Archive for March, 2016

IRSM Belfast Easter Commemoration Sunday 24 April 2016

Posted in Commemoration, Easter 2016, Easter Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

easter belfast commemoration 2016

After the outstanding success of Dublin IRSM’s 1916 Centenary  commemoration in the Irish Capital City, the Irish Republican Socialist Movement will be holding their Belfast Easter Rising commemoration on the auspicious date of Sunday, 24 April, 2016.  All members, bands, family members and supporters are asked to assemble outside Dunville Park, Falls Road, Belfast at 11am “for a march to the Republican Socialist plot in Milltown cemetery where our annual commemorative event will be held.” (IRSP NEWS)

 

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The 24 April marks exactly 100 years to the day that the Proclamation was first read outside the GPO at the commencement of the Easter Rebellion.  Although the Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers, a small contingent of Hibernian Rifles and Cumann na mBan fought bravely against the overwhelming forces of British imperialism, the Rising failed militarily.

The Irish revolutionaries’ armed actions were at first heavily condemned by reformist politicians in both the media of the day and Westminster for having a lack of mandate, accusing them of being being ‘traitors to Ireland’ etc.  However, within a short period of time public opinion had changed drastically into admiration of their bravery and principles. A significant reason for the sea change in Irish public opinion were the excessive punitive actions of the British military industrial complex, that included secret courts-martial that sentenced many of the Rising’s leadership to death, including:

  • Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas J. Clarke on 3 May, 1916
  • Joseph Plunkett, William Pearse, Edward Daly and Michael O’Hanrahan on 4 May, 1916
  • John MacBride on 5 May 1916
  • Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, Sean Heuston and Conn Colbert on 8 May, 1916
  • James Connolly and Sean MacDiarmada on 12 May, 1916

In London, some months later, Roger Casement was tried for high treason and hanged at Pentonville Prison on 3 August, 1916 for his part in the military preparations for the Easter Rising. Around 1500 Irish revolutionaries most of whom were involved in the Rising were interned and exiled without trial, mainly in Frongoch concentration camp, Wales. It is widely accepted that the military actions of the revolutionaries of the 1916 Rising acted as a catalyst for what became known as the ‘Tan War’, a popular armed guerrilla war that began in 1919 against British imperialism in Ireland.

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The Irish Citizen Army, the world’s first Red Army on parade outside Liberty Hall

Saoirse go deo!

Alex McGuigan

 

The Starry Plough of Revolutionary Republican Socialism Flies in Belfast!

Posted in Easter 2016, Easter Commemoration, Irish Citizen Army, Irish National Liberation Army, Irish Republican Socialism, IRSCNA, IRSM, James Connolly, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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“Brilliant to see the various Starry Plough flags of the Irish Proletariat flying in the Mid-Falls and all over Belfast!  We serve neither King nor Kaiser, nor Westminster, Stormont or Leinster House!  Onwards to an Irish Workers’ Republic!”  (Alex McGuigan)

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“The red Starry Plough flies in the lower whack. The scarlet red of socialism and the 7 stars symbolising the Irish Working Class brought together in one flag.”  (Micheál Ó Ceallaigh)

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james connolly quote

Let us free Ireland! Never mind such base, carnal thoughts as concern work and wages, healthy homes, or lives unclouded by poverty.

Let us free Ireland! The rack renting landlord; is he not also an Irishman, and wherefore should we hate him? Nay, let us not speak harshly of our brother – yea, even when he raises our rent.

Let us free Ireland! The profit-grinding capitalist, who robs us of three-fourths of the fruits of our labour, who sucks the very marrow of our bones when we are young, and then throws us out in the street, like a worn-out tool when we are grown prematurely old in his service, is he not an Irishman, and mayhap a patriot, and wherefore should we think harshly of him?

Let us free Ireland! “The land that bred and bore us.” And the landlord who makes us pay for permission to live upon it. Whoop it up for liberty!

“Let us free Ireland,” says the patriot who won’t touch Socialism. Let us all join together and cr-r-rush the br-r-rutal Saxon. Let us all join together, says he, all classes and creeds. And, says the town worker, after we have crushed the Saxon and freed Ireland, what will we do? Oh, then you can go back to your slums, same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

And, says the agricultural workers, after we have freed Ireland, what then? Oh, then you can go scraping around for the landlord’s rent or the money-lenders’ interest same as before. Whoop it up for liberty!

After Ireland is free, says the patriot who won’t touch socialism, we will protect all classes, and if you won’t pay your rent you will be evicted same as now. But the evicting party, under command of the sheriff, will wear green uniforms and the Harp without the Crown, and the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic. Now, isn’t that worth fighting for?

And when you cannot find employment, and, giving up the struggle of life in despair, enter the poorhouse, the band of the nearest regiment of the Irish army will escort you to the poorhouse door to the tune of St. Patrick’s Day. Oh! It will be nice to live in those days!

“With the Green Flag floating o’er us” and an ever-increasing army of unemployed workers walking about under the Green Flag, wishing they had something to eat. Same as now! Whoop it up for liberty!

Now, my friend, I also am Irish, but I’m a bit more logical. The capitalist, I say, is a parasite on industry; as useless in the present stage of our industrial development as any other parasite in the animal or vegetable world is to the life of the animal or vegetable upon which it feeds.

The working class is the victim of this parasite – this human leech, and it is the duty and interest of the working class to use every means in its power to oust this parasite class from the position which enables it to thus prey upon the vitals of labour.

Therefore, I say, let us organise as a class to meet our masters and destroy their mastership; organise to drive them from their hold upon public life through their political power; organise to wrench from their robber clutch the land and workshops on and in which they enslave us; organise to cleanse our social life from the stain of social cannibalism, from the preying of man upon his fellow man.

Organise for a full, free and happy life FOR ALL OR FOR NONE.

(James Connolly: Let Us Free Ireland, 1899)

Irish Republican Socialist Movement Easter Rising Centenary Commemoration – Saturday 26 March Dublin

Posted in Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

rsm easter 2016

Protest Against Benefit Sanctions – Tomorrow 1pm Falls Rd ‘Jobcentre’

Posted in campaigns, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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West Belfast Unite the Union’s Community section will be holding a protest outside the Falls Road Jobs and Benefits Office tomorrow, 9 March, between 1pm – 2pm against the ‘grotesquely cruel’ benefit sanctions currently used against claimants to deprive them of their money!  All welcome!

This will be part of a Unite the Union Community Section campaign across the 6 counties tomorrow.  Liane Groves head of Unite Community said: “Half a million people have been sanctioned and had their financial support withdrawn in the last 12 months alone. Money can be cut for arriving late at the Jobcentre, missing an appointment to go to a funeral or even failing to apply for a job while waiting to start a new job.

“This harsh benefit sanctions regime treats claimants worse than criminals fined in courts, leaving people without money and unable to feed themselves and their family. It is a system out of control with decisions on guilt taken in secret and claimants not even allowed to be present to explain their case.

“Far from helping people back to work, the cruel sanctions regime harms physical and mental health and drives up food bank use and homelessness. 

“It is totally counterproductive and there can be no justification for this grotesque cruelty by the government. It can’t be allowed to go on.”

JOB 4610 BANNER

 

Operation Gladio in Ireland “Project Echoes”

Posted in Collusion, Imperialism, Ireland, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 5, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars
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Operation Gladio Emblem

For those not familiar with Collusion and State sponsored murders in Ireland, Project Echoes was an alleged Operation Gladio linked secret joint venture involving Apartheid South Africa’s notorious Vlakplaas unit, Civil Co-operation Bureau (C.C.B), the RUC Special Branch, Armscor, Loyalist paramilitaries and members of the British security services. Some of the key players will be fairly well known, for instance Brian Nelson, British military intelligence’s Force Research Unit’s top agent and UDA chief intelligence officer. Project Echoes was just one of a series of Gladio-related operations in Ireland.

Other Project Echoes’ players from the South African Apartheid regime, such as ex-pat Loyalist, Charlie Simpson, Leon Flores, Eugene De Kock and Pamela Du Randt, will not be household names but they were key players in a murky world of collusion, torture, murder and international intrigue.  Former Tory MP, for Basingstoke, turned Paisleyite Democratic Unionist Party member, Andrew Hunter, who had long been in the pay of British intelligence, also figures prominently in the Project Echoes story.

An important part of the Project Echoes story, are the joint operations that resulted in the murders, or attempted murders, of exiled opponents of the Apartheid regime.  Arguably at the top of their hit-list was Dick Coetzee, a former hit-man for the Vlakplass unit, who ‘defected’ to the ANC in the late 1980s. Although, it should be stressed that Coetzee’s defection was more for self-preservation reasons, than any ideological conversion to anti-racism or multi-culturalism!

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Dulcie September, ANC Paris rep murdered by ‘Project Echoes’ operatives

Dirk Coetzee survived several assassination attempts, including one very near miss in London by a joint RUC/Loyalist paramilitary hit squad. Many others were not so lucky, including the ANC’s representative in France, Dulcie September, who was murdered by a similar squad in March 1988. A South African born academic, Adrian Guelke, who was a lecturer at Queens University, Belfast, was shot and badly injured by a pro-British loyalist hit-squad, in September 1991.  The unsuccessful murder bid occurred at his Fitzwilliam Street home, just off the Lisburn Road, in South Belfast. This attempted murder was a payment in kind to the Apartheid intelligence services by Loyalist paramilitaries based in Belfast and Mid-Ulster.

Another Irish academic, this time at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster, was also targeted several times by Loyalist paramilitaries at the behest of the Apartheid state. British military intelligence spooks linked to Project Echoes planted false stories in the media, wrongly linking the unfortunate lecturer to armed Republican groups in an attempt to primarily sabotage his career. Their other intention was to further raise his profile as a prospective target for assassination by pro-British Loyalist death squads.

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Paul Larkin in an expose on ‘Collusion’ and State sponsored murder in Ireland, has a chapter on the subject of Project Echoes in his book, A Very British Jihad. The Pat Finucane Centre and the Troops Out Movement also have some material on Project Echoes, which was available on their respective websites.

A name that constantly crops in all areas of this phase of the British Collusion project with Loyalist paramilitary terrorists is Irish born ex-pat, Charlie Simpson. Simpson, was a Loyalist paramilitary and British intelligence asset who served with units of the then Rhodesian Special Forces and later in Apartheid South Africa’s dirty world of state sponsored murder. In many respects, Simpson seems to have been the link man during key stages of Project Echoes, having accumulated years of specialist military training and indoctrination into the far-Right values of the various organs of the Apartheid state.

At some stage, hopefully, there will be a more in depth, comprehensive insight published into the foul and murky world of British state collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries and the murders of Irish citizens, often at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies. These brutal sectarian murders often occurred at the behest of reactionary, true Rogue States, such as Apartheid South Africa and Israel or as payment in kind for receiving military ordinance or training.

Paul Larkin’s book mentions assassination attempts on Apartheid South African dissidents and even London Mayoral candidate, Ken Livingstone, by joint RUC/UVF death-squads exported to London and guaranteed safe passage back to the North of Ireland. These contract murder attempts, at the behest of Apartheid South Africa, involved the late Loyalist Godfather and British security service asset, Billy King Rat Wright and Mid-Ulster RUC Special Branch members. The attempted hit on Ken Livingstone, was planned to take place as he made his way to work on the tube, to the then Greater London Council’s Headquarters.

Project Echoes remains an element of state-sponsored collusion that has largely escaped the glare of publicity and for many in this supposed era of so-called ‘new dispensation’, it will be an inconvenient truth.  Mid-Ulster, since the first years of the post-1969 period of conflict referred to as The Troubles, has always been at the heart of collusion between British state agencies and Loyalist paramilitaries. In many ways, that particular area of the north of Ireland, with it’s blurred lines between policing, British military intelligence and Loyalism, functioned as an open air, counter-insurgency laboratory.  It can therefore be no surprise, that some of the North’s most prolific and most protected Loyalist serial murderers originated in Mid-Ulster, for instance, Robin the Jackal Jackson and Billy King Rat Wright. The details of Project Echoes may never be fully exposed and like all dirty state secrets concerning British collusion in Ireland, the British government although clearly culpable, will censor, obstruct and frustrate those who seek the truth.

(I originally published a shorter version of this article in 2010 under the pseudonym ‘Iskra’ which was later shared by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain/Marxist Leninist’s website)

Alex McGuigan

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