Archive for November, 2014

Assessing Armed Actions (Source: IRSP News)

Posted in Armed Struggle, IRSP on November 16, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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Source:  IRSP News  (An Internal IRSP Cumann discussion document)

Throughout 2014, a plethora of veterans and independent Republican commentators aired their opinions on what they saw as the futility of armed actions in the current environment. Consecutive letters, interviews and press releases emerged, in what was clearly a co-ordinated if well meaning attempt to put pressure upon those Republicans still on a war footing with the British state in Ireland.
The following analysis from the IRSP is not part of that public initiative and should not be viewed in that light.
Rather, five years on from the formal announcement of an end to the INLA armed campaign, it is intended as a dialectical analysis of the merits and drawbacks of continued armed actions, and from the perspective of those still deeply committed to maintaining the Revolutionary tradition in Ireland.

In 2009 the Republican Socialist movement standing collectively, stated their belief that future Revolutionary struggle in Ireland would be best served using unarmed methods, while simultaneously reaffirming our opposition to the failed reformist politics of the Good FridayAgreement.

That statement was made during a period, in which the remaining IRA groupings were assuring themselves and their supporters that they were in the ascendancy and following a short upsurge in armed activity including the shooting dead of two British soldiers near Antrim and a Police man in Craigavon.

In the five preceding years, the groupings involved have sustained losses well beyond any perceivable logistical or political gains which could have been attained through their combined efforts.

Many scores of Republicans now languish in prison, often in sub-human conditions and facing a heartless and vindictive regime that has decades of experience in the torture and marginalising of Irish POWs.

As a movement supportive of all POWs, and whose membership are all too aware of the realities and hardships of prison struggle, we have no interest appearing to belittle the position of today’s Republican prisoners and it is not for us to point out the dynamics which may have led to their incarceration.

We do however maintain the right to comment upon the impact which continued armed actions have had on the general political landscape here and on the Republican Socialist struggle in particular.

The immediate impact

Firstly the imprisonment of so many political activists has been a godsend to the state and to opponents of popular political struggle in Ireland and not only in terms of bodies lost on the ground.

In addition to locking up scores of Republicans; Britain has seized the opportunity to tie down remaining activists in an endless cycle of prison based campaigns; ensuring that the time, resources and energies of militantly minded Republicans are eternally deflected from the vital task of building a viable street basedalternative to the corrupt political and economic setup which now exists in Ireland.

This alone amounts to a successful outflanking of certain anti-GFA republicans, it is the result of a clearly thought out strategy on Britain’s behalf, yet it has rarely been mentioned by supporters of those practicing armed actions. Instead a misperception is promoted which claims that a viable armed Republican movement can magically be built on the back of prison campaigns.

Yet this is rapidly proving not to be the case, and today the partitionist states, their policy makers, financiers and apologists escape relatively unscathed from militant political and social upheaval, certainly in comparison to other European countries, as hundreds of young Republican activists here instead focus their energies (however gallantly) on white line pickets and protests relevant only to a single issue.

At a time when Irish revolutionary voices could have been using their energies and talents to utilise public frustration on the street to build the Republican Socialist fight against austerity, sectarianism and the ongoing failures of partition; proponents of armed actions here are in fact depleting that potential, offering a scapegoat argument to our oppressors – who by talking up the threat – both maximise their own budgets and draconian powers and deflect the public’s mind away from the increasing raft of socio-economically grounded injustices and inequalities which are facing the Irish working class today.

This is a bizarre position for Irish Republicans to remain static within, it is neither logistically wise nor in keeping with traditional IRA practice, which since 1916 and throughout the decades always advocated recognition of when the time simply was not right to fight.

Yet the self defeating dynamic remains in place, it is a dynamic which Britain and supporters of Stormont can live with indefinitely and for as long as the remaining IRA groupings allow, it will ensure that their supporter’s role in building a viable alternative to the rotten political setup here is reduced to a minimum.

The political impact of armed actions

To date the combined efforts of the various IRA groupings have resulted in British/State casualties on a par only with the least successful IRA campaigns of the past. In addition the state has learned valuable lessons from those campaigns and has chosen not to give the Republican tradition anymore martyrs but instead to wear down the morale and resources of its limited support base with a conveyor belt system of questionable arrests, convictions and increasingly harsh sentencing. In this process they have been tutored well by former Militant Republicans now loyal to the state.

As unsavoury as that reality may seem, it remains a reality and one which is not likely to change should the IRA groupings remain within the tight pigeon-hole in which Britain and its Stormont subservients have clearly backed them into. Furthermore the military capability which would be required to kick hard enough in an attempt to break out of that dynamic quite simply does not exist.

The British state in Ireland has successfully gauged the extent to which the Irish public will tolerate Judicial and human rights abuses of Irish Citizens, the PSNI directed by MI5 are adhering strictly to a set policy of maximum depletion of Republican resources yet minimum comeback as in terms of any public backlash.

By and large that policy is working for them and not least because the public are being taught to focus upon failing and questionable armed actions of Republicans while ignoring the litany of crimes being committed against the Irish Working Class by both the British and 26 County states; ruthless austerity, cutbacks in health and social spending and a general downgrading of the lives of ordinary people.

Again this is a self-defeating dynamic, into which the Republican armed groupings have stepped and one which the British and 26-County states are happy to allow exist.

And within this unfavourable environment, although IRA groupings claim that their actions are disrupting normalisation, their perceived successes have become successes in their minds only, without having adequately politicised and radicalised a new generation of young people (by stressing primarily the socio-political realities of the time) they are in reality impressing only their own small base.

What is at question here is not the right to take up arms against the oppressor; the IRSP does not and never will question that right.
The only relevant question which Irish Revolutionaries should be asking themselves at this juncture is ‘what works’?

Sporadic armed actions are not working; they are placing zero pressure upon either the British/Stormont or Free State regimes nor upon the capitalist economic systems which underwrite all of those states.

In fact they are bolstering the budgets of British Military intelligence and handing a monthly propaganda victory to those who wish to make partition, capitalism, austerity and overt security measures appear to the general public as the rational state of affairs in Ireland; rational in comparison to actions which only achieve a temporary sense of personal achievement for the individuals involved and their supporters on the ground.

All criticisms which we as Irish Revolutionaries, as Republican Socialists have of the failed politics of Good Friday; its inescapable ethos of sectarianism, economic inequality and perpetual partition, wrapped up as it currently is, in the environment of savage Tory & Fine Gael cutbacks upon the livelihoods and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens; can, will and are being explained away by reference to the sporadic actions of the remaining IRA groupings.

As with so many times in our recent history, what is required is the building and mobilising of a fighting Labour movement with a sound position on the question of Irish National Liberation, such as that mobilised by Connolly in the years running up to 1913. Years in which a similar economic reality faced the Irish working class as does today.

There is no shortcut to building such a movement, it will not be achieved by one movement or party alone and it will have many hardships and setbacks. Yet now should be the prime time to set the foundations for such a movement, one which could truly challenge the status quo as it now exists, truly upset normalisation and awaken the true national and class spirit of the Irish people.

The politics of sporadic armed actions are an attempt to bypass the process of building such a movement; furthermore it is a failed attempt at doing so and one which holds the real potential to create setbacks for those who seek to build a truly effective class based resistance to capitalism and modern partitionist rule in Ireland.

Just as advocates of current armed actions assert that they have a right to bear arms in the name of Irish Freedom; in the spirit of comradeship we must urge them to consider what duties come with that right. Not least the duty to consider the logistical limitations which come with practicing armed struggle perpetually in a woefully unsuitable environment. And the very real costs of that decision, both to you personally and to the cause of building a capable Revolutionary momentum, which the Irish people so dearly need and deserve.

Source: IRSP NEWS

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PFLP salutes the Palestinian masses and urges escalation of uprising

Posted in PFLP, PFLP/IRSP Solidarity with tags , , , on November 14, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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From Our PFLP Comrades

 

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine salutes the masses of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and occupied Palestine ’48 as they take qualitative actions and embody steadfastness and popular intifada and confront the occupier. This is the true picture of our people, their will and their commitment, which cannot and will not be defeated by Zionist crimes, the conditions of the moment, Arab complicity and international collusion against the Palestinian people and cause.

The Front saluted the escalating heroic operations against Israeli soldiers and settlers in occupied Palestine, especially in the West Bank and Jerusalem, noting that this is an expected response to the crimes of the occupation and that resistance is the most effective method to defend our people against the systematic Zionist war on their existence.

The Front noted the role of liberated prisoners in these heroic operations as an indication of the fact the the prisons of the occupation have been and continue to be schools to produce revolutionary heroism and sacrifice, which is a major component of our Palestinian people and their struggle against the occupation.

The PFLP noted the Israeli Ministerial Committee’s approval of proposed legislation applying Israeli law to the settlers in the West Bank as a serious development and an attempt to impose “facts on the ground” and annex the West Bank settlements to the occupation state.

The Front also denounced the recent ocucpation actions, especially the attempt to destroy Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and declare them “illegal” and the campaign of incitement against our people in occupied Palestine ’48, the demolition of the homes of the families of those who carry out operations against the occupiers, and the escalation of settlement construction, as revealing the true racist face of state terror that is inveighed against our people in occupied Palestine. They are confronting malicious attempts to break their will and force them to surrender and submission.

The Front urged the masses of our people in every part of Palestine to continue and escalate the popular struggle to an overwhelming popular intifada against the Israeli occupation, and for our people in the Diaspora to escalate their support for the struggle inside.

The Front also demanded that the Palestinian Authority and its security forces adopt a national stance to serve the people, by ending security coordination and any ties with the criminal occupier, and instead change the function of the security agencies to provide security to our people to protect them from Zionist attacks, and confront Israeli policy and practices based on a comprehensive national strategy that ends negotiations with the occupation state and prioritizes national unity.

The PFLP renewed its call for the formation of popular protection committees to confront the attacks by settlers against our people. The Front also called for an urgent meeting of the provisional leadership of the Palestinian national movement and the PLO, including all factions, to discuss the escalating Zionist aggression, and develop a unified national plan to support the steadfastness of our people and their intifada in the face of the occupation, and for the Palestinian official leadership to immediately join the International Criminal Court to prosecute the occupation for its escalating crimes against our people.

The Front called upon the Arab people and international allies and friends around the world to escalate comprehensive boycott against the occupation and expose the practices and violations of Zionism.

Source: PFLP

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Support The Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign

Posted in The Craigavon Two with tags , , on November 13, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

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In March 2012, Brendan McConville, 40, and John Paul Wootton, 20, were convicted of murder in a no-jury Diplock Court presided over by a single judge, Lord Justice Paul Girvan, at Belfast Crown Court for their part in the killing of Stephen Carroll, a member of the north of Ireland’s paramilitary police force, the PSNI/RUC, in the Craigavon area in 2009.  They were subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.  Brendan McConville was given a “tariff”(the minimum amount of time to be served before being considered for release) of at least 25 years and John Paul Wootton a tariff of 14 years.  In October, 2014, John Paul Wootton’s tariff was increased to 18 years by an appeal initiated by Director of Public Prosecutions, Barra McGrory.

 

It was glaringly apparent throughout the entire judicial process and trial of the Craigavon Two which included secret evidence, secret witnesses, a high level of blatant manipulation by the British secret services and a plethora of blatantly irregular questionable legal machinations,  that John Paul Wootton and Brendan McConville were not only the subject of a miscarriage of justice but were themselves the victims of hasty scapegoating by the British establishment.  Sounds familiar? Well, certainly victims of some of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in legal history, thought so too, including the late Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four and Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six, and many other judicial watchdog groups declaring their belief that the Craigavon Two’s convictions were unsound.  Paddy Hill, who now heads up the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation, made the following series of comments after closely familiarising himself with the case,

“We don’t just jump into bed with anyone because they say they are innocent…  The evidence in this case is very flimsy and very dodgy and i see this happening all the time……You are making a judgement on the evidence produced and on the evidence produced i don’t believe these boys are guilty………This case throws up more questions than answers and the more you look at the prosecution evidence the more you become confused because the half of it does not make sense at all….It’s not about politics, it’s about one thing and one thing only justice, innocence or guilt.”

 

Case Facts, Synopsis & Court transcripts

Both Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were tried, convicted and sentenced in a non jury ‘Diplock’ court, presided over by a single judge.  The Diplock court resembles more a military court-martial rather than an open and transparent civilian court you would expect from a western democracy, such as United kingdom.

  • The prosecution star witness did not come forward until eleven months after the shooting by which time Brendan McConville’s name had been widely broadcast in the media.
  • The prosecution star witness continuously lied under oath.
  • The prosecution star witness contacted the police on a number of occasions while drunk or drinking, including on the first occasion he had contacted them in the middle of the night.
  • The prosecution star witness was proved to be suffering from astigmatism and short sightless and would have difficulty identifying facial features at more than eight yards.
  • The distance between the path along which the prosecution star witness walked and the electricity box, where he claimed to have seen Brendan McConville is just over sixteen yards.
  • The prosecution star witness was accompanied by his partner on the night in question, yet she is unable to confirm his version of events.
  • The prosecution star witness conceded never having spoken to Brendan McConville before, and living away from the area for some years.
  • The prosecution star witness is in receipt of a weekly income from the PSNI.  He also receives an allowance for childcare and has had loans and overseas holidays facilitated for his children along with other financial benefits.
  •  An anonymity order was sought by the prosecution and awarded on behalf of their star witness.  This prevented the media from publishing any details about the witness’ name or description.  This order meant that if someone had information that could contradict or undermine the witness’ account or character, they would not know to bring this information to the attention of the court.
  • The prosecution sought and were awarded an order to allow their star witness to give his evidence via a video link up facility, even though his identity had been disclosed to Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton.  Added to this is the fact that no members of the public were permitted to enter the court. This had the effect of making it impossible to fully judge the demeanour of the witness.
  • Large extracts of the prosecutions star witness statement to the police had been redacted.
  • The prosecution star witness gave evidence that when he claimed to have seen Brendan McConville, he was wearing a knee length, green army coat with a German logo.  The coat recovered from a vehicle with the DNA of Brendan McConville on it was a brown waist length jacket.
  • The jacket discovered in the vehicle which was owned by John Paul Wootton and claimed by the prosecution to have been used on the night of the shooting was completely dry, even though it had rained very heavily that night.
  • The prosecution expert conceded that along with the DNA of Brendan McConville there were mixed profiles of at least three other peoples DNA on the coat and possibly as many as eight.
  • The prosecution expert conceded that DNA could have been distributed on the coat as a result of Brendan McConville speaking over it or sneezing over it while in the car on another occasion.
  • The prosecution expert conceded that a residue discovered on the coat may be from a non-firearm source.
  • When the police searched the homes of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton they were asked to seize any clothing and footwear that were wet or muddy.  No such items were found.
  • Shortly after the shooting police discovered a fire in the Drumbeg estate adjacent to the housing development where Constable Carroll was shot.  On closer examination they found that items of clothing had been burnt.
  • The vehicle owned by John Paul Wootton and claimed by the prosecution to have been used in some way in the shooting was not parked close to the scene of the attack but was in fact parked just short of one quarter of a kilometre away, in the middle of a housing estate adjacent to the housing development where Constable Carroll was shot.
  • The vehicle claimed by the prosecution to have been involved in the shooting did not make a hasty get away but in fact did not even leave the area where it had been parked until ten minutes after the shooting.
  • A tracking device fitted to the vehicle shows that the vehicle at no time went anywhere near the housing estate where the AK47 used in the shooting was later discovered.
  • Data from the tracking device was mysteriously wiped while the device was in the hands of the army.  No plausible explanation was ever given as to why this happened.
  • Evidence given in court stated that the tracking device would register the car door being opened and closed.
  • When the vehicle which police believed may have been used in the killing of a police officer was being taken away for forensic examination, at no time were the army technical officers called to examine it for suspect devices, as is the normal protocol.  Instead it was removed by a civilian pick-up company, raising suggestions that the army had already accessed the vehicle earlier that night and which could account for the need to wipe the data and possibly account for the residue on the coat.
  • It was claimed by the prosecution that John Paul Wootton might have dropped Brendan McConville off close to his home after the shooting as the vehicle passed close by the home of Brendan McConville after it left the housing estate where it had been parked up until ten minutes after the shooting.  In reality there were only two directions available to John Paul Wootton for his journey to his own home, and both routes passed close to the home of Brendan McConville.  There was no evidence from the tracking device that anyone exited the vehicle close to the home of Brendan McConville.
  • The prosecution sought and were awarded Public Interest Immunity Orders to prevent the disclosure or mention any evidence which could have assisted with the defence of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton.
  • When the AK47 that was used in the shooting was discovered, a partial fingerprint was found on the internal spring mechanism of the magazine.  This fingerprint was checked against the fingerprints of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton.  No matches were found.
  • When the prosecution star witness came forward, the police failed to carry out the mandatory identification parade thus denying Brendan McConville the protection of the code.  The code exists to protect the suspect.
  • Lord Justice Girvan, the presiding judge and notional jury, asked the prosecution barrister if he could draw an adverse inference against Brendan McConville because of the police failure to carry out an identification parade.  Even the prosecution barrister seemed somewhat taken aback by this and answered “no”.
  • Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton were denied the right to a trial by a jury of their peers but instead had a Diplock trial with a single judge acting as what the court terms a “notional jury”.
  •   There was no evidence that Brendan McConville or John Paul Wootton had participated in any event leading to the death of Constable Carroll.

SYNOPSIS OF STATE EVIDENCE

Red highlighted wording refers directly to the court transcripts. Which can be accessed links at bottom of page.

Witness M

Residue on BrownJacket

Brendan letter 3  (DNA and tracking device.)

COURT TRANSCRIPTS

Court Transcripts FORENSICS

PDF 1

PDF 2

PDF3

Source: justiceforthecraigavontwo.com

 

How You Can Help Fight This Miscarriage of Justice

Support the Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign at every opportunity and by raising awareness in your community, online or in your trade union.  This is not a politically partisan issue, it is a Human Rights Campaign.  Remember, when the Guildford Four, Birmingham Six and countless other prominent victims of British ‘justice’ who later had their convictions overturned, first protested their innocence it was neither fashionable nor popular to support their plight BUT eventually what began as a metaphorical whisper regarding their innocence gained momentum until it became a global roar against injustice! Help build that momentum for the Craigavon Two now!

Discover more about the Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign via the links below, offer your support and find out how you can help overturn this miscarriage of justice:

Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign Website

Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign Facebook Page

Justice For The Craigavon Two Campaign Twitter Profile

 

Alex McGuigan

Women In Ireland (IRSP Pamphlet Reprint)

Posted in IRSP, Womens' Rights with tags , on November 12, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: http://irsm.org/history/women.html

 

“…The first class opposition that occurs in history coincides with the development of antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.” (F. Engels: The Origin of the Family)


The oppression of women is thus directly linked with the institution of the family which emerged for the first time when there was an economic surplus in society, thus creating a material basis for class exploitation. The family became a unit of consumption, a vehicle of inheritance and a means of socialising children into the system.

The management of the family was no longer a public concern, and so the wife’s production became ‘private’, not recognised as socially necessary labour, ie. giving birth to a man’s children and looking after his house, while doing so increasingly in isolation from other wonen. Hence regardless of her status in wider society, within the family, the women’s relationship to the man became one or exploited to exploiter.


IMPERIALISM

British imperialism in setting up the sectarian statelet in the six counties and through partition, has deliberately fostered sectarianism amongst the working class and fragmented the women’s movement into those who are actively involved in or support the national liberation struggle and those who are pro-imperialist.


ROLE OF THE CHURCH

The church, particularly the Catholic Church, has continually taught that a woman’s main role in life is to marry, have children and stay in the home. Women are seen in the image of the Virgin Mary – pure, and that the sexual act inside marriage is for procreation and not to be enjoyed. Women are positively discouraged from seeing themselves as having their own identity and their own sexual needs. This view reflects itself in the Church’s total opposition to contraception, abortion and divorce and to women working.


CONTRACEPTION

Contraception is now available throughout Ireland from family-planning clinics but the moralising attitude of medical staff and the unnecessary prying questions into one’s sexual habits, prevents many young people from using these facilities. The entire process becomes very humiliating when, not only the clinics, but many family doctors agree firmly with the Catholic stance and refuse to prescribe any form of contraception. When it comes to sterilisation, a wife must have her husband’s written consent before the authorities will perform the operation – the implication being that she is his property.


ABORTION

In the six counties, abortion is illegal except on strict medical grounds, when a mother’s life is in danger or when the child will be deformed. In the twenty-six counties abortion is illegal. It is also illegal to give advice on how to obtain an abortion and at present there are court cases pending against various groups who are giving advice an abortion. A vigorous campaign has also been mounted (DEFEND THE CLINICS) to defend the right to freely give out information on abortion.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion or not.

The I.R.S.P. supports the Defend the Clinics campaign for the right to freely give out information on abortion.


DIVORCE

In the 26 counties, divorce is unobtainable, yet another example of the indivisibilty of the Church and State. In the six counties, even with the opposition of the churches, the right to divorce exists, after two yeers with both couple’s mutual consent, or after five years without mutual consent.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports the campaign for the introduction of the right to divorce.


WORK

The Equal Pay Act has had much less impact here than originally expected. Women have traditionally been employed in “women’s work” like clothing factories, cooking, cleaning, typing, etc., so it is almost impossible for a woman to say she is paid less than a man for the same work as this situation rarely exists. Many women find they can’t make ends meet on social security and they’re forced to take on jobs without disclosing this to the DHSS ‘doing the double’. This always results in bad working conditions, low wages and the risk of being sacked at a moment’s notice.

This type-casting of women is reflected in the family and in particular in the education system where boys are steered towards science, metal-work, woodwork and are encouraged to continue their education. Girls on the other hand are trained to prepare themselves for their future lives as wives and mothers and are given no encouragement to continue their education.


CHILDCARE

Pre-school child care has been and continues to be grossly inadequate in Ireland. There are only four day-care nurseries in the six counties and places are few and far between and usually cater for what they call ‘problem families’. Play-groups exist in most areas, but the majority of these are only morning or afternoon care for any one child. This does not suit a working mother.

The I.R.S.P. supports the demand for the provision of free childcare facilities for all those who wish to avail themselves of it.


HEALTH

The recent government cutbacks in health, both north and south, have had detrimental effects on women’s health. Cervical cancer which relies on early detection through regular smears is on the increase, due to long delays in getting results back and long waiting lists for hospital appointments. Breast scanning facilities are almost non-existent. Addiction to nerve tablets is on the increase with doctors prescribing Valium as a cure for all ills.

The I.R.S.P. is actively involved in the campaign against the cutbacks and against increasing government privatisation of health care.


RAPE

Society has created many myths surrounding rape such as: rape is due to sudden uncontrollable sexual urges unleashed in men by the slight of a provocatively dressed woman; no woman can be raped against her will; ‘women secretly enjoy it’.

Rape is a violent crime often carried out under threat of, if not actual use of force, such as beating, maiming and the murder of victims. 90% of all rapes are planned in advance. Rape is man’s physical expression of his power to dominate women. The victim is humiliated in court and made to feel that she is on trial, her own private sex life will be displayed to the court. Many judges openly sympathise with the rapist, illustrated by the nominal sentences handed out, often less than a motoring offense. Because of the way women are degraded by the courts, many women will suffer rape and not report it, and so the official figures on rape are considered by many to be just the tip of the iceberg.

The image propagated by the capitalist media and the widespread distribution of pornographic literature increases the view of women as sexual objects to be ‘had’ and ‘conquered’. On a wider level it is a reflection of the wider use of repressive values in the capitalist system to make the man/woman relationship one of domination and not of equality.

The I.R.S.P. supports the demand that sentences for rapists should reflect the serious nature of the crime.


STRIP SEARCHING

Since 1982, when strip-searching was introduced for women prisoners, on the pretext of security, there have been over 3,500 strip-searches. A strip-search entails a prisoner removing all her clothes and having her body inspected in full view of prison staff. Sanitary towels must also be removed. Refusal to comply results in beatings and the forcible removal of clothing. Nothing of any consequence has ever been found a prisoner and its sole purpose is to degrade and humiliate the women prisoners.

The I.R.S.P. totally supports the campaign to end the degrading practice of strip-searching.


SEXUALITY

We believe in a woman’s right to define her own sexuality, either as a lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. Lesbians experience discrimination especially in areas of child-custody, where a lesbian must often face a really hard legal battle for her children. She also faces the possibility of losing her job if she works in such areas as teaching or nursing.

The I.R.S.P. demands an end to discrimination against lesbians and a recognition that women have a right to define their own sexuality.

(The author and original date of publication of this historical IRSP document is unknown, but it was part of a series of pamphlets produced by the IRSP to give the working class of Ireland a clear vision of the IRSP’s policies.)

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James Connolly Commemoration Fund

Posted in James Connolly with tags , , , , on November 6, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Today, The Plough and The Stars carries an appeal in solidarity from a comrade representing  the James Connolly Commemoration Fund Website.  James Connolly was of course the ideological father of Irish Republican Socialism.

 

MISSION

One of the greatest socialist thinkers of his time, a revolutionary Marxist, trade unionist/syndicalist, a founder and leader of the Irish Citizen Army, and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation, a champion of the working class; former Charlemont Street resident, James Connolly.

Connolly first came to Dublin in 1896 with his wife Nora and three children. The family lived in a one roomed tenement slum for a short while at 76 Charlemont Street.

Our mission, with your help, is to erect a plaque on Charlemont Street, Dublin, in honour of James Connolly, and to mark the spot where this great man once lived.

Poster for sale to raise money for plaque, €5 each exl. P&P.

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Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 

Source: James Connolly Commemorative Fund

The RUC’s Forced Confessions in Ireland

Posted in Police brutality, PSNI/RUC, RUC/PSNI with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2014 by The Plough & The Stars

Video Source: The Guardian

An RUC interrogator speaks: Northern Ireland’s forced confessions revealed

“Hundreds of men and women found guilty of terrorism during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are planning to appeal. Most of them were convicted on the basis of confessions they say were beaten out of them by police. A Guardian investigation has uncovered evidence from former police interrogators that the brutality was routine and sanctioned at a very high level.”

Different name, same aim!

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