Monday 14 November 2005

The Plough Vol 03 No 08

The Plough
Volume 3, Number 8
14 November 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial
2) IRSP Commemoration March in Strabane
3) Political Policing
4) What's On



This edition of The Plough is solely devoted to the speeches delivered
at an IRSP commemoration in Strabane for dead INLA volunteers from the
Strabane area. The main speech was delivered by former POW Paul Little
and deals with the lack of honesty from today's batch of politicians
in Ireland. It totally refutes allegation about RSM involvement in the
internal affairs of Republican Sinn Fein. It calls for unity among the
republican left and clearly spells out the republican socialist
position on the politics of the day.

The second speech is by veteran republican socialist Willie Gallagher
and is his definitive account of the machinations of British
intelligence to turn republican against republican. As Willie makes
clear, the relationship that republican socialists want with other
republicans despite our differences is the relationships, respect and
solidarity shown by IRA/INLA hunger strikers during that heroic period
in prison history.



Sunday, 13 November

Comrades, on occasions like this it is customary to pay respect to our
dead comrades, and we do for no one can gain say their heroism,
determination and steadfastness to the republican ideal.

However, speeches also on occasions like this need to be more than
just respect for the dead. Nor do we need to issue a few platitudes
about perfidious Albion, treacherous England and the fake tan of Peter
Hain. No, comrades and friends, if we are to learn from our past if we
are to give meaning to the sacrifices of our comrades then we need to
speak frankly openly and honestly and learn from our history.

Now there is a word that stands lonely and sorrowful in today's
politics. Honesty! Lets look at the practice of today's politicians.
Take Peter Hain, and, oh, we so wish someone would take him out of
Ireland. This once radical street politician has not only sold out on
his youthful beliefs, he has also sold out on any principles that the
British Labour Party ever had. To hear this patronising Brit lecture
us on how to behave is just nauseating. Not only is his tan fake but
so also are his words for his leader, Blair, the master of spin
doctoring has elevated the art of lying to a new level and called it

No wonder more and more people are sickened with what passes for
politics today. Does anyone here today believe a word that comes out
of the mouths of the leaders of the four main political parties?
Paisley? No! Adams? No! Empey? No! Durkan? No!

Paisley has built a career on the big lie! Playing on the fears of the
Protestant masses, he has incited violence, sectarian hatred and gets
his reward with three seats in the British House of Lords! He has
played a blinder for British imperialism. Sectarianism and British
imperialist policy walk hand in hand.

Adams has managed to sell a major defeat for Irish republicanism as a
victory to his followers. He tries to sell us the idea that
capitulation in the form of total decommissioning is an act of
statesmanship. Smell the coffee, Gerry! Raids on republican homes by a
reborn and revitalised RUC! Restrictions on visits to the USA for fund
raising! No power sharing in the North! Unionism united under Paisley!
Direct rule from Britain continues and loyalism has been rewarded for
its years of sectarian slaughter on behalf of its masters! Politics
based on a sectarian headcount! Some statesmanship!!

And as for Empey and Durkan, they both vie to outdo their main rivals
in the two sectarian tribes by flag waving and appeals to their own
form of nationalism. Reg believes Orange marches are the big issue and
Mark, like a frightened rabbit caught in the glare of headlights,
doesn't know which way to jump, into Fianna Fail or merge with the
Irish Labour Party. As for the Alliance Party and the Women's
Coalition, membership of these seems to be but a stepping-stone to a
big cushy job in a quango. Principles go out the window when the offer
of that big job comes along.

And as for honesty, lets now talk about the IMC reports. Facts. Nah!
Hold on! Don't let facts get in the way of a good big report. One has
only to look at the mad staring eyes of our own wee Lord Alderdice
presenting his fairy tale reports to know that the lunatics have taken
over the asylum (with apologies to those genuinely suffering mental
illness). The IMC reports are a excuse for every embittered Special
Branch man and gossip gathering and lying journalists to spin their
stories and see them end up in print to damage genuine republican

Hence the recent assaults and raids on our comrades in the republican
socialist ex-prisoners organisation, Teach na Failte. Of course TnF
are not involved in money laundering. The RUC know that, the Branch
know that,­ but the truth you see does not matter. The spin counts.
Associate TnF with money laundering and criminality and you can then
discredit the efforts that TnF have made to genuinely engage with all
others within and across the sectarian divide.

And here is now an important piece of honesty. British imperialism
does not fear guns as much as it fears people. Yes, people! For when
people begin to think for themselves and then to act on the thoughts,
then and only then does imperialism begin to tremble. Who turned Greek
against Turk in Cyprus? The British ruling class. Result: partition of
Cyprus. Who turned Jew against Arab? The British ruling class. Result:
partition of Palestine and apartheid. Who turned Muslim against Hindu?
The British ruling class. Result: partition of the Indian
sub-continent, wars and perpetual poverty. Who turned tribe against
tribe in Africa? Imperialism, including British imperialism. Result:
massive partitions, hunger starvation and genocide. Who turned
Catholic against Protestant in Ireland? The British ruling class.
Result: partition of Ireland and sectarian violence.

The British ruling class along with USA imperialism are currently
occupying Iraq and dividing up the spoils of war. They are assiduously
turning Shia against Sunni against Kurd. They fear the power of united
Iraqi people.

The tools of imperialism include lies, deception, division,
repression, bribery, flattery, the arming of murder gangs and the
attempted criminalisation of political opponents. But the first item
on their agenda at all times is to set brother against brother, sister
against sister, comrade against comrade and Catholic against Protestant.

Comrades, don't fall for their machinations, lies and deceptions. Only
in the last few days a so-called nationalist paper ran a story that
implicated the Republican Socialist Movement in a plot to remove the
president of Republican Sinn Fein from the leadership of his party. It
also implied that the INLA was on the brink of decommissioning. The
journalist who wrote this fairy tale was not in contact with the IRSP.
His so-called sources have no connection with this movement. For the
record the IRSP have the highest respect for Ruari O'Bradaigh and have
not nor will not attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of any
other republican or socialist organisations. We lay our position out
openly and clearly before the people. If you want to know what we
think, ask us, for we tell it like it is. No lies, no spin doctoring,
no bullshit.

This movement is by no means perfect. Far from it. We have openly and
publicly acknowledged errors, mistakes and wrongs committed in our
name. And internally we will continue to develop as an organisation
worthy of claiming the support of the working class. We are not so
arrogant to think that we have the way the truth and light. We are not
the true, the real or the only republicans. All that we claim is that
we are republican socialists doing our best to live up to the ideals
of James Connolly.

We are not interested in the spin doctoring around personalities, we
are only interested in the political consequences of the politics
pursued by the personalities who dominate their own political

So we say to everyone here today look at the consequences of the
failed politics pursued by the other so-called mainstream parties with
mandates. Sectarianism has never been as prevalent or malevolent as it
is today. Huge areas of working class estates north and south,
unionist or nationalist, are under the sway of drug gangs or low life
thugs. 250,000 children live in poverty in the so-called Celtic Tiger.
Hospitals north and south are overcrowded, underfunded and dirty.
Wealth north and south in made from a low wage economy. That means,
friends, you work for low wages while fat cats cream off the top.
Migrant workers are exploited ruthlessly while government policies
north and south actually encourage racist attacks on our new citizens.
And while all this and much worse goes on we are all encouraged to
turn a blind eye, retire to private life, and leave the public arena
to our betters in the great and the good.

Well, friends, that is not for us. Republican socialists put the
public good before private profit. We can not and will not be silent
when we see injustice, exploitation and discrimination. Nor will we
distort history and pretend that the republican struggle has
succeeded. It has not. Britain still rules us and we are in for a
prolonged period of direct rule, which will see massive charges
imposed on ordinary working class people. In the South, Meanwhile, a
craven subservient government has bargained away every last vestige of
sovereignty by allowing USA secret agents permission to question Irish
citizens, and by throwing away Irish neutrality.

And Bertie Ahern now has the gall to reinstate celebrations of the
1916 revolution. Of course, not out of conviction but only to head off
electoral losses to Sinn Fein. How those gallant men and women of 1916
must be spinning in their graves. Was it for this accursed partition
island, subservient to Yankee imperialism and licking the boots of the
British overlords, that they fought and fell for?

Of course not. The republic that James Connolly, the outstanding
figure of the revolution, fought for was a socialist republic. To make
that a living reality requires people who think for themselves and act
on those thoughts. And we include in our concept of people all the
people on this island regardless of how they view their own
nationality. Yes, we still adhere to the old republican concept that
is still relevant today, a unity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.

It is our task, comrades and friends, indeed it is your task too, to
persuade in these changed times others of the wisdom, nobility and
relevance of our ideals of a socialist republic. Yes, note the
importance of the word relevance. Slogans and abstract dreams do not
in today's world have relevance for the majority of people. Most of us
are too busy trying to survive in today's cutthroat world to have time
for idly dreaming. Make republican socialism relevant to the everyday
lives of people in their workplaces, homes, communities and then and
only then will we have realistic possibilities of building a society
that all of us can be proud of.

To that end we repeat our call for all who claim to be socialists
and/or republicans to climb off your high horses and come down and
talk to other republicans and socialists to plot a way forward for the
Irish working class to take what is rightly fully theirs, their own
country back. Building a broad front of the republican left would be a
start in a fightback from the position we all are now in. But if
others want to sit in splendid isolation pure and unsullied by not
talking to the Irps well all we can say to them is history will pass
you by and judge you harshly. We will continue to grow, build and
educate ourselves in class politics and revolutionary struggle. For
when we view what is happening all around the world then we are only
confirmed in our view that capitalism cannot be reformed from within.
It must be smashed.

Ask yourself this question what have I done lately to help build a
just society? What part have I played or will play in making the
Republic a reality? Answer these questions positively and then we will
begin to be in a position to make the sacrifices of our dead
volunteers relevant. And then we can proudly walk away from this
commemoration knowing that while the road ahead may be rocky and there
will be setbacks and defeats, our actions, beliefs and words will in
the future build a world that we all can be proud of.


By Ex-INLA POW Willie Gallagher

On Thursday 27th October 2005 a series of raids directed at Teach na
Failte, an ex-INLA prisoners group, began at 11.00am. A total of 40
PSNI land rovers, 25 armored PSNI cars, 8 4x4 jeeps and 12 vans were
used in the operation. A total of 23 homes, 2 business premises and
the TnF office were raided in Strabane. The TnF office in Belfast was
also raided. One third of the homes had their doors sledged in and
several houses were in effect trashed. Most of the homes but not all
belonged to members and workers from TnF, past and present. Most of
the warrants were similar in laundering, financial
documents and computer equipment. Computers and files relating to
hundreds of participants who partook in courses to enhance their
employment prospects were seized. Confidential details of articipants,
which had absolutely no bearing to the stated reason on the search
warrants, were also seized. Telephones, fax machines, CVs,
certificates of achievement, job applications and funding applications
were also taken. Some of the people who haven't worked for TnF for up
to 3 years and who through the assistance of TnF gained long term
employment also had to endure the painful experience of having their
homes broken into. The PSNI stated that money and cigarettes were
seized during the raid giving the impression that these items were
taken during the house raids. None of these stated items were found in
any of the homes, offices or business premises that were searched but
were in fact seized from a person who drove his van into a cul-de-sac
where one of the raids was taking place.

My home was one of those raided by the PSNI who stated that they were
looking for evidence of money laundering, firearms, munitions and
scanners. The CID officer in charge told me that they knew they would
find nothing and apologised for the raid. Despite moving my computer,
which they told me they were seizing, from one side of the room to the
other they forgot to take it with them. The raid had only begun when
Channel 9 news phoned me asking why I was getting raided. Twenty
minutes later a press photographer was taking photographs of my home.
He quickly left the area after being confronted about his actions. The
PSNI took a credit union book, which they seized last year after my
arrest for the Ulster Bank robbery, as well as all photographs
and post cards I had from a trip to Cuba and other documents relating
to Cuba and Teach na Failte. The PSNI personnel involved in raiding my
home were unusually polite and apologetic unlike during the vast
majority of the raids elsewhere where they were aggressive, abusive
and in one case assaulted a man knocking him to the ground from his
wheelchair. They left just after two hours from their invasion. The
whole PSNI operation lasted for just over 12 hours and was directed
against TnF.

I have no doubt that this State operation was a part of a strategy
outlined last year in the Belfast Telegraph by 'security
correspondents' who stated that there was going to be "an
unprecedented attack on those believed to be involved in the Ulster
Bank robbery and this attack was going to manifest itself in various
manners". I also have no doubt that it was a propaganda exercise, just
like the Spotlight programme titled Border Bandits, in order to
further demonise, criminalise, isolate and marginalize anti-GFA
republicans. Six weeks before the raids TnF went through a government
audit, which, like previous audits, went to their satisfaction. If the
PSNI were really interested in TnF and its activities, it¹s all on
record with the NIO except for actual participants and their
confidential files which has led some to believe that the PSNI
operation was an intelligence gathering exercise though I believe it
was much more than that. I further believe that those behind this
assault on TnF are pissing in the wind and will fail in their objectives.

The PSNI and their political masters have in effect closed TnF down
with 6 full time workers and 8 part time workers now being forced onto
the dole queue or find employment elsewhere. One would be forgiven for
thinking these job losses did not happen as elected representatives
have uttered not one word of condemnation. Had 14 workers attached to
an English or American multi-national company been made redundant in
such a manner I am sure the same politicians would have had a lot to
say. Perhaps the MPs and MLAs were too busy counting their huge
expenses and salaries they receive for sitting on their fat arses
doing nothing whatsoever for the people. Maybe some of them were too
busy talking to their dogs in the street. Whatever their reasons the
message TnF has been receiving from hundred of past participants
is very clear: "business as usual and we just aren¹t going to go away
you know".

Many commentators have stated that this PSNI operation was the largest
in the history of the North West and one of the most aggressive, yet
Sinn Fein, the so-called champions of an Ireland of all equals, had
nothing to say. Personally this comes as no surprise as equality and
human rights is not on SFs agenda for anti-GFA republicans. It also
comes as no surprise due to the fact that the leadership of the
Provisional Republican Movement know that a number of individuals
connected with them in the Strabane area have been involved in a
demonisation campaign for years against Strabane IRSP members in
particular. For over a decade now since my release from Long Kesh
after serving a total of 18 years I and other IRSP members have been
on the receiving end of a black propaganda campaign in order to
demonise, criminalise, isolate and marginalise us. This campaign was
waged by individuals connected to the Provisional Republican Movement,
some of whom I believe are also working for agencies of the state.
This began after I rejected several requests from them to join their
movement just after my release. This campaign at times had sinister
elements to it: i.e. physical attacks on other local IRSP members
which usually resulted in the assailants coming of worse, planting
false and malicious stories in the media, attacks on property and
conspiring to kill individual members of the IRSP. Down throughout the
years I have received several written death threats delivered by
gloating PSNI officers stating that there was going to be "an imminent
gun attack on me by PIRA for unspecified reasons" as well as some
coming from loyalist paramilitaries. Did these people behind this
campaign expect me to run and hide or was their purpose to create a
bloody feud in which the only winners would be the state? Regardless
of what their intentions were I was never going to allow myself to be
intimidated from my political position or from my outspoken views
against injustice within the community or from my unapologetic support
for the INLA. Let me state quite clearly I believe it is wrong and
immoral for any republican to turn their guns on fellow republicans.
Likewise it is equally wrong and immoral to conduct campaigns of
character assassination against fellow republicans.

Of late some of these individuals I have already talked about have
been pumping out into the community, knowing that it will be picked up
by the PSNI, rumors that IRSP members in Strabane "own multiple
houses, pubs, taxi depots and blocks of flats" which they claim has
been funded by robberies, drug dealing, extortion, etc., etc. All of
us here know that Britain has been involved in dirty tricks and black
propaganda over the centuries and have used their agents within our
communities to do their dirty work. How many more Beano Caseys do we
have living in Strabane? So all of this demonisation from the state
comes as no surprise, after all, our movement has been constantly
attacked since its inception with many of our leaders being
assassinated by the state. Now the order of the day is character
assassination, spin and black propaganda against those who are
regarded as subversives. Well I am certainly not ashamed to be labeled
as a subversive as I will never accept this corrupt state. I am not
surprised at the silence of all the main constitutional parties as
individual members belonging to them are partially culpable for the
raids. However I do acknowledge and welcome the apology in relation to
the latest attempts by some of these individuals to smear and demonise
the IRSP in Strabane.

I have often been accused of being anti-SF/IRA, though I was never
sure exactly what this meant so I would like to put on record, a fact
many would acknowledge, that despite this vicious nasty and sinister
campaign, I have maintained many deep and long-lasting friendships
with many IRA ex-prisoners, both locally and nationally, to the
present day. All of whom I have a deep respect for and admiration for
their own personal struggle. It is somewhat ironic that on the day the
latest smears were being delivered to the leadership of the IRSP I was
involved in combating a threat against Provisional Republican Movement
members in County Derry by criminal elements who believed they were
untouchable and who used a firearm in an attack on a republican,
missing him. It is also ironic that despite the fact that I was
deeply involved in assisting others in bringing about an INLA
ceasefire, in which I had the honor of declaring, and of currently
engaging with other anti-GFA republicans in relation to them also
calling a ceasefire that I and other comrades are coming under attack
by the pro-GFA forces. The relationship I would like to see among all
republicans, despite political differences, is the relationships,
respect and solidarity shown by IRA/INLA hungerstrikers.

Ironically a week later after the Strabane raids SF had plenty to say
about a handful of raids in Dungannon and Killcoo in which they
rightly condemned as political policing. But when is political
policing not political policing in Sinn Fein speak? Obviously when it
is directed against anti-GFA republicans.


Willie Gallagher

[A first draft version of this speech, circulated among party
comrades, was inadvertedly posted on the Internet. The above version
is the final and definite version and is the speech delivered by
Willie Gallagher.]




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


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