Sunday 27 February 2005

The Plough Vol 02 No 26

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 26
27 February 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) "We Will Lead You to the Republic" ???? (historical reprint)
2) Hands Off Venezuela Campaign Tour of the North
3) Freedom for Sandra Bakutz!
4) Anti-Bin Charges March in Cork
5) Zapatero: Constitution Will Abolish National Diplomatic Services
6) Letters
7) What's On



[Speech by Martin McGuiness, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin, on
the issue of abstentionism (Resolution 162), Sinn Féin Ard Fheis,
Dublin, 2 November 1986]

I can give a commitment on behalf of the leadership that we have
absolutely no intention of going to Westminster or Stormont. As
regards to my contributions in the run up to today's debate, I have
steadfastly refused to become involved in a public slanging match with
those who oppose this motion, but issues have been raised by some of
the defenders of abstentionism that need to be confronted and
challenged. They argue that some TDs entering Leinster House will make
it impossible to conduct armed struggle against British rule in the 6
counties. They tell you that it is inevitable certainty that the war
against British rule will be run down. These suggestions deliberately
infer that the present leadership of Sinn Fein and the leadership of
the Irish Republican Army are intent on edging the republican movement
on to a constitutional path. To bolster their arguments, they draw a
comparison between a pre-1970s leadership of the republican movement
which had surrendered before the war began, and the present leadership
of this movement.

Shame - Shame - Shame.

Successful electoral strategy in the 6 counties is testament enough of
that government's inability to overcome the resistance of a new
generation of IRA freedom fighters supported on equal terms by
articulate and committed Sinn Fein freedom fighters. It will be a sad
day for this movement that the record of the present generation of
republican soldiers and Sinn Fein activists needed to be defended on
this platform. Sadly the inference that the removal of abstentionism
would lead to the demise of military opposition to British Rule has
indeed called into question the commitment of the IRA to pursue the
struggle to a successful conclusion.

I reject any such suggestion and I reject the notion that entering
Leinster House would mean an end to Sinn Fein's unapologetic support
for the right of Irish people to oppose in arms the British forces of
occupation. That, my friends, is a principle which a minority in this
hall might doubt but which I believe all our opponents clearly
understand. Our position is clear and it will never, never, never
change. The war against British rule must continue until freedom is

But we are not at war with the government of the 26 Counties - the
reality of this fact must be recognised by us all. And, in accepting
this reality, we must also accept that after 65 years of republican
struggle, republican agitation, republican sacrifice, and republican
rhetoric we have failed to convince a majority in the 26 counties that
the republican movement has any relevance to them. By ignoring reality
we remain alone and isolated on the high altar of abstentionism,
divorced from the people of the 26 counties and easily dealt with by
those who wish to defeat us. Such a situation cannot be allowed to
continue and this leadership is charged with the responsibility to
make our struggle more and more relevant to Irish people.

In a Sunday Tribune article last Sunday we were told that we endanger
the purity of republicanism because we attract quantity rather than
quality. This is a calculated insult to Irish people which ignores a
very important fact the struggle against the British could not have
been carried out as successfully as it has been without an adequate
supply of both quantity and quality.

It is a fact that IRA volunteers, some very young and some with only a
limited knowledge of republicanism have given their lives and liberty
for the struggle. They were committed to Irish freedom and fought and
died in this cause - are they to be regarded as inferior and less
important than those who regard themselves as republican elitists?

We are told, among other things, that we are counter-revolutionaries
and that if we lose this vote we will be discredited. It's sad and
surprising that this could have been said by a republican. The British
government have a different opinion of us, however. They fear this
movement, they fear this leadership. They have every right to fear us
because, in or out of Leinster House, we led the most dangerous and
committed revolutionary force in Ireland for 65 years.

This Ard Fheis and you, the delegates, deserve to know the whole story
of this debate. In fact, what you're witnessing here is not a debate
over one issue, but two - abstentionism and the leadership of the
republican struggle. The two issues should not be confused and those
who are considering leaving along with members of the former
leadership should consider carefully what I am about to say. The
reality is that the former leadership of this movement has never been
able to come to terms with this leadership's criticism of the
disgraceful attitude adopted by them during the disastrous 18 months
ceasefire in the mid-1970s. Instead of accepting the validity of our
case, as others who have remained have done, they chose to withhold
their wholehearted support from the leadership which replaced them.

Some of the former leadership have already gone. They were not
squeezed out, they left us. Some stayed and will stay after this
debate. If those who remain leave this movement today it will not be
just because of the abstentionist vote.

Finally, those opposed to this issue know there isn't going to be any
split in Sinn Fein, they also know that the ranks of the IRA contain a
minority of volunteers who, while opposed to the removal of
abstentionism from Leinster House, have committed themselves to stand
shoulder to shoulder in unity with their comrades. They will not
split, they will not walk away from the armed struggle. They are the
real revolutionaries. If you allow yourself to be led out of this hall
today, the only place you're going - is home. You will be walking away
from the struggle. Don't go my friends. We will lead you to the


By Tomas Gorman

"How many people are you expecting to attend this evening?" Jordi
enquires of me over a cup of coffee in Belfast's An Culturlann and to
be honest, I wasn't sure how to answer his question. Despite a flurry
of promotional activity during the previous week, it was difficult to
predict how many people would break a growing pattern of political
apathy in West Belfast and actually bother to turn up to the event.

To compound my concerns, I had just heard that Sinn Fein had organised
a protest to highlight what they see as a "Crisis of Democracy"
meaning a lot of their activists would miss the film and the debate
that I hoped would follow. I cursed the irony of this eventuality.

As the political pressure was heaping upon them, Provisional Sinn Fein
planned a protest against an attack on the bourgeoisie democratic
system that the "Venezuela Bolivariana" film so clearly illustrates as
corrupt and undemocratic. Alas, I thought, it was an opportunity

At ten to seven, there was only myself, Jordi and another guy who had
volunteered to take some photos and I had secretly resigned myself to
the event's failure. Then as luck would have it, a small group of
people arrived at the theatre looking a little lost and after some
investigating downstairs, I had found a large group of people looking
for the room in which the event was taking place. After directing the
crowd up stairs, I was buoyed to see more and more people arrive until
there was a crowd of around 45 people sitting in the row of the small
arena, a handsome number at an event of this kind.

The promotional activity had paid off it seems. During the week
running up to the event, some kind volunteers and myself had spent a
couple of days plastering up around 200 posters around the working
class areas of West Belfast. A fortune was spent on text messages,
emails were sent to thousands of recipients and every newspaper with
wide coverage of readership had been hit with a torrent of daily press
releases on the event.

When Jordi arrived in Belfast, he didn't really have much time to
'enjoy' the cold weather when he was giving an interview on a Belfast
community radio show as well as an interview to a journalist who
writes for the Andersonstown News (a tabloid sensationalist type local
paper but with a wide readership none the less). Now he had settled
down to give a good sized and well-represented audience an
introduction to the film.

The feelings in the arena were tangible during the emotive scenes in
the film. The audience were noticeably moved by the scenes of the
Venezuelan people showing the power of collective action in the face
of often-brutal repression and the applause at the end indicated how
well the films contents were received.

The potential debate however was somewhat unfulfilled. The large
numbers attending perhaps intimidated some audience members from
enquiring on the subject. Jordi however gave a clear and lengthy
summary of some of the more up to date events in the revolution as
well as elaboration on some of the important points from within the
film and as is generally the case in these matters, further debate
carried on in the pub long after the film ended.

Next stop, Derry and after meeting some of the IRSP comrades at the
Derry premises, Jordi and myself set off for BBC Radio Foyle were
Jordi was afforded a brief interview with the afternoon talk show DJ
Mark Patterson were the night's event was plugged and the revolution
was given a brief summary.

The Derry event was held in Sandinos Bar, which is seen as a 'lefty'
bar as evidenced by the name. Despite a lower turnout than the
Belfast event (some 20-25 people), the film sparked a greater degree
of debate. The audience contained a good representation of the city's
left wing, including the SWP, SEA as well as the IRSP and some
People's Democracy members.

The scenes of state violence used to quell the carcazino riots
mirrored that of the scenes of Derry's Bloody Sunday and this was
picked up by the audience who then drew further parallels between the
Venezuelan Bolivarian process and the Irish class struggle.

The third and last event took place in Strabane. A large border town
some 20 miles from Derry and due to unforeseen difficulties, the event
had to switch venues to the IRSP offices in the town. The audience
was made up of young socialist comrades who despite their young age,
took to the film's message of the collective power of the people.
Some debate took place after the event and I was heartened to see some
of the young comrades avail themselves of some of the literature
provided by Jordi Venezuela.

Jordi made an important point in his address at the Belfast event.
"The Venezuelan Revolution is having a positive effect in Cuba in that
it is giving renewed heart and encouragement after forty plus years of
isolation." During a time when radical politics is on the decline
here in Ireland it has also given me and others like me hope that
there is a still a place and role for a true democracy of the people.

The Venezuelan Revolution of the people's consciousness is today's
reference to all progressive peoples struggles throughout the world
and I hope to use it as such when I debate with others about the
future direction of the Irish struggle. I also hope some of the
others who watched the film during Jordi's short visit do the same.
Just for that reason, Jordi's visit has been extremely useful and I
look forward in working with him and the other comrades at Hands off
Venezuela in the future



Austrian human rights activist Sandra Bakutz was arrested at
Istanbul's Ataturk airport on February 9th whilst entering the country
to observe a trial. As soon as the plane landed police entered the
plane and removed her from the aircraft taking her straight into
police custody.

As a result of an imprisonment order issued by Ankara's No.2 State
Security Court (also known as the Serious Crimes Court) in September
2001, she was transported to Pasakapisi Prison. Although it is still
not clear what specific crime she is being charged with, she has been
imprisoned accused of membership of the illegal DHKP-C organisation.
Already the authorities have said that her alleged involvement in a
protest in Brussels several years ago in opposition to the visit of
the then Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is evidence against her
even though she did not participate in any such protest.

Sandra has made regular trips to Turkey over the years to observe the
human rights abuses carried out by the state. On a previous visit to
Turkey in 1998 Sandra was detained and threatened by plainclothes
police in Ankara when she went with a delegation to protest against

Sandra went to Turkey on this occasion as part of a European wide
delegation to observe the trial of 64 people that were arrested in an
operation in April last year. The defendants include lawyers,
journalists, musicians, students and workers all of whom were working
for legal institutions at the time of their arrests: all of them were
tortured whilst in custody and are now being held in F-type isolation
prisons. The sole evidence against them consists of floppy disks that
the police claim contains a membership list of the banned DHKP-C. The
police say that they found these disks whilst carrying searches of
houses on April 1st.

One of the documents containing names that the police claim to have
found on one of the discs is dated February 20th, but the man recorded
as its author was arrested by police on February 19th and detained
until the 24th. Under Turkish law, police are obligated to seal
confiscated documents such as these discs and send them to the courts
immediately. However, between the time of their confiscation on April
1st, and the date they were sent to the court, May 3rd, the discs were
not sealed, so providing ample time and opportunity for the documents
to be interfered with.

The files used for the trial consist only of printouts from the discs,
so neither the judges nor the lawyers have had the opportunity to see
the actual discs themselves.

In an added twist last December a man was arrested at Ataturk airport
in Istanbul whilst trying to fly to Berlin to participate in a
conference about prison isolation. He was detained at the airport as
the police claimed his name was on the neverending list even though he
had not been mentioned before in any of the court hearings. Sandra
Bakutz was a participant in that very same conference that also
included former Irish prisoners, representatives of Basque prisoners,
family members of prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Palestinians
and other activists from across Europe. Sandra also came to England
last year to make a contribution to the European Social Forum in
London where she spoke against prison isolation and European
anti-terror laws.

Sandra has now found herself on trial in the very same courthouse that
she was intending to observe a trial. Let this silence those that
claim Turkey has improved its human rights record. 118 people have
died in the prisons in the last five years in the struggle against
isolation cells, whilst the EU chose to be complicit in this abuse
Sandra didn't.

Let us not permit Sandra Bakutz to be imprisoned and condemned in
Turkey. Her struggle against human rights violations is a legitimate

Let us not allow this struggle to be criminalised by her arrest by the
Turkish authorities. We call on all people and organisations which
support human rights to make her cause their own and work for her

Please write a protest letter and send it to the following addresses
and write a solidarity message to Sandra in prison:


Austrian General Consulate
Telefax: (+90/212) 262 26 22

President of Turkey:
Mr. Ahmet Necdet Sezer,
06100 Ankara,
Fax: +90 312 468 5026

Prime Minister:
Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
TC Basbakanlik Bakanligi
Fax: + 90 312 417 0476

Interior Minister:
Mr Abdulkadir Aksu
Ministry of Interior
Içisleri Bakanligi
06644 Ankara, Turkey
Telegram: Interior Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 418 17 95

Justice Minister:
Mr Cemil Cicek
Ministry of Justice
Adalet Bakanligi
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Telegram: Justice Minister, Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 418 5667

Foreign Minister:
Mr Abdullah Gül
Office of the Prime Minister,
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: + 90 312 417 04 76

Police Chief:
Mr Gokhan Aydiner
Emniyet Genel Müdürlügü
Dikmen Caddesi No: 89
Dikmen / ANKARA
Fax: + 90 312 231 96 05

Police Chief of Istanbul:
Mr. Celalettin Cerrah
Fax: 00 90 212 636 18 32

Please send any copies of your protests to the following addresses:,

The International Platform Against Isolation will translate messages
into Turkish and pass them on to those to those responsible for the

We will keep you informed about the latest situation of Sandra Bakutz
and of any planned activities in due course.



About 300 people marched on Saturday afternoon in protest at the
ongoing stand-off over the bin tax and the non-collection of domestic
rubbish in Cork City. The noisy and lively march was harassed
throughout by motorcycle cops, who insisted on running normal traffic
though the streets at the same time as the march was in progress. The
march finished in Daunt Square where it was addressed by a Sandra
Condon, an activist with Householders Against Service Charges (HASC)
who was jailed in 2001 for opposing Cork City Councils' policies. A
number of recently elected city-councillors also spoke.

Despite the positive signs in the march, the campaign against the bin
tax in Cork is at an impasse. Cork City Council has been implementing
its policy of 'non-collection' of domestic waste since last year and
the move has seriously weakened the core of non-payers who make up the
opposition to the bin tax in the Cork area. Many people, faced with no
other alternative and unable to find a way around non-collection, have
accepted their fate and paid the tax under protest. Others have found
means of disposal that including the widespread dumping of rubbish
throughout the city at cross roads and available spaces. The situation
in some areas is chronic with a clear danger to public health.
However, Cork City Council have ignored this situation and instead
have allowed a public health problem to develop. More recently it has
collected publicly dumped rubbish and issued a series of litter

Despite the anger and desperation, anarchists are of the view that
HASC has failed to build the campaign and support for non-payment at a
critical time. This is not for want of effort by the numerous
activists in the campaign, but reflects the long-standing inability of
the campaign to breakout of its core membership and build strong local
and democratic groups through the Cork City area. Anarchists have
argued that the only hope of winning against the determined
Thatcherite policies of Cork City Council lay with a strong grassroots
based campaign built around local area activism. But HASC has been
unable to move significantly in this direction. Support has been there
for the campaign in the past and peaked during the protracted dispute
with City Hall in 2000 and 2001 when a large number of HASC activists
were jailed, but despite this it has not translated into a city-wide
and vibrant anti-bin tax movement. As a result the City Council is now
in the driving seat.

At the rally at the end of Saturday's march, the Socialist Party
councillor, Mick Barry, encouraged those who support the campaign to
phone their local Fianna Fail councillors to complain about the state
of the city and ongoing problem with the bin tax. This, in many ways,
reflects the cul de sac that some in the campaign are moving HASC
towards. HASC's strength always lay in the mass non-payment of the
bin-tax that existed throughout Cork, but with this in decline a
section of HASC, and in particular the Socialist Party, are looking
towards building an electoral opposition around the issue with an eye
to the next elections. For their part, anarchists are determined to
maintain the focus on the possibilities for rebuilding mass
non-payment. It is important to note that the City Manager, Gavin,
will not be stopping with the bin tax. Already there is talk of water
charges, and in a more general sense the City Council and its
management structure is committed in the long terms to the neo-liberal
policy of 'pay per use'. From the bin-tax campaign valuable lessons
can be learned. The important next step is to look at these lessons
and not get tied up in City Hall electioneering.

(From WSM Cork)



Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero said this week that the EU
Constitution will begin a process which will lead to national
diplomatic services being abolished. He said, "We will undoubtedly see
European embassies in the world, not ones from each country, with
European diplomats and a European foreign service. We will see Europe
with a single voice in security matters. We will have a single
European voice within NATO. We want more European unity" (RNE, 17

In a speech on Tuesday, Zapatero hailed the text as "the first
transnational, suprastate Constitution".

Commission President, Jose Barroso said this week that "I will not
engage in a campaign against member states because they are
legitimate. But I favour as much as possible an ever-closer union. I
support as much as possible the community method - or if you want to
use a risky word – the federal method. I am in favour of the
federalist method as far as possible" (Independent, 18 February 2005).

Zapatero and Barroso's comments underline the difference between the
way the Constitution is seen in the rest of the EU and the way it is
presented in the UK. While other EU leaders are clear that the
Constitution is a step which will be followed by further integration,
the UK Government continues to claim that "this is the final step" and
that "Europe is changing and coming our way". All the opinion research
work done by Vote No in Britain suggests the public no longer believe
such claims.

For briefings on what the EU Constitution means for foreign policy,
please visit:



Dear comrades and friends

We are forwarding you this urgent appeal for the release of Italian
communist Giuliana Sgrena, who has been kidnapped in Iraq. Please get
your organisation, trade union branch etc to support this appeal as
soon as possible. Contact details are further below and in the

Comradely greetings

Mark Fischer
Communist Party of Great Britain


Partito della Rifondazione Comunista

Circolo "Karl Marx" - U.K. Branch

Dear comrades,

A few days ago Giuliana Sgrena, a journalist for the communist daily
newspaper "Il Manifesto" who has always been opposing war, was
kidnapped in Iraq. From "Il Manifesto"'s website - - you'll be able to access part of her work
against the occupation of Iraq and, more generally, in support of the
liberation struggle of the Arab world. In support of her release we
have written an appeal in many languages to which we invite you
to participate, sending your signatures to the following email
address: (a copy to:

We are certain you will understand the urgency and the necessity of
our initiative.

Warm greetings

For the Foreign/Peace Department of the Communist Refoundation Party,
Gennaro Migliore
Alfio Nicotra


Giuliana Sgrena is an Italian journalist, working for the daily
newspaper Il Manifesto. She was kidnapped in Baghdad on the 4th of
February, in front of the Al-Mustafah mosque, where she had
interviewed a number of families forced by US bombing to fly from
Fallujah. She is still a captive. Florence Aubenas, French journalist
of Liberation, disappeared more than one month ago in similar
circumstances. Giuliana has visited Iraq many times, documenting with
great honesty the dire sufferings of the population, caused first by
the embargo, and later by war and occupation. Over the years, her work
has provided a valuable channel to give a voice to the Iraqi people,
to tell the stories that others would not write about. Her newspaper,
Il Manifesto, has always been actively engaged against the war and

We do not know who has abducted them, or why. We firmly believe,
however, that this act will not help Iraq and the Iraqi people to
regain the sovereignty to which they are entitled, will not shorten
the occupation, will not improve the life of the people. We do know
that voices of freedom, such as that of Giuliana and Florence, are
direly needed.

As movements and associations active all over the world in the
struggle against the war and to put an end to the occupation, we
demand their immediate release.

Partito della Rifondazione Comunista - U.K. Branch

Email: Fax: (0044) 07020 973140 -Tel. 0794


Dear Friends,

the next "Love Music Hate Racism" gig will take place in the Limelight
-Belfast on Sunday, the 6th March. Organised by the music
journalist Charlotte Dryden there will be music from 'the subtitles',
'Tin Pot Operation' and a headline act that can only be announced
closer to the date. In addition DJ's

Charlie & Sarah will be performing. Tickets cost £4.

The LMHR gigs help to create and sustain a culture of anti-racism
and celebrate diversity. Please spread the word, come along and bring
your friends.


(ARN Steering Committee)

PS get in touch if you would like a copy of the poster emailed or
could help with the gig (postering, helping out on the night etc)




Saturday, 5 March

The Irish Latin American Solidarity Centre is holding a picket against
the occupation of Haiti outside the Brazilian Embassy, 41-54 Harcourt
St. on Saturday March 5th, at 1 pm. More information can be found on
the LASC website:



Get your tickets now for this important and exciting event!

Irish Anti-War Movement presents
Against War, Occupation & Empire -A Forum
March 4th, 5th & 6th

Speakers include:
Ahmed Ben Bella (leader of Algerian Independence struggle and former
Denis Halliday (Former Assistant UN Secretary General), Haifa Zangana
(Iraqi writer) & Eamonn Mc Cann (Author & Journalist), Ruari Quinn TD
(Labour Party), John Gormley TD (Green Party). Ali Halimeh (Palestine
- Delegate General in Ireland), Vincent Browne (Broadcaster &
Journalist), Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party), Kieran Allen (Author &
Sociologist), Catriona Ruane MLA (Bring them Home Campaign), Mick Mc
Gaughan (Irish Times Journalist & Author), Mustafidh Gani ( Islamic
Cultural Centre), Andy Storey (AfrI & Lecturer in Development
Studies.), Richard Boyd Barrett (Irish anti-War Movement), Mary Van
Lieshout (US Citizens in Ireland for Alternatives to War), Saif
Abukeshek (Director, International Solidarity Movement). Jean Somers
(Debt and Development Coalition)

Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar (Friday March 4th)
Royal Dublin Hotel, O' Connell St (March 5th& 6th)

Weekend (excluding Screening) - ?15/10 (conc.).
Day Ticket - ?10/7.50(conc.)

Tickets available from Irish Anti-War Movement, 55 Middle Abbey St,
Dublin (Mon-Fri) or phone 01 8727912 / e-mail

>Programme and Timetable:
>Friday March 4th (Irish Film Institute, Eustace St, Temple Bar)
>Screening: Battle of Algiers
>With Intro from Ahmed Ben Bella
>Sat March 6th (Royal Dublin Hotel)
>Vietnam - How the US was defeated?
>Michael O Brien (Irish Anti-War Movement)
>Shannon, Irish Neutrality & Imperialism
>Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party), John Gormley, TD (Green Party),
Ruari Quinn TD (Labour Party) Cllr Cillain Forde (Sinn Fein).
>The Future For Palestine
>Ali Halimeh (Palestine Delegate General in Ireland), Raymond Deane
(Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Saif Abukeshek (Chairperson,
International Solidarity Movement.)
>End the Occupation of Iraq - No to War on Iran on Syria
>Ahmed Ben Bella (Leader of Independence struggle & former President
of Algeria), Haifa Zangana (Iraqi Writer), Denis Halliday (Former UN
Assistant Secretary General).
>Islam & the West - Is it a Clash of Civilisations?
>Mustafidh Gani ( Islamic Cultural Centre), Kieran Allen (Author &
>Iraq, the UN and the Oil for Food Programme
>Denis Halliday
>8.30 - 10-00.
>Iraq, Palestine, US & Ireland -Literature, Poetry & Resistance
>Haifa Zangana, Dave Lordan (Poet)
>Sunday March 6th (Royal Dublin Hotel)
>What's Happening in the US?
>Brian Kelly (US Historian), Sinead Ni Bhroin (Irish Anti-War

>11.30 -1.00
>Q & A - Ireland between Europe and the US Empire
>Andy Storey (AfrI), Eamonn Mc Cann (Author & Journalist), Michael Mc
>Loughlin (Labour Party), Haifa Zangana. Chaired by Vincent Browne
>(Broadcaster & Journalist).
>Globalisation & the New World Order
>Mick Mc Guaghan (Journalist & Author), Catriona Ruane MLA (Bring Them
>Home Campaign), Rory Hearne (Deputy President -Union of Students in
>Ireland), Jean Somers (Debt and Development Coalition)
>East & West: Democracy, Resistance & Imperialism.
>Ahmed Ben Bella, Haifa Zangana, Richard Boyd Barrett (Chairperson,
>Irish Anti-War Movement), Mary Van Lieshout (US Citizens in Ireland
>for Alternatives to War).

March 4, 2005 Against War Occupation And Empire Forum March 4 5 6
March 7, 2005 Pitstop Ploughshares Put the War on Trial in Dublin,
March 7th 2005
March 19, 2005 International day of action Demonstration Sat
19/03/2005 2pm, Parnell Square Dublin
for more information click on

To contact the webmaster send an email to
or ring +353 0 878289243

Irish Anti-War Movement
Tel (fixed) 353 (0) 1 8727912,
Tel (fixed) 353 (0) 1 8727913
Tel (mobile) 353 (0) 87 6329511
Postal Address
Irish Anti-War Movement
PO Box 9260
Dublin 1


Tuesday, 8 March

Rural Community Network are currently organising our second annual
event for International Women's Day for Tuesday, 8 March. This will
take place in Omagh (venue to be confirmed) and the theme is again
centred on diversity in rural areas. If you wish further info or
would like to participate please contact Marion Weir or Anna Clarke at


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Sunday 20 February 2005

The Plough Vol 02 No 25

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 25
20 February 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial
2) Sectarian Murders, Collusion and Sanctioned Assassinations
3) Maoists in Nepal
4) The Pentagon's 'NATO Option'
5) Black Ops by the Nepalese Army
6) What's On



Money laundering, bank robbery, slashing throats and leaving dead
bodies in alleyways, covering up crime scenes, intimidating witnesses
and lying through their teeth!!! Ten years ago such crimes one would
automatically have been laid at the door of the loyalist
paramilitaries and their British paymasters. Sadly not today! These
crimes are being now laid at the door of people believed to be
associated with the Provisional Republican Movement. Whatever the
truth of the current bout of allegations - and we are not naïve -
there is no doubt that the broad republican tradition has since the
beginning of the so-called peace process lost the high moral ground
that had been obtained by virtue of being genuine anti-imperialist
fighters. People began to believe their own propoganda, describing the
peace process as a victory when it was in effect a recognition that
the armed struggle had run into the ground. Doing deals with the Free
State establishment and entering alliances with the ruling classes of
Britain and the USA while prattling on about mandates simply were
devices to blind the ordinary working class people to the growing
stench of corruption. There has been a steady rise in intimidation by
so-called republicans in many areas both inside and outside Belfast.
Free speech is a luxury many working class people in nationalist areas
cannot afford.

When one sees finance companies associated with people associated with
the Provisional Republican Movement charging exorbitant interest
charges for mortages, then one has to question what is going on.

Republican socialists cannot afford the luxury of smugness nor take
delight in the current difficulties of the Provisionals. We know there
are many within that movement who abhor what has been going on. The
Republican Socialist Movement has not been immune itself from errors,
mistakes, and actions which sullied the name of republicans.

What is needed is not name-calling but a return to basics. All
republicans should henceforth put their trust not in leaders or army
councils but in the mass of the working people on the island of
Ireland. A return to the democratic principles inherent in
republicanism is a first step followed by the taking up of the class
issues that press down on the Irish working class. There is real truth
in the old slogan that you can not have a free Ireland without a free
working class. That's where the energies of real republicans should be
geared to.




Sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland has always been the vilest of
the problems, which plague the society of the six counties. The
problem of sectarianism can be traced back many centuries. It is bad
enough people being murdered and attacked because of differences of
religion, without the involvement of the Police Service, Special
Branch, the U.D.R., British Military Intelligence and the British
Army, the very forces which were supposed to be the upholders of Law
and Order.

Many innocent people have lost their lives over the period of the last
35 years. This has caused further bigotry and created widened
divisions between the Catholic and Protestant communities, making it
almost impossible for a trusting relationship to develop.

There is no doubt that any loss of life is a tragedy, whether it is
Catholic or Protestant, Nationalist or Unionist. It is even more
terrible when the victim is a non-combatant. It is bad enough the
combatants being at war with one another, but when innocent people are
targeted and killed for no other reason other than being Catholic or
Protestant then surely this is as low as any conflict can go. Thus
enabling tit for tat attacks to be supported and justified by one side
or the other People being killed in shootings and bombings are tragic
and sad enough but in a war situation casualties are unfortunately
unavoidable, and regrettably people do die. It is the way that some
people have been killed, which makes the troubles here seem even more
horrendous. Romper rooms and gruesomely tortured victims have shown
the psychopathic depths which some will sink to in order to fulfil
their desire for blood. Bodies found mutilated, throats cut, heads
severed almost completely from their torsos, pieces of anatomy
missing, chunks of flesh ripped and torn from living people while they
were tied to chairs or hung from ceilings as they screamed in agony
through gagged mouths. They say alls fair in love and war, but surely
this is inhumane, barbaric and sadist and not soldierly at all!

It is known that the U.D.A., U.V.F. and their associated splinter
groups have said that all Catholics are targets and have called for
their demise through incineration and assassination. Many of their
politicians have made no secret of their hatred towards the Catholic,
Nationalist and Republican population. What about equality, civil and
human rights? Is a Catholic not entitled to the same quality of life
and freedom of choice as a Protestant person? Is being a Catholic a
crime? Murder gangs like the Shankill Butchers, the largest group of
mass murderers in British and maybe even European history who made no
secret of their sectarian hatred and their will to commit the most
heinous and gruesome of murders and attacks on civilian people,
killing Protestants (mistakenly) as well as Catholic due to the
geographic layout of the districts in Belfast.


With the forces of law and order in the six counties being made up
from the Protestant community it is no wonder that persons found
themselves not only members of the U.D.A. but possibly also members of
the U.D.R. and the infamous R.U.C., but the organisation, which
undoubtedly linked them, is the Orange Order, a secret sectarian
organisation. Even if members of these groupings and organisations
didn't have dual membership, then it was probable that many had
friends or relatives which did, or that their friends or relatives
were members of the security forces. So leaked documents and
intelligence information was widespread. Collusion between Loyalist
paramilitaries was rife to say the least. In fact the Loyalists have
often boasted and gloated over this fact and have even produced files
and documents taken from the security forces.

These are not just allegations, they are proven facts.

Investigations carried out by outside police services from across the
water found their investigations being thwarted.

Not only have we had Collusion but also Shoot to Kill policies.

With files on Catholics leaked to the Loyalist Paramilitaries, and
targets suggested by the likes of British Intelligence and Special

Was it any wonder that they were able to make successful get a ways
and to escape prosecution?

Many unarmed persons have been murdered in cold blood when they could
have been captured and arrested.

Even combatants who were trapped or surrounded were never given the
opportunity to surrender, instead they were mercilessly executed.

Files and documents relating to the many cases of the above went
missing or were destroyed intentionally and deliberately preventing
the Stalker enquiry team from carrying out their investigations

Fires miraculously started under desks in locked offices upon which
files were stacked.

The telephone and fire alarm systems just conveniently stopped

Deliberate and planned, the information collected was never going to
be allowed to be used in evidence against the forces of the Crown.

This corruption and unjustness didn’t just exist at street level
county Police; no it ran right to the top of the R.U.C. Special
branch, The British Army and Military intelligence.

The Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Government were kept
informed and updated at every step of these operations and even
sanctioned many operations designed to destroy and assassinate members
of the Republican community.

Republicans and Nationalists have rights, as do their counter parts in
the Protestant community.

Society is made up from every one not just Protestant Loyalist

Collusion existed and still exists at very high levels between the
Loyalist Paramilitaries and the Security forces.

Britain is the greatest violator of human and civil rights and has
been before the Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg more times than
any other country, yet it still tries to portray itself as just.

Britain has sought and tried people as War Criminals, do they forget
the crimes they have committed and the terror they imposed against the
people of this country?

They have always talked about the Geneva Convention, though they
themselves obviously forget to adhere to it.

Blatant hypocrisy if ever there was!!


It's no secret that the many groupings which make up the security
forces, struggled against each other in a bid to be the leading
department or agency in the province.

This rivalry led to intelligence and operations being kept from each
department creating a breakdown were one group supposedly didn’t
what the other was doing.

The R.U.C. had Special Branch, E4A and the Special Patrol Group.

The British Army had the S.A.S., the M.R.F., 14th Intelligence and the
F.R.U. also M.I.5 and M.I.6 and probably many more secret departments.

Each of these secret departments had their own informers and touts.

Many also ran agents which were paid and employed as if they were
regular Army or Police, some even had pension schemes and all were
promised large amounts of cash and new identities and new lives in
other countries.

These agents were ran with guaranteed immunity, they were ordered to
infiltrate and carry out the will of their handlers.

In other words they were allowed more or less to target and
assassinate anyone they liked and plan operations, which would be
satisfying to consecutive British Governments.

The following questions must then need to be answered.

How could the forces, which were supposedly law bidding run criminal
gangs and be allowed to encourage sectarian conflict and murders?

How could they also provide information, intelligence reports, and
guns for Loyalist paramilitary operations?

Why were they allowed to clear districts of regular Police and Army
patrols whilst a U.V.F. or U.D.A. operation was going down?

Why if the security forces were in possession of accurate intelligence
and evidence did they not act accordingly and justly?

How were operations allowed to be run between Loyalist Paramilitary
gunmen and British Intelligence, whose very aim was to encourage and
assist in sectarian executions and murders?




The Maoist insurgency in Nepal is only 10 years old but has today
spread all over the country with most rural areas under its control.
"The Maoists contested the first elections held in 1991 and won nine
of the 205 seats," said Pradeep Nepal, standing committee member,
Communist Party of Nepal UML [a social democratic party that has
worked with the monarchy in Parliament] in an interview in January in
Kathmandu. The Jan Morcha, the party of the Maoists at that time,
also won some local authorities.

"But the Nepali Congress government and the State authorities did not
cooperate with them and blocked all development funds for their
constituencies - no schools, no roads, no water works," Nepal said.
Many of the Jan Morcha MPs were from linguistic and ethnic minorities,
with their own culture, which is distinct from the Newar- dominated
Nepali culture and language. "When their MPs wore their own ethnic
dresses they were even stopped from entering Parliament by the police
guard posted outside," Nepal said. The Jan Morcha boycotted the next
elections and by 1995, the "people's war" had been declared by the
Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN (M).

There has always been a faction among the Maoists who wanted to
continue the armed struggle, and the first recorded attack on a police
station was as far back as 1986. Since the revival of the armed
struggle in 1995, the Maoist army has grown by leaps and bounds and
today it consists of three divisions, nine brigades with 29
battalions. At full strength this sho uld comprise 29,000 soldiers.
Government sources in Nepal claim that this army consists of only
8,000 soldiers and a 20,000-strong militia.

Whatever the terms used, a visit to Nepal outside of Kathmandu
confirms that it is Maoist arms that hold sway in much of the

Nepalgunj is 4 km from the Indian border. It is the main market town
and administrative headquarters of the mid-western region of Nepal as
well as the headquarters of Banke district. It has a large garrison of
the Royal Nepal Army (RNA), the Armed Police and the regular police.
Every street corner and road junction has a permanent armed barricade,
and heavily armed patrols on foot are a constant reminder of the
military presence.

On December 26 last year, the CPN(M) issued a proclamation asking all
employees of the Royal Nepal government to stop working and told the
people to "boycott" the "old regime". Since then not one government
office has been functional. When this correspondent visited the town
in the third week of January, the Appellate Court was absolutely
deserted at noon. The judges were all there, but not a single
petitioner was present.

Similarly, at the Land Revenue office nearby all the employees were
sitting outside and there was not a single member of the public
present. The head clerk, visibly scared by the arrival of an unknown
person (this correspondent), refused to talk. Another employee said:
"We were scared of the Maoists and stopped coming to office as people
also were not coming anymore. But Army men came to our homes and
threatened us and our families that we would be arrested as Maoists if
we did not report for work."

Thus, government employees are walking a tightrope. They come and sign
in at their offices, but immediately go out of the building and sit in
the lawns or on the roadside, only to scurry inside when the Army
patrol comes for inspection.

It is a difficult tightrope indeed. The government employees are in a
tight spot - government employees are regularly arrested or detained
without any legal cover by the Army on charges of being Maoists.
Despite an armed police post merely 100 metres away, Maoists blasted a
room at the land revenue office on January 15 at 1 p.m. as a warning
to government employees to follow their diktat.

While the gun, whether of the Maoists or of the RNA, seems to rule the
lives of people, it would be incorrect to think that the Maoists'
success is solely because to the gun.

"In Nepalgunj town we have two powers - the Royal government and the
Maoists. In the rural areas there is only one government - the
Maoists," says a journalist in Nepalgunj. Most political observers
agree that in at least 45 of Nepal's 75 districts the Maoists hold
complete sway. Even in other districts they control the villages with
the district town under the control of the Royal government. In a
recent newspaper report, the RNA admitted that even in Kathmandu there
were about 300 armed Maoists present, though they had only a limited
hold on the capital.

In the rural areas of Banke district and neighbouring Bardiya
district, the Maoists have taken control of thousands of acres of
agricultural land and given it to the landless, says one human rights
activist working as a conflict field monitor in Nepalgunj.

The journalist explains this process: "The Maoists have made it clear
that whatever land a person owns, has to be cultivated by that
person's family. No hiring of labour will be allowed." He says that
those who had hundreds of bighas of land have now left the villages
for the relative safety of towns such as Nepalgunj and Kathmandu,
leaving the Maoists in possession of their land. "The Maoists have
become the biggest landlord in Nepal today," he says. Previously,
much of the land was under the traditional 50:50 sharecropping, with
lower-caste communities like Tharus and Kamaiyas actually
cultivating the land. "The Maoists with their slogan jiski jot, uski
pot (harvest belongs to the actual cultivator) have practically
abolished this system," said the journalist.

The Maoists seem to have built up an entire alternative structure of
governance in Nepal. They have their own justice system and have
reportedly "arrested" and punished close to 1,000 landlords,
government employees, traders and contractors for violating their
edicts. Their favourite form of punishment, human rights activists
say, is to sentence their prisoners to labour. As they term them shram
kaidis (labour prisoners).

The Maoists also collect taxes that range from 5 per cent for the
common people to 40 per cent for forest contractors and big
businessmen. They have a radio station of their own - the Jana
Ganatantrik FM Radio - whose components are carried in baskets and set
up on hilltops for transmission.

The Maoists have now started 'development works'. In Rolpa district of
mid-western Nepal, they are building a 92-km-long mountain highway,
with 10,000 people working on it every day, including the shram
kaidis. Already, 30-odd-km of this road is ready for use after just
three months of work. They have also started a cooperative bank, a
medical college and other works. In Rukum district the Maoists have
constructed a mini-hydel power station on Sisne lake to supply
electricity to a neighbouring village with a few thousand people.

Moreover, the Maoists have proved to be master strategists by building
a social base for themselves in the rural areas.

About 25 per cent of the rural population suffers from social
discriminations of various forms. While some of them are termed
"untouchable", others face varying degrees of discrimination and
social exclusion. The Maoists have banned all these and there have
been reports that those found continuing with practices of
untouchability and caste exclusion have been punished severely or even
killed. This reportedly has created much goodwill for them among the
lower-caste populations of the rural areas, especially since the
democratic political parties had not addressed the problems of social
oppression in the villages after they formed the government in 1991.

In a masterstroke of political savvy, the Maoists have also started
giving land to the families of Royal Nepal Army soldiers and police
personnel who were killed in combat with them. Their argument is that
they were 'poor peasants' who had joined the Royal forces not for
ideological reasons but to survive. Therefore, they argue that it is
their duty to provide for their families, as they do for the families
of their own cadre who were killed in combat.

In a context where most families of soldiers who are killed in combat
with the Maoists are yet to receive even one rupee of the compensation
announced by the Royal Nepal government, this is a strategy that not
only reinforces the moral hold of the Maoists in rural areas but also
provides them with a steady stream of recruits.

"Every dead RNA soldier's family is a potential source of Maoist
recruits," says the journalist.

Strategies such as these have made the Maoists the predominant power
in the rural areas of Nepal and given their relatively small army a
much larger punch. The reach and ability of the Maoist army was on
display twice when it blockaded Kathmandu and there was not much that
the RNA, despite its superior arms and manpower, could do to remove

Most Nepali observers, both sympathetic to the Maoists and their
critics, agree that despite their spectacular successes of the past
few years, the Maoists are not in a position to capture state power in
Kathmandu merely with the gun. "The geopolitical situation is such
that a simple capture of power is impossible," says Govinda Sharma
Bandi, an advocate in the Supreme Court of Nepal.

Not only are India, the United States, the United Kingdom and China
firmly against the Maoists, they have not managed to break completely
the hold on the people of the democratic parties such as the UML and
the Nepali Congress.

It appears that the Maoists also understand their limitations. In a
recent statement released to the press after the takeover of executive
powers by King Gyanendra, Prachanda called on the "parliamentary
parties" to form a united front with the Maoists against this
"fratricidal, artificial king" and promised to make the "necessary
sacrifice and flexibility" for this. The Maoists have said that a
united front with democratic parties against the monarchy and the RNA
is "a historical necessity". Simultaneously, they announced an
indefinite countrywide blockade and traffic strike from February 13,
the 10th anniversary of their armed struggle.

Today, with the King seeming to return to the autocratic monarchy of
the pre-1990 era, it seems that the Maoist demand for a republican
government is gaining ground.

(ANIKET ALAM recently in Kathmandu}


by Lila Rajiva

Published on Thursday, February 10, 2005 by

Washington is shocked by Seymour Hersh's scoop about the Pentagon's
"Salvador Option," an ambitious plan to deploy secret special forces
in friendly and unfriendly countries to spy, target terrorists and
their sympathizers, and conduct "hits," all without Congressional
oversight. Its model is the American counter-insurgency program in
Salvador in the 1980s which funded nationalist death squads to hunt
down insurgents. What's new today is that the program would be run by
the Pentagon, not the CIA, and it would be much broader in scope.

According to Hersh, the Pentagon's gremlins are already at work in
Iran prepping targets for possible US or Israeli strikes against
Iranian nuclear facilities.

But Washington's shock is misplaced. There's nothing new about the
"Salvador Option." At the end of last month, Frank Cass in London
released a new book by Dr. Daniele Ganser of the Center for Security
Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich called, "NATO's
Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe,"
which offers plenty of evidence that there was also a "Salvador
Option" in post-war Europe. It turns out that during the Cold War,

European governments and secret services conspired with a NATO-backed
operation to engineer attacks in their own countries in order to
manipulate the population to reject socialism and communism.

It was called "the strategy of tension" and it was carried out by
members of secret stay-behind armies organized by NATO and funded by
the CIA in Italy, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and other European
countries. The strategy apparently involved supplying right-wing
terrorists with explosives to carry out terrorist acts which were then
blamed on left-wing groups to keep them out of power.

Only three countries, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland, have had a
parliamentary investigation into NATO's role and a public report. The
US and UK, the two nations most centrally involved, are refusing to
disclose details, so crucial pieces of the story are missing. Still,
Ganser's book offers some disturbing insights into a hidden aspect of
the Cold War.

It all began during WWII when British Prime Minister, Winston
Churchill, ordered a secret army to be created to fight communism.
Allen Dulles, the first chief of the CIA, worked out the original
plan, and British MI6 and special forces teamed up with the CIA to
train "stay-behind armies" in Western Europe to counter a possible
Soviet invasion. It was all very James Bond - only grim - with forged
passports, dead letter boxes, and parachute jumps over the channel,
according to some of the trainees.

It turns out that what Washington meant by counter-terrorism, might
often have been, well, terrorism.

Here's the money part from one of the field manuals (FM 30-31B):

"...when the revolutionaries temporarily renounce the use of force US
army intelligence must have the means of launching special operations
which will convince Host Country Governments and public opinion of the
reality of the insurgent danger…"

That's to say, if there wasn't any terrorism to speak of, the secret
armies were prepared to get some going.

According to Ganser, the secret army was behind waves of attacks in
Italy in the 1970s. In Spain, it worked with Franco and may have
supported over a 1000 attacks. In Germany, it had standing plans to
murder leaders of the Social Democrat party in case of a Soviet
invasion. It carried out terrorist actions against President de Gaulle
and the Algerian peace plan in France. It seems to have been involved
in the assassination of Amilcar Cabral and Eduardo Mondlane, prominent
leaders in African liberation in the Portugese colonies. It was
involved in the coup against Greek Prime Minister Papandreou and
fomented terrorism against the Kurds in Turkey. In the Netherlands,
Luxemborg, Denmark, and Norway, however, the secret networks don't
seem to have been linked with terror.

The secret armies were first outed in August 1990 when then Italian
Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti confirmed the existence of Gladio,
Latin for sword, a super secret group squirreled away in the military
secret service, that had been manipulating the public with terrorist
acts that it blamed on the Italian left.

NATO's reaction to Andreotti's revelation was first denial, then
stone-walling, and finally a closed-doors admission to the ambassadors
of the European countries. Since then, although a former CIA director
William Colby has confirmed the creation of the stay-behind command
centers and networks, NATO itself has withheld details. Asked about
Gladio in Italy in 1990, former CIA director Stanford Turner angrily
ripped off his microphone and shouted: "I said, no questions about

Today, with the Pentagon's "Salvador Option" on the table, it's time
to revisit this hidden history of European counter-terrorism. While
the Washington press corps seems convinced that the main problem with
the "Salvador Option" is that the Pentagon is taking over what's
always been the CIA's turf, the story of NATO's stay-behind armies
suggests that whether the CIA or Pentagon runs it, the new program
will be a very ugly business.

As one of Gladio's operatives said, "You had to attack civilians, the
people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed
from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were
supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the
state to ask for greater security."

Despite repeated requests from researchers, the CIA, like MI6,
refuses to release its files on the subject. Before the government
begins the new "Salvador Option," though, isn't it time for the world
to learn about the very first one?

[Lila Rajiva ( is a free-lance analyst and writer.
She is the author of "The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the
American Media" (Monthly Review Press, 2005)]



[An interesting report on the situation in Kathmandu under the "state
of emergency" and black ops by the Nepalese Army.]

NEW DELHI, Feb 13 (IPS) - Sujata Koirala's decision to escape from the
Himalayan nation of Nepal was made after soldiers began to harass her
when her 81-year-old father, Girija Prasad Koirala, was put under
house arrest following King Gyanendra's seizure of power on Feb. 1.

The daughter of the prominent former Nepal prime minister and several
politicians from her father's party then made a six-day trek overland
- walking and at times riding pillion on motorcycles - to neighbouring

On her way down south, Koirala saw pitched battles between the Maoist
rebels and the Royal Nepal Army (RNA) in remote areas near Chitwan
district, near the Nepal-India border.

But she said the Maoists appeared to be having the upper hand. "It was
scary because I could have been killed by either the rebels or the
army." Koirala said it was only a matter of time before the Maoists,
who are believed to number more than 300,000, got the better of the
RNA that was only about 78,000 strong.

"How long can they (RNA soldiers) fight when they have been busy
selling arms to the Maoists and making a business out of the civil
war," she told a gathering organised by the Delhi- based Jawaharlal
Nehru University Students Union.

On Feb. 1 Nepal's King Gyanendra went on state-run television and said
democracy in his country was in peril and the "Nepali people's right
to live peacefully" was being threatened by a long-running Maoist
insurgency since 1996 that has seen over 10,500 people killed.

He then accused the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of
failing to conduct parliamentary elections and being unable to restore
peace in the country.

Soon after the king's address, a state of emergency was declared and
Indian news agencies reported that all telephone lines and mobile
phone networks were shut down - effectively cutting the country off
from the rest of the world.

According to reports from the Nepali capital Kathmandu some 1,000
leaders and activists from political parties, student groups and trade
unions had been rounded up nationwide. Royal Nepal Army spokesman
Brigadier General Dipak Gurung said that a security committee under
the Home Ministry would determine how long activists remain locked up.
"They can be detained for three months," the general said.

Koirala said Nepali soldiers had posed as Maoist rebels after the king
took over and started to harass political leaders, including her

"First, they came as Maoists and threatened him. The next day, the
same people came as army people, detained my father and asked him to
testify that I had links with Maoists," she said.

She said she feared for her father's safety.

"He might be subjected to mental torture and I fear that they would
apply slow poison to harm his life," she said.

"I also fear that he may be killed on some pretext - so many people
have disappeared in Nepal in the last few days and we hear of torture
and killings coming in from towns other than Kathmandu," Koirala added

She described conditions in the Nepali capital, which she fled six
days ago as chaotic with soldiers going from house to house
terrorizing people and openly taking away valuables and vehicles and
then laying the blame on Maoists.

"With an information blackout, atrocities done by the RNA can easily
be attributed to the Maoists and anything can happen to ordinary
people with anyone daring to speak quickly silenced," she said.

Voicing serious concern over the ban on private radio channels in
Nepal following the royal takeover, the World Association of Community
Radio Broadcasters urged the new government to remove the ban on
community radios to broadcast news and current affairs programmes.

After King Gyanendra imposed a state of emergency and swore in a new
government, the army started to crackdown on private radio channels
and publications - including newspapers -- in the name of ensuring
security in the country. The FM stations were told to broadcast only
entertainment programmes.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions (ICFTU) condemned the declaration of emergency in Nepal and
appealed to King Gyanendra to initiate meaningful dialogue with all
political parties in order to restore democracy.

The ICFTU also urged the United Nations and the International Labour
Organisation to send a fact-finding mission to look into cases of
violation of trade union rights and atrocities on workers.

The call for dialogue was also repeated by Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, during a visit to the southern Indian city of
Bangalore on Saturday.

Singh said India hoped the elected government and the royal family
could co-exist without friction in Nepal.

"Constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy are twin pillars
of Nepalese society. It is our hope that Nepal will move in that
direction," Singh told reporters.

But Koirala said the monarchy has lost the confidence of the people,
but was managing to survive with the help of the military.

"The 'twin pillars' of a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary
democracy has never really worked in the country," she said. "It's a
feudal and dictatorial regime in Nepal."




Monday, February 21st

"The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela: A Public Talk" by Jorge
Martin from the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign.

Plus a film, "Venezuela Bolivariana."

An Culturlann, Falls Road, Belfast, on Monday Night February 21st at
7.00pm. Admission free. All welcome!


Thursday, February 24th

Republicanism In Crisis - Is There An Anarchist Alternative?

James McBarron (ex-Sinn Fein Cork Activist)
Gregor Kerr (Workers Solidarity Movement)

(This) Thursday, February 24th @ 8 PM

Metropole Hotel (Gresham-Metropole)
MacCurtain Street


Tuesday, 8 March

Rural Community Network are currently organising our second annual
event for International Women's Day for Tuesday, 8 March. This will
take place in Omagh (venue to be confirmed) and the theme is again
centred on diversity in rural areas. If you wish further info or
would like to participate please contact Marion Weir or Anna Clarke at


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Monday 14 February 2005

The Plough Vol 02 No 24

The Plough
Volume 2, Number 24
14 February 2005

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Belfast Anti-Water Rates Rally
2) European City Of Culture 2005 Nothing But A Bloody Farce!
3) Hands Off Venezuela
4) Letters
5) There Will Be No Middle East Peace Without Justice
6) What's On



The Irish Republican Socialist Party marched with hundreds of others
in the anti-water charges demonstration in Belfast. Party comrades
carried an IRSP banner as well as the red flag and the Starry Plough
flag. The IRSP's clear policy of non-payment and working class unity
is the only way to beat water tax and job cuts through privatisation
of public sector jobs. But overall the turn out was disappointing. The
mass of people have not yet become mobilised yet it will be the
working class again who will bear the brunt of any introduction of
water taxation. Perhaps sectarian divisions inhibited people from
participating but this is one issue that transcends sectarian borders
and hits all communities. It should be possible to create some form of
unity among the working class on this issue. After all taking part in
the march were members of the Communist Party of Ireland, Sinn Fein,
the Workers Party, the IRSP, the Socialist Party, Socialist Democracy,
the Socialist Environmental Alliance, the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions, and diverse socialist and republican elements. Also attending
was unionist Robert McCartney and UUP member Reg Empey. Of course some
politicians were there for opportunist reasons. They must not dominate
this campaign nor take it into safe areas such as lobbying respectable
politicians. The campaign must be militant, class based, and clearly
opposed to privatisation and to favour non-payment by all our class.
This is not a small local based issue. This is part of a world wide
neo-liberal agenda driven by US imperialism that favours the
privatisation of state resources.

We face mounting economic attacks on our communities and on our places
of work. We face the destruction of public service jobs and the
wholesale privatisation eventually of our water service. We face the
destruction of services to the low paid and those on welfare payment.
Saturday's low turnout should spur us all on to greater efforts to
mobilise support for the campaign.



With thousands on the dole or hidden on government schemes, Cork Irish
Republican Socialist Party say that:


As celebrations got underway by the River Lee, Cork IRSP condemns all
the hype surrounding European City Of Culture in the rebel city. Cork
European City of Culture 2005 is a total and utter farce designed only
to coax more tourists into this city and thereby increase profits for
those wealthy few involved in the growing hotel and tourist industry.
It also provides local bosses and the middle class with another excuse
to party and enjoy themselves at our expense as witnessed by the their
fireworks display on the opening night of City of Culture 2005. The
working class of Cork will have to foot the bill at the end of the day
for the various lavish elitist banquets and other celebrations playing
host to this and that so-called dignitary from near and far. All of
this is being carried out in a time in our history when factories are
closing down all over Cork city and county. Well over treble the
amount of those government statistics released are subjected to a life
of unemployment and poverty pay in the city alone. Cork and the entire
surrounding region is one of Ireland's unemployment black spots but
all of this will be hidden from view as the middle class sing of

In 2005, if you're to listen to rubbish the media pumps out, Ireland
is now said to have the lowest level of unemployment within Europe and
they also paint a picture that the city can only but benefit from

However the EU administration, whose fat cat representatives are
currently being questioned for creaming off millions of euros into
their own pockets, seem to adhere to that old con trick of shuffling
numbers in order to hide the truth of how low life really is behind
their facts and figures. Cork European City of Culture 2005 is nothing
but another carriage in the bosses' gravy train assisted locally by
the puppet 26 county administration and big business corporations.

We believe that it is an insult to the working class of Cork, who've
been particularly hit hard with many hundreds of lay-offs and factory
closures during the past number of years. Due to globalisation,
promoted by the European Union, our class have been forced out of work
as the local bosses closed ranks and shifted entire plants to Asia to
increase profit margins by paying buttons for wages.

Today in Cork poverty and hopelessness is taking a firm grip, despite
the fly-by-night European investments and poverty wages their jobs
create. The growth in T.E.A. (Temporary Employment Agencies) locally
is an eye opener or an example of how unemployment is concealed and
for many this is classed as a job these days.

Labouring along side others on the same shift, doing the same type of
work yet receiving a fraction of the wage as the agency takes their
slice of the cake and more often than not it normally the largest

Working on a temporary contract. The reality for many in Cork is that
the debt crisis amongst our class has hit an all time high from banks
to loan sharks choking many households. Drug and alcohol abuse is
widespread, so too is the chronic health and social problems that come
with it from domestic violence, street thuggery, burglaries, and
so-called 'joyriding' affecting people of all ages. But who benefits
from all this? Certainly not our class! It is true that the nite-clubs
and the off-sales owners are without doubt making a killing.

Whilst the Gardaí and the city 'fathers' benefit from CCTV coverage
within the city centre, this is exclusively for the protection of
their profits. They fool no one, as these spy cameras are little
comfort to those of us who feel threatened by the spiralling levels of
city centre violence.

Behind the façade and the gloss of legoland high street shops and
developments the city is falling apart at the seams. This is a
reality. Since the days of the Celtic Tiger very little in reality has
changed. We've all seen who benefited from this!

In terms of building social housing, the city's politicians have
ignored the city's housing crisis where our class have been unable to
enter the housing markets as houses in their own communities remain
out priced and out of reach.

During Cork European City Of Culture 2005, the ruling elite of Cork
has decided to waste money on lavish celebrations and functions from
which the ordinary people of the city are excluded.

This, as we have already stated, is an insult to the people of Cork
and we intend to focus in on this throughout the coming year. European
City of Culture 2005 is a total farce!



The meeting of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign held in the offices of
the AT&GWU in Dublin was the biggest meeting on Latin America ever
hosted there. These were the words of the brothers and sisters of LASC
(Latin American Solidarity Centre). 115 people attended the meeting to
hear Ricardo Galindez speak.

Richard Gott, former Latin American correspondent for The Guardian,
was present at the meeting and explained the events that have unfolded
since the very first electoral victory of Hugo Chavez. He pointed out
that even then a strategy to oust him was being prepared. The British
journalist said he had been to Venezuela and that he had witnessed the
development of the social programmes known as "misiones," and
explained how beneficial they were for the ordinary working people.

Mick McCaughan, the author of "The Battle for Venezuela," was also at
the meeting. He briefly spoke about the position of the Venezuelan
revolutionary process in the context of the general struggle taking
place across the whole of Latin America, where important struggles and
movements have been developing in countries like Bolivia, Peru and,
Argentina amongst others.

Ricardo Galindez explained just how important the revolution in
Venezuela is. The ability of the Venezuelan masses to mobilise and
organise themselves has been demonstrated through the formation of the
Bolivarian Circles, UBEs (Electoral Battle Units), the social
programmes, and the creation of new trade unions and the UNT itself.
What this shows is that the revolutionary process is on the ascent.

Galindez stressed the need to develop solidarity with the revolution
because international solidarity can be a powerful weapon in the
struggle against US imperialism and the transnational corporations
that are attempting to isolate the revolution.

He also explained that the leadership of Hugo Chavez has been
evolving. Chavez began his presidency on the basis of democratic
demands and by standing against "neo-liberal capitalism," and has now
moved to an anti-imperialist position. He recently pointed out that
the root cause of the problems of the Venezuelan people was
capitalism, and that the only solution to these problems was the
establishment of a socialist society – a genuine socialist

An anti-globalisation activist also took the platform and gave a first
hand report of her experiences at the World Social Forum where Chavez
met with activists and trade unionists from all over the world.

The interest in what is happening in Venezuela was so big that even
after the meeting was officially over the discussion continued. At the
end of the meeting a number of those present came up to the speakers
to carry on the debate. They asked further questions about the
revolutionary process in Venezuela and wanted to know a lot more about
what is really happening.

This short trip to Ireland showed that the Irish workers have a keen
interest in what is happening in Venezuela. Links with important trade
unions were forged and the ground has been laid for future solidarity
activities in Ireland.




(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following leter was sent to the Andersonstown News
but was severely cut when published. It is a newspaper that carries
advertisements that say "No DHSS need apply." Is that legal? Is that

A chara,

I read recently about the young homeless woman who lost her legs with
frost-bite. The spokesman for the Housing Executive commenting at the
time said that no one should be sleeping in the street and no one
should be discriminated against being housed. The only newspaper that
I buy is the Andersonstown News. I see that most of the paper is taken
up with adverts from the capitalists, landlords and moneylenders. They
offer us with their help in solving our money problems. These are the
very same people that were chased from our areas when the war for
freedom and equality began. These same people held our mother's
pension books for security on their repayments. The landlords
squeezing large families into single rooms and charging large rents,
and threaten them with the bailiffs if they fell behind with eviction.
Then they put in their adverts to day, rooms to-let "No DHSS need
apply". One of the reasons why my ex-comrades and I were imprisoned
and others died for fighting against. Come on you people of West
Belfast don't let these capitalists ruin our people again and leave us
with young homeless families again.

Is mise,
Joe Curley


Dear friends,

Here is an important event that has been requested to be forwarded to
the network. I would urge people to support this important

Cheers Davy Carlin.

Protest: Saturdays 3pm GPO Called by GR

On April 18th 2005, new foreign students studying English in Ireland
will no longer be able to work part time for 20 hours per week.
Students already here before that date will only be allowed one more
year. This will affect people from outside the European Union-
Chinese, Asian, Russian, and Latin American students amongst others.

These students pay their tax and contribute to the building of the
Irish economy. They often work the hardest and lowliest paid jobs.
Many Irish friends believe they should be treated better, and that
they should be allowed to keep their right to work. Otherwise, the
only people who will be able to study in Ireland will be the very

Please join the picket at the GPO this Saturday. Organise your school,
workmates and friends to come. Make banners and placards- we will
continue to meet every Saturday for an hour at the GPO to make sure
our voice gets heard- there are over 50,000 students affected. If we
organise more schools and students every week, the Irish government
will have to listen to our voice.




BERTIE AHERN and Irish Education representatives recently travelled to
China to make business deals and encourage Chinese students to come
and study here in Irish Universities. But just before Christmas the
Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell removed the right to work for
students from outside the European Economic Area who are attending
part-time courses under one year duration. This affects English
Language courses. Thousands of students, particularly Chinese (who
make up almost 80% of students in these courses) will not be able to
afford to do such courses if they cannot work. They will be forced to
return home due to economic pressures. It also puts the jobs of up to

English Language teachers under threat.

The Chinese government issued a warning at the start of this month
against students considering English language study in Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland excluded representatives of the English Language
sector from the education forum in China.

The Irish government instead wants to attract wealthy Chinese who will
pay up to euro 20,000 in fees to attend universities and thus be cash
cows for the funding crisis in Irish universities.

Ahern expressed concerns about human rights in China yet here at home
he is removing the right of students to work and putting in danger the
jobs of English Language teachers.

Students and teachers of all nationalities will unite and protest for
the right to work on Saturday April 16th, two days before the decision
is expected to be enforced. There will be a picket and organising
stall every Saturday until then at the GPO from 3pm to 4pm.


From J Sean Burns
32 County Sovereignty Movement (International Department)

Statement on the 9th Anniversary of the People's Revolution in Nepal.

Mo Comrades,

It is with great joy and inspiration that the 32 County Sovereignty
Movement sends its message of solidarity to the Communist Party of
Nepal (Maoist) and its revolutionary fighters on the 9th anniversary
of its successful uprising.

We say without reservation that the People's War in Nepal now stands
alongside some of the greatest and most noble struggles in history. It
has become a beacon of hope that shines throughout the world and gives
strength to all those who wish to throw off the bonds of tyranny and

It is for these very reasons that the international capitalist class
feel so threatened and attempt to sustain the despotic Nepali regime.
It is for similar reasons for instance that, during the Spanish Civil
War, Western governments denied aid to the Spanish Republic and
actively supplied the Fascist reactionary forces with the materials to
defeat it. It became obvious that if the Spanish revolution had been
successful, it would have sparked similar struggles against those very
same governments.

In this sense, it is right and correct to make the assertion that the
victories scored in favour of the Nepali revolution are indeed a
victory for all of us.

The coming months and years will no doubt be full of hardship and
further struggle in Nepal as the dying elements of the monarchy and
their backers lash out in desperation and the bosses of global
capitalism attempts to save them. But what haunts their nightmares is
the certainty that an oppressed people, united in their determination
to be free, are unstoppable.

They will tear down the walls of the palaces and raise their banners
over the ruins of the old order.



London Independent
9 February 2005

There Will Be No Middle East Peace Without Justice; At No Point
Yesterday Did Anyone Mention Occupation
By Robert Fisk

So, the Palestinians will end their occupation of Israel. No more will
Palestinian tanks smash their way into Haifa and Tel Aviv. No more
will Palestinian F-18s bomb Israeli population centres. No more will
Palestinian Apache helicopters carry out "targeted killings" - ie:
murders - of Israeli military leaders. The Palestinians have promised
to end all "acts of violence" against Israelis while Israel has
promised to end all "military activity" against Palestinians. So
that's it, then. Peace in our time.

A Martian - even a well-educated Martian - would have gathered that
this was the message, supposing he dropped in on the fantasy world of
Sharma el-Sheikh yesterday. The Palestinians had been committing
"violence", the Israelis carrying out "innocent" operations.
Palestinian "violence" or "terror and violence" - the latter a more
popular phrase since it carried the stigma of 11 September 2001 - was
now at an end. Mahmoud Abbas - who told a close Lebanese friend this
year that he wore a suit and tie so that he would look "different" to
Yasser Arafat - went along with all this. Just which people were
occupying the homes of which other people remained a mystery?

Silver-haired and wisdom-burdened, Mahmoud Abbas looked the part. We
had to forget that it was this same Abbas who wrote the Oslo Accords,
who in 1,000 pages failed to use - even once - the word "occupation",
and who talked not of Israeli "withdrawal" from Palestinian territory,
but of "redeployment". At no point yesterday did anyone mention
occupation. Like sex, "occupation" had to be censored out of the
historical narrative. As usual - as in Oslo - the real issues were put
back to a later date. Refugees, the "right of return", East Jerusalem
as a Palestinian capital: let's deal with them later. Never before
have we been in such need of the caustic voice of the late Edward
Said. Settlements - Jewish colonies for Jews, and Jews only, on Arab
land - were not, of course, discussed yesterday. Nor was East
Jerusalem. Nor was the "right of return" of 1948 refugees. These are
the "unrealistic dreams" that were referred to by the Israelis

All this will be discussed "later" - as they were supposed to be in
Abbas's hopeless Oslo agreement. As long as you can postpone the real
causes of war, that's OK. "An end to violence," that has cost 4,000
deaths - it was all said yesterday, minus the all-important equation
that two-thirds of these were Palestinian lives. Peace, peace, peace.
It was like terrorism, terrorism, terrorism. It was the sort of stuff
you could buy off a supermarket shelf. If only.

At the end of the day the issues were these. Will the Israelis close
down their massive settlements in the West Bank, including those which
surround Jerusalem? No mention of this yesterday. Will they end the
expansion of Jewish settlements - for Jews, and Jews only, across the
Palestinian West Bank? No mention of this yesterday. Will they allow
the Palestinians to have a capital in Arab East Jerusalem? No mention
of this yesterday. Will the Palestinians truly end their "intifada" -
including their murderous suicide bombings - as a result of these
non-existent promises?

Like the Iraqi elections - which were also held under foreign
occupation - the Israeli-Palestinian talks were historic because they
were "historic". US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, "warned"
Palestinians that they must "control violence" but there was, as
usual, no request to "control" the violence of the Israeli army.

Because the sine qua non of the equation was that the Palestinians
were guilty. That the Palestinians were the "violent" party - hence
the admonition that the Palestinians must end "violence" while the
Israelis would merely end "operations". The Palestinians, it seems,
are generically violent. The Israelis generically law-abiding; the
latter carry out "operations". Mahmoud Abbas went along with this
nonsense. It was all too clear in the reporting of yesterday's events.
What was on offer, said CNN, was "an end to all violence" - as if
occupation and illegal colonisation was not a form of violence. The
American Associated Press news agency talked gutlessly about "towns
that, for now, continue to be under Israeli security control" - in
other words, under Israeli occupation, although they would not tell
their readers this.

So Mahmoud Abbas is going to be the Hamid Karzai of Palestine, his tie
the equivalent of Karzai's green gown, "our" new man in Palestine, the
"tsunami" that has washed away the contamination of Yasser Arafat,
whose grave Condoleezza Rice managed to avoid. But the tank-traps
remain: East Jerusalem, Jewish settlements and the "right of return"
of 1948 Palestinians to the homes they lost.

If we are going to clap our hands like the Sharm El-Sheikh
"peacemakers" yesterday, we'd better realise that unless we are going
to resolve these great issues of injustice now, this new act of
"peacemaking" will prove to be as bloody as Oslo.

Ask Mahmoud Abbas. He was the author of that first fatal agreement.




Monday Feb 14th

Jewish socialist and long term anti-Zionist campaigner John Rose will
speak in Belfast on Monday 14th February. He has written many articles
on the Palestinian Isreali question and has recently authored the
"Myths of Zionism."

He will speak on "The Holocaust, Palestine and Zionism."

Room 210 Peter Froggatt centre 1pm - Monday Feb 14th

Bookfinders Bookshop - 7.30pm - that evening for more info call Gord0n
on 07742 531 617


Tuesday, 15 February at 7pm

The next meeting of the West Against Racism Network will be on
Tuesday, 15 February at 7pm in the Grosvenor Community Centre. The
WARN is launching a Welcome Pack for Black and Minority Ethnic
Communities on Monday, 21 March, international day against racism, in
the Royal Hospital, more details closer to the date.


Tuesday, 8 March

Rural Community Network are currently organising our second annual
event for International Women's Day for Tuesday, 8 March. This will
take place in Omagh (venue to be confirmed) and the theme is again
centred on diversity in rural areas. If you wish further info or
would like to participate please contact Marion Weir or Anna Clarke at


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It is the policy of The Plough to acknowledge information and
articles from other sources.

Subscribe to the bi-monthly
"The Starry Plough/An Camchéachta"
P.O. Box 1981, Derry, BT48 8GX, Ireland.

Fighting Fund/Donations
To: The Starry Plough
First Trust Bank, Derry, BT48 6BU
Account No. 14986015 Sort Code No. 93-86-10 (Pairtí Poblachtach Sóisialach na
h-Éireann) (James Connolly Society) (James Connolly Archive)

The Republican Socialist Forum from Derry IRSP

Republican Socialist Online Merchandise - A website that offers a
central place to go on the Internet to find good quality items with a
distinct Republican Socialist theme. Proceeds from sales from this
effort go towards the IRSM and its various projects.


Support the IRSP

Standing Order Form

To the Manager First Trust Bank, Andersonstown.

Please pay First Trust Bank Andersonstown Branch, Belfast, and credit
to Irish Republican Socialist Party, A/C Number 70490021, Branch Code

The sum of:
Amount in words:

Commencing date: and thereafter every month till further notice.

And debiting A/C number:

Name (Please print clearly):