Archive for April, 2016

Video of IRSM 2016 Belfast Easter Commemoration

Posted in Easter 2016, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

Source: Clonard Marxist

The Importance of International Workers’ Day

Posted in May Day, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


The Origins of ‘May Day’

International Workers Day is also known as May Day as it is traditionally commemorated on the first day of May as a show of workers’ solidarity. The concept of an International Workers Day has it’s origins in the famous Stonemasons strike for an 8 hour working day in Australia in the mid-1800’s but the choice of date relates to the Haymarket Strike in Chicago, Illinois in 1886 and the subsequent Haymarket Martyrs.

The Haymarket Martyrs – A Brief History

During a three day General Strike four unarmed striking workers at the McCormick Machine factory were brutally gunned down by the police, who as in every capitalist country function as protectors and muscle for the Boss class. During a protest rally the next day a bomb went off, possibly detonated by police agents, which killed 12 people and one cop.

A disgraceful, racist show trial ensued which, like all Kangaroo Courts, was a travesty of justice and four Libertarian Socialists, George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies were publicly hanged.  They became internationally known as the ‘Haymarket Martyrs.’

It is in memory of these Working-Class Martyrs that workers throughout the world commemorate International Workers Day annually on the first of May.  The lot of the Proletariat has not progressed incrementally in the years since 1886!  In the West and indeed globally, Capitalism has continuously launched one of it’s most vicious offensives against working class people, rubber-stamped by stooge politicians.  In many countries trade union membership is illegal and even in the Western Hemisphere, many workers are prevented, banned and victimised for union membership.

Celebrate Workers’ Solidarity Against Capitalism!

Although many modern workers’ leaders are simply bureaucrats, there are many trade unionists who fight daily for workers’ rights against the boss class and their lackeys.  More importantly, all Revolutionary Socialist parties and freedom loving individuals should take part in the International Workers Day marches due to the blood that has been shed in the struggle for workers’ rights both in history and in contemporary times. Details of marches commemorating International Workers Day in Ireland can be found here and on this link


“Workers of all countries unite ! You have nothing to lose but your chains ! There is a world to win!”
(K.Marx & F.Engels; from the Communist Manifesto)



Alex McGuigan

Pics and Keynote Speech from Belfast IRSM Easter Commemoration

Posted in Easter Commemoration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

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Source: IRSP NEWS!  Keynote speech by Comrade Michael Mclaughlin


We are here today to commemorate the events of Easter week 1916 and also to remember our comrades and volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army and Irish Republican Socialist Party who fell in the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. Those events in 1916 were a turning point in the struggle for Irish freedom and nationhood. The joint effort by a wide range of Republicans, nationalists, trade unionists and socialists could accurately be described as the first broad front in modern republicanism.


Our main objective has always been, and continues to be, a society free from prejudice, discrimination and exploitation, a people’s republic. A secular, stable, sovereign, sustainable, non-sectarian, socialist society, a republic organised from the bottom up, with the means of production, distribution and exchange in the collective ownership of every Irish citizen.

As we strive to create a workers republic in this vision, our current political position will never be reconcilable with either rogue State on this island. We exist solely to  bring the pillars of the 26 County Free State and the Six County sectarian northern State tumbling down, to expose those institutions as implements and apparatuses of the wealthy, designed to ultimately serve their interests.


The destruction of the society for the wealthy, the expulsion of imperialist interference in the affairs of the Irish people, the cessation of carefully fostered sectarianism ,created by an alien government to divide the Irish working class, these are the tasks the Irish Republican Socialist Party busy ourselves with in the centenary year of the 1916 rising.

The IRSPs political analyses has been correct at every major political juncture over the last four decades. But comrades we can be correct and wrong at the same time. We can be correct in continuously remaining principled, in continuously using our republican socialist political programme in the interests of our class but wrong if we fail to communicate that political programme correctly to the mass of the Irish people or fail to attract our class to our cause, ultimately their cause. We must continue Connolly’s revival.

We must continue the work of the martyrs who fought and died on Vinegar Hill. We must continue in the footsteps of the Workers who walked out on strike against exploitation, who fought pitched battles on the streets of Dublin during the 1914 Lockout. We continue to stand in solidarity with the spirit of the broad front of progressive forces who rose in 1916 against foreign physical and economic control of this island.

We stand here in the tradition of all progressive republicans and socialists who stayed the course, who remained principled, even in the darkest days of struggle. We continue to stand here on the shoulders of the giants of the martyrs of the Irish National Liberation Army who rose against imperialist occupation and lie buried in this graveyard and graveyards like it all over this island.

Republican Socialism has never had a strategic code to follow. To even try and create an authoritarian set of rules in which to pursue our struggle denigrates the journey to a people’s republic. The Irish working class are the sole instrument in which we can achieve our goals. Only by working through them, by convincing them of our political programme, that our vision is their vision, that a Republican Socialist society is in their best interests, that our Republic is their Republic, that it will belong to them. Only then will we see the fruit of our revolutionary labour.

Our core principals, our tolerance, our fairness, our tradition of resistance, our uniquely Irish socialism, these are the things that will keep us on the correct path. We don’t claim to be perfect, yes mistakes have been made, but all done in the best interests of our class at any given time. We hold no romantic notions of martyrdom, like the men and women of the 1916 Rising, we are just as prepared to do what has to be done, when it has to be done.

As the struggle against foreign interference in our affairs, the fight for national liberation and socialism has evolved over the last century it has gone through many eras. From armed rebellion to civil war, from social and political activism to the dark years of the Long War from 1969 to 1998, the key for survival and growth is in identifying the transition from one era of struggle to another.

Today, 18 years after the Good Friday defeat, and after numerous treaties aimed at solidifying the peace, after the entrenchment of sectarianism in the north, after the absurdities of greed and gluttony during the boom and bust cycle of capitalism in the south, and the un-flinching implementation of cruel unjustifiable austerity, we are on the threshold of a new era of struggle and like those who have gone before us, we must embrace it and thrive. The stakes are too high to ignore the realities.

As the young capable comrades of the IRSP position themselves for leadership of this organisation, how will we be judged in 100 years time. As future generations gather at this very spot to commemorate the sacrifice for a workers republic, what will they say about the new era of struggle we are moving into? What will the history books say about us? Who knows? But it’s up to us to write that chapter of struggle, our struggle against imperialism and oppression and for national liberation and socialism.

Like the men and women who rose in 1916 we have a clear vision, we have the same motives.. To address our national sovereignty denied and to create a nation worthy of a people who have never known a nation, a nation waiting to be born, that exists today in the hearts and minds of young Republican Socialist’s.

The primacy of our political project will bring us towards the Workers Republic. It will abolish the physical border partitioning our island, from North to South, and it will destroy the economic border partitioning our island from East to West. The primacy of our political project will redistribute the wealth of the nation collectively and equally giving ownership of the nation to its entire people.

As we enter this new era of struggle it’s important to remember the words of Liam Mellows as he was led out of a battle scarred Four Courts in 1922 to see uninvolved and apathetic workers cleaning the rubble from the streets after the republicans garrisoned there were attacked by the Free Staters. The ordinary worker didn’t care for the fate of the Republicans being escorted to prison or execution, Mellows commented that “the workers are not with us”, meaning the republican side in the Civil War. We must be vigilant that we do not repeat those mistakes, we must learn from history, any future actions must lead towards the Workers Republic; there can be no backward steps. It’s only by standing shoulder to shoulder with workers in their daily struggles can we attempt to fight against the powerful forces lined up against us. We must always act in the interests of the working class.

In 1994, twenty two years ago, in the interests of our class, our armed wing adopted its “no first strike” policy in response to the changing political climate of the day. Our entire movement had an intense period of internal political discussion which led to the collective decision to move towards total cessation of armed actions in 1998.

Although we supported the peaceful resolution of the national question we could not support the Good FridayAgreement in 98. The GFA contained nothing to further advance the struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland. It was a defeat for the wider republican struggle. But our path had been chosen, the primacy of our political project had been ratified by the entire movement and our support base.

The ensuing years of political struggle led to the IRSPs calls in Bray 2005 for “ all anti-GFA republicans need to take a step back and engage with each other, those not on cease-fire need to call a cessation to their campaigns. Put simply it is not working; there is no support within the working class community for armed struggle to defeat imperialism, at this present time”.

Dialogue did eventually take place in 2008 which eventually led to the formation of the Irish Republican Forum for Unity, which had the potential to politically unite all strands of anti-imperialist republicanism, predictably it failed, due to the influence of British intelligence and the hidden agenda by elements within the IRFU to use it to create a new IRA, aimed at continuing failed tactics, tired rhetoric and the zero-sum political programme of the past.

The IRSP totally opposed these moves to use progressive dialogue for regressive aims and eventually withdrew our support for the IRFU over the “cloak and dagger” tactics being used.  Culminating in our current political position that support for armed struggle is one of the biggest barriers to creating an anti-imperialist broad front in the interests of the working class and for the building of socialism in Ireland. The IRSP will never condemn those who engage in armed struggle, although we ask those engaged in it to analyse their actions further than the maxim “Ireland un-free shall never be at peace” or smashing normalisation.

Since 2010 to entire movement has moved forward in the spirit of the Ta Power document, continuing our ideologically principled political struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland whilst implementing the Ta Power principles of politics in command and collective leadership.

I will finish with an excerpt from comrade Powers analysis document which states:


“What we must do is examine the above statement by Seamus Costello and draw all the necessary implications from it. A revolutionary party must have a revolutionary ideology, an ideology that enables us to analyse the world, the motive force at work in the world, and plan a campaign based on the analysis.”

“A campaign that is consistent, principled, and bold in its implementation, maxims as a guide to action is an ideology; it represents the historical interests of the working class, which through the medium of a revolutionary party, aims to overthrow the capitalist order and begin the construction of communism.”

Comrade Power continues:

“We must make no secret of the fact that we are such a party, make no secret of what we stand for and aim for. We cannot try to fool the Irish people, we must recognise that it is fatal to confuse and deceive them. “

 “We must define our socialist republic, explain exactly what it entails; innuendoes, vagueness and good intentions are not enough: The road to hell is paved with good intentions! We must define all this with the utmost clarity so that the Irish people are under no illusion of what we are fighting for. “

“A revolutionary socialist party means that we must engage in revolutionary politics throughout all of Ireland, both on the streets and in the elected chambers.”

Comrade Power finishes

“It means that we must first identify the major contradictions in Ireland today, which is the continued occupation by the British of the six counties, the resulting denial of our right to self-determination and sovereignty, the resolution of the national question, partition and all the evils and divisions that spring from it, it entails a struggle against imperialism, it entails the mobilisation of the mass of Irish people in the struggle for national liberation, but it doesn’t mean confining ourselves solely to the national question.”

“As we said before, there are many strands to the anti-imperialist struggle; it means involvement in campaigns against unemployment, emigration, repression, involvement in trade unions, action groups and EVERYTHING! “

“We must agitate, propagandise and organise around these issues (but not a reformist manner). There is no easy road to a socialist republic, no short cuts; we must strive towards uniting and politicising the working class no matter what obstacles confront us in our task, for we cannot win our struggle without the working class.”

Comrades in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising its imperative that the party of Connolly, the Irish Republican Socialist Party, continue and accelerate our growth and struggle for national liberation and socialism in Ireland.”

PKK warns Turkey of long fight for freedom and Refutes Turkish Propaganda

Posted in PKK, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 25, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars


Armed PKK Fighters

The Kurdish secular socialist freedom fighters, the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) has told the BBC* that it is ready to intensify its fight against Turkey because Ankara is trying to make it surrender.

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Cemil Bayik said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “escalating this war”.

“The Kurds will defend themselves to the end, so long as this is the Turkish approach – of course the PKK will escalate the war,” he said.

Despite Turkish propaganda, Mr Bayik, the PKK’s military leader, insisted that “we don’t want to separate from Turkey and set up a state”.

“We don’t want to divide Turkey. We want to live within the borders of Turkey on our own land freely… The struggle will continue until the Kurds’ innate rights are accepted.”

He said Turkish intransigence had made the PKK ready to escalate the conflict “not only in Kurdistan, but in the rest of Turkey as well”.



* The BBC can not be treated as a neutral news organisation

Below is a video made by the France 24 News organisation about the PKK

The PKK’s website can be accessed here

LGBT Rights Activist and Human Right’s Campaigner Condemns Latest Homophobic Attack!

Posted in Homophobic Attacks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 21, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars



Following the outrageous attack on University of Ulster Magee College student, Conol Cassidy, prominent LGBT Campaigner and Human Rights Activist, Séan Óg Garland, has condemned the latest incident in a series of homophobic attacks.   The serious assault happened on Saturday, 16 April, 2016 near Derry’s Guildhall Square, the 20 year old Drama student says that he will not socialize in Derry due to this traumatic experience which was based solely on his sexual orientation.  Conol, the victim of the homophobic attack, bravely stated that,

“I went to run into a nearby shop but I felt something strike me on the side of the face. One of the men was wearing a ring and it dug into the skin on my face.  It was definitely a homophobic attack, the way that they kept asking us if we were gay proves this to me. I was attacked because I’m gay.  Although this is first time anything like this has ever happened to me, as an openly gay man I no longer feel safe in Derry,” he maintained.

“I’ve decided to go public because I want the two men who did this to see what they have done – I want their parents to see what they have done to someone who is only in Derry to better himself, I also know that there are so many gay people who get attacked and do nothing about it because secretly they think they deserve it, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!”

Attack Condemned by Prominent LGBT Activist and Human Right’s Campaigner, Séan Óg Garland

Séan has been a friend to The Plough and The Stars’ editor and staff, he has been a constant figure in Human Rights Campaigns ranging from issues that affect the LGBT community, Global and domestic Human Rights issues, anti-austerity  campaigns and abuses against working class people here in Ireland and abroad. Séan stated regarding the homophobic attack in Derry against Conal Cassidy,

“I marched the streets of Derry as a young lad with hundreds of others against Queer Bashing on the streets of the Derry..I would do it again No Problem ….

When we hear much talk and see much activism on LGBT equality the fact is that we want Equality but we want our Liberation, to enjoy it and that means to live free from Anti-Gay violence ….

Queer bashing is wrong be it Belfast, Derry, Moscow or San Francisco…

Time to stop it ..”

An injury to one is an injury to all!


Horrific injuries suffered by Conal Cassidy


The Plough and The Stars concurs with Séan Óg Garland’s sentiments and as a publication it has a proud record of opposing Homophobia, Sectarianism, Racism, Imperialism, Capitalism and all means, that seek to divide the Proletariat.

gay plough



Alex McGuigan

Soviet, Leftist & Republican Socialist Memorabilia Collectors Facebook Group

Posted in Memorabilia, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars

(Left-Right: Metal Bust of Karl Marx writing; Aluminium Bust of VI Lenin; Limited edition Bust of Che Guevara; Silver Metal Bust of VI Lenin; Porcelain Bust of ‘Iron Felix’ Dzerzhinsky; Bust of Karl Marx; Plaster Bust of VI Lenin)

The Slideshows below are just a miniscule example of the plethora of items displayed in The Soviet, Leftist & Republican Socialist Memorabilia Facebook group

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Since 2015, a successful ‘Soviet, Leftist and Republican Socialist Memorabilia’ Facebook group has been steadily attracting a plethora of new members.  There is a wealth of knowledge among the membership who come from Ireland, Russia, the Americas, the Balkans, Poland, Scotland, Wales, England, China, to mention but a few and it has remained a non-party political page devoted to collectors and memorabilia.  The collective of Administrators mission statement has been articulated by one of the co-founders,

This is not a group for contemporary policy documents, articles or manifestos, I created this group for the display and discussion of Soviet, Leftist and Irish Republican Socialist memorabilia. It is not a trading page per se but if you have an item that you wish to sell, send me a message or to our collective of administrators to consider if the post is valid. (Any right-wing, Fascist/Loyalist, neo-Nazi or reactionary items posted will obviously be deleted and the posters banned. I’m quite sure there is a Facebook group for trash like that – also, this is not the place for trolling obviously). Apart from that, the ‘rules’ are few and just common sense, comrades.

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It is a credit to this Facebook page that internecine strife or sectarianism, in both it’s political and religious forms, has ever raised it’s ugly head to date.  It is a great place for networking with other memorabilia collectors and there are some very knowledgeable people in the group who can give very accurate opinions on various pieces such as pins/badges, sculptures, flags and militaria, etc.

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While the group’s rationale is not as a trading site, however members are permitted to make personal sales, ask other members to source memorabilia for them or ask members for valuations.  If you wish to join The Soviet, Leftist and Republican Socialist Memorabilia Collectors group to display any memorabilia or just to learn more about the items on display, please feel free to register here!


Alex McGuigan
Glengad, Ireland

BHSCT’s Illegal Treatment of Workers Continue!

Posted in Belfast, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Uncategorized, Unite with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by The Plough & The Stars







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