Vol. 3- No 19
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
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
JIM CUSACK -WITHOUT COMMENT!!
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:http://www.labourstart.org/donatenow.shtmlIf you wish to donate a different amount, please use our regular donations
page:Thanks very much.
Hunger strike mural
The FOLLOWING LETTER WRITTEN BY AN IRSP MEMBER WAS SENT TO THE ANDERSONSTOWN NEWS IN RESPONSE TO AN INDIVIDUAL ATTACKING A MURAL TO DEAD INLA HUNGER STRIKERS.
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.
PROTEST AGAINST WATER CHARGES
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit our website www.wewontpay.tk
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: http://www.wewontpay.tk
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.
Official website of the International Brigade Commemoration Committee in Belfast is now online and can by viewed by clicking on: www.connollycolumn.org
No Pasarán Online:
You can visit the project online by clicking on: www.nopasaran.netfirms.com
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.
“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.
“Pearse and Connolly: their influence on each other”
Cainteoir: Mícheál Mac Aonghusa
Institiúid na hÉireann (27 Sráid an Phiarsaigh)
REPUBLICAN SOCIALIST YOUTH MOVEMENT RAFFLE
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 , www.communistpartyofireland.ie .