Sunday 5 February 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 15

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 15
Sunday 5TH February 2006

E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

2)IRSP Comrades join picket for Joanne Delaney
3)23rd Anniversary of the death of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle
4)Debate- “Bowing to Spontaneity.”
5)Labour News
a.Thousands of striking workers and their families arrested in Iran!
6)What’s on


On Wednesday 1ST February, the 8th IMC Report was published. The IMC was set up outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which is the reason for Sinn Fein’s opposition to it. All the other so called mainstream Parties support it because it is a stick to beat the Shinners with, what with issues such as the McCartney killing, the Northern Bank robbery and various other events blamed on the provisionals.

The 8th report of the IMC is an interesting document. Below we reprint what they have written about the INLA.

Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
3.9 In our Seventh Report we said that INLA had recruited and trained new members; had been responsible for shooting and bombing attacks; and continued to be engaged in organised crime. We concluded that there had been some increase in the organisation’s use of violence and that there remained the threat of its more active involvement, although at that time the level of activity was not high.
3.10 The picture remains broadly the same. INLA has continued a low but potentially serious level of activity. It deployed weapons for defensive purposes in September following the Whiterock riots. It continues attempts to recruit members, undertook at least one unreported assault and was responsible for an arson attack in Strabane on the home of a member of a District Policing Partnership. It was also behind a number of vehicle hijackings in the same area. We believe that INLA remains involved in organised crime, including drugs and smuggling. During this period the
PSNI, in the course of investigations into money laundering, recovered an INLA weapon, documents and computer equipment. We conclude as before that the threat of the organisation’s more active involvement remains although its present capacity for a sustained campaign is not high.

The only part of section 3.10 is the line that says “It deployed weapons for defensive purposes in September following the Whiterock riots.”

That is also probably true for July as well. The INLA was not involved in an arson attack in Strabane on the home of a member of a district policing partnership. In fact, the IRSP IN Strabane condemned the attack on the home of a female former member of the district policing partnership.

Raids carried out by the PSNI against the premises of Teach Na Failte and the homes of TNF members did not uncover any weapons, nor evidence of money laundering. Note the word “believe” used by the IMC in reference to drugs and smuggling. Why do they believe this? Is it because the total number of members of the Republican Socialist movement charged with drug offences is nil. Is it because the number of members of RSM in gaol for drug offences is nil? Alternatively, is it because they read the Sunday World, which has had an ongoing campaign of demonisation and lies against a long-standing comrade in North Belfast because of his republican past? Repeatedly false allegations have been made about our comrades and drugs yet no one has come up with any evidence.

Even some on the so-called left have repeated these false allegations. We can only conclude that they are working to an agenda devised by others. They are certainly not based on socialist values or because of the existence of facts.

In addition, in the IMC report is advice and positive comments, to and about, some groups.


-We applaud constructive community work and activities such as the removal of flags and murals. Another important step would be for loyalist paramilitaries, including the UDA, to stop targeting nationalists and members of ethnic minorities. We hope that the UPRG will give a clear and robust lead on this.

-We believe that the UPRG has also begun to make some progress. It has engaged in discussions designed to move things in a better direction and in efforts to influence the UDA. In our view, it recognizes the importance of ending violence and other crime if local communities are to develop, and it has focused on means of trying to secure these developments. We welcome the steps it has taken and hope they will progress much further.


One important step would be for loyalist paramilitaries, including the UVF and RHC, to stop targeting nationalists and ethnic minorities. We hope the PUP will give a clear and robust lead on this.

We note the considerable efforts on the part of the PUP leadership to end the UVF’s feud with the LVF in the late summer, and the lead it has given on the need for the UVF to change their attitude to violence and other crime. We believe the leadership has put energy into this positive step.

Sinn Fein
In the case of Sinn Féin, we referred in our last report to the PIRA statement of 28 July 2005 and to the subsequent decommissioning of weapons reported by the IICD on 26 September. We said that these events indicated that very major progress had been made in the direction that the President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, had spelt out in his statement of April that year.

No group had done more to advance the process of politicisation more than the IRSP. On its political advice in the summer of 98, the INLA called its ceasefire. That ceasefire has been the most complete ceasefire of all the groups that called ceasefires. Furthermore, through the agency of Teach Na Failte, (our political ex-prisoners organisation,) the republican socialist movement has engaged with a wide range of bodies in a process of positive political engagement right across the board. From the trade unions, to community groups, to Government agencies and other ex-prisoners organizations, and to ex-combatants, we have engaged fully. Why some may ask? Because that is and was in the interests of the working class. For that reason and that reason alone.

Thanks to the actions of the PSNI/RUC some of those activities may end as Teach Na Failte are denied access to funding based on innuendo smears and lies.

It is now so clear that even Jim Campbell of the Sunday World that “the success of the peace process rests with the security chiefs rather than politicians”.
The IMC has no credibility. Even members of the SDLP slammed it for using a local mini riot in Kilcoo to say local IRA (P) members were involved when they so obviously were not.

If the IMC can get it so wrong on such a small event how can they be trusted on major interpretations of who is doing what. The IMC is an instrument of the security forces. They will reward loyalism that even they admit is heavily involved in drug dealing criminality and violence and demonise republicans. So be it.
The IRSP will not be put off by the actions or views of agents of Imperialism We will continue to organise educate and agitate for republican socialism.

(Below we reprint some letters we received from comrades. We felt it important to bring these together in this edition so that comrades can flavor the full debate. We try in the IRSP to encourage open and honest debate and invite other comrades to comment on the dialogue between Comrade L and Comrade Paul.)


Over 80 people attended the picket in Belfast called by Organise! over the lunchtime hour on Friday 3rd February in support of sacked Dunne’s worker Joanne Delaney - - -

Members of the IRSP were in attendance and carried the Starry Plough flag There were dozens of workers from various unions and official representation from various unions ranging from UNISON to NIPSA as well as leadership figures from the Irish Congress of Trade Union and Belfast Trades Union Council in attendance. There were also 10 or so striking postal workers.
This was a great solid show of support and Organise must be congratulated for their iniatiative.

23rd Anniversary of the death of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle

Speaking at this year's ceremony commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the death of INLA Volunteer Neil McMonagle, held in Shantallow Saturday 4th February) IRSP member Paddy Fox made reference to the recent lies contained within the latest report from the IMC.
Fellow republicans and friends, it is an honour and a priviege to be invited here today to address you at this simple ceremony in rememberence of Vol Neil McMonagle. Over these past few days I have pondered over the words which might put meaning to Neil’s selfless dedication to the republican struggle, the truth is there are no words or speeches which would adequately explain the full extent of Neil’s courage or determination. No fine words will be sufficient to convey the enorminty of the terrible burden of grief and pain endured by the McMonagle family both during the traumatic days of 1983 when Neil was killed at this spot and the lonely years which followed. We can only bow our heads in awe of their courage and steadfastness. Mixed with the grief and pain is a great sense of pride and today we gather here at his memorial with you to embrace you in solidarity.

Neil was 23 years old when was killed by the elite of the British war machine in Ireland; during his short life he witnessed the barbaric nature of British rule, the repression and gerrymandering of the Stormont state with the backing of the British forced young men like Neil to take up arms. He saw injustice, he resisted, he saw brutality, he resisted, he witnessed at first hand the lackeys of imperialism baton and murder peaceful protestors in this city, he resisted. Neil was on the side of the downtrodden and oppressed. He was a revolutionary soldier who joined the ranks of the INLA and fought for the liberation of his class and his people.

Times have changed in many ways, it is clear that we all find ourselves living in somewhat confusing times, spin doctoring seems to be the order of the day. The recent report by the independent monitoring commission came as no surprise to any Irish republican, it’s independence is a sham, it is a tool of policy for both the British and Irish governments with a mandate to isolate and demonise republicans, it is yet another mechanism by which they hope to pressurise republicans into conforming to their set of rules, let me make this clear, the Republican Socialist Movement will never jump through any hoops to suit the agenda of either government.

Within the IMC report is yet another attempt at criminalising the republican socialist movement, I refer to it’s assertion that the INLA are involved in the drug trade. Despite this claim there has never been one member of the IRSM even arrested or questioned about involvement in this evil trade. In fact the opposite is the truth, the volunteers of the INLA and the political activists of the IRSP have been at the forefront in the fight against drugs. Our record on this speaks for itself and no amount of tabloid inspired spin can change the facts on the ground. Those who propagate and peddle such stories, whether within the IMC or the Sunday World have one thing in common, all of them fear, in one way or another the class based analysis of the Republican Socialist Movement.

When I was growing up in this area one man more than any other inspired me and countless others from Galliagh and Shantallow to be part of the political struggle and that was Neil McMonagle. Because growing up here and hearing of his heroism and his bravery, of his day to day actions against the occupying forces gave us all hope that one day the Brits would be forced to leave our country Neil stood up for what was right, he fought against oppression and tyranny. He was a full time soldier fighting for the freedom of the working class in Ireland. Sadly that freedom not yet been achieved is probably further away now than it was in 1983 but we must never lose hope that it can happen.

The over-riding legacy which Neil McMonagle and his comrades left to us is their strength of character, their courage, commitment, integrity, honesty, principle and the bonds of friendship and camaraderie they forged. It is our duty as republicans to aim to emulate those same characteristics, to do otherwise is unthinkable.

Comrades, there is no finer calling in this world than to stand shoulder to shoulder with the oppressed, with the marginalized and with the poor. It is there we will see the spirit of men like Neil McMonagle live on.

DEBATE “Bowing to Spontaneity.”

The Political Secretary writes,

"There is an onus on all of us who consider ourselves progressive whether from the socialist or republican camp to throw ourselves into the class struggles that are emerging and in so doing challenge both existing political and religious sectarianism and state sectarianism. We will not have to look too far for the issues that everyday affect the working people on the island -- racism, water-rates (see below on CAWP), waste charges, low wage exploitation, US troops in Shannon, privatisation, hospital waiting lists, sweetheart deals with multinationals, partnership deals between trade unions and government.

On all of these class-based issues, we as republicans can co-operate with others but we will not take our eye of the fact that the class and the national question are so intertwined that they cannot be separated. We will not be like some on the left, great anti-imperialists when the struggle is far away and ignore the struggle on our own doorstep. "


What is the IRSP about? Should we not be are about the POLITICAL organisation of the working class in Ireland. Our aim is to provide political LEADERSHIP to the emerging struggles of the people.

What are we concretely involved in at the present moment? When we look about what our members do objectively, we see that on the ground they carry out a lot of SOCIAL WORK. (I.e. organising children's day out, reinsertion of former combatants etc) and COMMEMORATIVE ACTIVITIES (i.e. plaque unveiling).

What is the political significance of those activities?
As such, social work carried out by our comrades is a legitimate activity. They are doing -adapted to local circumstances - the same sort of work that the Black Panthers Party carried out (like organising free breakfasts), or Mao's directive to help the people in order to build a red base.

However, where they can be criticised in that we have failed to intrinsically relate them to the project of political organisation of the working class and provide a political leadership. We are not benevolent 'social workers', 'community activists' but TRIBUNES OF THE PEOPLE.

One of our priority should be to clarify and make explicit how those SOCIAL activities are strategically related to our central POLITICAL tasks.

For example, how do these activities challenge the backward nature of political and class-consciousness in Ireland? Do these activities raise the political and class consciousness of the people? There is the danger of comrades being complacent about the existing level of political consciousness of the people and bowing to spontaneity.

I have the feeling that some comrades get involved in those activities in order to prepare the ground for an ELECTORAL intervention. Have we fully worked out the implications of a potential electoral intervention? That should be clarified.

Because 'radical' councillors are not necessarily the same as PROFESSIONAL REVOLUTIONARIES.

Let's say we had many more members, and all of them got involved in every existing issue. What exactly are we trying to achieve? Do we think that having IRSM members leading all those struggles will be SUFFICIENT, in itself to bring about a social revolution whenever the time is ripe? No. What we have there is an accumulation of various issues.

We need to understand what we are trying to achieve. According to scientific socialism, capitalism is a dynamic system which destroys the conditions for its own sustainability. From the point of view of RISK MANAGEMENT it is far more volatile and prone to cause disasters than other ways of organising society.

From this, we try to place Ireland within the global capitalist system, the nature of its insertion. And also how the main local social actors (the working class and the bourgeoisie) are inserted internationally. We need to forecast from global trends when crisis time is likely to hit the Irish social formation.

What are the central issues, the MAIN CONTRADICTION (as Mao would have put it) affecting the balance of forces between classes in Ireland? What is its principal aspect? Mentioning a whole series of issues from water taxes to neutrality fails to identify the main contradiction. (This is not a criticism of the political secretary, just pointing that we need to do some further thinking)

Then once the principal and secondary contradictions are identified, we need to ask ourselves: what STRENGTHENS our class and political current? What WEAKENS the enemy? Who is the principal enemy? Who are our allies? An objective analysis of strenghts and weaknesses needs to be developed.

These are just some thoughts to open political debate amongst our comrades.

Comrade L.

(The above is a slightly modified version of a document by an IRSP comrade. We include it to encourage debate and welcome responses to this from our readers-editor)

In response to Comrade L’s letter to the Plough Vol. 3- No.13 entitled ‘Bowing to spontaneity’. Whilst I do not like replying to edited (who modified it and why?) documents on this occasion I believe the issues raised merit a reply.

As a contribution to dialogue and to encourage debate, this is a poor effort from Comrade L. It manages to combine naivety and a complete ignorance of the objective of revolutionary community activity.

Hard working revolutionary comrades involved in local community activity are not social workers, to state that is an insult. Most revolutionary community activists have been engaged in revolutionary tactics most of their adult lives and what we do in the community is an extension to and part of that revolution. Comrade L’s view of revolutionary community activity as a service based activity is an interesting concept and one that its adherents/ funders are trying to implement through the misdirection of funding.

The effect of the misdirection of resources has been to suck up what was the leadership of local working class communities to a level where it has lost touch with its grassroots. There is a service element to community work; that is the service that salaried workers and disempowered community groups provide to funders. That service includes the wasted hours workers spend doing unnecessary administration for funders and the hours and hours spent in pointless meetings that never reach a conclusion. This service is malign, a distraction and is a diversionary service. Its purpose is to deconstruct long term community infrastructure that empowered local communities through self help and collective campaigning activity and replace it with a service dependent, based community infrastructure.

The community sector and the majority of those who are employed within it are presently engaged in this diversionary activity whether they realise or not. However, it is an alien concept to those who engage in revolutionary community activity and most working class communities. I believe that those republican socialist comrades involved in revolutionary community activity do so, on the basis that there is no independent, coherent community infrastructure in working class communities and hence no accountable leadership.

Despite assertions from the ‘community sector’ that working class communities are organised and they are the leadership, the story on the ground tells a different story. In grassroots working class communities good sound community infrastructure based on need, self help and collective campaigning has been deconstructed and replaced with service based community activity that promotes division and thus disempowerment, it allows the community sector to act as gatekeepers and pacify the working class.

At present revolutionary community activity is not only the barrier to those who wish to pacify the working class, it is also the social glue that promotes working class unity. It also offers in my view the best access, influence and opportunity to radicalise a working class that is disjointed, divided, distracted and therefore aimless.

Comrade L’s contribution is littered with rhetoric such as political LEADERSHIP, TRIBUNES OF THE PEOPLE and what are PROFESSIONAL REVOLUTIONARIES ??????????????? (His emphasis, my question marks).

His fixation with the IRSP being the leadership of the Irish working class ignores the fact that the Irish working class is not a cohesive unit that recognises the IRSP as being its vanguard.

I apologise to comrades in advance for the transport analogy.

But, waiting for the working class to rise in revolution and then expect to be its POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OR TRIBUNES OF THE PEOPLE without having first engaged, worked and radicalised the grassroots is a bit like waiting for a bus, nothing comes along for ages then three come at once.

In the case of revolutions and with our present lack of political clarity we probably wouldn’t be able to make our minds which one to lead or which direction to go.

Much better for there to be one bus, on time, full and the IRSP to be in the driver’s seat. That is the opportunity, method and application offered by revolutionary community activity.

On issues of political leadership, the best leaders/leaderships lead by example that is the way of Connolly, Costello, and Power. Indeed comrades, that is the way of the IRPS, when have we ever sat back and waited for others in our class to engage in struggle?

Comrade Paul Little

Dear Editor,
What Paul Little refers to as my 'rhetoric' may have obscured my point of underlining the contradictions between community activism and revolutionary goals. It is a matter of clearly understanding the dangers of electoralism, clientalism and reformism implicit in 'community activism'.

The emphasis on community politics betokens a contradictory approach as it combines the language of struggle and revolutionary goals with clientelism and an approach essentially based on lobbying . For example, not so long ago, whilst attempting to undermine the state through armed struggle, Sinn Fein's elected councillors and community activists were simultaneously attempting to democratise it through getting funds and jobs for West Belfast etc. Representing their community in its dealings with the state, arguing for resources and above all orientating their political practice towards an acceptance of the state as a potential as a source of power, means that community activists will increasingly have to couch their arguments within the discursive framework of the state and implicitly see the state as an agency for change.

Campaigns around local and immediate issues involve lobbying for resources or presenting challenges to government plans in ways similar to community politicians in other parts of the United Kingdom. In taking part in a conversation with agencies of the state, such as the Housing Executive or the Department of the Environment, lodging formal planning objections or calling for independent inquiries into transport proposals, Sinn Féin's practice and rhetoric became increasingly conventional in its representational and mediational character. (For example, see 'Black Taxis under threat' and 'Divis Residents Plan Future', An Phoblacht/Republican News March 26th 1987. As a symbol of the quite literal integration of the once oppositional into the mainstream of the city the new bus interchange in the Castle Street area of Belfast has provided facilities for the Black Taxis, thus integrating public transport and a former 'people's alternative service' into the same framework.)

Paul could object that this will not happen to the IRSP, as we are somehow more left wing and more revolutionary than Sinn Fein. But twenty years ago, Sinn Fein was also claiming that its community activism would not lead to integration within the state. The stress on the power of revolutionary will and conscious agency within Provisionalism was cited as sufficient grounds to prevent a process of incorporation. For example, Sinn Fein councillor Sean Keenan argued that their 'revolutionary outlook' and use of 'everyday issues as an educative and mobilising strategy' would prevent a sell-out. ""It's a process of politicising people and building up their confidence in themselves...It's up to the people themselves to fight their own battle-we're only there to assist them if they need it. The Housing Executive has...tried to use us as a buffer between itself and tenants, but we've refused to fall into that trap" (S. Delaney, 'Housing in Belfast: Building Community Confidence-Interview with Sean Keenan', IRIS, December 1984)I do not see what concrete measures Paul offers to prevent community activism being incorporated into the state, or what could prevent IRSP members from becoming the Mairtin O Muillors and Geraldine McAteers of tomorrow.

Community activism is reactive to the state's agenda of social engineering and conflict management by funding application. It means a shifting focus from overthrowing the state to negotiating and engaging with it for resources. Community politics becomes de facto an argument around resources and their allocation: it means an acceptance of the agencies of distribution rather a debate around who distributes resources or fundamental issues of policy direction. The frames of community politics, taking place within boundaries established by the funders and the regulators, fundamentaly act to legitimise the state.

These questions also resonate with the historical debates within radical and socialist politics between revolutionaries and revisionists about whether the 'bourgeois state' can be utilised as an instrument for the 'emancipation of the working class'. It is my view that implicit to 'community politics' is the idea that the state can be used as a progressive instrument. (ie through implementing the McBride Principles, the Obair Report, more DHSS etc)Is the purpose of Republican Socialism to overthrow the state, or is it to use it to serve the 'community'? Similarly, if community activism may provide the ground for potentially getting councillors elected, revolutionary political consciousness cannot spontaneously emerge from within it. It has to be brought from without. Community activism is not the vehicle to develop revolutionary consciousness, at best it leads to radical "water and gas" politics. (ie Communities Against the Water Tax, or Bin Charges etc -I hope Paul will not take this as a personal attack on his good work on the Water tax/LOR)The examples of Sinn Fein or Black communities in Britain show that community activism leads to incorporation within the state, not its subversion.


(PS I thank Kevin Bean for inspiring many of the ideas expressed above)

Thoughts for the day

Labour news

Thousands of striking workers
and their families arrested in Iran!

News coming from Iran indicates that the regime of Iran’s Islamic republic has launched an intense offensive against the striking workers of the Vahed Bus Company that had declared their intention to go on strike on the 28th January. The workers continue to demand the recognition of their independent union, the right to organise, the right to collective bargaining, and the release of all their leaders who have been arrested last December 22, 2005, following the first strike action launched by the 17,000-strong free trade union of workers of the Vahed Bus Company.

Initial reports quoting from the union’s spokesperson indicate that the regime’s repressive forces have arrested more than 1000 workers, their families and other people sympathetic to their cause. According to this source, few days earlier, many active members of the union were arrested and transferred to the notorious Evin Prison. But the major offensive started on the eve of the strike when the striking workers were arrested in their homes. In some cases their wives and children were severely beaten and taken to unknown destinations. The whereabouts of those arrested are still unknown.

Mansoor Osanloo, the leader of the steering committee of free trade union that was arrested on December 22, 2005 continues to remain in captivity. News indicates that hundreds of the workers in captivity have now initiated a hunger strike and demand recognition of their rights and demand freedom. There is a serious danger to the lives of those arrested considering the brutal record of the Islamic republic authorities in dealing with striking workers and protestors.

The reports also indicate popular support for the striking workers. Many of those arrested are from students and other popular masses. Currently the regime has deployed thousands of its repressive forces to crush the striking action of the union. It has deployed military personnel and brought in drivers from other regions in order to man the transport service and thus make certain that the strike is broken and remains ineffective.

Clashes have also been reported in certain parts of the capital, Tehran where strikers did not return home for fear of being arrested and continued to remain in the streets and in the nearby parks to be able to continue to protest. The security forces have used tears gas and riot equipment and have even used guns to disperse those who have gathered at bus terminals and major bus stations in support of the strikers.

Attacks on workers and their supporters are a continuing policy of the Islamic authorities. On May 1st 2005 in the Kurdistan, workers’ rallies celebrating May 1, The International Workers’ Day were attacked and many were arrested. Currently, five of the leaders of the new independent labour movement are serving sentences of 5-2 years in Saqez, in Kurdistan.

The regime of Islamic republic has a long history of vicious crimes and atrocities committed against the peoples of Iran. The regime thinks by crushing legitimate protests of the heroic workers of Iran, it can continue to rule the country through use of brute force. Currently other workers such as the 1700 workers in the ship-building industry and other sections of Iranian working class are preparing to launch protests against the regime and intensify their action for their legitimate rights against the abhorrent conditions that they are subjected to under the regime of Islamic republic.

We wholeheartedly support the just struggle of the workers of Vahed Bus Company for their legitimate rights and extend our solidarity with the militant workers of Iran who are fighting resolutely against the anti-worker Islamic regime.

We condemn the recent savage attacks by the reactionary regime of Islamic republic against the just struggle of the transport workers and their unions and call on all progressive, democratic and anti-imperialist organisations worldwide and international workers’ organisations and unions to express their solidarity with workers in Iran and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all imprisoned workers.

Free all jailed workers and all other political prisoners now!
Down with the reactionary and anti-worker regime Islamic republic in Iran!
Down with imperialism and all reaction.
Long live international solidarity!

Democratic and Anti-imperialist Organisation of Iranians - Britain.
Activists of Iranian Peoples’ Fadaii Guerrillas - London January 30, 2006

Letters of solidarity and sympathy can be sent to with the subject: “Solidarity with Iranian workers”.

Please send your protest letters demanding immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested to the addresses listed below.

Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Islamic Republic of Iran.
Fax: 98-21-648.06.65

Please send a copy of your protest letters us and if possible to the addresses below:

Mr Guy Ryder
General Secretary
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
5 Boulevard du Roi Albert II, Bte 1
1210 Brussels, Belgium.
Fax: +32 (0)2 201 5815
Mr Juan Somavia
International Labour Organization (ILO)
International Labour Office
4, route des Morillons
CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland.

In this issue:

Students and Coke: ‘Constructive Engagement’ The Big Debate
Reports on international resistance to Coca-Cola and Nestlé
Higher Education special
Indigenous resistance: A continent wakes up to its murderous history
BP on trial: Colombian campesinos take BP to court
Developments in Latin America: Bush in Argentina, FTAA dead in the water, San José update,
Popular Women’s Organisation interview

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! UK subscription rates: £5 per annum

Member subscription includes membership to the Colombia Solidarity Campaign
Individuals: waged £15.00, unwaged £7.50, organisations £30/60/120.

Mark category of required subscription and return with payment made out to 'Colombia Solidarity Campaign', to Colombia Solidarity Campaign, PO Box 8446, London N17 6PJ


North West Spanish Civil War

Update No.3 This is compiled for those interested in and taking part in the No Pasarán (North West Spanish Civil War Project).

8th February 2006

North West Organising Committee Meeting

An Organising and planning committee meeting will take place this coming evening Wednesday 8th February 2006 at 7pm Sharp.

Sandino’s Bar (Upstairs Bar)
Water Street,

Meeting will focus on:
Organising and planning in the run up to the 70th Anniversary in July.
Suggestions for the North West (e.g. A monument, a Mural, a Plaque)
The Politics of the Spanish Civil War

Names are already being taking for those interested in taking part in the committee should telephone John on 07929940935

What’s Online:

Official website of the International Brigade Commemoration Committee in Belfast is now online and can by viewed by clicking on:
No Pasarán Online:

You can visit the project online by clicking on:


Hosted by Galway Alliance Against War
NUI Galway @ 6.15pm, ((venue to be confirmed ))


more info on any of above:jamie murphy

Public Forum on Nepal: "Royal Rule, One Year On"

You are cordially invited to a public forum organized by the Britain
Nepal Academic Council to discuss the current situation in Nepal.
Brief presentations will be made by panel members on a range of
issues and concerns, followed by an open discussion.

Venue: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Date: Friday 10th February 2006
Time: 18:00 ˆ 20:00

Discussion chair: Dr Judy Pettigrew, University of Central Lancashire


Dr Rod Chalmers, International Crisis Group
"Update from Nepal"

Ms Clare Castill, Amnesty International
"The human rights situation"

Mr Rabindra Mishra, BBC Nepali Service
Royal rule, One year on: journalism vs. activism

Dr Pratyoush Onta, Martin Chautari, Kathmandu
"Reflections on other 10th anniversaries: professional lives under
the ongoing conflict"

General Sir Sam Cowan
"Nepal - the two wars"

Dr Liz Philipson, LSE
"Donors, diplomats and UK policy"

Professor Surya Subedi, University of Leeds
"The way forward for resolving the political crisis in Nepal: legal
and constitutional perspectives"

All welcome. Please circulate this invitation as widely as possible.

International Women’s Day Wednesday 8th March 2006
Day and Evening events
Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Spanish Anti-Fascist War 1936-1939

The Clarion Call; Women & the Spanish Civil War: A talk and photo/poster presentation will be given by Angela Jackson, in the Central Hall, Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education on Wednesday the 8th March 12.30pm to 15.30pm. (Refreshments at 12.30pm:)Edwina Stewart will introduce Angela Jackson and question time/debate will be chaired by Myrtle Hill.

The BIFHE are hosting this event in the College Square East, as part of their Centenary celebrations. On show for the first time will be a photographic exhibition “A HUNDRED YEARS OF WOMEN AT THE TECH” contrasting women who attended the college in the early part of the 20th century with women who attend the college in the present day. (Leaflet will be available shortly).

Angela Jackson, a doctor of History from the University of Essex, now lives in the Priorat, Catalonia. She moved there in 2002 after visiting the area to research for her book, British Women and the Spanish Civil War. (Routledge, London, 2002) Her interest in the history of the cave hospital near the village of La Bisbal de Falset led to the publication of a further book in Catalan and English, Beyond the Battlefield (Warren & Pell, Pontypool, 2005). She continues to be involved in the subject of memory and remembrance of the war though her work as president of the association ‘No Jubilem La Memòria’. The work of the group so far has included the production of a documentary based on interviews with International Brigaders and local people, the organisation of commemorative events and lectures, and the collection and exhibition of photographs taken in the area during the civil war.

Edwina Stewart was a teacher in Ashfield Girls School and Comber High School. Following in her parents footsteps (they were founder members of the Communist Party of Ireland) Edwina continues her membership of the CPI, and it is in this capacity that she knew some of those families whose relatives went to fight in Spain against fascism. Her mother Sadie Menzies was involved in the International Women’s Day events in the late 1940’s. Edwina was also honorary secretary of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association from 1969 until the late ‘70’s. And as she says “I joined practically every peace and solidarity organisation and I’m not finished yet.” (Cited by Marilyn Hyndman in Further Afield: Journeys from a Protestant past 1996) In 1962 as a serving teacher, Edwina was a student in Commercial Studies at the ‘Tech’ in Belfast.

Myrtle Hill, who returned to study as a housewife and mother, is currently Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. A senior lecturer in social, religious and women’s history, she has published widely in these areas; her most recent book is Women in Ireland: A Century of Change, Belfast, 2003. She continues to work on various aspects of Irish, particularly northern Irish women’s history, focusing more recently on the complexities of how events are recorded and remembered. As coordinator of the University’s Access Programme, she maintains a strong interest in the promotion of opportunities for mature students.
Social Event: 8th March: In the evening there will be an IWD event held in the John Hewitt pub in Donegall Street 7.15pm to late. “Into the Fire” a film about American Women’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War will be shown, followed by musicians/singers/poets, Geraldine Bradley, Paul Bradley; Chad Dughie, Victoria Gleason & others plus a poem sent by Sinead Morrissey. All proceeds from this event will go the International Brigades Commemoration Committee who intends to establish a memorial to those Belfast people who died fighting with the International Brigade in Spain. (£6 waged & £2.00 unwaged)
Relatives of the International Brigade, who went to Spain from Ireland will invited to the events which are supported by the International Brigades Commemoration Committee; BIFHE; Belfast & District Trade Union Council; and partly funded by the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement. These events should appeal women’s organisations, students, historians, trade unionists, academics, & political activists.
All People Welcome

For further details


The RSYM is selling tickets for a raffle will be April 17th, 11am at Costello House. The prizes are a POW-made bodhrán (traditional Irish drum), DVDs and assorted IRSM merchandise valued around 15 euro. The price of each ticket is 2 euro, 1 pound or 3 dollars.

The funds raised from raffle ticket sales will help RSY to acquire a banner, badges, pay for their website and so on. It's important work in establishing the IRSM's youth wing and all sales are greatly appreciated!

No comments: