Archive for September, 2015

The Brit Ruling Caste – Cameron and Pig-Gate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 22, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

The Bourgeoisie up to their b*lls in swine, graft and Coke

David Cameron a leading member of the Bullingdon Club – aka the Scum of the earth! (No Coke was ever used in this club……Aye! Of course)

Karl, as always, was right when he pointed among his many theses the decadent and vile nature of Capitalism, over a Century ago.

Workers of all land unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains! 

Christina Pert-Beag

Connolly Society Scotland Refugee Crisis Appeal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 18, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Connolly Society Scotland Refugee Crisis Appeal

107 Cowgate in conjunction with the James Connolly Society Scotland are holding a refugee crisis appeal.
Urgent – Urgent – Urgent
107 Cowgate is based in Edinburgh’s Old Town, the part of the city known as Little Ireland in acknowledgement of the influx of Irish refugees and immigrants to the area historically. The JCS was founded by members of that community. 107 Cowgate and the James Connolly Society welcome refugees to Edinburgh.
For several weeks activists from both the JCS and 107 Cowgate have been volunteering in various local projects. We have now been asked to pull that effort together with this appeal. We offer this small contribution in the spirit of solidarity.
Below is a list of accepted donations. If something is not on the list there is a good reason for that. This list was given to us today:
    • Men’s practical clothing, including warm jackets, waterproofs, trousers, belts, socks and underwear. In particular smaller sizes are more commonly required for all, so size small – medium is most useful, and bear in mind that winter is fast approaching. Please also remember that the European camps are populated largely by men, so men’s clothing and shoe’s are in much higher demand. We are collecting some women’s and children’s practical, warm clothing too, but priority is men’s.
    • Men’s, women’s and children’s practical shoes (trainers and walking boots, not flip-flops, town shoes or dress shoes). Again, men’s shoes are in far greater demand.
    • Gloves, scarves and hats.
    • Backpacks and travel bags (suitcases are less appropriate but still useful).
    • Tents, tarpaulins, sleeping bags, camp beds, sleeping mats, blankets and towels (please ensure that all are in a clean and usable condition)
    • Candles, matches, torches and batteries, wind-up torches, head torches or other equipment that can be used for light.
    • Basic toiletries such as hand sanitiser, soap, toothpaste, wash cloths, toothbrushes, tissues, razors and shaving foam.
    • Vitamins, medicine and basic first aid supplies like plasters, bandages, antiseptic creams and over-the-counter painkillers.
    • Dry, packaged and tinned food that is easily transportable and won’t quickly expire. Pulses and grains such as lentils and rice are much appreciated, and products that do not contain gelatine or pork are important.
    • Camping stoves, pots, pans and utensils.
    • Smart phones with sim cards, and European adaptors.
    • Books in varying languages, including dictionaries and educational books.
If you can donate any of the above please get in touch now.
Alternatively contact us via social media on our Facebook or Twitter accounts
We would also ask for assistance with packaging, collecting and dropping off the donations. If you can help in anyway please get in touch. We have arranged for all materials collected to be donated to a not-for-profit international aid project dealing directly with refugees both in Europe and here in Edinburgh.
Time is of the essence, so do not delay. Donate today!
Source: Connolly Society Scotland Refugee Crisis Appeal

How effective is Isis compared with the Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga? by Peter Beaument

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars
Isis fighters
(Isis fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in Mosul, northern Iraq. Photograph: Reuters)

Iraqi armed forces

After Iraq’s armed forces were disbanded following the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the United States and its allies committed more than $25bn to training and building a new military. With more than 250,000 frontline troops (not counting paramilitary police units), on paper at least the Iraqi military should be effective. It is equipped with almost 400 tanks including US M1A1s and Russian T- series tanks including the T-72. It also has more than 2,500 armoured fighting vehicles and 278 aircraft, including drones, transport aircraft, amphibious aircraft and 129 helicopters.

But despite its manpower and equipment – and the huge sums invested in it – the Iraqi military has suffered constant problems with combat readiness at battalion level while struggling to attract sufficient recruits to maintain effectiveness, particularly in key areas such as training. As the security environment in Iraq has steadily worsened, the government under the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has tended to concentrate elite units in the capital, while recent operations in the west on the Syrian border and around Falluja and Ramadi have suggested both serious political and operational shortcomings. The collapse of an estimated 30,000 forces in and around Mosul underlined a lack of morale and an apparently chaotic chain of command.


Estimates put the fighting strength of Isis in Syria and Iraq at around 7,000 but its numbers in Iraq appear to have been bolstered by other groups, including local Sunni militants and Ba’ath nationalists particularly in Tikrit. Despite claims that they have captured helicopters in Mosul, it seems unlikely they would be able to deploy them. Lightly armed with Toyota pickup technicals, RPGs and small arms, Isis has captured some armoured Humvees, although there are suggestions that some equipment has been sent back to Syria. While they have been able to operate easily in largely Sunni areas where they have some support from a population angry and alienated from the Shia-led government in Baghdad, the capital is a different proposition. One district alone, Sadr City, has a Shia population of some 1 million and since the sectarian war that ended in 2008, the sprawling suburbs have been divided along sectarian lines with checkpoints and barriers.


Although some 35,000 Kurdish peshmerga are incorporated into the Iraqi security forces, other peshmerga remain outside with published estimates varying from 80,000 to three times that number. Two years ago a Kurdish official suggested the peshmerga numbered 190,000. Increasingly well equipped – including with 2,000 armoured vehicles and rocket artillery systems – they are regarded as motivated, well trained and experienced.  Source: The Guardian

Brave YPG Fighters

Videos below courtesy of Clonard Marxist  and the  Irish Republican Socialist Party News

YPG ‘Fighting for all humanity’! Belfast meeting urged to support the Kurdish resistance.

Posted in YPG with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: IRSP NEWS!

The fight between the savagery of the self-styled ‘Islamic state’ and the Kurdish YPG defence militias represents a fight for survival between two fundamentally opposing views of civilisation, and those with even the most basic grasp of progressive ideas must decide today which side they are on and act.

alex at ypg meeting 12 9 2015

So was told a gathering in Belfast’s Conway mill on Saturday 12th September 2015. The public meeting ‘Eyewitness from Syria ‘featured contributions from the mother of a fallen English YPG fighter who was killed in action in March this year and a 62 year old who himself had volunteered for action with the Kurdish Resistance.

Vicci Scurfield, mother of Konstandinos Erik Scurfield – the first English fighter to die fighting in defence of the Kurdish people – travelled to Belfast along with 62 year old former archaeologist Alan Brooke who himself volunteered for action with the YPG. Although being turned down for active service due to his age, Alan was taken on a tour of the Qandil mountain region considered a liberated zone of the Kurdish resistance. There he was introduced to the PKK leadership and shown around the guerrilla camps before being urged by the resistance fighters to return home and build support for their cause.


Both  speakers gave acute in-depth and moving reasons for why international fighters are travelling to defend the Kurdish people from the brutal onslaught of ISIS and why it is vital that others with progressive mindsets here do all in their power to give practical support to the YPG.

Vicci Scurfield described her son in the most ordinary of terms stressing the humanity of the young man who spent his short life immersing himself in a myriad of lifestyle activities; an aspiring actor and literature enthusiast who spent his 21st birthday hiking across the Alps in order to complete National Service in Greece (her native country) before taking up boxing and becoming a Royal Marine Commando in England.


She described how ‘Kosta’ (as he was affectionately known) became increasingly sympathetic to radical ideas on reading reports of the gallant resistance put up by Kurdish resistance at Kobane, which she described as ‘turning the tide against ISIS’. Determined to ‘even up the odds against the savagery of the so called ‘Islamic State’, Kosta walked out on the Marines by stating to them plainly ‘let me go or I will desert’.

In December 2013 he made his mother aware that he intended to go fight for the YPG at which point she tried to prevent him from doing so, but to no avail. She described how after only 10 days he took part in the rescue of over 5000 encircled Yazidis on the Sinjar Mountain in north western Iraq, helping them escape an encirclement that promised certain death.


Describing Islamic State as no less than a Cult of death, a criminal empire engaged in wholesale slaughter, rape and oppression, Vikki described in vivid detail how its followers profited from industrial scale child sexual exploitation, slavery and theft.

Chillingly she spelt out the rights of non followers under the rule of Islamic State…. ‘If they want your house? Your dead, if they want your jewellery? Your dead, if they want your six year old daughter? Your dead’.

Worryingly, Vikki described how at least 30 foreign ISIS fighters came from Ireland and how in logistical terms Islamic State were in no way defeated and how Airstrikes by both the Turkish and Nato governments were aimed more so at tempering the growing power of the progressive liberated Kurdish areas than at I.S itself. She finished by stating her own belief that the only truly progressive force in the region was the Kurdish resistance and appealed on those present to do all in their power to provide practical support to the resistance fighters of the YPG.


Alan Brooke described with the aid of a slideshow, the logistical and political terrain within which the Kurdish resistance operate as well as explaining in great depth, the theoretical backbone of the Kurdish movement ‘democratic con-federalism’ applied in a Kurdish its unprecedented commitment to equality, democracy and women’s rights.

Alan described the conflict situation as representing a clash of views on the purpose of civilisation itself, stressing how ‘Islamic State’ followed a world-view in which a savage state ensured that women and minorities would be oppressed and where barbarity and intolerance were the order of the day, whereas on the other hand the Kurdish resistance were attempting to create communities based on compassion, tolerance and Socialism.

Echoing his comrade Vicci who finished by stating …’the best of Humanity have gone to join the YPG, while the worst have joined ISIS’ Alan finished by urging those in attendance to form active support groups on the ground which could provide practical assistance to the YPG.

The Belfast Kurdish community where in fine attendance on the day, and as a result valuable links were forged between Local Republican Socialists and our International comrades.


The Republican Socialist movement would like to thank all those who attended to make the day such a memorable success and take this opportunity to echo the calls of our visitors who rightly stressed the importance of giving active support for the Kurdish resistance, in defence of Socialism and in opposition to barbarism.

Source: IRSP NEWS!

Belfast Public Meeting on the YPG and The Kurdish Struggle For Liberation – A Resounding Success!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Source IRSP: Facebook Page


The public meeting on the YPG and general struggle against the Fascism of ISIS and the Imperialism of the repressive Turkish state was a resounding success.  The main speakers were Vikki Scurfield, the mother of martyred YPG specialist guerilla and Alan Brooke, an academic who left his normal life behind to volunteer to fight for the YPG and make a serious sacrifice in the Kurdish fight for not only freedom.but survival..

“Kosta” YPG Freedom Fighter, Combat Para-medicine specialist and Martyr for Kurdish freedom, RIP

The meeting was highly informative, giving the genuine news from the struggle of the Turkish freedom fighters in Syria and extensive battle lines.  The histoorical details of the Turkish genocide against the Kurdish people was fascinating!  The speakers were a breath of fresh air compared to the manipulated and monopolised Bourgeois media.

 Check the IRSP NEWS page and it’s Youtube channel for a forthcoming more comprehensive, better written and digitally recorded report of what was one of the informative Public Meetings on the Kurdish struggle.

As Internationalists,  Marxists and freedom loving Irish Republican Socialist people, one peoples’ fight against Imperialism and Fascism is our struggle too! 

Saoirse  go  deo !

Alex Mcguigan,Belfast

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Don’t miss the uncensored news about the fight against Fascism & Imperialism in Syria!

Posted in Syria with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars


ypg leaflet

At tomorrow’s public meeting you will hear from a primary source about the real, uncensored situation in Syria where brave guerillas are fighting and winning victories in a popular peoples’ war against Fascism and Imperialism, establishing liberated zones in their wake!.  This is a meeting that should not and can not be missed by those who want to hear the real news of the struggle in Syria not the lies and false propaganda of the monopolised media!

Where: Conway Mill, Falls Road, Belfast

When: 4pm Saturday 12 September (tomorrow)

Plus don’t miss the 9pm-late fundraiser after the meeting at the nearby Red Devil Bar situated at the junction of the Falls Road/Broadway Road.  There will be plenty of ceol agus craic in the comfortable and convivial atmosphere at The Red Devil, one of Belfast’s premier entertainment venues!


George Gilmore – Protestant Republican by Anthony Coughlan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 10, 2015 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Anthony Coughlan from Village Magazine

Bodenstown rep congress

George Gilmore (1898-1985), whom I knew during the last 20 years of his life, was one of the most remarkable people I ever met.
The Gilmore brothers, George, Charlie and Harry, fought in the War of Independence and the Civil War. They were unusual in being Protestant Republicans. They grew up in Howth where their mother’s people came from. Their paternal grandfather was land-steward to the Blacker family of Carrickblacker Castle near Portadown. The Blackers helped found the Orange Order in 1795. As children the Gilmores had the run of Carrickblacker while the resident Blacker was away. He told me the castle armoury still had weapons and uniforms of Grattan’s volunteers of 1782.
George Gilmore’s first political action was to take down a British Army recruiting poster outside Amiens Street station in 1914. It showed a German soldier bayoneting a civilian against a background of burning churches. Its slogan was: “Join the Army and help defend Catholic Belgium”. He brought it up to Portadown where he pasted it up beside posters with a different appeal: “Join the Army and help defeat Catholic Austria”. It was an early lesson in Britain’s use of religious sectarianism in Ireland.
His father was a prosperous accountant, but was so evangelically religious that he would not let his sons have either secondary or third-level education. Instead they joined the Fianna and the Irish Volunteers. Their unit obeyed MacNeill’s countermanding order in the Easter Rising, but George made a one-man contribution to it. Towards the end of the week British soldiers were gathered on the railway bridge over the road at Clontarf, preparing to enter the city. The Gilmores lived nearby. In the early morning George took his father’s hunting rifle and shot at them from behind a tree. The soldiers scattered. His father said at breakfast that there had been some shooting down the road, but he had heard no one was injured. George said he was much relieved at hearing that.
Following the Rising his father sent George to Carrickblacker for a year to keep him out of trouble. He got to know several local Protestant farmers who had family memories of 1798. “We are the real Republicans”, one of them said to him. It strengthened his view that Protestant-Catholic unity was the basis of any meaningful Irish Republicanism.
A motorbike accident at the start of the Civil War prevented George Gilmore joining the Four Courts republicans. He believed that De Valera, acting through Oscar Traynor, was responsible for preventing IRA reinforcements coming into the city from Blessington to relieve the Four Courts. This was the only step that might have given that conflict a different outcome, he said, for most of the Dublin IRA was then anti-Treaty. “After that it would have been better if we all had gone home instead of continuing the war”.
During the Civil War the Gilmores were active in the South County Dublin area – mainly trenching roads to impede Provisional Government troop movements. George was arrested several times and escaped twice from prison. In 1925 he organised a famous prison-break from Mountjoy. He and two colleagues dressed as policemen pretended to be delivering some new prisoners to the jail. They took over a whole section and succeeded in springing 19 Republican prisoners who got clean away.
Before De Valera founded Fianna Fáil in 1926 George Gilmore was for a while secretary to Sean Lemass. The IRA sent him to Russia to negotiate training facilities, but the British Government learned about it, so the Russians could not help, but instead gave him a tour of the USSR.

Prisoners released from Arbour Hill and Mountjoy, March 1932 (National Library). Middle row, second from left, George Gilmour
Prisoners released from Arbour Hill and Mountjoy, March 1932 (National Library). Middle row, second from left, George Gilmour

“De Valera took the best Republicans with him into Fianna Fail”, Peadar O’Donnell used to say, “and left us with the clinkers”. Gilmore and O’Donnell were close colleagues from the early 1920s. O’Donnell was extrovert, ebullient, the eternal optimist as he launched one political or literary scheme after another. Gilmore was introvert, inclined to political pessimism, the embodiment of austere Protestant integrity. Their politics were those of James Connolly and Liam Mellows. They were socialist Republicans and sought to push the IRA , which in the late 1920s and early 1930s had several thousand members, to the left.
In 1934 when O’Donnell and Gilmore failed to get majority support on the IRA Army Council, they left the IRA and set up the Republican Congress. They envisaged this as a rallying point for leftwing Republicans, trade unions, tenant leagues and the Communist Party, which would push the new Fianna Fáil Government into a more Republican and anti-imperialist direction. George went to America to raise money for it.

Gilmore often recalled the group of Protestant workers from Belfast’s Shankill Road who joined the Republican Congress contingent at the annual commemoration at Wolfe Tone’s grave at Bodenstown in 1934. They marched behind a banner saying “Break the connection with capitalism”. Sadly, they were set upon by the IRA which wanted only their own people to march.
When the Republican Congress petered out after a couple of years Gilmore brought the information they had gathered on Dublin’s appalling slums to Frank Gallagher, then editor of the Irish Press. The articles on slum landlordism which Gallagher carried encouraged the Government to start the first schemes of mass slum clearance and Council house-building. George thought that was one positive legacy of the Republican Congress.
George met Cora Hughes when she got involved in tenant-league agitation for the Congress. She was the great romance of his life. Her father, Frank Hughes, was an old friend of De Valera’s. Cora was Dev’s god-daughter and he too was very fond of her. She had a degree in Celtic Studies from UCD, where she became friends with the poet Charlie Donnelly, who was killed in Spain. She later transferred her affections to the older George.
Once when she was arrested, De Valera, then Taoiseach, sent her books in prison. George believed it was her work in the Dublin slums that gave her the TB that eventually killed her. Cora’s mother and sister did not approve of George as Cora’s fiancé. His politics were opposed to the family idol, De Valera. He was a Protestant, a “Red” and had no proper job.
When Cora Hughes contracted TB the family solution was to send her to Lourdes. Her ultra-pietistic mother said that she would be happy if all her children preceded her to Heaven so that they would be there to greet her when she got there herself! George went to see his political opponent De Valera in the Taoiseach’s office to ask him to use his influence with the family to get Cora to a sanatorium in Switzerland. He recalled De Valera weighing up the options carefully, showing some reluctance to intervene. “You have your rights as her fiancé. I have my rights as her godfather. Her parents have their rights as she is their daughter”, he went on in his methodical way. “And has Cora herself no rights?”, the exasperated Gilmore burst out.
De Valera did get her a visa to go through France in September 1939 as World War 2 broke out, but it was too late. Dev helped carry the coffin at her funeral in Kiltimagh, while his policemen scoured the countryside to ensure no IRA firing party turned up. George stayed away. He never married. He wrote the political-personal story of his romance in fictionalised form as a play, ‘The Gold Flag’. “It would be a theatre smasher”, Denis Johnston said. “Yes, they would smash the theatre alright”, his wife responded, thinking of the political sensitivities of the time. It has never been performed.
In his later decades he did clerical work for Irish Cement Ltd. He supported progressive causes, wrote political pamphlets and was a regular letter-writer to the Irish Times. The Provisional IRA’s long war made him despair, as he saw it further sundering Northern Catholics and Protestants. He lived in a two-room stone cottage near the quarry above the cliff walk in Howth. It had no gas, electricity or running water, but no one else lived nearby and one could see the Mourne Mountains from it. When I visited there last summer I was glad to see a roof being put back on it.
In 1985 when he was aged 87 the bad leg which resulted from his youthful motorbike accident acted up and he was taken to a nearby nursing home in Howth. He could have lived a few years longer but he more or less willed himself to die. He effectively went on hunger strike, refusing food and taking only water. “Take all lovely things away”, he said, pointing to a bowl of roses in the room. I was with him when he died and he made me his literary executor. He is buried in St Fintan’s cemetery, Sutton.
An American scholar, Rosalie Popick, who met him in the National Museum in the last year of his life, is currently writing his biography. He deserves a good one. •

Anthony Coughlan is Associate Professor emeritus of Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin

Source: Anthony Coughlan from Village Magazine

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