Archive for December, 2014
It has been reported in the media that veteran Irish Republican Socialist, Billy Browne, originally a member of the Official IRA and later an Irish National Liberation Army volunteer from Derry recently received a final armed salute over his coffin draped in the national and Starry Plough flags as a mark of respect to his involvement in the struggle for national liberation and socialism.
The Belfast Telegraph, stated that,
“The gunman emerged from within a crowd gathered outside the house in Mountain View in the Waterside and fired three single shots from an automatic weapon.
These were then followed by a burst of up to 20 rounds into the air.
The gunman, who was wearing a scarf over the lower part of his face and a hat, as well as gloves and military-style jumper and trousers, disappeared from the scene within moments.”
The ‘DerryNow’ publication added,
“According to local sources, the late Mr Browne, 59, had been a member of the IRA, before leaving to join the Official IRA and then the INLA. He served three prison sentences, one of which occurred during the so-called ‘Burning of the Cages’ in 1974 when republican prisoners set fire to the Long Kesh prison camp in protest against the conditions they were being held under.
Born in the Bridge Street area of Derry, Mr Browne was laid to rest following Requiem Mass at St Columb’s Church at Chapel Road on Thursday morning. During the funeral service, Fr Chris Ferguson described Mr Browne as a man of ‘strong beliefs’ politically who was a ‘republican and a socialist.’
Fr Ferguson also spoke of Mr Browne’s dedication to his partner, Shirley, and his family. Mr Browne was laid to rest in Ardmore cemetery following the service.”
It is quite clear that it was a fitting tribute to a committed anti-imperialist and socialist revolutionary.
Saoirse go deo!
The Middle East Group of the International Forum organized an event in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 12, marking 47 years of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The event included a video greeting from Leila Khaled, a strong speech that was met with enthusiastic interest and support, and a presentation on the politics and history of the PFLP by Irene of the International Forum, which summarized the history of the PFLP from its founding on December 11, 1967 until today, including the Zionist assassination of Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa and the imprisonment of Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat.
The evening included Palestinian food made by Abu Samra of the Palestinian community in Denmark and a screening of the film, “Leila Khaled: Hijacker.” Participants discussed issues raised by the film, and future events to support Palestine and for the Boycott Israel campaign.
The event gathered together members of the Palestinian community in Berlin and supporters of the Palestinian cause. The hall was decorated with Palestinian flags, PFLP banners, and a slideshow highlighting historic and present-day images of PFLP leaders, martyrs, events and demonstrations.
Basila Sobeihi, Palestinian poet, delivered a poem saluting the Palestinian people and the struggle of the PFLP, while Dr. Moannas al-Abyad delivered solidarity greetings to the PFLP from the Fateh movement.
Kholoud Daibes, the Palestinian ambassador to Germany, spoke at the event, saluting the work of Palestinians in Germany in holding this and other events that highlight the Palestinian cause, as well as the Palestinian struggle for rights and sovereignty. Doris Ghannam spoke on behalf of BDS Berlin about the growing movement internationally to support the Palestinian people through boycott, divestment and sanctions against the racist occupation state, and popular action to cut the support lines given to occupation, oppression and apartheid by the German government and the European Union.
Comrade Khaled Barakat delivered the main speech of the event, in which he spoke about the founding, history and political orientation of the Front as a central occasion in the history of the Arab radical revolutionary left, committed to all forms of struggle and resistance and with the highest conviction in the inevitability of victory.
“The Front was born from a protracted struggle from the Nakba of 1948…in response to the violent defeat in 1967. It was born from the womb of a major Arab movement, the Arab Nationalist Movement. It was born of the torment and struggle of refugees in the camps at a critical period in the history of the Palestinian people. It was not created through the decision of an intelligence agency, nor a resolution of the reactionary Arab regimes. It was created with the line of Al-Hakim [George Habash] and his comrades, when he announced in Amman, that with these guns, the masses of Palestinian and Arab workers and peasants will turn defeat into victory,” said Barakat.
Discussing the present situation, Barakat said, “Our people today live a constant state of siege, at an exceptional time in history. This is a difficult and complex time, and all of us must be patient and yet see clearly, without confusion. Quite frankly, we say: the enemy camp remains the same. It is known: global imperialism, Zionism, the reactionary Arab regimes and the client classes of the occupation. This camp is still working to liquidate the Palestinian cause, and wants it to be forgotten and to impose upon us our terms of surrender, isolation and siege wherever the Palestinian people are. In the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in the occupied lands of 1948, in Gaza, in every Palestinian refugee camp in exile and diaspora, this camp wants to impose upon us a form of siege. This is the bitter and extraordinary reality that must be matched by exceptional struggle from our side.”
He contrasted the path of revolution and the path of Authority, noting that the martyrs who fought and died for Palestine did so for the Palestinian revolution and not for an authority. “What is needed today is to move the Palestinian cause forward, to a time of revolution, and restore the true image of the Palestinian people and their cause. The original image: a people fighting for their homeland, to recover their rights, not scattered groups of people concerned with power, authority, salaries, cars and individual solutions. Not individual solutions: collective solution. A national democratic liberation project is the heart of national unity, that highlights the role and leadership of Palestinian youth and supports their initiatives; that celebrates the role of Palestinian women and seeks to achieve and implement equality between men and women. A national liberation project centers workers and the poor in the revolution and builds trade union organizations where working people struggle. The academic, the intellectual, the writer, the doctor, the engineer, artist, craftsperson and student have key roles to play. National liberation brings us together, unites us and frees the power of the Palestinian people….is this a project that can be achieved with the support of Qatar, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and systems of tyranny? This is a project that can only be built by the Palestinian people, and Palestinian communities in Europe have a central, active and leading role to play in developing and initiating this program,” said Barakat.
Discussing the needs of the Palestinian movement today, Barakat said: “What is needed today is to drag the leaders of the enemy to international courts. This struggle today paves the way for future generations; these crimes have no statute of limitations. We must launch a Palestinian youth movement in Europe, and build bridges of cooperation with the Palestinian people in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and occupied Palestine…work to activate and develop the boycott campaign and isolate the Zionist entity in every city, state and global capital. Today, we must build Palestinian social and cultural centers in each major city in the diaspora, and to strengthen the role of the student movement in universities internationally and support the resilience of our students inside Palestine and in the refugee camps.”
Anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 painted a graffiti mural marking the 47th anniversary of the PFLP at the Autonomous Social Center of Toulouse, France.
“Our anti-imperialist collective Coup Pour Coup 31 supports the Palestinian resistance and in particular its progressive and revolutionary wing, mainly embodied today by the PFLP….On the occasion of the anniversary of the PFLP we reaffirm that the project of a free and democratic Palestine from the river to the sea lives, in the heart of the Palestinian people and their Resistance!”
Source: IRSP NEWS
- Only the IRSP has 40 years of unapologetic ideological adherence to the ideology of James Connolly, that effectively and seamlessly asserts that Ireland can never be truly free under the Capitalist system. As Connolly famously stated:
“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin 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”
2. Unlike other Irish Republican groups where at best Socialism is given a vague nod of recognition, a “stage” that may, perhaps, be pursued after a unitary state is achieved, history has shown us that the closer one-dimensional nationalist parties come to achieving power, the quicker they drop any reference to previous Socialist rhetoric and embrace respectability and reformism. The IRSP has always maintained that the only truly free Ireland is one where there is economic freedom.
3. Contrary to most other parties in Ireland today who describe themselves as ‘Socialist’, ‘Communist’ etc, yet ignore the ‘elephant in the living-room’ ie, the impact of British imperialism in Ireland, the IRSP has never ceased to confront Imperialism which Lenin described as the ‘highest stage of Capitalism.’ During the popular national liberation struggle, volunteers of the INLA played a full role in all aspects of that period of armed struggle.
4. As a revolutionary socialist party the IRSP rejects the Good Friday and St Andrews Agreements, the Stormont puppet assembly et al, not least as it copper-fastens partition, reinforces sectarianism and does absolutely nothing to improve the lot of the Irish working-class.
5. The IRSP is THE only party in Ireland who has, since it’s inception 40 years ago, advocated the full implementation of Women’s rights, including free contraception, divorce and abortion on demand. This was unheard of in an Ireland that was completely dominated by the values of the Catholic Church.
6. The IRSP has spearheaded and played a leading role in both Republican and popular campaigns; from the RACs. the Smash H/Block Armagh campaigns of the late 1970’s/early 80’s, to contemporary campaigns such as the anti-water charge campaign that is quickly gaining momentum in Ireland.
7. The Republican Socialist Movement has always been viewed as a threat to both the status quo in the occupied north-east of Ireland and the 26 county Gombeen state. Throughout it’s history, the IRSP’s articulate leaders have been the subject of assassination by military death-squads, selective internment, imprisonment on the dubious words of paid perjurers and blatant frame-ups.
8. The IRSP is not a abstentionist party but qualifies that position by the words of the party’s co-founder, Seamus Costello’s revolutionary approach:
“I favour guerrilla tactics in parliament the same as I do in other respects.I favour them in local elections and local government bodies, they’ve proved successful there. And I see no reason, why, with a few TDs or MPs, of the right calibre, pursuing the right policies, why they cannot destroy the confidence of the people within these institutions and bring them tumbling down in ruins”
9. “UNDERSTAND THE PAST so that we may ANALYSE THE PRESENT in order to INFLUENCE THE FUTURE” were the bold yet realistic last words in INLA guerilla and Marxist theorist Ta Power’s essay on the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. The IRSP are actively involved in that process.
10. If you are interested in the politics of the IRSP, then there are ample ways to contact the party online via the part’s website, the IRSP Facebook page or by contacting your local IRSP representative.