Feb 25 2018

BERNADETTE MCALISKEY, SINN FEIN AND CIVIL RIGHTS

In early February, writing a platform piece in Belfast’s Irish News, Bernadette McAliskey reacted to Sinn Fein claims that they had led the early civil rights struggle. Socialist Democracy member, John McAnulty says Bernadette was absolutely right to slap down these absurd claims by a group that was not formed until years later. However much of the debate around civil rights is as relevant today and  John has added his own comments below.

 

BERNADETTE McALISKEY, SINN FEIN AND CIVIL RIGHTS

 

Setting the record straight

Bernadette McAliskey in Platform (reprinted from Irish News 9/2/18)

In August 1968 the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organised its first march from Coalisland to Dungannon. On February 6 1972, NICRA organised what was effectively its last civil rights march, in Newry, to protest the State killing of unarmed civilians taking part in the Derry march on what became Bloody Sunday. Continue reading “BERNADETTE MCALISKEY, SINN FEIN AND CIVIL RIGHTS”

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Feb 14 2018

AHED TAMINI – TWO FACED HYPOCRISY

 

We are posting this article by Tony Greenstein about the Ahed Tamini Affair. It was first posted at:- https://www.weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1189/two-faced-hypocrisy/

 

TWO-FACED HYPOCRISY

 

 

Ahed Tamimi: her treatment highlights the true nature of Zionism

Over the past month a 16-year-old girl, Ahed Tamimi, has become a Palestinian heroine compared to Joan of Arc. Israeli Zionists – both ‘doves’ and ‘hawks’ – were in uproar when on December 15 Ahed was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier. He had invaded the grounds of Ahed’s house in the village of Nabi Saleh, a militant village of around 600 people, about 12 miles from Ramallah. It is a village that has seen its lands and even its sole freshwater spring confiscated by the nearby settlement of Halamish. Continue reading “AHED TAMINI – TWO FACED HYPOCRISY”

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Feb 08 2018

HANDS OFF AFRIN! SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS

If ever the Kurdish saying “No friends but the mountains” applied it is in the situation the People’s Defence Force/Womens’s Defence Force  now confront in Afrin on the Turkish Syrian border. In the Byzantine politics for which this region is infamous, for a brief period the interests of the US government and the Kurds in northern Syria coincided. The US, having created the Islamic fundamentalist forces which have ravaged this region, faced blowback, after ISIS took  over large areas of Iraq and Syria. The most effective forces confronting ISIS in the region are the Kurdish Left YPG/YPJ, so they received some short-term cynical and limited backing from the US State Department. With ISIS in retreat, it is back to supporting other Islamic fundamentalist forces, particularly the al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front, and trying to win Turkey back from the Russian Federation to the US side. This article, written by Martin Suchanek,  first appeared in Neue Internationale no. 226, and addresses the complex situation in Afrin.

 

Turkish airforce and artillery strike at Kurdish YPG/YPJ held town of Afrin

HANDS OFF ADRIN! SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS

“Operation Olive Branch”, the Turkish incursion into the Kurdish held territory of Afrin, has been running since January 20th. Last weekend alone, the Turkish army flew over a hundred bombing missions. Already days before, heavy artillery had fired at the positions of the Kurdish self-defence forces YPG/YPJ (People’s Defence Force / Women’s Defence Units). Since Sunday, 21 January, tanks and infantry, often deployed by puppet troops of the Turkish-led FSA (Free Syrian Army), including numerous Islamist ultra-reactionaries, have penetrated into the Kurdish territory around Afrin. Continue reading “HANDS OFF AFRIN! SOLIDARITY WITH THE KURDS”

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Feb 03 2018

THE OUSTING OF BARRY MCELDUFF

Category: Against Unionism,IrelandRCN @ 12:51 am

The following is an article about the ousting of Barry McElduff, Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone, after his notorious tweet. This article first appeared in Socialist Democracy (Ireland). 

 

 THE OUSTING OF BARRY McELDUFF

Barry McElduff

A sustained campaign of outrage has led to the ousting of the Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone. The campaign arose from the posting of a tweet showing the MP balancing a loaf of bread on his head in a supermarket declaiming; “where do they keep the bread?” Unfortunately the bread was from the Kingsmill bakery and McElduff’s antics were on the anniversary of the IRA sectarian massacre of ten protestant workmen at Kingsmills.

The thesis behind the outrage was that McElduff was a sectarian and the stunt a deliberate provocation. By extension Sinn Fein, failing to immediately force his resignation, were themselves guilty of sectarian provocation. Continue reading “THE OUSTING OF BARRY MCELDUFF”

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Dec 10 2017

DERRY SOLIDARITY WITH GENERAL STRIKE IN CATALUNYA

We are posting the following piece from the IWW (Ireland) about the Solidarity with Catalunya protest organised at Free Derry Wall. 

 

DERRY SOLIDARITY WITH GENERAL STRIKE IN CATALUNYA

 

Members of the IWW in Derry today took part in a rally held at Free Derry Wall in solidarity with workers throughout Catalonia on General Strike following Sunday’s referendum on self-determination. This evening solidarity action coincided with similar actions in Ireland and across the world at which many sections of the IWW participated. Continue reading “DERRY SOLIDARITY WITH GENERAL STRIKE IN CATALUNYA”

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Nov 13 2017

Review: Struggle or Starve: Working Class Unity in Belfast’s Outdoor Relief Riots

Tommy McKearney reviews Struggle or Starve: Working Class Unity in Belfast’s Outdoor Relief Riots

by Sean Mitchell.

 

 

 STRUGGLE OR STARVE: WORKING CLASS UNITY IN BELFAST’S OUTDOOR RELIEF RIOTS 

Struggle or Starve by Séan Mitchell is an important book that deserves the widest readership among those interested in promoting progressive politics in the North of Ireland. The author provides the reader with a detailed, and even inspirational, account of a rare period in Belfast’s history when the working class was united around a campaign to address matters of immediate need. More than that, through, his analysisraises questions about events of that period which still have relevance today. How possible is it to overcome sectarianism through shared struggle and can this be done within the context of a political unit as fundamentally flawed as Northern Ireland? Continue reading “Review: Struggle or Starve: Working Class Unity in Belfast’s Outdoor Relief Riots”

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Nov 07 2017

CATALAN DEFENCE COMMITTEE

THE CATALAN DEFENCE COMMITTEE SCOTLAND was launched on Monday in an effort to broaden the campaign of solidarity with Catalonia following the violent suppression of its independence referendum and subsequent anti-democratic actions by the Spanish state.

10 Catalan political prisoners (http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2017/11/05/support-catalonias-political-prisoners/)

 

Modelled on the ‘committees in defence of the referendum’ set up by Catalan activists to protect polling stations during the vote, which were subject to interference and closure by Spanish authorities, the new Scottish organisation aims to advance Scottish solidarity efforts, which have already included widespread demonstrations and cross-party expressions of support. Continue reading “CATALAN DEFENCE COMMITTEE”

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Nov 07 2017

THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION AND THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO SET UP A POST-NATIONAL WORLD ORDER

This is the second article on this blog addressing the hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2017/10/21/national-liberation-and-bolshevism-reconsidered-a-view-from-the-borderlands/). It suggests that a wider focus should be taken, situating this event in the 1916-21 International Revolutionary Wave. This means and looking carefully at other places, showing how Latvia, Finland and Ukraine contributed to this wave. It looks  how decisions taken by the Bolsheviks following the timeline of revolution in Russia sometimes had the effect of thwarting the timelines of revolution elsewhere. This had  negative consequences for the international revolution.

This contribution is taken from is taken from Volume 4, Internationalism form Below: Communists, Nation-States and Nationalism during the 1916-21 International Revolutionary Wave, by Allan Armstrong.

 

THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION AND THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO SET UP A POST-NATIONAL WORLD ORDER

 

 

 

A. DIFFERING TIMELINES OF REVOLUTION

 i) April 1916 to March 1921 or ‘October’ 1917 to August 1991?

History records that the key political date of the last century was October 25th, 1917. The consequences of the events, which happened on this day, determined a great deal of world politics for more than seventy years – up until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Elsewhere, in the Western imperial-dominated world October 25th was marked as November 8th. The last Russian Provisional Government of 1917 was overthrown on this date. Nevertheless, the date became universally characterised as the day the ‘October’ Revolution began. This name stuck despite the fact that the victors, the Bolsheviks, soon changed the Russian calendar from the Old Style (O.S.) used in Tsarist Russia to the New Style (N.S.) used in the rest of the Western world. History also places the location of the key events of this day in Petrograd. This city’s name too has been subject to change, earlier from St. Petersburg to Petrograd, then later to Leningrad, and today back to St. Petersburg. Continue reading “THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION AND THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO SET UP A POST-NATIONAL WORLD ORDER”

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Nov 03 2017

ALL HAIL THE CATALAN REPUBLIC

Below is the text of a leaflet by the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party. It will be distributed at the  ‘Building Bridges  to Independence’ event on Saturday November 4th. It was written before the Spanish government jailed the Catalan government leadership.

 

ALL HAIL THE CATALAN REPUBLIC

‘Building bridges to independence’ must make bridges to Catalonia central to our campaigning, not only for reasons of solidarity, but because of many parallels and lessons for the Scottish national democratic movement. Continue reading “ALL HAIL THE CATALAN REPUBLIC”

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Oct 28 2017

AN IRISH LANGUAGE ACT IS FOR EVERYONE

One of the bones in contention between Sinn Fein and the DUP over the suspended Stormont is the Unionists’ refusal to pass a law recognising the Irish language. The Unionists have used their veto within the post-Good Friday Agreement set-up to ensure that British law does not extend to Stormont. Provision was made by Westminster for the Welsh language in 1967 and 1993, and by Holyrood for Scottish Gaelic in 2005. Nevertheless, there has been a constant undercurrent of anti-Welsh and anti-Gaelic attacks from Unionists in these two countries too. Given that reactionary unionism currently dominates UK politics, it is well to take notice of what is happening in Northern Ireland, particularly with the Tory government dependent on the DUP.

However, the article below, written by Fergus O’Hare takes a much broader view of why Irish (and by implication) other minority languages are important for the whole of humankind. Fergus was very active as a Peoples Democracy member in the Northern Irish Civil Rights Movement, and later in the Northern Resistance Movement. In 1981 he was elected to Belfast City Council.  Later he became the headteacher  of Northern Ireland’s first Irish language secondary school, Colaiste Feirste, and was involved in Radio Failte, the first legal Irish language station in Northern Ireland.

 

“It is well to remember that nations which submit to conquest or races which abandon their language in favour of that of an oppressor do so, not because of altruistic motives, or because of the love of the brotherhood of man, but from a slavish and cringing spirit. From a spirit which cannot exist side by side with the revolutionary idea.”

James Connolly

Belfast demonstration in support of the Irish language

 AN IRISH LANGUAGE ACT IS FOR EVERYONE

 

The current opposition to an Irish Language Act has been fueled to a large extent by ignorance and bigotry. An Irish Language Act is not just needed for Irish speakers and learners or lovers of the Irish language. It is needed for everyone. It is needed for society.

In modern liberal and democratic societies many activities are supported, promoted and paid for from public funds, not because they are used by everyone in society or even by a majority in society but because they are not. Many artistic, sporting and other activities have minority followings but in a mature and inclusive society they are supported by taxpayers money or through other official support mechanisms because such a society recognises that all our lives can be enriched and made more interesting when a variety of interests and activities, even those of minority interest, are catered for and supported. Continue reading “AN IRISH LANGUAGE ACT IS FOR EVERYONE”

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