Jan 10 2013

THE BELFAST FLAG RIOTS AND THE SCOTTISH DIMENSION

James Slaven of the James Connolly Society updates us on the situation arising from the Loyalist flag riots in Belfast and their attempts to link up with Scottish Loyalists and other neo-fascists.

Loyalists show their allegiances- Union Jack, Red Hand of Ulster and the Saltire

Loyalists show their allegiances – Union Jack, Red Hand of Ulster and the Saltire

The unionist protests across the Six Counties over the decision of Belfast City Council to reduce the number of days the union flag is flown over City Hall are now in their second month. The most serious trouble has centred on parts of Belfast where the UVF have been orchestrating a campaign of riots and sectarian terror directed at areas such as the Short Strand. While much of the media has ignored or downplayed the seriousness of the rioting (the BBC has insisted on calling them protests not riots) it is worth exploring the significance of recent events.

The catalyst for the latest unionist violence was the democratic decision of Belfast City Council to stop flying the union flag over City Hall every day. Instead councillors voted to fly the union flag only on designated days such as Betty Battenburg’s birthday. This decision merely brought the Council into line with other cities and indeed with Stormont. One fact that seems to have been overlooked in the furore is that Sinn Fein voted in favour of flying the British union flag over Belfast City Hall on the designated days.

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Aug 26 2011

Tommy McKearney’s new book – ‘The IRA – From Insurrection to Parliament’

Tommy McKearney, former Provisional IRA member and hunger striker, now an organiser for the Independent Workers Union in Ireland,  has spoken at the first Republican Socialist Convention organised the the SSP’s International Committee, and at the third Global Commune event – Trade Unions – Are They Fit For Purpose (organised jointly the the RCN and the commune).Tommy has recently undertaken a tour to launch his new book – ‘The IRA – From Insurrection to Parliament’ (published by Pluto Press, with an introduction by Paul Stewart). He spoke to an audience of over 300 in Dublin, 150 in Belfast, 60 at Free Hetherington, and 40 at Word Power Bookshop in Edinburgh This week he is going on to speak in Cork and Monaghan). 1300 copies of his book have already been sold. Tommy has written up the talk he gave at Word Power bookshop, which can be found at:-
Brian Garvey from the Independent Workers Union also sang at the Edinburgh book launch. The words of his song are printed below.

     

WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS

Come my dear, come hold me now
The night is cold I’m not sleeping
Let the thundering sky, pass us on by
And leave us in peace one more time

If this is new to you
Let me walk you through
The streets and fields of my rising
By Derry’s walls, Short Strand and the Falls
Where the red paint of war is still drying

Chorus

I send this letter out to the world
On the back of a cigarette paper
It’s a call to your humanity
While in here we struggle for ours

The night was dark, the moon was down
By a window he feared for his mother
He saw a flame in the sky, saw his neighbours run by
As the shadows descended on childhood

That boy I knew, in second hand shoes
By the barricades knew the risk he was taking
For they cut him down
Left him there on the ground
Afraid of the new world he was making

Chorus

For a moment you know, the smoke did clear
The helicopters ceased of their buzzing
We stood on the shore of a brave new world
And I held you there close to my heart

Are we on the dawn of a brave new world
It’s hard to know what a young mind is learning
But streets are on fire, burning with desire
For a world that’s been too long in turning

Chorus

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