Archive for August, 2014

Vote For Scottish Independence but….

Posted in James Connolly, John Maclean, Scottish Indepence on August 30, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

 

All freedom-loving people should welcome the prospect of Scottish independence and vote ‘yes’ in the forthcoming referendum.  Scotland, like Ireland, has suffered gravely from imperialism. Scotland’s resources, industry and legislature should rightly be wrested from British imperialist interests and placed under the control of the Scottish working-class and reparations be made by England for hundreds of years of imperialist rule.  However, no-one should be under any illusions that a popular vote will achieve this or that an independent Scottish  legislature, even if they were willing, could achieve this.

Lessons of what a nations ‘independence’ may, and more importantly, may not mean can be learned from the constant betrayal of the Irish working-class by the national bourgeoisie.  If an independent Scotland remains a neo-colony or at best becomes another Gombeen nation such as that administered by Leinster House in the Irish 26 counties, then there will be no real economic freedom for the Scottish proletariat.  By applying, in the Scottish context, the Cowgate’s most famous son, James Connolly’s quote on the limitations of Irish national liberation without the economic liberation of it’s working class, one can grasp the limitations of a ‘independent’ capitalist Scotland:

“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the Saltire over Edinburgh Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”

Needless to say, bitter experience has shown us that there is no parliamentary path to a Scottish or Irish Socialist Republic, and real economic freedom can never be won via the chambers of bourgeois legislatures, whether it be Leinster House, Stormont or Holyrood.

These ideas were echoed by another of Scotland’s most eminent Republican Socialists, John Maclean;

“I hold that the British empire is the greatest menace to the human race… The best interest of humanity can therefore be served by the break-up of the British empire. The Irish, the Indians and others are playing their part. Why ought no the Scottish?” (‘The Irish Tragedy: Up Scottish Revolutionists’ by John Maclean)

“The greatest “crime” I have committed in the eyes of the British Government and the Scottish capitalist class has been the teaching of Marxian economics to Scottish workers.” (Independence in Working Class Education)

Vote Yes But Begin the Building of a Scottish Workers’ Republic!

Belfast IRSP’s New Gaza Solidarity Mural

Posted in Anti-Zionism, Gaza, Internationalism, IRSM, IRSP, Murals on August 29, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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The Gaza solidarity mural is situated on Northumberland Street, at the junction with the Falls Road/Divis Street, Belfast, beside the ‘International Wall.’

For further details see the IRSP NEWS site

Prophetic Words From Seamus Costello in 1966

Posted in INLA, IRSM, IRSP, Seamus Costello on August 27, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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The following quotations are taken from Seamus Costello‘s iconic speech at Bodenstown in 1966, yet 48 later it retains it’s prophetic resonance in today’s “Ireland of un-equals.”

1.   “In the North, the destinies of one and a half million of our countrymen are controlled by a puppet regime”

 

2.   “We republicans must not be content to criticize those who misgovern both parts of our country. If we are to regard ourselves as true followers of Tone, we must provide the Irish people with an alternative. It must be a realistic and practical alternative. Our target must be the achievement of the ideals set out in the Proclamation of 1916 – the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities for all our citizens.”

 

3.   “to imagine that we can establish a republic solely by constitutional means is utter folly. The lesson of history shows that in the final analysis the robber baron must be dis-established by the some methods that he used to enrich himself and retain his ill-gotten gains, namely, force of arms. To this end we must organise, train, and maintain a disciplined armed force which will always be available to strike at the opportune moment.”

 

It is the duty of contemporary Irish Republican Socialists to adhere to and struggle for Seamus Costello’s vision of an Irish Workers’ Republic where the proletariat rightfully take ownership of the means of production and exchange for the benefit of the majority, not the few.  Unlike one-dimensional nationalists , contemporary Irish Republican Socialists in accord with Connolly and Costello, recognise that both the class struggle and the national liberation struggle are inseparable.

Saoirse go deo!

PSF Doublespeak On Support For Palestine

Posted in Anti-Zionism, Internationalism, Palestine, PFLP on August 26, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

As Gaza still bleeds from Israeli massacres, solidarity with the cause of Palestinian freedom has soared in Ireland from grassroots members of all Republican and socialist parties, trades unions, humanitarian organisations and all freedom-loving people.  In a recent communique the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , it commended international solidarity action in support of the besieged people of Gaza, including the sterling efforts by pro-Palestinian groups in Ireland.

However, despite many Provisional Sinn Fein grassroot members’ support for the Palestinian people, opposing Zionist apartheid and protesting over the most recent massacres in Gaza, one only has to recall that party’s leadership’s cordial and despicable meetings with Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor who is also a Major in the Israeli Occupational Force.  To add insult to injury, Martin McGuiness working in tandem with Peter Robinson agreed to send a trade mission to apartheid Israel, an imperialist  state whose hands have dripped with Palestinian blood since it’s creation.   To quote Derry journalist, socialist and civil rights leader Eamonn McCann:

Party loyalists argue that Executive Ministers have no choice but to fulfil functions that go against the grain. This is a dubious argument at the best of times. In the case of the visit of the Israeli ambassador, it’s irrelevant. This wasn’t a formal constitutional event. Martin McGuinness could easily have said that he wasn’t attending, and left Robinson to shake hands with Zionism.  DUP Ministers do it all the time when they are scheduled to take meetings they don’t fancy.”

To put thing in perspective, it is just another example of a pro-establishment party’s doublespeak, strikingly similar to Stormont Deputy First Minister McGuinness’ cozying up to war criminal George W Bush at Stormont Castle, while grassroots party activists were engaged in highly controlled and well documented contradictory protests at the same  USA’s Presidential visit.

Adams shaking hands with Israeli Ambassador  and Israeli Army Major, Ron Ron Prosor

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams shaking hands with Israeli Ambassador and Israeli Army Major, Ron Prosor

Martin McGuinnes and Peter Robinson's meeting with Israeli Ambassador & IOF Major, Ron Prosor.

Martin McGuinnes and Peter Robinson’s meeting with Israeli Ambassador & IOF Major, Ron Prosor.

By Martin Alexander

How Zionists View Irish Solidarity With Gaza?

Posted in Gaza, Palestine, Strabane, zionism on August 10, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Photo #1 source: WSM Facebook

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How Irish “heathens hordes” view Israeli massacres in Gaza..

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..meanwhile in “heathen” Strabane (Strabanistan?)

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PFLP praises direct actions for Palestine and urges further escalation

Posted in Anti-Zionism, Gaza, PFLP on August 8, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praises the direct actions taken by various groups around the world to shut down the operations of the war machine assaulting the Palestinian people, and calls for increasing and escalating these actions everywhere the occupier and its supporters are present.

The Front commended the multiple direct actions around the world targeting Israeli embassies, consulates, institutions and corporations, including the 2-day occupation of an Elbit arms factory outside Birmingham, UK; the blockade of the Israeli embassy in The Hague; the shutdown of El Al’s ticket counter in Athens; popular de-shelving and removal of Israeli products in Ireland; and actions in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Albuquerque in the United States at Israeli missions and consulates, Bank Leumi, Israel Discount Bank, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin, as well as a upcoming blockade of an Israeli ZIM Ship in Oakland, California. These actions come amid a flurry of die-ins and sit-ins in parliamentary and government offices across Europe, North America and around the world, and demonstrations in Paris and elsewhere taking the streets, defying police and government repression to stand with Palestine.

Comrade Khaled Barakat said, in a message to the solidarity movements with Palestine around the world, that “These actions are part of the Palestinian, Arab and international resistance to the Israeli massacres against our people. They illustrate that the people of the world are fed up with the images they have seen for the past month – of children torn apart and innocent Palestinians besieged and bombarded. This has been the Palestinian reality for over 66 years – and the people of the world are saying, ‘Enough!’ We want to see more of these direct actions, such as occupying Israeli and U.S. embassies and consulates, shutting down war profiteers and occupation corporations, and civil disobedience actions in cities around the world. These actions make clear that Palestinians are not alone, and that the people of the world are putting their own bodies on the line because they will no longer tolerate the illegitimate occupation state’s actions.”

hagueBarakat emphasized that the Palestinian struggle is an international struggle; as Comrade Ghassan Kanafani said, “The Palestinian cause is not a cause for Palestinians only, but a cause for every revolutionary, wherever he is, as a cause of the exploited and oppressed masses in our era.”

“The impact of these direct actions is felt in every Palestinian heart in Gaza. They are heard and felt by every Palestinian fighter in Gaza who emerges from the tunnels of resistance, that the people of conscience of the world stand with our just struggle for liberation,” said Barakat.

Barakat noted that “while the colonial and settler colonial governments of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the European Union are engaged in an imperialist campaign to liquidate the Palestinian people and their cause, hundreds of thousands of people in these countries have taken to the streets to stand with Palestine and denounce the bloody complicity of these powers, the sponsors of the racist settler colonial project in Palestine. What drives individuals and groups to occupy an Israeli embassy or shut down an Israeli weapons factory is their deep sense of justice, and their outrage at the injustices inflicted upon the Palestinian people.”

He saluted the support of the people of Latin America, as well as the official support extended by Latin American governments, including Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador. “The people of Latin America have fought colonialism and U.S. imperialism for too long to remain silent in the face of the U.S.-sponsored war machine occupying Palestine and massacring our people,” said Barakat.

sains“The Palestinian resistance has always welcomed internationalists to fight among us, and to be an integral part of this struggle. There are countless internationals: fighters, leaders, artists, writers, journalists, who have done so and continue to do so, and we know them through their direct actions. They join the Palestinian struggle through their direct actions, in armed struggle, in demonstrations, in occupying embassies and war and occupation profiteers and putting themselves on the line alongside our people,” Barakat said.

Barakat noted that “these direct actions send a significant message also to the occupation state: that the world is watching and the people are watching – and that they are angry, and acting, and not merely observing. Occupying Israeli embassies, consulates, trade offices, and corporations everywhere in the world is an important part of boycotting and isolating the settler-colonial apartheid regime in Palestine. This kind of action is also reaching the occupier’s media and public. They can no longer count on the silence or the ignorance of the people of the world – today, after over 66 years of Zionist colonization and occupation in Palestine, it is quite clear that the world does know, and is speaking and acting to bring an end to the massacres and the crimes. The Israeli entity must learn that the world no longer can tolerate Zionism.”

Source: PFLP

INLA Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch Commemoration Dungiven

Posted in Commemoration, Hunger Strikes, IRSP, Kevin Lynch on August 6, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: IRSP News

INLA Hunger Striker Volunteer Kevin Lynch was respectfully commemorated in his home town of Dungiven on Sunday 3 August by his comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.  A march through Dungiven’s main street led firstly by an IRSM colour party, the James Connolly Memorial Flute Band and followed by IRSP comrades made their way to INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch’s last place of rest.

Thirty three years ago on the 3rd of August 1981 Volunteer Kevin Lynch was buried in Dungiven. Kevin died as he lived, a proud Republican Socialist and a volunteer in the Irish National Liberation Army. His last fight was against the criminalisation of Irish political prisoners, by the forces of British imperialism in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. Kevin Lynch was given a full military funeral by his comrades in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement with 6 armed INLA volunteers in uniform firing a final volley of shots over his coffin as it made it’s journey to Dungiven cemetery

Prior to the many IRSM wreaths being laid and the colour party’s flag’s being lowered, IRSP Ard Comhairle member, Michael McLaughlin, gave the oration commemorating the selfless sacrifice of INLA Hunger Striker Kevin Lynch and re-affirming the IRSM’s principles and goals of a 32 County Irish Workers’ Republic for which Dungiven’s bravest son lived and died.

Saoirse go deo!

(Alex McGuigan)

 

Speech Delivered by the IRSP’s Michael McLaughlin at the Kevin Lynch Commemoration, Dungiven

 

Friends and comrades

It is a great privilege to be asked to address the 33rd commemoration of one of Dungivens proudest sons, National Liberation Army Volunteer Kevin Lynch.

Whilst the people from this community, and indeed our entire Island, who lived through those dark days of Hunger Strike, remember Kevin Lynch as a friend, a brother, a son, a comrade a National Liberation Army Volunteer, who gave his life so those who came after him could benefit from his sacrifice, I come from a different generation, from a different time. I, and thousands like me, come from a generation of Republican Socialists who did not live through those dark days of Hunger Strike but who endeavour to carry on the struggle Kevin Lynch ultimately gave his life for.

I cannot begin to understand or to even comprehend what Kevin Lynch’s sacrifice means to a community like Dungiven but I can quantify what his and his comrade’s sacrifices mean to someone like me.

The brutal hardship endured on the Blanket and on the Hunger Strike has left no lasting notion of romantic conflict on the consciousness of young contemporary Republican Socialists. The collective suffering of friends, family and an entire nation is nothing we believe should be celebrated; we have learned the hard lesson that the suffering of the people should be avoided and that armed struggle only used as a last resort. The oppressive murderous tactics of the British occupation in which brave young men like Kevin Lynch were forced to take up arms against are something, we hope, are consigned to the history books.

But one thing that is not consigned to the history books, let me be very clear in saying this here today, is the political philosophy of equality, justice, respect, national liberation and socialism that Kevin Lynch and his comrades died fighting for, it is very much a part of the struggle we continue to fight.

We have a vision to create a progressive nation that was outlined in the 1916 Easter Proclamation of the Irish Republic. We have a vision that states the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland. It declares that we shall cherish all of the children of our nation equally. We shall endeavour to create a workers republic that shall guarantee civil and religious liberties for all and create equal opportunities for all of its citizens. I am in no doubt that Kevin Lynch and his comrades understood the importance of those key elements of that historic document, they also understood that building socialism in Ireland is paramount.

As our generation of Republican Socialists continue the struggle we are under no illusions, we are standing on the shoulders of giants of men like Kevin Lynch.

Comrades we have much to do. Occupied Ireland functions on the State sponsored anti- republican premise of a sectarian Catholic Vs Protestant political carve up. British intelligence agencies and their secret agendas reign supreme over all the executive institutions of Stormont. Political policing, poverty, fuel poverty, unemployment, underemployment, deprivation and substance abuse are destroying the very fabric of our communities.

The 26 counties are not much better.

The Economic occupation of the Free State by the European Union the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund has created a generation of lost youth faced with emigration or poverty on the dole.

Kevin Lynch’s party, the Irish Republican Socialist Party has some sobering decisions to make on this our 40th anniversary. Do we walk away from this proud mans commemoration and simply go home. Or do we leave today and go back into our communities and trade unions and build the culture of resistance to capitalism, imperialist occupation and neoliberal thought worthy of those who went before us?

In 1995 comrade Gino Gallagher hinted that the change in strategic tactics in the way in which we persecute the struggle will be difficult to accept by saying “I feel more comfortable with a mask on”. We can all identify with that sentiment but even in 1995 Gino recognised that without a collective coherent progressive political strategy we are “on a hiding to nothing”. That sentiment is as relevant today as it was nearly 20 years ago.

We owe it to Kevin Lynch, Pasty OHara, Mickey Devine, Bobby Sands, Ray McCreesh, Kieran Doherty, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Francis Hughes and Thomas McElwee to continue the struggle. We owe it to the hundreds and hundreds of other National Liberation Army and Provisional Republican Army volunteers who died fighting British Imperialism to continue the struggle. We owe it to the thousands upon thousands of political prisoners whose lives were destroyed by the struggle to continue to fight to create a workers republic worthy of heir sacrifice. Standing on these patriot men and women’s shoulders is no easy task comrades, let us create the resistance and empower the people of this island to be the masters of their own destiny through our struggle for National Liberation and Socialism.

Comrades, I will finish with a quote coined from a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Bernadette Devlin- McAliskey. When referring to those murderers who are responsible for driving our ten brave comrades to their deaths on Hunger Strike in 1981 she said “Hell is not hot enough, nor eternity long enough for those who stood by and watched those men die”.

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