Tuesday 8 November 2005

The Plough Vol 03 No 07

The Plough
Volume 3, Number 7
8 November 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial: IMC and Teach na Failte
2) Belfast IRSP Press Statement
3) Oil Peak
4) Why Dessie O'Hare Should Be Freed
5) Letters
6) What's On



For the benefit of our readers, we reprint below extracts from the
IMC's 7th report.


Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)

In our Fifth Report we said that INLA members had been extensively
involved in organised crime, though the organisation had been less
violent than previously, and that there remained a threat of its more
active engagement.

This position remains essentially unchanged. In our Fifth Report we
said that INLA had not been responsible for shooting or assaulting
people in the six months from 1 September 2004 to 28 February 2005.
One of the shootings in February which we then could not attribute to
a particular group was, we now believe in the light of further
information, the responsibility of INLA. In the period under review in
this report we believe that INLA was responsible for one shooting, in
April, and 4 assaults, 3 in June and one in August. It was responsible
for throwing blast and petrol bombs at the security forces in Belfast
on 12 July. We believe that it has considered whether to attack
off-duty members of the security forces. The organisation is
recruiting and training new members. In addition, members of INLA
remain active in organised crime, for example robberies, drugs and
smuggling. The police seized substantial funds which we believe were
raised by INLA from cigarette smuggling.

INLA has also made efforts to ensure that it maintains its position in
certain local communities. Overall, therefore, there has been some
increase in INLA's use of violence but the level of activity is not
high. We believe that the threat of the organisation’s more active
involvement remains.]

If one carefully examines this section of the report one will look
hard for factual evidence. Instead, the report uses the term "we now
believe" or "we believe".

Belief based on what evidence? Hearsay from the discredited Special
Branch and CID of the RUC/PSNI? In addition, what does "more active
engagement" mean? This gobbledygook coming from so-called experts is
just laughable. What the IMC report does not say is that the INLA is
opposed to drug dealing, is not involved in organized crime and that
its ceasefire from 1998 is the only ceasefire of all the armed groups
that has not been broken. No member of the Republican Socialist
Movement is in gaol for criminal activity. Furthermore, the policy of
the Republican Socialist Movement is not to control communities but to
encourage local communities to empower themselves. All comrades
associated with our movement are encouraged to become actively
involved in politics and an extensive programme of politicisation has
been underway in the organisation for a period.

The recent raids by the RUC/PSNI on Teach na Failte offices in Belfast
and Strabane and the sledgehammers of doors of TnF activists was an
attempt to link ex-prisoner work with money laundering and put TnF out
of business. TnF is involved in conflict mediation, counselling, peace
building and developing alternative ways to deal with social and
economic problems within communities. They have forged excellent
relationships with not only other ex-prisoner organization from the
republican traditions but also with progressive loyalists and
ex-loyalists particularly on socio-economic issues without
compromising core republican values.

If that poses a threat to the sectarian setup in the North then so be
it! Neither TnF nor this movement will be intimidated by the actions
of the British security forces. Both the IMC report and the raids on
TnF are connected. Imperialism has now gone on the offensive against
republicanism. As republican socialists, we are neither surprised nor
startled. We oppose the status quo. We expect repression. We can deal
with it. Neither violence, pacification nor bribery will stop this
movement from pursuing our political ideals.



26 October 2005

The IRSP condemn without reservation the totally unwarranted searches
of Teach na Failte and Republican Socialist offices and homes of our
workers in Belfast and Strabane.

These searches are little more than a politically motivated fishing
exercise and an attempt by the PSNI/RUC to blacken the good name of
Teach na Failte, a well respected former prisoners association whose
work is mostly welfare based plus a conflict transformation and
resolution project for ex-prisoners and their families.

IRSP spokesperson Paul Little said: "The nature of these searches by
the PSNI was aggressive, with doors being smashed down and disabled
TnF project officer Eddie McGarrigle from Strabane, who is
confined to a wheelchair, was thrown out of it by the PSNI and left
lying on the floor.

"There is absolutely no justification for these raids or their violent
nature. The PSNI have demonstrated once again that they are not a new
beginning to policing but rather a new politically motivated
paramilitarist force that excels in all the bad traits of the RUC.

"New uniform, same old story."



By Liam O'Ruairc

According to many forecasts, this winter is likely to be the coldest
in decades. The price of gas in the North has already gone up by 30%
and the cost of petrol is going up. Many people will be badly affected
by this, but the IRSP warns that things are very likely to become
worse, and that sooner or later the world will be heading towards more
crises, catastrophes and wars.

The price of petrol is going to increase further due to oil depletion.
(1) This means that the world's oil resources are quickly running out.
In resource terminology, oil either will or already has "peaked".

According to Chris Skrebowski, who worked in the industry for almost
20 years and who now edits Petroleum Review, more than 50 countries --
including 10 large producers, such as Britain, Mexico, China, the US,
Norway, Indonesia and Oman -- are now seeing their oil production
levels decline. At a rough estimate, 90% of all the world's known
reserves are now being exploited. The little good news, he said, comes
from the Sudan, equatorial Africa, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, where
production is greatly increasing.

"Gas is a risk, too," he says. "It is also declining. The UK is now a
net importer of gas and is likely to import 80% of its needs by 2020,
mainly from unstable countries."

"Quite simply, we are consuming oil far faster than we can find it,"
Skrebowski says. This trend is reinforced by the fact that demand from
countries such as China and India is exploding at more than 10% a year
and straining existing refinery capacity. "For the next three years, I
believe we will scrape by. After that, it gets progressively more
difficult." The exact timing of a global peak, and the speed at which
supplies then decline, is fiercely debated. Some analysts give it 10
years or more, others suggest that we may have reached that point
already. Skrebowski, who sees oil companies struggling to hold
production levels now, and knows how hard it is for the oil industry
to move, estimates 2008. (2)

The combination of demand growth and supply declines will have
disastrous consequences. Michael Meacher, the former UK environment
minister, warns that the scale of the change required in the world
economy is "nothing short of apocalyptical. Our whole civilisation is
overwhelmingly dependent on oil. Oil will start to run out, but not
abruptly. The price, however, will rise rapidly. It is bound to go
over $100 (£57) [a barrel], rising much further. The majority of
countries do not have oil and will be forced into a tailspin of
decline. It is likely that there will be violent disruptions, and mass
refugee movements on a scale we have never seen."

The rise of petrol prices is going to lead to a general increase in
all prices. According to Richard Douthwaite, a former UK government
economist now working on a study of oil depletion for the Irish
government: "The cost of business will inevitably rise. All prices in
the economy will have to change because everything is dependent on
oil. Every price in the world will have to change to reflect the
carbon content of goods, and the new cost of energy."

For Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University, any oil
shortage would effectively cause the collapse of the whole British
supermarket system. The slick operation, which depends on air freight,
tens of thousands of lorries, giant distribution points, intensive
farming and out of season production, around the world, depends from
start to finish on oil. Were prices to rise dramatically, the system
would, he says, show its fragility.

What is badly needed to avert a future collapse, he says, is a plan B.
"Food today travels further to our shores and further on our roads to
reach supermarkets further from our homes than ever before. The result
is a finely-honed system that is woefully vulnerable to oil prices.

"The entire system is incredibly fragile. Four companies sell 70% of
all the food in Britain and 1,500 shops provide food for half of the
country. If you remove oil, frankly, everyone is kebabbed."

As John Vidal and Ian Sample conclude: "Unless this is handled well,
(the oil peak) is bound to put the brake on economic growth and lead
to chaos and potentially large-scale depression. So far, there is
little evidence that governments are preparing for the level of oil
shocks being contemplated." (3)

Prices will rise, so people will be less likely to buy. At the same
time operational costs will rise for businesses. This means that
capitalists will be less likely to invest their money. The result will
be to accelerate capitalism's tendency towards crisis. It will be
interesting to see what the impact of this will be on the housing
market. Much of the current economic growth in the Western world is
based on the overheated housing market (see for example in the 26
counties and increasingly so in the North). Sooner or later the
speculative bubble will burst. If this is concomitant with the oil
peak crisis, we could be facing a crisis worse than that of 1929.

The decline of oil supplies is also going to sharpen inter-imperialist
rivalries and increase the risk of wars. The situation in Iraq and
Venezuela today are examples of this. Iran could be next, and
instability in Saudi Arabia are a major source of concerns. Places
like the Caucasus are likely to become sources of major international

Crises, catastrophes and wars are what capitalism has in store for us.

(1) For more information about oil depletion, visit the oil depletion
analysis center: http://www.odac-info.org/welcome/welcome.htm
See also the special section of the Energy Bulletin:
(2) http://www.energybulletin.net/9978.html
Subsequent quotes from Meagher, Douthwaite and Lang come from this
(3) Ibid, and The Guardian 19 October 2005


The Republican Socialist Movement deeply regrets the death of former
CIRA POW John O'Halloran in Portlaoise Gaol. An INLA prisoner found
his body and we extend our condolences and sympathy to the family,
friends and comrades of Vol. John O'Halloran.



(The following article was written in response to the Derry Journal
by the Derry IRSP.)

The Chronicle & Comment column in the Derry Journal of Tuesday 25
October contained within it some very graphic details of the episode
that led to the imprisonment of Dessie O'Hare. There is no doubt that
this will make for some disturbing reading and was written to provoke
some kind of reaction but then that was what the tirade by Onlooker
was supposed to do.

Can you imagine if Onlooker's logic was applied fairly across the
board and each and every case of the last thirty five years received
the same scrutiny as he/she has applied to the O'Hare case then there
is little doubt that some very bizarre and very disturbing stories
would appear.

No doubt we would hear of pregnant women being shot in the stomach and
killed, we would hear of van loads of workers being blown to bits, we
would hear how workers were lined up and asked for their religion
before being killed, we would hear how young people were nailed to
fences. This does not excuse anything that anyone carried out in the
name of Ireland or of Ulster but Onlooker needs to get a bit of
perspective on the case. We accept that a man was injured and his
family was left traumatized during the kidnapping and we in no way
would want to diminish the suffering that they have gone through but
in the cold light of day it has to be acknowledged that Dessie O'Hare
didn’t kill any one. That's right, Dessie O'Hare has not been
convicted of the killing of anyone. When put in comparison to the
3,800 deaths of the conflict.

Dessie O'Hare found himself in a situation of political upheaval just
like the thousands of others of his generation who went on to join the
IRA and INLA. He became involved in a war that was sometimes brutal
and harrowing, no-one will doubt that, but to pick out Dessie's case
in total isolation from the thousands of others is unfair and
vindictive. The 26 County administration have treated Dessie much more
harshly from each and every political prisoner who qualifies for
release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Good Friday Agreement, to which the 26 County administration is
signed up to, allows for the release of all those prisoners whose
organizations are on ceasefire and whose "crimes" occurred before
1998. Dessie O'Hare fits the criteria and the administration in Dublin
has already acknowledged that Dessie O'Hare is a qualifying prisoner.
In fact Dessie O'Hare has endorsed the INLA ceasefire

I have no doubt that Onlooker is supportive of the Good Friday
Agreement and the peace process. If Onlooker's logic was applied to
all prisoners would he even have a peace process to support? Because
at the end of the day without the support of the prisoners Loyalist
and Republican ceasefires just would not have come about.




Easter 1916: Free State Administration Hypocrites

For many years now Republicans and Republican Socialists have kept the
memory of the heroic events which occurred at Easter week 1916 alive.
Not since the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising have the
twenty six county administration shown the slightest incline to
remember, publicly the dead heroes of 1916. On the contrary they have
done their best to suppress the various commemorations which take
place around the country, just as the RUC/PSNI do their best to
antagonise the Republican Socialist parade in Belfast, which is
increasing in size every year. The antagonising derives by their very
unnecessary presence at the commemorative parade where there is no
need for it. It is hoped that in years to come the IRSP will have
commemorative parades in other towns and cities across Ireland.

The last time the twenty six county administration held a public
display of support for the ideals of Easter week was 1966, the
fiftieth anniversary of the rising. Since then it has been suppressed
possibly because it kept the flame of national liberation and freedom
alive which would of course upset the British. However now with the
Good Farce (Friday) Agreement on board and with it being nice and safe
to be a republican the twenty six county government have heroically
decided to reclaim Easter. It was reported on the weekend 22-23
October 2005 that the Free State Army would march past the GPO, an
army which has been so noticeable by its absence for forty years.
This highlights political change, not for the better as far as
Republican Socialists are concerned because no doubt the twenty six
county adminisrtation, it would be imagined, sought the consent of the
British who, in turn, would have consulted their masters in Washington
before this decision was taken. If Washington had said no, ‘it could
be seen as supporting terrorism’ then the British would have said no
and the final answer would have been NO. It would be interesting to go
along and listen to twenty six county politicians, who gave up the
right to consider themselves republicans many years ago, to hear what
hypocrisies and contradictions they come out with.

Kevin Morley


(We publish the following statement from the IRPWA regarding a recent
incident in Portlaoise Gaol.)

Statement re: Portlaoise 'Drug' Incident

Posted on 25/10/2005 at 16:48:26 by IRPWA <>

As promised previously we in the IRPWA have made inquiries about a
report from Portlaoise Prison accusing a prisoner of trying to smuggle
drugs. The following is an accurate account of events surrounding the

A few weeks ago a prisoner from the Dublin area was accepted onto E3
landing. He had been in the prison a couple of days when he was
stopped and searched returning from a visit and a condom filled with a
green liquid was discovered in his mouth. The Prison Governor informed
the OC of E3 that the authorities suspected the liquid was heroin but
that they needed to send it to a laboratory for verification. When the
man was questioned about this by the OC, he insisted that the liquid
was a sleeping medication. The OC and his staff made detailed
inquiries and concluded that the liquid was likely to be Methadone, a
heroin substitute used by those coming off that drug, and that the
prisoner was lying. He was ordered to leave the wing. The OC stated
that this prisoner had breached the rules and regulations of the
landing in trying to smuggle any substance into the gaol and had
brought the Republican Movement, which has zero tolerance of drugs,
into disrepute by his actions. The IRPWA fully support the decision of
the OC. While we sympathize with any individual caught up in the drug
culture, such a person has no place in the Republican Movement either
in gaol or outside. We can only hope that the man concerned is given
the help he needs to overcome his problem and in that we wish him well.


The Original Nazis

As yet another controversy flares in Northern Ireland about who and
what is a Nazi, perhaps it is timely to reflect on the actual history
and practice of world conquest and the extermination of inferior races.

For example: "(The) final extermination was a large-scale event,
undertaken with the co-operation of the military and the judiciary.
Soldiers of the (Waffen SS) drove the natives between two great rock
formations, shot all the men and dragged the women and children out of
fissures in the rocks to knock their brains out."

Except that this was not the Balkans in the twentieth century, and it
was not a Nazi atrocity. It was actually not the Waffen SS. It was the
Fortieth Regiment of the British Army in 19th century Tasmania, as
described by Wilhelm Ziehr in Hell in Paradise.

In 1900 the British policy of world domination and extermination was
described as follows by Gilbert Murray (Oxford Regius Professor of
Classics, President of the League Of Nations and Chairperson of the
United Nations Association): "...the subject races in the British
Empire...those whom we cannot utilise we exterminate...Tasmanians were
useless, and are all dead...Go, if you dare, into a searching
comparison between the treatment of the Queensland Kanakas, who were
useful beasts of burden, and that of the Queensland aborigines, who
were regarded as vermin, and you will bless the lot of the
half-enslaved Kanaka."

If we were to believe the succession of documentaries, films and other
propaganda to which we are endlessly subjected, Britain finally came
good in 1939 and set out selflessly to free the tormented victims of
the concentration camps. Sadly, the facts tell a very different story.
Having helped bring about the downfall of the democratic German
government in 1933, Britain supported and consolidated the Nazi regime
until Britain suddenly decided in 1939 that there was room for only
one world-dominating power.

Then, having declared war on Germany it failed to prosecute its war
and was driven out of Europe in 1940. The Nazis, whose movement was
inspired and motivated by the British empire, were finally defeated by
their intended victims in Eastern Europe.

And is it all in the past now? I'm afraid not. While Christian
civilisation was once conferred on benighted savages by means of
bayonet, whip and cudgel, Britain and its allies now deliver human
rights and democracy to the world via the tank, the bomb and the bullet.

Pat Muldowney
Magee College, University of Ulster



On 20 October at 11.30am, members of USO, the Colombian Oil Workers'
Union started a hunger strike in protest at attempts by the government
to sell the state owned oil refinery in Cartagena. Hernando Meneses,
Rodolfo Vecino (both members of USO National Executive) Jorge Ortega
(President of the USO Cartagena branch), Edgar Mojica (USO Commission
for Peace and Human Rights) and Rafael Carbarcas (Union adviser) have
all joined the action.

Last year, workers at the state oil company Ecopetrol carried out a
strike to stop the privatisation of their employer. The government
backed down agreeing not to privatise Ecopetrol and to implement the
"Cartagena Master Plan", to ensure the successful management of the
company as a state asset. Despite this however, the government has
announced plans to sell oil fields to transnationals and to privatise
the Cartagena oil refinery.

USO has clearly demonstrated that the implementation of the "Master
Plan" would benefit the oil refinery at Cartagena, and has developed
different plans to make this a reality. However, both government and
company management are insisting that the sell-off to private capital
is the only solution for the company.

In the face of government intransigence, members of the union have
been forced to take action to defend our national sovereignty. The
hunger strike aims to bring this issue to international attention and
to mobilise the people of Cartagena and Colombia to defend our
national patrimony and to demand that the Colombian government
respects agreements with the union.

We also call on the government to work with USO and the Colombian
people to seek solutions that will strengthen Ecopetrol and turn the
company into a source of social development and the construction of
peace for Colombia.

I would like to express my solidarity with those USO members currently
on hunger strike, as with all workers at USO, who over the years have
been directly responsible for creating Ecopetrol and converting it
into the most profitable national company.

I ask that the appropriate medical organisations are able to give all
necessary medical attention to those on hunger strike, and that
security is guaranteed for those on hunger strike and their
supporters. This action to save Ecopetrol is taking place in the
offices of the People's Defender in the city of Cartagena.

Bogota, 21 October 2005




A date for your diary, Thursday 10th November 2-4pm, Policing Debate
in Conway Mill, Belfast. Panel will include Sinn Fein and the SDLP.


Invitation - Sex, Love and Homophobia: the exhibition

You are cordially invited to the Millennium Forum to attend the launch
reception for Amnesty International's new exhibition, Sex, Love and

We believe the exhibition is powerful, prejudice-challenging and
timely. Based on the book of the same name, which Archbishop Desmond
Tutu called "a bright light on the path to justice", the exhibition
features a wealth of images and information about the human rights
abuses faced by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) community around the world. The exhibition is part of Northern
Ireland anti-homophobia week.

As you will be aware, homophobic prejudice and violence is a
significant and growing problem. This exhibition aims to raise
awareness of these abuses and show support for those who have been
victimised because of their sexual orientation.

The launch reception will commence at 3.30pm on Friday 18th November
at the Millennium Forum. Speaking at the event will be Mayor
Councillor Lynn Fleming, John Harkin of Amnesty International Foyle
Group and a representative from the Rainbow Project.

We would like to ask you to join with us at this event to demonstrate
your support for human rights for all and to stand in solidarity with
the local LGBT community.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Corrigan
Programme Director, NI
Head of Nations & Regions, UK
Amnesty International
397 Ormeau Road
Belfast BT7 3GP
t: 028 9064 3000
f: 028 9069 0989
e: patrick.corrigan@amnesty.org.uk


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