist greed in favour of social need.
[From Kevin Morley]
Monday, 18 July
Next IPSC Meeting Mon 18th July 7.30pm
Update on Féile
- White Line Collection
- leafet/posters/flags banner
- Balata Camp youth dance theatre
- Feile Parade/stall
- Feile Exhibition
- Palestine Day - films/talk/stall/decoration
- International Food Fair
- Prisoners Event
- Update on Belfast Festival at Queens
Friday-Sunday, 26-28 August
Seventeenth Desmond Greaves Summer School 2005
A weekend of political thought and discussion from Friday to Sunday,
26-28 August 2005, at the Irish Labour History Society premises,
Beggars Bush, Haddington Rd., Dublin 4.
Friday August 26th at 7.30pm: The Prospects for the Left in Ireland
Eugene McCartan, General Secretary, Communist Party of Ireland
Chair: Robert Ballagh
Saturday August 27th at 2.30 pm: Desmond Greaves as an historian
Mary Cullen and Brian Hanley will evaluate Desmond Greaves's
historical writings and his contribution as an historian
Mary Cullen is an historian and research associate at St Patrick's
College Maynooth, and TCD
Dr.Brian Hanley is a Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Modern
History, NUI, Maynooth, and author of The IRA 1926-36 and other books
Chair: Kevin McCorry
Sunday August 28th at 11.00 am: The Politics of the Peace Process
Owen Bennett will examine the current position of the Northern peace
process and the views of its supporters and critics, and will
consider its relevance for the future of Irish Republicanism
Chair: Finian Mc Grath TD.
Sunday August 28th at 2.30 pm: A forum on C. Desmond Greaves -
personal reminiscences by some who knew him
Gerard Curran, who has been a member of the Connolly Association
since 1952 and is former Literary Editor of the Irish Democrat,
London, which Greaves edited from 1948 to 1988;
Helga MacLiam, Dublin, with whose family Greaves used often stay
when visiting Ireland;
Bernard Morgan, long-time member of the Connolly Association,
Liverpool, Greaves's native city;
Sean Redmond, Dublin trade union official and general secretary of
the Connolly Association in the 1960s;
Chair: Anthony Coughlan, Desmond Greaves's Literary Executor
Full School E15; Individual sessions E5; Unwaged half-price;
Enquiries to Frank Keoghan, School Director, at 25 Shanowen Crescent,
Dublin 9; Tel.: 00-353-1-8423076
How to get there: Buses 5,7,7a or 8 from O'Connell Bridge, Dublin,
alighting at the first stop in Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge.
Haddington Road is first on the left, parallel to the canal.
C. DESMOND GREAVES (1913-1988)
C. Desmond Greaves, whose work and writings inspired the foundation
of this annual Summer School, was one of Ireland's leading labour
historians. He was author of The Life and Times of James Connolly,
Liam Mellows and the Irish Revolution, Sean O'Casey: Politics and
Art, Wolfe Tone and the Irish Nation, History of the Irish Transport
and General Workers Union: the Formative Years, The Irish Crisis, and
two books of verse, Four Letter Verses and the Mountbatten Award, and
Elephants Against Rome.
Desmond Greaves held that the peaceful way to end the partition of
Ireland was to secure maximum equality between Protestants and
Catholics in the Six Counties, thereby removing any rational basis
for unionism as an ideology that justified domination over Catholics,
and opening a way for northern Protestants to rediscover in time the
political implications of the common Irishness they share with their
Catholic and non-Protestant fellow countrymen and women.
As an activist in the Connolly Association, London, and editor from
1948 to 1988 of its monthly newspaper, The Irish Democrat, he
pioneered the idea of a campaign for civil rights as the way to
shatter unionist political domination, which was taken up by the
1960s northern Civil Rights Movement. He held that it was essential
for Ireland to win allies internationally for any moves to end
partition and that organised British public opinion, especially as
embodied in the British labour and trade union movement, which the
Irish community in Britain could significantly influence, was the
most important such potential ally.
He believed that in the era of the EU and the near-global domination
of transnational capital, the most important political task for
democrats and the labour movement was to join in an international
movement in defence of the nation state as the fundamental locus of
political democracy, and the only mechanism which history has evolved
for imposing social controls on private capital.
Camp Havana Glencolmcille
From Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September 2005 over 100 men, women and
children from every corner of this island - and indeed from much
further away - will gather in Glencolmcille / Donegal. They will
come in busses, by car, bicycle or on foot.
They will erect CAMP HAVANA and walk to the top of Slieve League.
Some will take the challenging hike across the whole ridge,
accompanied by a trained mountain guide. Some will use a more relaxed
walking route and some will only go as far as the bus can take them.
All of them will enjoy Europe's highest sea - cliffs which are
surrounded by scenery incomparable to anywhere else on this earth.
Of course we are not just gathering to admire spectacular scenery. We
will get together in what is going to be the biggest show of
friendship with people from another island, Cuba, ever to happen on
We are making this effort mainly because five young men are serving
lengthy prison sentences in the USA, guilty of nothing but the attempt
to stop terrorism; murderous and destructive acts which have killed
over 3,500 civilians in Cuba - more than the troubles in Northern
These men went to Miami to try and stop the people who orchestrate
this terrorism and ended up in US prisons. They have spent months in
isolation cells; their wives, kids and relations have been denied
The Miami 5 are victims of one of the most brutal human rights
violations in recent history, victims of breaches of both
international and US law.
We want freedom for these innocent men!
With our sponsored mountain walk and the large meeting / concert on
the evening of Saturday September 17th we will achieve;
- Massive publicity and increased awareness about the case.
- Pressure on political representatives (TDs, MPs, MEPs) to act
as opposed to talk.
- Raising of much needed financial support for the campaign and for
another urgent aid project in Cuba
- Pushing forward the world-wide campaign to free the Miami 5
and strengthen the links between campaigners from various countries
(At this very early stage we already know that there will be people
from England, the USA, Austria, Germany and Denmark coming to show
We can and we will free the Miami 5!
Nobody in this world is going to do it for us!
Lend us your support!
Join Camp Havana Glencolmcille 2005!
Get in touch with us now!
On behalf of the organisers of Camp Havana
Phone us at: 028 77742655 (from Republic of Ireland: 04877742655)
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