Volume 2, Number 45
2 August 2005
E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party
1) Not a Question of "If" but of "When"
2) The Transformation of Sinn Fein
3) International Solidarity: Mexico and Spain
4) On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian
6) What's On
NOT A QUESTION OF "IF" BUT OF "WHEN"
On Thursday 28 July 2005, the Provisional IRA issued an important
What does the statement say? The leadership of the Provisional IRA
declares that their war is over. "The leadership of Oglaigh na
hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This
will take effect from 4pm this afternoon. All IRA units have been
ordered to dump arms."
For the first time since 1922, an organisation claiming to be the IRA
has publicly declared that there is no need for an armed campaign as
it believes that "there is an alternative way" to achieve its
objectives, namely "the full implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement". This goes much further than a cessation and dumping arms,
which the IRA had done a few times before, in 1922, 1945 and 1962 for
"All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of
purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively
peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities
whatsoever." In other words: "Now they promise to be nothing more than
an old boys' club for former volunteers. As of 4pm yesterday, promised
republican Danny Morrison, the IRA will be about as threatening as the
British Legion." (Jonathan Freedland, A nightmare ends, another
nightmare begins, The Guardian 29 July) Consequently, the statement
confirms the Provisional leadership's intent "to complete the process
to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further
enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as
possible," and informs that they "have invited two independent
witnesses, from the Protestant and catholic churches, to testify to
this." It will thus complete the destruction of its arsenal. (IRA
statement, An Phoblacht Republican News, 28 July 2005)
Prime Minister Blair welcomed the IRA announcement as a "step of
unparalleled magnitude ... The statement is of a different order than
anything before." But how significant is the Provisional statement?
"This morning's (Friday) headlines should read 'excitable hacks go
orgasmic over IRA statement.' But such headlines are 'not helpful to
the peace process' and therefore long suffering readerships will have
to endure the guff about seismic shifts, historic developments and
whatever else takes the fancy of the scribbling class. Yesterday's
statement by the IRA on its future merely formalised what we have
known for quite some time - that the organisation's armed campaign
against Britain ended in failure. The British are still here, the
consent principle is safely enshrined and partition entrenched.
Commentators can openly speculate on current IRA volunteers eventually
becoming British bobbies. Hardly the heady stuff of revolutionary
success." (Anthony McIntyre, Nothing has changed, The Daily Mirror, 29
That is why the 32 County Sovereignty Movement is correct when
remarking the Provisional statement is "neither surprising nor
historic": "If Provisional Sinn Fein and the Provisional IRA, who
supported them at every turn, truly accepted the terms of the GFA,
then today's statement cannot be viewed by republicans as surrender
but rather as the final act of a surrender that started many years
ago." (32 County Sovereignty Movement, PIRA statement 'neither
surprising nor historic', Press Release 28 July 2005) After all, the
Provisional IRA had been on ceasefire since 1997, had accepted the
legitimacy of the institutions it was supposed to destroy and
decomissioned its weaponry. Therefore it was useless: "An army is an
entity licensed by the State for one purpose: to fight... When it
denies itself the option of force it becomes irrelevant." (Eric Waugh,
How does an illegal army become a 'lawful' organisation?, Belfast
Telegraph, 29 July)
Why was this statement issued? In the short term, it is to regain
political initiative for the Provisional movement. In the wake of the
Northern Bank robbery in Belfast, the money-laundering scheme that was
then uncovered in the South, the killing of Robert McCartney and the
subsequent attempt to cover-up Provisional complicity, Sinn Fein's
advance in the 26 counties had stalled. Mr Adams's own personal rating
- the key to their advance - had dropped. The Provisional leadership
hopes that their statement should contribute to reverse that trend and
increase their electoral appeal.
The new move is also intended to put pressure on the Democratic
Unionist Party to form a government in the North with Sinn Fein. (Paul
Bew, Regaining Initiative for the Republican Movement, The Yorkshire
Post, 29 July) But more fundamentally, Sinn Fein's aim of taking part
in a power-sharing executive in the North and of forming a coalition
government in Leinster House made such a statement inevitable.
There is a fundamental contradiction between accepting the legitimacy
of a state, of its laws and institutions, the constitutional system
and the rules of parliamentarism and agreeing to operate within their
framework; and armed insurrectionary politics dedicated to overthrow
them. One cannot accept that the state has the monopoly of legitimate
force and at the same time have links to an illegal army refusing to
recognise the legitimacy of two Governments and ready to kill the
servants of both. There is no chance that Fianna Fail or the Unionist
would ever consider having Sinn Fein in government as long as they
retain links to an illegal organisation carrying unlawful activities.
That is why sooner or later the Provisionals would have to issue such
Back in 1986, Ruairi O Bradaigh had issued a blunt warning: "The armed
struggle and sitting in parliament are mutually exclusive", O Bradaigh
said as he forecast that those who followed the Adams strategy would
be "signing their own extinction as revolutionaries". "The O Bradaigh
prediction finally came true last week", concluded the Sunday Tribune.
(Kevin Rafter, Where to now for 'former revolutionaries'?, Sunday
Tribune 31 July)
Incidently, there is consensus amongst allies and critics, that the
statement was the logical outcome of the Provisional's gradual
transition into parliamentarism and constitutional nationalism. "How
Adams, the president of Sinn Fein, and McGuinness, his chief
negotiator, succeeded in taking an armed revolutionary movement and
placing it on a road to peaceful political activism is an
extraordinary story." writes Niall O Dowd, the Provisional's main ally
in the US. "The IRA decision to abandon its armed campaign was an
inevitable outgrowth of the long-held plans of Adams and McGuinness."
(Niall O Dowd, The Men who tamed the IRA, Los Angeles Times, 29 July
2005) This is the same conclusion reached by former IRA Chief of Staff
and President of Sinn Fein Phoblachtach, Ruairi O Bradaigh, for whom
the Provisional's statement "is the logical outcome of the change of
direction they made in 1986 when they deserted the revolutionary road
and started out on the constitutional path through the partitionist
institutions north and south. As Republican Sinn Fein has forecast
they are being slowly and steadily absorbed into the English system in
Ireland... Eventually they will be unrecognisable. The Provisionals
should discard the trappings of the Republicanism they once served.
Like Cumann na nGaedheal/Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Workers Party
they have betrayed it. They are no longer Republicans." (Ruairi O
Bradaigh, Provisional IRA should disband completely, Statement 28
Interestingly, historians not just agree with Kevin Bean that 'the
soldiers of the legion of the rearguard follow the soldiers of
destiny', but point out that Adams actually outdid De Valera. (cfr.
Brian Feeney, Adams succeeded where Dev failed, The Irish News, 29
July). Eamon Phoenix writes that the Provisional movement "has opted
for the de Valera path of purely constitutional means but crucially,
it has surpassed the Fianna Fail founder by carrying the IRA with it."
(Eamon Phoenix, Modern movement surpasses de Valera by taking IRA with
it, The Irish News, 29 July)
What now? Logically, once the Provisionals agree not to oppose the
armed forces of the state, they will have to explicitly accept the
state's monopoly of armed force and agree to observe its laws. In
practice, this means supporting the police forces North and South of
the border. There is a contradiction between Sinn Fein involved in a
Stormont Executive and making laws for Northern Ireland, but
withholding support for the police service which enforces those laws.
"It would be a massive step. It's even bigger than going into
Stormont. Policing is what it's all about -it's what we fought a war
against," declared a former high-ranking member of the IRA to the
Irish Times. (Dan Keenan, 'It's what we fought a war against', The
Irish Times 30 July) The question of the Provisionals backing the
Northern police service is not a question of "if" but of "when". This
is a necessary preliminary to Sinn Fein going into power sharing
executive and going into coalition government.
[By Liam O Ruairc]
THE TRANSFORMATION OF SINN FEIN
Yesterday I finally had time to take a look at some news sites which
covered the IRA announcement of their final disarmament.
It really is the end of the line for the Provos in terms of any kind
of radical politics.
The next logical step, of course, is the actual disbandment of the
No doubt, our friend Donal (if he's still on the list?) will assure us
this won't happen, just as he once used to assure us that the IRA
would never fully disarm. Reminds me of Martin McGuiness' claim in
1986 that there would be no more ceasefires until the British forces
were driven out of Ireland.
Ah, it all seems such a long time ago...
With the armed struggle gone (and the IRA organization soon to
follow), all that is left for the Provos is Sinn Fein's increasing
absorption into mainstream bourgeois politics.
Adams, for instance, would stand quite a good chance of getting
elected president of the 26-County state, should SF decide to run him
in the next presidential election. The SF vote in the next 26-County
election is likely to increase and out them in a position to go into
coalition government with Fianna Fail (who are, after all, their
forebears, having made the same transition from republicanism to
mainstream bourgeois nationalism/neo-colonialism in the late
In the north, the situation is even more surreal, as Sinn Fein will be
running a coalition government with the Ian Paisleys (senior and
In the end, the legacy of the Provos is that they have modernized the
northern Irish state in a way that the old Unionist oligarchy (eg
O'Neill) was incapable of, as were the Brits, and therefore rendered
capitalist social relations across the whole of Ireland more stable.
[By Philip Ferguson, from Marxism List Digest Volume 21, Issue 106]
INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY: MEXICO AND SPAIN
25 July 2005
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
Statement on Zapatista Red Alert
On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the Irish
Republican Socialist Committees of North America have issued the
following statement regarding the recent red alert called by the
Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Mexico.
This red alert came as a direct response to the Mexican government's
massing of thousands of troops in areas where the EZLN support the
indigenous peoples and their self-governed communities. These
communities are places where indigenous families live and have access
to health care, housing, education, and cultural activities. The
Zapatistas and the indigenous communities have long been attacked by
the Mexican government, but there has been a recent escalation in
We in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement stand in solidarity with
the EZLN, the indigenous peoples of Mexico, and their communities, and
we condemn the Mexican government for creating a climate of repression
against them. We further condemn the Mexican government for attempting
to escalate the situation by massing thousands of troops in those
25 July 2005
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
Statement on David Garaboa Bonillo
On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the Irish
Republican Socialist Committees of North America have issued the
following statement regarding the arrest, torture, and imprisonment of
David Garaboa Bonillo, an activist belonging to the Communist Party of
He was arrested on May 30th between the border of Port Bou (Girona)
and France. After he was asked to produce documentation, several
national policemen took him to the police station and beat him on the
face and kicked his legs and side. He was further interrogated by a
plainclothes officer using methods which can only be called torture.
He was then taken to Barcelona for further interrogation, where he was
again tortured for several days before being taken before a judge who
was unconcerned by visible signs of torture. He is currently
imprisoned in Prisión de Soto del Real for his activism on behalf
of the Spanish working class.
We in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement stand in solidarity with
David Garaboa Bonillo and the Communist Party of Spain
(Reconstituted), and condemn the fascist Spanish state for its use of
torture and other means of repression against political activists. We
call for the immediate release of David Garaboa Bonillo and all
political prisoners held in the prisons of the Spanish state.
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
PO Box 8266
Austin TX 78713-8266
ON ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN
14-20 July 2005
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian
Civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
· 14 Palestinians, including two children, were killed by IOF.
· 8 of the victims, who were members of Hamas, were
killed by IOF.
· IOF conducted 45 incursions into Palestinian communities in the
West Bank and 2 into the Gaza Strip.
· Houses were raided and 78 Palestinian civilians were arrested by
IOF in the West Bank and 1 in the Gaza Strip.
· Two Palestinian civilians were used by IOF as a human shields to
· 21 houses were transformed by IOF into military sites.
· IOF have continued to impose a total siege on the OPT; IOF
divided the Gaza Strip into 3 separate zones; IOF shot dead a
Palestinian child near a checkpoint in the Gaza Strip; IOF have
prevented Palestinian civilians aged 16-35 from traveling through
Rafah International Crossing Point; IOF arrested 6 Palestinian
civilians at military checkpoints in the West Bank and injured a
· IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall in the West
Bank; IOF attacked Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli
solidarity activists who demonstrated against the construction of the
Wall; 7 Palestinian civilians and an Israeli solidarity activist were
wounded and 3 Israeli solidarity activists were arrested.
· 3 Palestinian civilians were injured and IOF razed more areas of
Palestinian land for the purpose of settlement expansion.
Israeli violations of international law continued in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory (OPT) during the reporting period (14-20 July
Wilful Killing: During the reported period, IOF killed 14 Palestinians
(eight in the West Bank and six in the Gaza Strip, including two
In the West Bank, on 14 July 2005, IOF shot dead a Palestinian
civilian in Nablus. On 15 July 2005, IOF extra-judicially killed
three Palestinians in Salfit village near Nablus and killed a child
during the clashes that followed this attack. On 19 July 2005, two
Palestinians were killed in al-Yamoun village near Jenin when they
exchanged fire with IOF. On 20 July 2005, a Palestinian died from a
wound he sustained last week during an Israeli incursion into
In the Gaza Strip, on 15 July 2005, IOF extra-judicially executed 4
Palestinians in Gaza City.They also extra-judicially executed a 5th
Palestinian in Khan Yunis on 17 July 2005.
On 18 July 2005, IOF positioned at a checkpoint in the central Gaza
Strip killed a Palestinian child, when they opened fire at a number of
Palestinian civilians who were waiting at the checkpoint.
Shelling: During the reported period, in addition to using aircrafts
in the aforementioned extra-judicial killings, IOF launched nine
aerial attacks at civilian targets in the Gaza Strip. They fired 14
missiles at these targets, destroying them. In addition, at least 10
Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, were injured as a
Incursions: IOF conducted 47 military incursions into Palestinian
areas (45 in the West Bank and two in the Gaza Strip), the widest of
which was into Tulkarm. During these incursions, IOF injured 20
Palestinian civilians. They raided houses and arrested 79 Palestinian
civilians. In addition, IOF seized 21 houses and transformed them
into military sites.
Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened
siege on the OPT, including Jerusalem. IOF divided the Gaza Strip
into three separate zones. They have also continued to close Erez
crossing for the second consecutive week. IOF have decided to prevent
Palestinian civilians aged 16-35 from traveling through Rafah
International Crossing Point. In the West Bank, IOF erected a number
of military checkpoints. They arrested six Palestinian civilians,
including two children. They also imposed curfews on a number of
Palestinian communities. In addition, a Palestinian civilian was
injured by IOF near a military checkpoint.
Annexation Wall: IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall
inside the West Bank territory. IOF have continued to construct a
section of the Wall to the northeast of East Jerusalem. They also
established a military post near Qalandya checkpoint, south of
Ramallah. During the reported period, IOF continued to raze areas of
Palestinian agricultural land in Amatin village near Qalqilya to
construct a section of the Wall in the area. On 19 July 2005, IOF
issued three military orders confiscating 15 donums of Palestinian
land near Qalqilya to establish roads that will link a number of
settlements with the Wall. In addition, IOF used force to disperse
peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians,
international and Israeli solidarity activists in protest at the
construction of the Wall. Seven Palestinian civilians and an Israeli
solidarity activist were wounded and three Israeli solidarity
activists were arrested.
Illegal Settler Activities: Israeli settlers in breach of
international humanitarian law continue to reside in the OPT and have
launched a series of attacks against Palestinian civilians and
property. Three Palestinian civilians, including a child, were
injured. IOF also razed areas of Palestinian land in Shoufa village
near Tulkarm for the purpose of settlement expansion.
The full report is available online at:
I personally have no love for the Provos but on this particular
statement(Thursday July 28th) I as a republican feel sad that such an
organisation has capitulated to the demands of the Irish, British and
American Governments and to the demands of the SDLP and Unionists just
so that they can sit in a Stormont assembly. The provisionals have now
firmly accepted the legitimacy of the 6 county state and this is a
disgrace. They may spin it as they like but I believe that the
friends, family and comrades of the fallen volunteers have been let
From: "Ciarán Ó B"
Subject: Rossport Five
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 18:45:46 +0000
Please take a minute or two and sign the online petition in support of
the Rossport Five who are now in their fourth week in jail.
Please also take the time to pass the link on to as many as possible.
They are trying to gather 100,000 signatures in support of the 5.
"When we achieve worldwide success, I think we shall use gold for
building public lavatories." - Vladimir Lenin
Tuesday, 2 August
Tuesday 2nd August, St Mary's University College, Falls Road
11.00am Film: 'Tragedy in the Holy Land'. Documentary film tracing the
history of the plight of Palestine from Turkish and British rule to
1pm 'The Right of Return, Palestine and Palestinian Refugees', speaker
Dr Daoud Abdullah, The Palestinian Return Centre.
3pm Film: 'The Return'. Documentary film about Palestinian Refugees
and their quest to return home to Palestine.
8pm Leila Khalid – in person or by video link - Palestine Today -
The Peace Process and Hopes for the Future.
Leila Khaled was a symbol of the Palestinian struggle during the 1970s
when she was famously involved in two hijackings. Author of 'My People
Shall Live: the Autobiography of a Revolutionary', she is currently a
member of the Palestine National Council. Introduced by a prominent
Irish political representative.
Wednesday, 3 August and Thursday, 4 August
"It's a Cultural Thing!...Or Is It?", a play written and performed by
leading Traveller actor and activist from Dublin, Michael Collins, is
being performed in West Belfast as part of this year's Feile an
Phobail. It's on Wed 3 Aug 7pm in Glen Community Centre Lenadoon and
Thurs 4 Aug 7pm in St. Mary's University College.
Tickets £5.00 from Féile outlets. Féile ticket office: 90
The blurb from the Feile programme is as follows: "A rare insight
into the life of a Traveller. From a segregated child in the
playground to an adult adjusting to the changes of the Traveller life
on the edge of settled communities. A thought-provoking, humorous
drama from the 1960s to the present day. Written and performed by
Thursday, 4 August
Coiste's International Prisoners Debate
An Chultúrlann, Falls Road, Belfast
Thursday 4th August 1pm
Coiste are hosting a debate on the issues surrounding political
prisoners from around the world. Guest speakers include Sahar
Francis, a Palestinian lawyer and human rights activist. She works
with Addameer - a prisoners support and human rights association in
Ramallah. Ala Jaradat - an ex political prisoner who also works with
Friday, 5 August
Fourthwrite magazine is sponsoring a discussion, "Creating the News
They Like", at St. Mary's University College at 7pm on Friday 5th
August 2005. Featuring Film Actor, Atta Yaqub, Arab Media Watch
Chairman, Sharif Nashashibi, Daily Ireland's Sean Maguire and others
to discuss attempts by various governments to manipulate news of
current events and shape public opinion.
Given the current climate of fear and suspicion that prevails in
London and elsewhere this will be a very interesting and timely
discussion. Please come early.
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.
Thursday, 25 August and Friday 26 August
Coiste na nIarchimí
Scoil Samhraidh/Summer School
Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre
25/26 August 2005
Irish Republicanism: can it be militant without being militaristic?
Thursday 25 August
7.00 p.m. Official opening of the summer school by Pat McGinn,
Mayor of Newry and Mourne Council
7.30 p.m. Martin Ferris Sinn Féin TD, Chair: Mike Ritchie
Friday 26 August
10.30 a.m. Mary Lou McDonnell Sinn Féin MEP, Tommy McKearney former
IRA prisoner, Gerry Kelly Sinn Féin MLA, Chair: Laurence McKeown
1.00 p.m. Lunch
1.30 p.m. Historical walk and talk
3.00 p.m. Agnes Maillot lecturer at Dublin City University, Denis
O'Hearn lecturer at Queen’s University, Mike Ritchie Director of
Coiste na nIarchimí, John Gray curator of the Linen Hall Library,
Margaret Ward political historian, Chair: Rosie McCorley
I am delighted to invite you once again to south Armagh to the third
summer school organised by Coiste na nIarchimí. The summer school
offers you, the participants, an opportunity to reflect on, discuss
and debate topical issues and explore the opportunities and obstacles
to building a nation rooted in respect for diversity and committed to
justice and peace.
The theme of the summer school, Irish Republicanism: can it be
militant without being militaristic? is very much a live topic at the
moment, viewed much differently depending upon your political outlook.
As an organisation working proactively on behalf of former republican
prisoners, their families and displaced people, you could say we have
been 'militant' in our refusal to accept the status quo and the
discriminatory barriers that currently impact upon the constituency we
represent and deny them full citizenship. In that sense we are
carrying on the tradition from the prisons where republicans displayed
their militancy, as opposed to their militarism, in a host of ways
– the burning of Long Kesh, the blanket protest, the hunger
strikes, the escapes, the education programmes, the handicrafts, the
lobbying, the legal cases. This was not militancy for its sake alone
but to challenge oppressive regimes, strive for intellectual and
physical freedom and to create a better way to live with one another.
Our challenge today is to continue that work at a societal level in an
equally militant, but not militaristic, manner.
I look forward to seeing you in Mullaghbawn.
Director Coiste na n-Iarchimi.
Coiste na n-Iarchimi is the umbrella organisation of the republican
ex-prisoner network throughout Ireland. Since its establishment in
1998 it has played a key role in highlighting and lobbying against the
social, economic, legal and societal barriers faced by political
ex-prisoners and their families.
Coiste na n-Iarchimi has gained a reputation for developing radical
and challenging projects which foster greater interaction between
republican ex-prisoners and all other sectors of Irish society. This
summer school is organised under one such project entitled
'Processes of Nation Building'.
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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