Saturday 25 March 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 21

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 21

March 2006

E-mail newsletter of the
Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Samuel L. Jackson

2) Statement from the INLA

3) The Pensions Strike

4) Court Action by Turkish Workers

5) Teamsters join protest against Coca-Cola over workers rights

6) Solidarity with CGRP Activist Harassed in Free State

7) A Question for Irish Republicans

8) Letters

a. German Solidarity
b. Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association
c. Canadian Solidarity
d. Easter Cards
e. Communist Youth Union
f. National Day Of Mourning
g. Organising Mc Donalds
h. Launch of Charter
i. Land Day
j. Aiden Hulme
9) From The Newspapers



a. Organising McDonald’s
b. Too Much To Do?

11) What’s on

RESPECT to Samuel L. Jackson.

The screen legend was recently interviewed by Kate Thornton on British T.V. about working with Colin Farrell in S.W.A.T. when the following conversation took place:

Kate: What's it like working with Colin, 'cos he is just so hot in the U.K. right now.

Samuel: He's pretty hot in the U.S. too

Kate: Yea! but he's one of our own!

Samuel: Isn't he from Ireland?

Kate: Yeah, but we claim him 'cos Ireland is beside us.

Samuel: You see that's your problem right there. You British keep claiming people that don't belong to you. We had that problem in America too - it was called slavery.

30th March 2006

The Irish Republican Socialist Party have received the following statement from the Derry Brigade of the INLA:

"The Derry Brigade of the Irish National Liberation Army can confirm that our volunteers were this week involved in an operation to smash a North-West based crime gang concerned with the supply and distribution of Class-A drugs. During this operation, volunteers recovered a substantial amount of Cocaine estimated to be worth thousands of pounds. These drugs were then handed in to a priest in St Joseph's parish in Galliagh last night.

"The Irish National Liberation Army view the sale and distribution of these dangerous and highly addictive drugs with serious concern and we take this opportunity to warn all others involved in this trade to come forward to and make themselves available to any member of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.

"The Irish National Liberation Army will not allow the working class people of this city to be used as cannon fodder by these criminals whose only concern is profit by whatever means available to them."

The Pensions Strike:

The one-day national strike on Tuesday 28th March for council workers and others covered by the LGPS in education and elsewhere was the single biggest work stoppage in Britain since the May 1926 General Strike and involved more than one million members.

The prospect of a mandatory retirement age of 65, the effective result of a swingeing cut of up to 30 per cent in benefits for those seeking to retire at 60 was the impetus that drove so many to strike. The average annual payout under the existing scheme falls below £4,000, with many women workers receiving as little £31 a week.

An international neo-liberal campaign to increase the working lifetime has sparked two one-day general strikes in Belgium, while France, Italy and Austria have also seen national strikes.

The British pensions system currently leaves elderly people in grinding poverty on a weekly state pension of less than £85 a week. More than one in six retired people survive on less than £5,000 a year, while the incomes of another 40 per cent fall below £15,000.

Meanwhile, just over 200 directors of companies listed among the FTSE 100 are grabbing pension payouts exceeding £100,000, with 43 of them chalking up post-retirement rewards of more than £400,000 a year, and at least five, including the former top bosses of BP, Cadbury Schweppes and Unilever, on more than £700,000.

That’s Capitalism for you.
Court Action by Turkish Workers

Twenty six Turkish and Kurdish workers have raised a civil action in the New York District Court against the Coca-Cola Company and its Turkish affiliates, demanding a jury trial for relief and damages. The case “involves the systematic intimidation and torture of workers” in Istanbul who decided to join the Nakliyat I trade union affiliated to the progressive DISK federation. But “Coke’s local managers, employees, agents and/or co-venturers unleashed the brutal Çevik Kuvvet, a ‘special branch’ of the Turkish police on the workers and their families, who were peacefully assembled to protest that all of the workers who joined or supported the Union were summarily discharged by Coke”.

The case can be downloaded from

Teamsters join protest against Coca-Cola over workers rights
Coca-Cola is now facing a labour relations problem in the US, after the Teamsters Union joined protesters calling for boycotts against the company over alleged human rights violations in Colombia. While Coca-Cola said that it was "greatly disappointed and offended" by the "false and inflammatory" allegations made by the Teamsters, the union's action marks a situation where its workforce is becoming activist on a global scale.
The Teamsters are also afraid of job losses due to the cancellation by universities of a number of lucrative contracts with the company. The universities have been pressured into action due to student protests over allegations involving hit squads, murder and pollution. "Coca-Cola's refusal to take the students seriously is having a direct impact on the company, its reputation and the Teamsters who service university contracts," stated Joe Wojciechowski, president of Teamsters Local 812, which represents about 2,000 of the company's workers in New York.
Solidarity with CGRP Activist Harrassed in Free State

On 23 March 2006 a member of the Concerned Group for Republican
Prisoners charity organisation was detained and held by Free State authorities
under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. The person in question was denied access to a solicitor, access to telephone or a doctor.
These abuses have been specifically condemned by human rights advocates
such as Amnesty International for years now.

In a report from 1999, "Amnesty International urges the Committee to recommend that the government ensure that the internationally
guaranteed rights of each person arrested or detained under the OAS Acts are
respected, including among other things, the right to counsel and access
to counsel including free assistance of counsel during the investigation and questioning." (Submission to the Committee to Review the Offences
Against the State Acts and Other Matters)

Republican Socialist Youth urge all republicans to unite against an attempt to criminalise republicans after the events in Dublin.
Republicans will continue to oppose sectarianism and invoke their peaceful right
to protest Loyalist supremacism. Republicans and progressives should view
this recent detainment as yet another form of internment without trial.

Is muidne,

RSYM Ard Comhairle


"We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland
and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and
Proclamation of the Irish Republic

"Approximately 70% of the legislation passing through the Dail now
originates from the EU."

- Sinn Fein European Department document, "Putting Democracy at the Heart
of the EU" (Sec.3/9)

QUESTION: Is the Irish Republic proclaimed in Easter 1916 compatible with
over half the laws we must obey being made by the European Union in

"The right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland and to the
unfettered control of Irish destinies" is clearly not compatible with the
EU as it stands and is developing.

Having to obey laws made mainly by others means being ruled by others. It is the opposite of a country being independent, sovereign and democratic. What role do the Irish State and Irish people have in making EU laws? We have one member out of 25 on the EU Commission, the body of nominated, non-elected officials which has the monopoly of proposing all EU laws. That is 4% influence there. Ireland also has one Minister out of 25 on the EU Council of Ministers, which actually makes EU laws on the basis of the Commission's proposals. That is again 4% influence there. In practice most EU laws are adopted by qualified majority vote on the Council of Ministers, a system in which Ireland has 7 votes out of 345, that is, 2% of a say, and in which it may be outvoted on most matters.

The European Parliament can propose amendments to draft laws from the EU Council of Ministers, but it cannot have these amendments adopted without the agreement of the Council and Commission, and it cannot itself initiate any law. The 26-County State has 13 members out of 732 in the European Parliament, that is 2% of a say there, and the 6-Cos. has 3 MEPs.

Yet when the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom from 1800 to 1921,it had 100 MPs out of 600 in the British Parliament, of which over 70were Nationalists. That gave Nationalist Ireland 12% of a say at Westminster; yet the Irish people were unhappy with majority rule from London then and aspired to a Parliament of their own in an independent Republic.

As for "the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland", how can
people pretend to have that right when under EU law it is illegal for an Irish Government to adopt any measure that would prevent the 450 million citizens of the other EU States from having the same rights of ownership and establishment in this country as Irish citizens, in relation to land-buying, fisheries, residence, work or the conduct of any economic activity?

In addition to being subject to laws made overwhelmingly by non-Irish people in Brussels, the Dublin Government is regularly fined for breaking
EU laws by the EU Court of Justice - something no sovereign State is ever subject to. How is that compatible with "the unfettered control of Irish destinies"?

In addition, EU membership means that Member States lose their right to
sign trade treaties with other States, this being done by the Brussels
Commission acting for the EU as a as a whole. It means that the Member
States are legally obliged to work towards a common foreign policy and
common rules in crime and justice matters. A judgement of the EU Court of Justice some months back laid down that the EU can adopt supranational criminal sanctions such as fines, imprisonment or confiscation of assets for breaches of EU law by means of majority vote. This means that Ireland and its citizens would be subject to such criminal sanctions even if they had voted against them and for matters they did not necessarily regard as crimes.

How is that for "unfettered control" of our destinies? Before the
26-Cos.joined the EEC in 1973, Article 15 of the Irish Constitution stated that "the sole and exclusive pwoer of making laws for the State is hereby vested in the Oireachtas: no other legislative authority has power to make laws for the State." The Irish State was certainly constitutionally sovereign then.

As a member of the eurozone Dublin has no control of either the rate of interest or its currency exchange rate, which are classical economic tools of all independent governments that seek to advance their people's welfare.

All this is clearly incompatible with "the unfettered control of Irish destinies", proclaimed in the Declaration of the Republic of 1916. Yet the
leaders of Fianna Fail, which has put us under EU rule and wants to give
the EU more power still by ratifying the proposed EU Constitution, proclaim themselves to belong to "The Republican Party" and will brazenly perpetrate the hypocrisy of pretending to honour the men and women of 1916on Easter Sunday next. And they will be supported in that hypocrisy by the leaders of the other major Dail Parties.

Real Republicans will seek to expose that hypocrisy and put Fianna Fail and the rest on the defensive with regard to it.

Anthony Coughlan


German Solidarity
Dear friends of republican socialism and freedom for all people, we have a little newspaper here in Germany/ Hamburg, we are trying to make a grassroot Project by involving all kinds of groups and organisations who believe in the need to do something against the exploitation of the world and our beloved nature. The fact that capitalism destroys our nature and with in this, our respect for living creatures, shows that only if we do unite from one country to the next, by an international movement or at first by co-operations that we do have to begin, than our voices will grow from one day to the next. Our newspaper is just a very small drop in the water, but with your help, by supporting us with information about the situation in your country, you would give the people in Germany more inside informations than they would get on the regular news.

Our project: "Alles für Alle/Todo para todos" would be glad to get in contact with you. Greetings from Hamburg,
Manu Kumar Loganey phone : 0172 1558 421

Press Release: Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.
Contact: Martin Mulholland/Marian Price
Telephone 78801726412 or 02871261063

Protest for Political Status.
Saturday 1st April.
Assemble 2.30pm Free Derry Corner.
Derry City.

The IRPWA urge ALL republicans to attend a protest for political status on Saturday 1st April in Derry City. This protest is to highlight the fact that 25 years on from the heroic sacrifices of 10 brave IRA/INLA volunteers, political status is again denied to this generation of Republican prisoners.

Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which was supported and endorsed by all constitutional nationalist parties in Ireland, the British government has deemed captured Republican volunteers as criminals and has portrayed their struggle as a criminal conspiracy rather than a legitimate resistance to colonial rule.

As a result of the criminalisation policy adopted by the British and supported by the SDLP,PSF, the Unionists and the Free State government, Republicans lost all they had gained from many years of struggle. The regime which Republican POW_s currently encounter in Maghaberry is extremely restricted due to a practice known as controlled movement whereby no more than two prisoners can be unlocked at any one time. Access to education, recreation and washing facilities is minimal and 23 hour lock up is a daily occurrence. Strip searches are frequent with up to seven a day not unusual.

POW’s have reported a high level of behaviour meant to demean and degrade with some likening this process to sexual assault. Arbitrary sentencing of men to the punishment blocks for long periods of isolation is another common feature of life for Republican prisoners, the slighted _breech_ of prison protocol can affect parole later on down the line. Another result of this criminalisation is the criminalisation of friends and family visiting the POW. Visitors are frequently denied access to their loved ones by a sniffer dog that is there to allegedly detect drugs. Republican visitors have stopped on numerous occasions but when they have challenged the prison staff to search them and call the police to have them undergo drug testing the prison has refused. Given the large quantity of drugs in the criminal and loyalist wings in Maghaberry it would appear the dog is better trained at sniffing out republicans than illegal substances.

We also take this opportunity to call for the immediate repatriation of the seven Republican POW_s in English gaols and urge the Dublin government to intervene to uphold their rights as Irish citizens.
These seven men have been ghosted around the English prison system at a moments notice which has caused untold distress both emotionally and financially for their visiting relatives.

The IRPWA urge the Republican community to resist this criminalisation policy and to confront it and those who have endorsed it wherever and whenever they can. The Republican community must demand answers as to why the POW’s must endure a label that criminalises not just the prisoner but all those who reject British rule in Ireland. While Britain maintains its illegal sovereign claim over part of Ireland there are always going to be POW’s incarcerated in British and Irish gaols.
Join us to ensure they regain the political status that so many brave volunteers have fought and died to achieve.

Message Ends.

Re. Derry City demo April 1st/06

Greetings and solidarity to you all.

Almost 30 years ago we organized ourselves to resist the label of criminalization the British had imposed on Republican and Republican Socialist POWs. Through our H-Block/Armagh committee we worked with others, labour unions and the various prisoner support networks from New York to San Francisco, Toronto to Vancouver.
Never in our innermost being could we believe that anyone, political organization, or faction within the ‘republican family’ could sell- out or turn their backs on the hard won battle fought within, and on the outside of the H-blocks and Armagh prisons from 76-81. Neither can we ignore the tremendous courage of those who have endured and resisted with their lives the label of criminal both in 26 county and British mainland prisons.
In memory of those brave comrades of the IRA and the INLA we lost in ’81 we stand in solidarity with you again as you resist the label of criminalisation in Maghaberry.
Mike Quinn
Saskatchewan, Canada

As you may have heard,there is an effort to declare illegal and ban the Communist Youth Union of the Czech Republic(KSM).
This is an effort of the Czech government with much deeper intention.
I am sending you a link, where you can read a petition and sign(if you agree).
There are already more than 4000 signatures from allover the world(you can view them),by all kind of representatives of political, social,cultural sectors.
You can also send the link to friends,to be signed by them as well.


Iraklis Tsavdaridis

Send a greeting to the prisoners this Easter!

The Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America are now selling Easter cards that can be purchased for 2.50USD a set(or the equivalent amount in sterling / euro).

The cards are a simple and dignified design of light green with text that read "Happy Easter" in Celtic font. If you purchase a card set for the POWs, it will come with matching addressed envelopes.

Contact if you are interested, but act quickly. Payments can be arranged through paypal or by mail.

Saoirse go deo.

NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING EVENTS to be held Friday April 28th 2006, starting at 7pm with a wreathlaying ceremony at the Celtic Cross Memorial, Wellington St. Locks (nominated and likely to be named a World Heritage Site in 2007), followed at 8pm at the Ottawa Public Library Auditorium, 120 Metcalfe Street, by a Showing of the CPAC Documentary, Col By, Hero Without Honour, The Story of The Rideau Canal with Ms. Holly Doan, Speaker, - Producer, and Dolas & Friends performing music, poems and songs . The concert is a benefit for the Ottawa & District Injuried Workers Group (ODIWG) Sponsors: Ottawa Mayworks (OMW) Canal Workers Commemmorative Group For Info: 839-1953 or 726-7583


If you need any clarification of the above, please contact me at 726-7583 or email at above,
Thank You
Kevin Dooley,
(Sent by Onagh Dooley)
347 Poulin Ave
Ottawa. On
K2B 5T9


They said it couldn't be done.

They said you can't organize young, minimum wage workers at places like
Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and McDonald's.

But the plucky New Zealand union known as "Unite" wasn't listening, and
stunned the world a few weeks ago by launching the first-ever strike at

Now they've taken on McDonald's, and they are serious about challenging one
of the most ruthlessly anti-union corporations on the planet. They're
signing up workers, taking the company to court, and launching a global
campaign to flood McDonald's in New Zealand with thousands of email protest

Your support for this effort is essential. If we can compell McDonald's in
tiny New Zealand to cave in and finally respect both the law and the basic
human rights of its employees, we can begin to challenge the company in
other countries as well.

Please click here now:

Then, pass on this email message to your fellow union members. Get everyone

c/o 218 York Street, Belfast BT15 1GY

24 March 2006

You are cordially invited to the launch of the North Belfast Conflict Transformation Forum’s Charter:


AT 10:30am

IN The NICVA Conference Room

The North Belfast Conflict Transformation Forum evolved out of a series of informal networks between community practitioners from North Belfast.
This organic process has now been formalised through the development of the Forum. Current membership of the Forum represents a diverse range of backgrounds and all of whom have agreed to work within a specific charter.

This is an exciting and innovative model that brings together practitioners to combine local knowledge and expertise to work in transforming conflict and interface violence.

The Forum intends to promote its charter throughout North Belfast. Copies of the charter will be available on the day of the launch.

Please confirm if a member of your organisation can attend by emailing before Friday 7 April.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Kind regards.

On behalf of
The North Belfast Conflict Transformation Forum.

Land Day
Most of the news about the conflict in the Middle East focuses on Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and its ongoing oppression of the 3.2 million Palestinians living there. Less is heard in the media of the oppression of the 1.2 million Palestinians who managed to remain in Israel despite the expulsions since 1947/8. The Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1947/8 had to live under martial law until 1966. Since then they have continued to exist as second-class citizens constantly under the threat of expulsion, land confiscations and home demolitions.
Land Day, or Yoam Al-‘Ard in Arabic, commemorates the bloody confrontations with state “security” forces that took place in 1976, within the state of Israel, when seven Palestinians were killed and some 100 injured.
In March 1976 the Israeli government confiscated 20 thousand “dunums” of Palestinian farmland within Israel. The land was to be used to build new Jewish settlements and also a military training camp. In anticipation of Palestinian protests the Israeli Government declared all Arab villages and towns as military zones and imposed a curfew on the villages of Sakhnin, Arabeh, Der-Hannah, Turhan, Tamra, and Kabul (all in lower Galilee), which was to be effective from 5pm on March 29, 1976.
On the morning of March 30 1976, the Palestinians organised a general strike, which was accompanied by workers marching through the streets of Palestinian towns, from Galilee to the Negev. The Israeli government sent in the army and police with tanks and heavy artillery. The demonstrations were brutally attacked. Unarmed Palestinian workers were shot at. Dozens were wounded and seven were killed, mostly young teenagers. One of those young people was a 16 year-old, Khaddeajeh Shawahdeh, killed in Sakhnin. She had just stepped outside of her home to pull her young 5-year old brother back into the safety of the house. She was just one of the victims of that day.
Today, thirty years later, Palestinians in Israel, in the Occupied Territories and throughout the world, still commemorate Land day, when Palestinians people peacefully protested against the denial of civil and human rights within Israel and were cruelly massacred for their troubles.
Historical background
Israel was established in 1948 by means of a UN resolution, which handed over 50% of historic Palestine to the new Jewish state, over the heads of the majority Palestinian population. The ensuing war led to ¾ million Palestinian refugees, the destruction of more than 400 Palestinian villages and towns and the confiscation of a further 28% of Palestine by Israel. Israel refused to allow these refugees to return home despite UN resolutions requiring them to do so. In contrast, any Jewish person living anywhere in the world has the right to go and become a citizen of Israel.
After the war in 1967, Israel occupied the remaining 22% of historic Palestine (the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem). In defiance of UN Resolutions Israel has continued this illegal occupation for the past 39 years, and despite the recent Gaza pullout continues to confiscate Palestinian land and build illegal settlements in the West bank and East Jerusalem.
* There are now over 431,500 Israeli settlers living illegally in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
* There are currently nearly 5 million Palestinian refugees living outside Palestine and a further 3.5 million living in often abominable conditions in the Occupied Territories.
* 75% of the Palestinians are living on less than $2 a day well below the poverty line, as a result of
Israel’s policy of closures
* Israel has refused to implement at least 70 UN resolutions and ignores International Humanitarian Law. Currently Israel is building an Apartheid Wall in the West Bank (despite the International Court at the Hague stating in July 2004 that this contravened international law). The Wall cuts off the Palestinian areas not just from Israel but also from other Palestinian towns and villages. Confiscating a further 10% of the land for Israel it is creating a giant prison within the West bank for the entire Palestinian population.

Apartheid with Israel
Within Israel itself, the Palestinians who remained after 1947/8 now make up 1.2 million (20%) of the population. Yet they continue to be treated as second-class citizens in their own land.
There are a number of laws against Palestinian citizens of Israel (who lived under martial law from 1948 to 1966). In fact the Israel-based human rights organisation, Adalah ( has identified over 20 laws that discriminate against Arab (Palestinian) Israeli citizens, making every aspect of their life unbearable. For example, 93% of the land, which is now inside Israel, is actually off limits to Palestinians and designated for Jewish people only. Thus, although Palestinians are 20% of the population of Israel they are only entitled to live on 7% of the land and indeed they only live on 2% or 3% of the land.
If a Palestinian within Israel marries a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza Strip they can no longer get citizenship for their spouse. This means that the spouse and her/his family will not be allowed to enter Israel – the Palestinian will have to leave Israel. The aim of this is to force out more of the Palestinians who still live in Israel and to prevent more from getting in. This is not the case for Jewish people – who can marry anyone in the world and bring them to Israel.
There are a number of Palestinian villages in Israel that Israel refuses to recognise as being legal villages - villages that have been there since before 1948. Since these villages have not been recognised by the state, it is impossible for them to get social services, whether it is health-care, or municipal services such as garbage collection, whether it is roads or sewage, water, telephone usage etc. Particularly affected by this are the Bedouin, second-class citizens of Israel whose ancient way of life has been almost completely destroyed.
Palestinians who have been absent from their home for more than three years will have their right to return denied and their land confiscated while any Jewish person from anywhere in the world who has never lived in Israel is entitled to come to Israel and is given financial incentives to do so.


An online petition aimed at securing the repatriation of republican prisoner Aiden Hulme has just been launched by the New Republican Forum.
Aiden is currently serving a 22-year sentence in Full Sutton prison, England. He was imprisoned for alleged involvement in the 2000/2001 â•?Realâ•? IRA bombing campaign in London. He has lost his appeal against conviction and sentence and is currently awaiting repatriation to Portlaoise Prison in Ireland.
Prior to his arrest and imprisonment Aiden was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left him with a severely injured leg. In the immediate aftermath of the accident he was receiving medical treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and his condition was improving at the time of his detention.
However, subsequent to his arrest and imprisonment in Britainâ•?s notorious Belmarsh Special Secure Unit [SSU], Aidenâ•?s medical condition began to deteriorate at an alarming rate.
In response to intense political pressure the Belmarsh authorities reluctantly acquired the services of a medical specialist and doctor to examine Aidenâ•?s injured leg. After a brief examination the Belmarsh-appointed specialist informed him that the injured leg should be amputated. Aiden?s family and friends, disturbed by and suspicious of this opinion, immediately sought a second opinion.
After intensive and prolonged political lobbying by the Irish Political Status Committee and other human rights groups an independent specialist was permitted access to Belmarsh SSU to examine Aiden. After the examination the independent specialist deemed the limb ?saveable contrary to the opinion of the prison-appointed specialist.
Not only is Aiden still being denied proper treatment but astonishingly, the Full Sutton prison authorities have decided to withdraw his pain-killing medication on a gradual basis. No alternative medication has been offered on the grounds that the pain in his leg is â•?purely psychologicalâ•?.
The British authorities had transferred all the official documentation relating to Aidenâ•?s repatriation bid to the Department of Justice in Dublin by September 2005 but the application has still not been processed. These delays are leaving Aiden at risk of having his injured leg amputated in England.
Here’s the link in case anyone is interested in signing it:
We plan to picket the department of Justice where the delay in Aiden’s repatriation bid is occuring - during which we intend to present a printed version of the petition to department staff.
If anyone is interested in helping with this campaign, which has the support of several political and humanitarian organisations, contact me on:

Paul Doyle,

New Republican Forum.

To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre.
Antiracism mailing list


It's hard to keep track of all the things we're working on. This is why I
use some software you probably never heard of: VIP Simple To Do list.

This fantastic program allows me to set up many different categories for my
tasks, to set priorities for each one, to indicate if I've made any
progress, and to easily view tasks I have completed, the ones I am still
working on, the ones where I am waiting for someone or something, and so on.
I use it every day, all the time -- an indispensable tool for the busy

You can download a free trial here:

If you choose to purchase the software, LabourStart gets a share of the

Thanks -- and have a great weekend.

Eric Lee



This meeting is meant for people working in the peace movement in Ireland and those who would like to get more involved.

We would like to explore the basics of the struggle against Irish involvement in war in particular the military use of Shannon airport.

What are our goals?

How do we organise to achieve those goals?

Who are our opponents?

Who is willing to help us?

Who are our targets?
Which tactics do we use?
Which should never be used?
This is a forum for people of all persuasions, opinions, of all religions and none, to come together, see what we can come up with and then take it further.
We can use the experience of the past three years to increase our effectiveness in the future. Mistakes that were made don’t have to be repeated.

How do we get people with such differing perspectives on tactics and priorities working together in a cohesive way?

This meeting is meant to be the start of a series of meetings and contacts, to reconnect those who work against war in Ireland.
Anybody who agrees that Shannon airport or any other Irish facility should not be used to assist in the attack on Iraq and other countries should come along.
APRIL 1st Teachers Club 2pm – 5.30
36 Parnell Sq, Dublin 1
All welcome open discussion

For more information contact 0863454332 or

Hosted by Cosantóirí Siochana / The Peace Network, an independent group wishing to forge alliances in the Irish Peace Movement.

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:


The RSYM is selling tickets for a raffle which will be held at a funraising
event in Belfast on 28 April which will include a ballad group with disco

The prizes are a Hunger Strike commemorative bodhran, a Portlaoise prison
craft, Portlaoise bodhran and a selection of Republican CDs.

Tickets are priced as - 2 euro, 1 pound and 3 dollars each. Available from
the usual outlets.

The funds raised from raffle ticket sales will help RSYM to acquire a
banner, pins and to cover finances for the coming year. It's important work
in establishing the IRSM's youth wing and all sales are greatly appreciated!

THE biography "Ruairí Ó Brádaigh - The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary" will be launched by Dr Ruán O'Donnell, Department of History, Limerick University, on April 12 - the Wednesday before Easter.

Other speakers at the launch in the Cúltúrlann, Monkstown, Dublin at 7.30pm will include the author Professor Robert W White of Indiana University and the subject of the book himself, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

The book is in hardback and runs to 350 pages with another 60 pages of notes and is the result of over 20 years of research and interviews with the subject. Dr O'Donnell did extensive work for the bicentenaries of 1798 and 1803 and is now engaged in a study on the Republican Movement in the 1950s.

As part of the celebration for the 90th Anniversary of the execution of James Connolly the Communist Party of Ireland has organised a weekend of events on the 12th-13th-14th May. On Friday we have booked Liberty Hall to have a celebration of Connolly's Life & Times with visitors coming from India, Venezuela, Cuba and Britain. On Saturday will be an all day conference dealing with contemporary Ireland. On Sunday we have plannedan International wreathe laying ceremony in Arbour Hill.

For further details visit our website ,

Tuesday 21 March 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 20

The Plough
Volume 3, Number 20
21 March 2006

E-Mail Newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

1) Editorial
2) On Political Rights and Freedom
3) Benefits (?) of the Good Friday Agreement
4) The New Globalisation Guru?
5) Wages for Housewives in Venezuela
6) USA: Prison Nation
7) Letters
8) What's On



Every year we witness the nauseating sight of Irish politicians flying
over to Washington to pay homage to the President of the USA on St.
Patrick's Day. Usually that President then lectures, bullies and
patronises the politicians to reach agreement on restoring democracy
and peace to Ireland. Indeed only recently a leader of Sinn Fein in
protesting at the ban on fundraising let slip the telling phrase that
he had been of use to the USA. Quite.

It is indeed a sad irony of history that leaders in Ireland once
heavily involved in the struggle for self-determination for Ireland
cannot wait to slavishly pay homage to one of the most oppressive
regimes in the world. So we have republished below part of a report on
political rights and freedoms in the USA published by China which
surely exposes the hollowness at the heart of the USA's championing of
human rights and democracy. It is clear that corruption eats at the
very heart not only of the USA but also in Britain where Blair and his
cronies have been exposed as corrupt and as sleazy as the Tories
before them. Given this corruption and the march of the Irish Labour
Party into the political and ideological embrace of the right wing
Fine Gael Party the question has to be addressed is there a future for
socialists in these two parties?

We also republish a debate on Marx and globalisation that confirms for
us the necessity to have an internationalist perspective and also a
reaffirmation of socialist goals.



The United States has always boasted itself as the "model of
democracy" and hawked its mode of democracy to the rest of the world.
In fact, American "democracy" is always one for the wealthy and a
"game for the rich."

The democratic elections in the United States, to a great extent, are
driven by money. During the mayoral election of New York City in
November 2005, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent 77.89 million
U.S. dollars of his fortune for re-election. That came to more than
100 U.S. dollars per vote. The election was termed by the Associated
Press as the most expensive mayoral re-election in history. In the
race for governor of New Jersey, the dueling multimillionaires spent
75 million U.S. dollars combined, with 40 million dollars by Jon S.
Corzine, who won the election. Taking into account the 60 million U.S.
dollars he spent on a Senate seat in 2000, Corzine had spent 100
million U.S. dollars in five years for elections. According to a
survey, in Washington D.C. a U.S. senator needs about 20 million U.S.
dollars to keep the seat in the Senate. The Washington Post criticized
the U.S. political system in an editorial: "But a political system
that turns elective office into a bauble for purchase is not a healthy

Decisions of the U.S. Congress and the Administration are deeply
influenced by money. It is known to all that in the United States,
various firms and interest groups hire public relations and consulting
companies to lobby the Congress and the Administration, spending money
to influence their decisions and win government contracts.

On Jan. 4, 2006, mainstream U.S. media carried reports on super
lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleading guilty to three felony charges
including a conspiracy involving corruption of public officials and
agreeing to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors in investigating members
of Congress and aides suspected of corruption. The case is the largest
power-for-money scandal in American politics for several decades. It
was reported that 20 members of Congress and their aides have been
involved in this unusual large-scale scandal.

But the Abramoff case is just a tip of an iceberg. According to the
Washington Post and the British Observer, lobbying has become a great
growth industry with huge profits in Washington. Currently, the number
of registered lobbyists has reached 34,750, that comes 60 to 1
compared with the total number of the U.S. federal officials elected.

Meanwhile, the lobbyists handle more than two billion U.S. dollars of
funds a year. Washington downtown's K Street with many lobbying firms
is called "the road to riches" and "the fourth largest power" next to
the President, the Congress and the Court. From 1998 to 2004,
lobbyists spent 13 billion U.S. dollars to promote realization of
their clients' wishes. In 2004, 2.1 billion U.S. dollars was spent on
lobbying the federal government and the Congress, and 3 billion U.S.
dollars for elections of the President and members of Congress in the
United States. The USA Today revealed that since 2000, 5,410 trips of
Congress members were financed by undisclosed sources and Congress
members have taken 16 million U.S. dollars in privately financed
trips. It's a "revolving door" for lobbyists to turn into politicians
and retired politicians from government service to engage in influence
peddling in the private sector. It was reported that since 1998 more
than 2,200 former U.S. government employees have become lobbyists;
among them are 273 former White House staff members and 250 former
Congress members and department heads from the Executive branch.

On Oct. 24, 2005, a national public opinion survey released by the
U.S. News and World Report revealed that 73 percent Americans believe
their leaders are out of touch with the average person; 64 percent of
Americans feel that their leaders are corrupted by power; 62 percent
think that leaders seek for increase in personal wealth. A joint
Gallup Poll by the USA Today and CNN found job approval for Congress,
which has a Republican majority, has fallen to 29 percent, the lowest
level since 1994; 49 percent American adults say they believe "most
members of Congress are corrupt." Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey
Clark said it is an offense to democracy to describe the United States
as a democracy.

The United States flaunts its press freedom but scandals about the
U.S. government blocking and manipulating information came out
continually. The New York Times reported on March 13, 2005 that the
United States is in "a new age of prepackaged TV news."

The federal government has aggressively distributed prepackaged news
reports to TV stations. At least 20 federal agencies, including the
Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed
hundreds of television news segments in the past four years.

The U.S. military pays Iraqi newspapers and journalists for the
so-called information operations campaign. The Los Angeles Times
reported on Nov. 30, 2005 that the U.S. military troops have been
writing articles burnishing the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq,
sending them to a Washington-based firm, which translates them into
Arabic and places them in Baghdad newspapers. It said the military
also has purchased an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio
station "to channel pro-American messages to the Iraqi public." Other
reports said that U.S. army officers created an outfit called the
Baghdad Press Club that pays members as much as 200 U.S. dollars a
month to churn out positive pieces about American military operations.
The Washington Post in an editorial called these activities against
freedom of the press as "planted propaganda."

The U.S. government's ban on different voices through various means
has been condemned by the international community. On Nov. 22, 2005,
British newspaper the Daily Mirror, citing a "top secret" memo on
April 16, 2004 from Downing Street, said the U.S. government wished to
bomb the headquarters of Arabic TV station Al-Jazeera in Doha, Qatar,
during the Iraqi War to block information about the real situation of
the war and remove its negative influence on the U.S. side. The
revelation resulted in protests by all the Al-Jazeera staff in more
than 30 countries and criticism from the International Federation of

On Nov. 27, British Observer said Al-Jazeera offices in Baghdad and
Kabul had all been bombed by the U.S. military and its journalists
detained, threatened, abused and harassed by the U.S. military during
the Iraqi war. In fact, U.S. crude intrusion into press freedom
happened repeatedly. On April 8, 2003, cameraman Jose Couso of the
Spanish Telecino television station was shot dead by U.S. soldiers.
After Couso's death, the Spanish court issued warrants for the Spanish
police and International Criminal Police Organization to arrest and
extradite three suspected U.S. soldiers immediately. On Aug. 28, 2005,
U.S. forces opened fire at a team of Reuters reporters; one Reuters
soundman was shot several times in the face and chest, and he was
killed on the spot. Two Iraqi reporters who rushed to the spot were
also arrested and forced to exposure to the scorching sun. According
to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the United States is holding
four Iraqi journalists in detention centers in Iraq and one journalist
of Al-Jazeera, at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo bay,
Cuba. None of the five have been charged with a specific crime. In
July 2005, the New York Times reporter Judith Miller was sentenced to
jail for refusing to disclose her source. Covering the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, a photographer for Canadian Toronto Star daily was
hurled to the ground by New Orleans police. The police grabbed his two
cameras and removed memory cards. When he asked for his pictures back,
the police insulted him and threatened to hit him. A reporter for a
local newspaper of New Orleans was also attacked while covering a
shoot-out between police and local residents. The police detained him
and smashed all of his equipment on the ground.

[From "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2005", The
Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of
China, 9 March 2006.]



Members of the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), formerly the UDR, will
receive redundancy payments worth up to ?151,000 (US$ 262,000) under a
plan announced on March 9 to disband three of its Six-County-based

The redundancy package will cost up to ?250 million for 3,000 RIR
soldiers. British Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram announced around
that 2,000 full-time members of the regiment will receive a tax-free
lump sum of ?28,000 in addition to their normal army redundancy.

Around 1,100 part-time members of the RIR will also be given a
tax-free ex gratia payment of ?14,000. There will also be a welfare
package to help full and part-time RIR members resettle, retrain and
find work.



Eric Hobsbawm and Jacques Attali
Monday 13th March 2006

In the past week Eric Hobsbawm, the pre-eminent historian and avowed
communist, debated the role of Karl Marx in the 21st century with the
one-time international banker Jacques Attali. They came to some
unlikely conclusions

Hobsbawm: Here we are, paying our respects to Karl Marx. Jacques
Attali's biography of him, which has sold like hot cakes in France, is
being translated in Britain. I've only done the biography of Marx in
The Dictionary of National Biography, in a more modest way. When you
consider, it's really rather strange that we should be here to talk to
an enormous audience about it. One can't say that he died a failure in
1883, because his writings had begun to have some impact in Russia and
a political movement in Germany was already in being under the
leadership of his disciples. And yet, how could he have been satisfied
with his life's work? He'd written a few brilliant pamphlets and the
torso of an uncompleted major work: Das Kapital. His major political
effort since the failure of the 1848 revolution, the so-called First
International of 1864-73, had foundered. He had established no place
of significance in the politics of the intellectual life of Britain,
where he had lived for over half his lifetime. And yet what an
extraordinary posthumous political success.

There is no other case of a thinker who left such a tremendous mark on
the 20th century. Yet, for more than 15 years after the end of the
Soviet Union, Marx was in no man's land. Some journalist has even
suggested that we are here tonight to try to rescue him from the
dustbin of history. Marx today is incredibly influential. I don't
think enough has been made of the BBC poll which named him the most
famous of all philosophers. If you actually put "Marx" into Google you
will find that there are several million entries - in fact, 39 million
when I tried it last time. He is much the largest of the great
international presences, exceeded only by Charles Darwin and Adam Smith.

How are we to explain this sudden re-emergence? First, I think, the
end of the official Marxism of the USSR has liberated Marx from the
public identification with Leninism in theory, and with the Leninist
regimes in practice. People have begun to notice once again that there
are things in Marx that are really quite interesting. And this, in a
sense, takes me to the second and main reason: that the globalised
capitalist world that emerged in the 1990s was in some ways uncannily
like the world Marx predicted in 1848 in the Communist Manifesto. This
became clear in the public reaction to the 150th anniversary of that
manifesto - which, incidentally, was a year of quite dramatic economic
upheaval in large parts of the world. Paradoxically, it was the
capitalists who rediscovered Marx, more than others. The socialists
had by that time had the courage knocked out of them, and they weren't
particularly trying to celebrate the anniversary.

I recall my own amazement when I was approached at that time by the
editor of the in-flight magazine of United Airlines - on which, I may
take it, most passengers are people travelling on business. He thought
that the readers would be interested in a debate on Marx, because
after all it did seem relevant to the present situation. A year or two
later, when I found myself having lunch with George Soros, I was
equally amazed when he said: "What do you think of Marx?" Well now,
knowing that our opinions on various things didn't agree, I gave a
sort of ambiguous answer, saying: "Some people think he's good, some
people think he's bad," to which Soros said: "Do you know, I've just
been reading that man and there is an awful lot in what he says."

So here we are tonight. Jacques Attali, I need hardly remind you, has
been highly active in both politics and intentional finance. He is
not, and has never been, a Marxist, but he, too, comes to the
conclusion that now is the time when Marx has something to say.

Attali: What he tried with the international socialist movement was an
amazing attempt to think about the world in global terms. Marx is an
amazingly modern thinker, because when you look at what he has
written, it is not a theory of what an organised socialist country
should be like, but how capitalism will be in the future. Contrary to
the caricature of Marxism, he is first an admirer of capitalism. For
him, it is a much better system than any other before it, because he
considers the earlier systems to be obscurantist. Once or twice he had
the idea that it was going to be the end, but he very rapidly decided
that this was not the case, and that capitalism had a huge future.

What is very modern also in his view is that he considered that
capitalism would end only when it was a global force, when the whole
of the working class was part of it, when nations disappeared, when
technology was able to transform the life of a country. He mentioned
China and India as potential partners of capitalism, and said, for
instance, that protectionism is a mistake, that free trade is a
condition for progress.

For Marx, capitalism has to be worldwide before we think about
socialism. Socialism for him is beyond capitalism and not instead of
capitalism. He has much say on globalisation, what is happening to
movement of companies, delocalisation and everything that is linked to
the way we live today. In a sense, the Soviet Union was destroying or
interrupting the validity of Marx's thinking and the fall of the
Berlin Wall is giving back a raison d'etre to his work, because Marx
was thinking of the world globally and the Soviet system was a
nightmare that he did not forecast.

Hobsbawm: We now have the realisation of some of what Marx
anticipated: a globalised economy. It has had a number of effects
which, however, he would not have predicted. For instance, the Marxist
prediction that a growing proletariat in the industrialised countries
would overthrow capitalism didn't work, because the progress of
capitalism eventually does without the working class, as it does
without the peasantry. Up to 1914 the prediction was quite reasonable,
and indeed, it created mass parties which still exist. In short, the
basic conditions under which Marxism operates in the 21st century will
be quite different from those of the 20th century. But one thing will
remain: the necessity not only to criticise capitalism, but to
demonstrate that the very process of globalisation in the capitalist
way generates not only growth, but also tensions and crisis, and that
the process of capitalism is incapable of coming to terms with these.

Attali: Marx predicted that capitalism will grow, that inequalities
will grow with it, that the working class will be destroyed and that
the workers will be poor. This is not true in the developed world, but
if you look at things globally, it is true. Concentration of wealth is
growing worldwide. The share of wealth which is owned by a small
number is growing, and the number of rich people is narrowing. There
are three billion people who live on less than $2 a day and out of
nine billion human beings 40 years from now, 4.5 billion will be below
the poverty line. This is Marx's nightmare. And you cannot say that
they are not workers. Even if they are unemployed, they are workers.
And people who work with only their head, or digital workers - they
are still workers. The contradictions at the heart of the market
economy, to use the modern term, are more true than they ever were
when applied to capitalism, which had 19th-century connotations.

If you look at the history of mankind in the past two centuries, this
is the fourth attempt at globalisation. The first came at the end of
the 18th century, collapsing with the Napoleonic wars. The second came
at the end of the 19th century and collapsed with the First World War.
The globalisation of the 1920s collapsed with the Second World War. We
are in the fourth attempt at globalisation in two centuries and the
most probable outcome is that this attempt will go the same way as the
previous, leading to isolationism and protectionism.

In 1849 Marx wrote about going back to protectionism and other kinds
of barbarism. At the beginning of the 20th century it was impossible
to imagine, and today is the same. We cannot imagine the barbarism
that will happen, but it is obvious that it will. The only way to
imagine a solution will be to organise, on a worldwide level, a
compromise between the market and democracy.

[These are edited highlights of a debate held on 2 March as part of
Jewish Book Week. It was chaired by John Kampfner, NS editor.]



On February 3 President Hugo Ch?vez announced that, in recognition for
their work in the home, the poorest housewives would receive a monthly
income equivalent to 80 percent of the minimum wage - 372,000 bls or
about $180. He also announced a 15 percent increase in the minimum
wage (which, with the ticket employees get for meals and other
essentials, would bring the value of the increase to 835,350 bls or
about $400 a month), along with increases in pensions and other low
wages. The first hundred thousand housewives will benefit from June,
and another 100,000 from July. Ch?vez said that he aims for up to
500,000 women eventually to get this money.

This is not the implementation of the revolutionary Article 88 of the
constitution, which recognises the economic and social contribution of
women's unwaged work in the home and on that basis grants housewives a
pension. Article 88 still needs legislation to put it into practice.

Rather than wait for this, Ch?vez has put together the recognition
Article 88 gives to housewives' work, with the recent legislation
aimed at lifting the poorest out of poverty, and redirected some of
the oil revenue to women. Ch?vez has repeatedly said, women are the
poorest, work hardest and are most committed to the revolution.



The U.S has a long history of black oppression that began with
slavery. Today, the racist persecution of black people continues
through social and economic discrimination, which condemns blacks to
live with the highest US poverty rates on record. As recently as the
1960s, blacks in the southern states were denied the right to vote,
systematically terrorised and degraded through segregation laws.
Despite decades of struggle, the US justice system still reflects, and
reinforces, horrific inequality.

According to "Prison Nation: the warehousing of America's poor", a
collection of studies into America's criminal justice system, a young
black man aged 16 stands a 29 percent chance of spending time in
prison while the probability for a young white male is 4 percent.
Black offenders are eight times more likely to be imprisoned than
whites and there are an estimated 1 million black Americans currently
in prison. Among black males aged 20-29, 30 percent are under
"correctional supervision", either in prison or on parole.

The operation of the death penalty illustrates the racism of the whole
system. Black offenders are more likely to be sentenced to death than
any other race. A black person is four times more likely to be
sentenced to death if the victim was white than if the victim was
black. Many American prison researchers have commented that whether
someone is given the death penalty is down to the quality of legal
defence, not the facts of the crime. It is a fact that most of those
on death row could not afford their own lawyer. Lawyers allocated to
them by the state often have not researched or prepared their cases,
leading one commentator to liken the courts to "fast food
restaurants". Furthermore, it is the District Attorney (D.A.) who
decides whether to apply for the death penalty. Over 80% of D.A.s are

Many adults who cannot afford a lawyer plead guilty and are sent to
prison without benefit of legal advice. When they are allocated
lawyers, they are often advised to plead guilty, leading to unfair
trials and questionable verdicts. In many cases, black people have no
representation at all, forcing them to defend themselves. In many
courts this can be to a mostly white jury even in states where blacks
make up a large percentage.

Parole also traps black people in prisons. Of the total prison
population, 70% are there because they have broken their parole - and
breaking parole is very easy. In some states, a stretch of
unemployment is grounds for re-imprisonment for up to 3 years. In
others, a $100 overdraft is enough. Poverty is the root cause of most
crime yet the state makes it practically impossible for blacks to find
a job if they have a criminal record, and those that do find
employment earn dramatically less than those who have no record.

The crimes of the poor have long been more harshly punished than those
of the middle and upper classes. Drug dealing and prostitution, crimes
of the poor because they are used as a way of survival, are
consequences of America's discriminatory economic policies. Gun crime,
a consequence of ghettoisation, is on the increase because
corporations stand to make millions out of the gun trade - gun shops
have always been strategically placed in black, poor neighbourhoods.

The US criminal justice system is systematically racist because US
society is systematically racist. Alongside fighting for equality of
treatment within the justice system, therefore, socialists have to
fight for the transformation of society itself through the
revolutionary overthrow of capitalism which was built on racism and
continually reproduces it.

[From Global Newswire, 7 March 2006]




10th March

Dear comrades and friends,

As you are aware, the Government is on the verge of making a decision
on privatising Aer Lingus a very profitable state company. We have
had the experience of Irish Ferries, of Telecom ?ireann, now Eircom,
of the Irish Sugar Company, now Greencore, and numerous other
publicly owned companies which have been privatised and sold off to
friends and bankers of the main establishment parties.

We need to let the Government know that there is opposition to
privatisation and to support the workers in Aer Lingus. We need to
turn up the heat and make it uncomfortable for the establishment.
Please send e-mail messages to the addresses below, expressing your
opposition to the privatisation of Aer Lingus. Also, if you can get
different organisations and community groups to agree to support
sending e-mail messages, then please do so.

Pass this e-mail on as far and wide across the country as you can,
and turn up the heat!


Eugene McCartan







International Platform Against Isolation

Dear friends,

We would like to inform you that the revolutionaries from Turkey, who
were tried in Belgium for membership in the DHKP-C have been arrested
under pressure of the Turkish state and as one of the first
implementations of the anti-democratic EU- anti-terror-laws, released
after September 11.

Three of the sentenced persons were brought to the prison of Brugge
(Belgium). Two weeks were given in order to make an appeal against the

This is the address, where you could send letters in German, English,
Dutch or Turkish

Musa Asolu (prison sentence: 6 years)
Penitentiair Complex Brugge
Legeweg 200
8200 Brugge

Kaya Saz (prison sentence: 4 years)
Penitentiair Complex Brugge
Legeweg 200
8200 Brugge

Skriye Akar Zordulu (prison sentence: 4 years)
Penitentiair Complex Brugge
Legeweg 200
8200 Brugge




Friday, 24 March

Launch of the West Against Racism Network's Pubs and Clubs Anti-Racism
Initiative. Details of launch are as follows:

Friday 24 March 2006 at 2pm in the West Belfast Sports and Social
Club, 370 Falls Road.

Guest speakers are Brian Kerr, Sports Against Racism in Ireland and
Mickey Culbert Manager Antrim Senior Football Team.



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


Wednesday, 12 April

The biography "Ruairí Ó Brádaigh - The Life and Politics of an Irish
Revolutionary" will be launched by Dr Ruán O'Donnell, Department of
History, Limerick University, on April 12 - the Wednesday before Easter.

Other speakers at the launch in the Cúltúrlann, Monkstown, Dublin at
7.30pm will include the author Professor Robert W White of Indiana
University and the subject of the book himself, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

The book is in hardback and runs to 350 pages with another 60 pages of
notes and is the result of over 20 years of research and interviews
with the subject. Dr O'Donnell did extensive work for the
bicentenaries of 1798 and 1803 and is now engaged in a study on the
Republican Movement in the 1950s.


12-14 May

As part of the celebration for the 90th Anniversary of the execution
of James Connolly the Communist Party of Ireland has organised a
weekend of events on the 12th-13th-14th May. On Friday we have booked
Liberty Hall to have a celebration of Connolly's Life & Times with
visitors coming from India, Venezuela, Cuba and Britain. On Saturday
will be an all day conference dealing with contemporary Ireland. On
Sunday we have planned an International wreathe laying ceremony in
Arbour Hill. For further details visit our website,



Official website of the International Brigade Commemoration Committee
in Belfast is now online and can by viewed by clicking on:

You can visit the No Pasarán project online by clicking on:


Back copies of The Plough can be accessed at:

New web site to view about North Belfast go to:

Please feel free to comment on the contents of The Plough. We welcome
political comments and criticisms.

If you would prefer to receive The Plough as an attachment please
e-mail with heading "add attachment".

If you know of anybody who might wish to receive The Plough please
send his or her e-mail address to

If you wish to receive back copies of the The Plough please e-mail
to stating which numbers you wish.

To unsubscribe to The Plough please send e-mail
entitled "unsubscribe" to

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):



Tuesday 7 March 2006

The Plough Vol 03 No 19

The Plough
Vol. 3- No 19

March 2006
E-mail newsletter of the Irish Republican Socialist Party

2)International Women’s Day 2006.
3)Communities under Siege
4)From The Newspapers
a.The taming of Sinn Fein
b.Jim Cusack -Without Comment!!

a.Sacked union steward gets her job back
b.Hunger striker mural
c.Protest Against Water Charges

6)What’s on


The Red Hand Defenders have issued a statement declaring that ‘They are actively targeting all Republican Ex-Prisoners. As of midnight last night all Republican Ex-Prisoners are legitimate targets.’ The Red Hand Defenders are a cover name for the UDA, They claimed responsibility for the murder attack on the taxi driver in Ligoniel on Friday last. A recognised code word was used when the RHD issued the statement to the Media.

Politically this is a worrying development as it has the potential if it is serious, to plunge Northern society back into the nightmarish world of tit for tat killings. On the other hand it could be simple a reaction to a police raid on a UDA show of strengthin north Belfast. In that raid a large number of loyalists were arrested.

There is a clear onus on loyalist ex-prisoners groups in particular to clearly and unequivocally condemn these threats in the strongest possible way.
From republicans there should be no knee jerk reaction. At a time when many working class people are sick of the sectarian divisions, sick of the two tribes syndrome, and sick of the inability of politicians to rise above petty sectarian squabbling the last thing we need is sectarian violence. Slowly links are been forged between progressive elements from within the working class, links which point the way forward. The IRSP are supportive of those contacts and links. Class solidarity is essential and we will do all we can to prevent a return to sectarian violence.

But organisations like our own can have only a limited impact. We work with limited resources and within a context when it appears that the main players in northern politics are intent on increasing their control and power by whatever means necessary.

Nevertheless the IRSP will continue to push our political line of republican socialism and for the unity of the class and the country because we firmly believe that that is the way forward for all working class people on the island.

International Women’s Day 2006.

On behalf of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, the Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America issue the following statement to mark International Women’s Day 2006.
International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March every year to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women and to call for full gender equality worldwide.
On 8 March 1857, female garment workers in New York City staged a protest against inhumane working conditions and low wages. The protestors were attacked by police and dispersed, but two years later they formed a labour union to fight for their rights as workers. On 8 March 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labour. Their slogan was “Bread and Roses”, with bread symbolising economic security and roses a better quality of life.
In May 1908, the Socialist Party of America designated the last Sunday in February for the observance of National Women’s Day, which was celebrated for the first time on 28 February 1909. In 1910, the Socialist International established the first International Women’s Day to honour the movement for women’s rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The first IWD was held on 19 March 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and other European countries.
In 1917, with 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February to strike for “bread and peace”, despite the oppoisition of political leaders to the timing of the strike. The strike occurred on 23 February by the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but on 8 March by the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere. Four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote.
In 1975, which had been designated International Women’s Year, the United Nations gave official sanction to and began sponsoring International Women’s Day.
While we recognise that women have made economic, political, and social gains, it must be kept in mind that this is not the same thing as liberation. Middle class women in western capitalist nations may have more life options now than at any time in the past, but throughout the world women, especially workers and peasants, continue to be victims of poverty, labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, violence, rape, and religious dictates. The modern day slave trade exploits women primarily for sexual purposes, and the number of women who have been victimised by this trade is staggering. Even in the US, the rights of women are under assault by religious fundamentalists, especially the right of women to choose abortion. Women who are lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered are doubly oppressed as women and as sexual minorities.
In Ireland, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement has always been at the forefront of supporting women’s liberation, and women have always been an integral part of our movement. When the Irish Republican Socialist Party was founded on 8 December 1974, four women were elected to its first national executive. At its first Ard-Fheis (convention) in 1975, it became one of the first parties in Ireland to support a woman’s right to choose abortion and to call for full equality for lesbians. Its second chairperson was a woman, Miriam Daly, and at one point in the early 1980s much of its leadership was female. Women have also been active as volunteers in the Irish National Liberation Army.
In conclusion, we say that women’s liberation can only be realised within the context of a global struggle to liberate all oppressed people. We must boldly go forward in our struggle for socialism and the liberation of humankind from its shackles. We salute all of the women and men who have fought for women’s liberation. Let us all do our part to make future International Women’s Days victorious celebrations of the full liberation of all women.

Communities under Siege

I was miffed when I looked at the Irish News (01/03/06) and saw the PSF’s Mr. Michael Ferguson supporting the parents of Twinbrook schoolchildren in their worthy protest against drug dealers who target their children on their way to and from school. This is a worthy and noble cause to lend one’s support to - especially if you are a Republican, and a high profile figure such as himself.

Drugs are the scourge of the working class community, both within Republican and Loyalist areas. This capitalist plague targets our children, ruins our communities and is the catalyst to other terrible diseases and plagues within the working class community. HIV & AIDS have been linked to the abuse of drugs along with the rise in crime, with addicts turning to crime and teen prostitution to fund their habits and addictions. So it was welcoming to see such a group of determined parents embark on this mission to remove these leeches from within their midst as they move around undetected and manipulate their way into the lives of our children.

Again, this evening I turned on the news and watched Mr. Ferguson lend his support to this group of protesting parents yet again this morning as they bared the elements to ensure their children had safe passage to and from school. A versatile politician I observed, ready to be whatever the people need him to be.

Two articles later and I watch the very same Mr. Ferguson attend the home of recently murdered Gerard Devlin, once again lending his support to those who needed him. This bereaved family were of course being raided by the RUC who were looking for petrol bombs among other undisclosed items in their search, supposedly in relation to the ongoing atrocities within the Ballymurphy area, where we have witnessed entire families subjected to unacceptable acts of intimidation and the indignity of having their family homes burned by thugs and bullies who hide within the shadows and do the work of the British by nightfall, and all within full view of the very same RUC. The same RUC who have persistently delivered extremely sinister death threats to the Devlin family in recent days, as if trying to keep the flames of hatred fanned between two affected families. So it was with great intent that I listened to Mr. Ferguson as he defended the rights of the Devlin family.

I have watched the developments over the recent weeks regarding the murder of Gerard Devlin, the media coverage that it attracted and the volume of support it has received from Mr. Ferguson, Provisional Sinn Fein and prominent members of the PIRA. A community it seemed rallying round to support victims from within its very own parameters, another very noble cause indeed when such a thing should happen. I thought it remarkable how prominent republicans could lend their acquired organisational skills to the funeral cortège of the murdered man as they stewarded it from his home to his final resting place.

Community Safety Networking is organised within Twinbrook and Ballymurphy. These are members of the community who are not affiliated to any organisation in any shape or form whatsoever who come onto the streets to defend and uphold the rights and civil liberties of the working class communities from which they belong. In other words, they are there to protect the community from the injustices of thuggery, anti-social activity, drug dealing, death driving and the likes and all in the absence of an acceptable police force for the working class republican.

Community Restorative Justice is another initiative designed and organised to mediate on and for behalf of the community in the absence of an acceptable police force. They are also unaffiliated to any political organisation or agenda, remaining impartial in all their acts of mediation.

So with all of these positive influences within our communities, with all the resources and British government funding that these organisations receive, how can the drug dealer thrive within our areas, carefully selecting their target and exercising their business in full view of everyone to see? How can this go unchallenged? Are they being controlled by a sinister source? Do they have a powerful master, who can manipulate communities at will? Who is organising the criminal underground with this ruthless and clinical precision, while leaving the decent working class powerless against such a powerful entity?

Let’s retrace our steps.

Murdered man Gerard Devlin was allegedly a drug dealer. While he was a parent and husband to those whom he loved and who loved him, he was and remained until his death a suspected drug dealer. He was the very same as those who are currently targeting the school children of Twinbrook. He was the very same as those who have infested our streets and communities with cocaine. He was the very same as those who continually work deals with the Loyalist paramilitaries, who exchange guns for drugs and bring havoc to our streets. He was the very same who are continually poisoning our children with these substances.

Who spoke up for him? Who protected him? Who ensured that he could continue to reside within the Ballymurphy area while he continued to freely poison our kids? Was it such a well guarded secret that only a select few knew of his activities? No, it was not, at least, not until now. Murder is murder and should be treated as such, but who is being held accountable for the ruination of the lives of our youth?

How much more skulduggery is going on behind the scenes with these evil tyrants and these drug dealing thugs? How many more are freely living within our communities with the carte blanche to trade their poison to our children? How can these organisations come out publicly against such disgusting behaviour, lend their support to worthy protesting parents and then defend the very same? Do they think that the working class people are stupid, or just afraid?

Cathal O Cleirigh.

From the Media

The taming of Sinn Fein
by Sara Burke and Vincent Browne
THE VILLAGE Thursday, February 23, 2006

Having espoused Marxism and nationalisations, Sinn Féin is now just a vaguely left-of-centre social democratic party. If Bertie Ahern needs to 'discover' a policy convergence between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin after the next election, he will have little difficulty
Thirty five years ago Sinn Féin (or Provisional Sinn Féin) was espousing Marxist ideas: public control of the means of production and exchange; the nationalisation of the banks and all key industries. They were also against foreigners owning land here and against the European Economic Community (EEC), as it was then. Fifteen years later, Sinn Féin was continuing to indulge in Marxist rhetoric, talking about the "robbery" of the working class, the abolition of capitalism and a democratic system of common or public ownership of key industries and institutions.

But by 1993 all that had toned down considerably. Capitalism was not to be abolished, there was no talk to publicly control of key industries, the banks were not to be nationalised, although there was to be a State bank. "decentralised socialism" was the buzz word.

Now EU membership is celebrated. The Financial Services Centre is extolled, lots about encouraging enterprise and the only radical note: increasing corporation profits tax from 12.5 per cent to 17 per cent.

In the trajectory from the "long war" to the everlasting peace, Sinn Féin has also moved from radical socialism to mildly left-of-centre social democracy, hardly different from the SDLP, for example.

1971: 'Eire Nua - the social and economic programme of Sinn Féin'

'Eire Nua' was published just after the split in the republican movement between what was known as Official Sinn Féin, led by Tomas MacGiolla (and Official IRA, led by Cathal Goulding) and Provisional Sinn Féin, led by Ruairí Ó Bradáigh (and Provisional IRA, led by Sean MacStiopháin). The "Officials" were regarded as Marxists who had "diverted" the republican movement away from the national question to economic and social issues in the 1960s. The Provisionals wanted to restore the central "mission" of the IRA: to drive the British from Ireland through force of arms.

Provisional Sinn Féin (now known simply as "Sinn Féin", led by Gerry Adams) was a mere adjunct to the Provisional IRA, a political "face" for what was almost entirely a military movement. They were not interested in politics but they did provide a few policy documents, largely to counter Official Sinn Féin claims they were conservative nationalists, happy with the status quo, economically and socially.

The vice-president of Sinn Féin, Daithí Ó Conaill (who was also one of the key leaders of the Provisional IRA), produced a document known as 'Eire Nua', part of which was their economic strategy. Ó Conaill and Ó Bradaigh were very committed to the idea of a "Federal Ireland", as advocated in the constitutional part of 'Eire Nua', but nobody paid much attention to the economic section.

'Eire Nua' opened with: "The constitution of Sinn Féin advocates not merely the complete overthrow of English rule in Ireland, but also the setting up of a Democratic Socialist Republic based on the Proclamation of 1916. Among our objectives are the establishment of a reign of social justice based on Christian principles by a just distribution and effective control of the nation's wealth and resources." The Christian principles reference was an important assurance to the Provisional rank and file who might have thought Provisional Sinn Féin was following Official Sinn Féin into atheistic communism.

'Eire Nua' said it was trying to strike a balance between Western individualism and capitalism, with its poor and hungry amid plenty, and Eastern Soviet State socialism, with its denial of freedom and human rights (the later was intended as a "dig" at Official Sinn Féin which then and subsequently had close ties with the Soviet Union and other communist states including North Korea, where many of them went on subsidised trips).

The document went on a lot about co-operatives and promoting indigenous industry. And there were peculiar bits including demands that the means of production and exchange of wealth must be controlled by the people and administered democratically; finance institutions and all key industries must be under state control including industry, agriculture and fisheries; the state must have complete control over the import or export of money; only resident citizens of the Republic will be allowed to own, purchase or lease land in Ireland; private enterprise will have a role to play but at a much smaller scale than to date; foreign power blocs and the EEC will be avoided; trade with neutral or smaller nations and with Africa and Asia will be expanded as "we have more in common with developing countries of the world where 2/3s live in poverty than with the rich club of former colonial powers in the EEC" (unfortunately, then as of now, they had no money to finance trade).

But nobody paid much attention to the economic strategy and the dept of commitment by the Provisional republican movement was very questionable.

'Sinn Féin Policy 1986'

By 1986 Ruairi Ó Bradáigh and Daithí Ó Conaill had been eclipsed in Sinn Féin and had lost their position in both it and IRA (both had been members of the IRA army council but by 1986 neither of them was). 'Eire Nua' was also formally abandoned and the new economics was intended to signal an end to the old political conservatism. Gerry Adams was very much the leader of the faction that took over both Sinn Féin and the IRA but economics was not still much to the forefront of concern.

The a rd fheis of that year ratified the strategy whereby Sinn Féin representatives elected to Dáil Éireann could take their seats there - up to then Sinn Féin had adopted an abstentionist stance, holding there was no legitimate Parliamentary institution in Ireland because of "British contrived" partition.

The 1986 policy document begins: "We believe that the present system of society is based upon the robbery of the working class and that capitalist property cannot exist without plundering labour; we desire to see capitalism abolished and a democratic system of common or public ownership erected instead." The introduction names this system as socialism which "will come as a result of the continuous increase of power to the working class".

It emphasised that Irish unity itself would be "insufficient": "After British withdrawal, political control without control of the wealth, economic and resources of the country is clearly insufficient. Republicans are intent on restoring the ownership of Ireland to the people of Ireland."

It said economic policies North and South are not capable of producing effective job creation, and that the only way to create full employment is through state investment and the development of workers co-operatives under community control. It opposed any increase in indirect taxation and favoured a progressive, more equitable tax system, which it did not detail. It advocated the establishment of state-run companies to make "maximum use of natural resources and raw materials"; the establishment of a state construction company; and public control over the credit and investment policies of commercial banks, pending full nationalisation.

This too was largely rhetorical and without much traction within the movement itself which then was focused primarily on what was known as "the long war" and establishing a political base by winning seats in Westminster and Leinster House.

'Sinn Féin Policy 1993'

By 1993 Sinn Féin was in "peace process" mode, although the IRA cessation did not take place until August 1994.

The 1993 policy document opened by describing Ireland as the most under-developed country in Europe, with the highest unemployment, emigration and poverty and least ability to create indigenous economic growth (this was to be transformed over the following few years). Its content focused on the development of the peace process: "how peace is established is the challenge and responsibility facing us all".

Its economic section opens with calls for "an all-Ireland democratic economic plan, the development of an integrated economic strategy through consultation with industry, trade unions, political representatives and local communities".

The earlier stuff about nationalisations was gone and said Sinn Féin wanted to present "a visionary and credible alternative based on decentralised socialism that would be realistic, flexible and adapted to the Irish people".

It opposed social welfare cuts, was critical of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and called for the establishment of county development boards, rural development programmes, increased fisheries quotas and a state bank. (Previously the banks were to be nationalised.)

'EU Support for Irish Reunification, 2006'

Remember in 1970 Sinn Féin, or this version of it, was opposed to any truck with the European Economic Community (as it was then). Now the tone is one of celebration of EU participation. The 'EU Support for Irish Reunification', launched at the 2006 ard-fheis is placed entirely within a capitalist framework, although there are muted murmurings of discontent with "the increasing reliance on the market place and neo-liberal economics to allocate resources". It promises, vaguely, that "the governance of a united Ireland would be irresistibly driven" to address the need for greater indigenous-sector development.

It extols one of the most spectacular outgrowths of Ireland's recent capitalist history: "There has been an amazing growth of financial services associated with the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Dublin.... A similar development, in its infancy, is spurring growth in Laganside."

'Sinn Féin Economic Policy Module 1, 2006'

This document also launched at the 2006 ard-fheis begins: "Sinn Féin is committed to building a united democratic and socialist republic" with a vision for Ireland based on "equality and social justice". It rejects inequality and reaffirms its commitment to ending partition and to the core republican objectives set out in the 1919 democratic programme. But there is no socialism, aside from the language. It encourages support for business and enterprise, while emphasising the need for fairer taxes and the positive redistribution of resources to eradicate poverty and social exclusion (but lots of vagueness). It recommends increased funding to entrepreneurial projects and more money for education and training. It recommends an increase in corporation tax from 12.5 to 17.5 per cent and while "much needed wider progressive taxes" are called for, it does not go in to detail on them. It proposes a "programme of increased public spending and social spending to redistribute wealth". Hardly much different from the rhetoric of any of the other political parties.

The prospect of government office and power, especially in the South, has domesticated Sinn Féin. Bertie Ahern would have little difficulty in "discovering" policy convergence between it and Fianna Fáil if he needs to after the next election.p

Additional reporting by Harry Browne


NewsTalk106: We're back to the Breakfast Show on NewsTalk 106 where the time is 23 minutes past 7. And we return again to last Saturday's Dublin Riots where recriminations continue to rumble

We are joined by Jim, Jim Cusack, a freelance journalist for the Sunday Independent, and Chekov Feeney an Indymedia editor for their considered take on who or what contributed to the mayhem.

But first have a listen to what was said yesterday in the Dáil:

Voice of Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern: There is proof that it was organised, in my view, Ceann Comhairle, is that you don't move from the Parnell Monument to the far side of town in a matter of minutes unless somebody is calling the shots.

Voice of Justice Minister, Michael McDowell: …that Republican Sinn Féin actually declined to engage in a meaningful manner with an Garda Siochána who were preparing to police the demonstration; or to give any advance information as to their intentions in carrying out their counter-protest. On any view, that non-cooperation was despicable.

NewsTalk106: Jim, Jim Cusack, does that tally with your view of events now?

Jim Cusack: uh, what, the eh...

NewsTalk106: What Bertie had to say...

Jim Cusack: No, it doesn't really, no, no it was a cock-up by the Garda management basically and they just weren't paying attention to what was going on. They didn't know what was going on, so they weren't ready…and they allowed it to happen.

NewsTalk106: On the other hand Bertie Ahern listed 3 superintendents, 10 inspectors, 23 sergeants, over 300 Gardaí, air support units, dog units, 58 detectives for 350 demonstrators - how could they have got it so wrong?

Jim Cusack: There was more than a thousand people involved in that riot. And, Gerry O'Carroll wrote in the Herald the other day it was Lions led by Donkies. To coin the phrase from the First World War.

It was let get outa hand completely - they had no idea - they weren't interested in what was going on and the thing about it was...

NewsTalk106: Jim, what do you mean they weren't interested?

Jim Cusack: Just, they weren't up to it. They really weren't focused on what was being prepared – and it wasn't a riot against that little march. Incidentally, it wasn't a Loyalist March or it wasn't a... these are people, these are families of victims...(of the IRA)…

NewsTalk106: We'll get back to that in a moment, Jim. Chekov Feeney is in the studio, as you know...

Jim Cusack: There was a small... 100 or 200 people who marched down
O'Connell Street and over to the Dáil.

NewsTalk106: Yes, yes but, yes...

Jim Cusack: And they... the Gards got it completely wrong, and it wasn't the Gards on the ground it was the Garda management. They didn't plough resources at all; they just didn't manage that situation at all. And, as I say, they’re incapable of doing it, by the look of it.

NewsTalk106: Well, Chekov Feeney good morning to you - it is fair to say that you are a veteran of many a demo, and you know many of the regular protestors and agitators by sight - you were actually there: and gave a detailed political analysis on your Indymedia website - which in many ways tallies with the first report of the Assistant Garda Commissioner.

Who do you think were the protestors and rioters in Dublin on Saturday?

Chekov: Well, good morning for a start!, the protestors and rioters that I saw did not appear to be connected with any particular political organisation or political party. Essentially, what I saw was the underbelly of the Celtic Tiger. Large numbers of angry young men who appeared to mainly come from the deprived working class estates around Dublin. These are young men who essentially have been excluded from the opportunities and the wealth that has come from our economic boom - and, are quite angry about it.

A large number of them gathered together in the same place and these people being excluded and disenfranchised from our society are volatile. Essentially this turned into a major riot, I think, the reaction from much of the political class has - essentially they have been clutching at straws.

They have been attempting to find somebody or some organisation to point a finger at. For example, Bertie Ahern's claim there that it is inconceivable that what was essentially a mob can move across a city at speed - I don't think that tallies with how riots work.

I do think that this was essentially unplanned and actually for once I would agree with the analysis of the Gardaí - it was very unexpected because something like this hasn't happened before in Dublin. We haven't seen big riots like this in general. We can assume or one assumes that if there is a large political event it is organised by somebody and I do not think this was the case.

NewsTalk106: Jim, do you accept that, that these people had no real political point other than an expression of their rage? at society generally?

Jim Cusack: I agree. I absolutely agree with Chekov up to a certain point, but...there was organisation went into this, it definitely was. I mean, I have email traffic here from em, December…when this was planned...

NewsTalk106: Who are you saying planned it Jim? Are you saying it was the geriatric Republican Sinn Féin or...

Jim Cusack: Hopefully you can read that in the Sunday Independent. Well, I’m not going to say, but there certainly was planning went into it. I mean, Chekov is absolutely right, there is a big element of disaffection - disaffected youth here, as they say - but no, no it was planned. Disaffected youth does not plan, does not organise, does not…(turn out in numbers)…

NewsTalk106: It is the degree of planning, Jim, we are trying to get to the root of - how much planning went into this riot?

Jim Cusack: There was a fair a bit of planning. Absolutely, a fair bit of planning. There was 2 or 3 groups involved here, it wasn't just them. And also, it wasn't just Republican Sinn Féin, there was other groups as well. There was the political wing of the Real IRA and there was almost certainly in collusion with other groups and Sinn Féin people were there in the background.

NewsTalk106: Jim, where is your evidence for that?! You are the only person I've heard saying this.

Jim Cusack: No I'm not...

NewsTalk106: Yes you are! Who else is saying this? The Gardaí are certainly not saying this, Bertie Ahern isn't saying this.

Jim Cusack: What Gardaí aren’t saying this?

NewsTalk106: The Gardaí are saying they still don't know.

Jim Cusack: Well y…Ask the Gards. Why don’t you ask the gards, (well, you know what I mean but the gards, oh sorry, the gards [?]broke an[?])…

NewsTalk106: They are still saying they are not sure if the riot was orchestrated - they actually don't know, as we speak.

Jim Cusack: No, no, no, you’re quoting official spokesmen (you know) and they don't say anything that’s any significance whatsoever The Garda management made a mess of this here - whether or not they had the intelligence and I believe they did have the intelligence. They just didn’t act on it and this got out of hand.

NewsTalk106: If they had the intelligence, Jim, why would they not act on it?

Jim Cusack: Well, there's all sorts of reasons for that there (I mean), they don't want to over-spend on overtime and stuff like that. There’s resource and human resource led management in the police force which really doesn't tally with the needs of what's going on in the city sometimes.

NewsTalk106: But Jim are you suggesting that the Real IRA and Sinn Féin were involved in this protest on Saturday and Garda management deliberately ignored this in their intelligence?

Jim Cusack: No, they didn't ignore their intelligence, they ignored it in their resource management. In other words, there was only 300 Gards there and there was over a thousand rioters, so, em, they just didn't get it right.

NewsTalk106: Well they didn't get it right, but what you are saying is they
knew what was coming down the line and chose to ignore it.

Jim Cusack: No I am not saying that - I am just saying that...

NewsTalk106: Yes! you are saying they knew they had the intelligence that there was going to be Real IRA involvement.

Jim Cusack: No, I’m not sayin’ they had inte…What I am saying is that, they may or may not have had the intelligence, but whatever they did they made a mess of it. They got it wrong, completely. You know what I mean, Garda management got this completely wrong.

NewsTalk106: Well we know they got it wrong,

Jim Cusack: Yeah.

NewsTalk106: But it is the root of where they got it wrong is what I am trying to get at here.

Jim Cusack: Well then, don't ask me, ask the Gards.

NewsTalk106: Well, I'm asking you for your evidence, Jim. You're talking here in quite a inflammatory situation about Real IRA and Sinn Féin involvement, where is your evidence for this?

Jim Cusack: em.. I have my sources. And I’ll stick by them, you know, (eh, I beli…).

NewsTalk106: Nobody has seen these people.

Jim Cusack: They were on the street.

NewsTalk106: Did you see them on the street?

Jim Cusack: Some of them, yeah. Hold on a second those are Teddy Bears who were throwin’ the stones in eh…(in Dublin)?

NewsTalk106: No, there were no Teddy Bears, Jim. I am simply trying to determine if these were alienated youth or members of Sinn Féin and the Real IRA - and I think it is a fair question to put to you.

Chekov what did you see on the streets on Saturday - did you see, did you recognise individuals?

Chekov: I did not. Well, obviously at any demonstration like that there is going to be members of political parties and so on, but they certainly weren't people who were involved in any of the fighting. In general most of them were there as observers, as far as I could see.

I think basing or making great claims like that on the basis of what a Garda might have told you in the pub is a little bit irresponsible, to be honest. The Gardaí have come out with their report and essentially it sounds to me a fairly accurate appraisal what their intelligence would have been - and certainly that was my understanding, I was very surprised that events panned out the way they did.

Some other points, most of the anger on the day seemed to be directed at the Gardaí - even more so than towards the Love Ulster march. To some extent, that would not be consistent with a protest which was organised by Republican groups.

That is symptomatic, to some extent, of the hatred that many young men in deprived areas have for Gardaí as a result of very common instances of heavy handed Garda tactics in dealing with these places or in dealing with youth - it is very very common to hear stories and reports of young men being beaten in custody in these areas. And I think all these things came to the surface.

NewsTalk106: Jim, time just for a final comment from you, and all that...

Jim Cusack: Like what?! I mean, just he’s…He's a silly boy, you know I mean. There was a very major riot in Dublin, Dublin has been portrayed...(as the capital of a…).

NewsTalk106: Jim, Jim, hold on now, he was there, he was there...

Jim Cusack: Bully for him…

NewsTalk106: Not bully for him Jim. That's not respectful talk about a gentleman who was there and knows what he saw.

Jim Cusack: Dublin is the capitol city of a country and it can't have a small demonstration by the victims of IRA violence in Northern Ireland march down the city centre without a thousand YOBs basically coming out and smashing the place up - and that's it. It's just a desperate desperate indictment on our country. And it was allowed to happen because of incompetence by someone - I don't know exactly who. But it was definitely incompetence and those people out there who were throwing stones and wrecking the city centre were horrible horrible people altogether.

They beat up two Bangladeshi...(workers in a shop)

NewsTalk106:You are getting no argument about that, as you know - there is no argument about that…

Jim Cusack: oh no, what’s your problem with…

NewsTalk106: We’re trying to determine who these people were, but we have no more time to talk about it, sorry to say...

Jim Cusack: They’re aliens! they came down from Mars! They are the young people from Dublin...

NewsTalk106: No, that's exactly what Chekov said - nobody is arguing about that either.

Jim Cusack: Exactly. Chekov is absolutely right, they are young disaffected youth and they are being led by the noses by people like Republican Sinn Féin, by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and by Sinn Féin - there were Sinn Féin people there on Saturday...

NewsTalk106: OK, we are back to the evidence thing again, I am afraid, Jim.

Thank you, very much indeed, for joining us this morning, Chekov Feeney, Indymedia editor, thank you, very much indeed for coming into studio. We'll take a break now for the headlines....

Subject: Victory: Sacked union steward gets her job back following our
Campaign In mid-January I wrote to all of you asking for your support in an
international campaign to help a union shop steward in Ireland get her job
back. As you may recall, Joanne Delaney, who worked for Dunnes Stores in
Dublin, was sacked for wearing a union badge.
Working together with Joanne's union, Mandate, we launched a global online
campaign that generated 5,550 email messages from around the world. In
addition, campaigners went to work outside Dunnes stores, motions were made
in the British, Scottish and Irish parliaments, and in general, we made a
bit of noise. And it worked -- on Monday morning this week, Joanne returned to work.
According to her union, "This victory for trade union rights followed a
short but highly effective campaign for her reinstatement by trade
unionists, political groups and community activists throughout Ireland and
by many more supporters from around the world who emailed the company
through the LabourStart website."
The union adds:
"Mandate wishes to place on record our sincere appreciation for the support
received from all those who joined with Joanne and Mandate to campaign for
her right to work and to wear her union badge without fear of victimisation.
Your solidarity has won the day and we salute the courageous stand taken by
Joanne who has become an inspiration to all those associated with the
What we did this week in Ireland we can do for others too -- for jailed
trade union leaders in Indonesia and Iran, and for victims of union-busting
campaigns in Russia and Costa Rica. But we need you to do more.
If you can, please donate $25 right now to help support LabourStart. Click
here: you wish to donate a different amount, please use our regular donations
page:Thanks very much.
Eric Lee

Hunger strike mural


To The Editor.

In last Thursdays Mala Post there was a letter bemoaning the mural at the shops on the Shaws Road. The first thing the author asked for was for an explanation for it. It was done to remember those who died in the H-Blocks 25 years ago. S/He then says “why would some people want to turn a decent working class area into a ghetto?” As I was one of those who worked on the mural and talked to people as they passed by, all I heard was how good it looked, how it brightens up the shops, nobody said it made the place look like a ghetto, as a matter of fact I have not heard of one complaint about the mural. So I was surprised at the tone of your letter.
As for having enough time on our hands to do it? Well, most of us work, that is why it has taken so long to do, our resources are ourselves, we paid for the paint and brushes without asking for donations. At least you recognised “the artistic skills” we employed…
As for most of the “drunken teenagers wouldn’t recognised the long dead republican activist”, that is correct, most teenagers didn’t know it was Pasty O Hara, but they at least asked, some even took a guess, most thought it was George Best, one even thought it was Sadam Hussein, but that is what it was all about, get younger people asking who Pasty was and why he and the other nine men died. The unselfish ideals these men had should be an inspiration to our young people, not something that should be hidden from them. But it was not only young people who did not know him; one adult didn’t even know that the I.N.L.A. prisoners were involved in the Hunger Strike, and that three of them died, so it is not only young people asking about Pasty O Hara.
You then go on to ask, if we have so much spare time on our hands, why don’t we tackle the growing problem of the blue bag brigade? I could ask the same of you? These young people are mostly from the local area, I know it is a problem, but what would you have a few “skilled artists” do about it? Beat them? Force them to another area to annoy others? You complain about them, but offer on solutions, do you have any ideas?
Anti-social problems need a multi-agency approach, beating these young people DOES NOT WORK, it actually turns young people against their community as they perceive the community is against them. I have problems with groups like C.R.J. and community activists who come out at night at the weekends, but I can see a least they are trying to find answers to this problem and care about their area. Do you ever volunteer your time to stand with these people, or would you rather complain from behind your curtains. One group, not even artists, will solve this problem; I will help, so long as it does not mean beating these young people, will you?
Now to your last point, do we live in the area? I have to ask are you new to the area? Because we all live locally, Rossnareen, Tullagh Park and Leandoon, and most people who spoke to us while we were painting knew us by name. The only time we didn’t live in the area, was when we were imprisoned by the British, or were active else where.
How you can see this mural as “vandalism” is beyond me, maybe you were just nit-picking in you anger at the social problems in the area. Or maybe I am paranoid, and it is the fact that the mural was done by members of the I.R.S.P. that is really annoying you? I look forward to your reply.
Yours etc
Gerard Foster.IRSP


Saturday 1st April - 1pm Belfast City Hall

Come along to the protest &
tell April Fool Peter Hain - WE WON'T PAY WATER CHARGES!!!

Foe more info contact 90311778 or 07743282321 e-mail:
or visit our website

12 months before Water Charges - Join the Protest

Water charges are due to be introduced on April 1st 2007 - just over a year away. The Government has ignored the huge opposition to this unjust tax and are determined to implement them. We want to remind them - 12 months before water charges are introduced - that there is still no support for water charges by organising a protest in Belfast on April 1st.

Build mass non-payment

The most effective method of defeating the charges is to prepare the We Won‚t Pay Campaign in advance of the charges being introduced and send out a clear message to the Government that water charges will face a mass boycott if introduced. This is what the Government fears most. Without any income, the newly privatised water service cannot last. We want to see as many people as possible on the protest to speak with one voice that ŒWe Won‚t Pay!‚

What you can do

Come along to the protest - bring along your family & friends.

Make a We Won‚t Pay banner representing your area

Contact the campaign to get leaflets & posters to distribute in your area.

Get your local community group, trade union etc. to support the protest and to call for people to attend the protest.

Related Link:

Dear Sirs,

I don't know whether you are aware that in the small North East Lancashire town of Earby there is a memorial to Katherine Bruce Glasier one of the founder members of the Independent Labour Party. She lived in Earby for the last 30 or so years of her life and the house she lived in was purchased from the proceeds of her memorial fund and given in perpetuity to the Youth Hostel Association for use as a hostel.The YHA have now announced that they are to close it down and sell it off.

There is local support to fight the closure and we would appreciate any support you could give to help in this. I must emphasise that this is not a political campaign but an attempt to ensure the memorial to a much admired lady is kept alive.

Yours Sincerely

Robert Abel


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:

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

Tuesday 21 March, 8 p.m.

Public meeting

“Pearse and Connolly: their influence on each other”

Speaker: Mícheál Mac Aonghusa
Ireland Institute (27 Pearse Street)

Organised by the James Connolly Education Trust

Baile Átha Cliath
Máirt 21 Márta, 8 i.n.

Cruinniú poiblí
“Pearse and Connolly: their influence on each other”

Cainteoir: Mícheál Mac Aonghusa
Institiúid na hÉireann (27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh)


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!

THE biography "Ruairí Ó Brádaigh - The Life and Politics of an Irish Revolutionary" will be launched by Dr Ruán O'Donnell, Department of History, Limerick University, on April 12 - the Wednesday before Easter.

Other speakers at the launch in the Cúltúrlann, Monkstown, Dublin at 7.30pm will include the author Professor Robert W White of Indiana University and the subject of the book himself, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh.

The book is in hardback and runs to 350 pages with another 60 pages of notes and is the result of over 20 years of research and interviews with the subject. Dr O'Donnell did extensive work for the bicentenaries of 1798 and 1803 and is now engaged in a study on the Republican Movement in the 1950s.

As part of the celebration for the 90th Anniversary of the execution of
James Connolly the Communist Party of Ireland has organised a weekend of
events on the 12th-13th-14th May. On Friday we have booked Liberty Hall to
have a celebration of Connolly's Life & Times with visitors coming from
India, Venezuela, Cuba and Britain. On Saturday will be an all day
conference dealing with contemporary Ireland. On Sunday we have planned
an International wreathe laying ceremony in Arbour Hill.
For further details visit our website , .