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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Jan 21 2015

THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

THE REPUBLICAN COMMUNIST NETWORK, THE RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN,

AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION

Photo of RCN banner – Patricia Kirk & John Lannigan

Contents

A) The emergence and clash of Left British unionism and Left Scottish nationalism

B) The politics of the Scottish independence referendum campaign

C) How the Left responded to the demand for greater national self-determination in Scotland

D) Carrying over lessons learned from the SSP experience

           i)   the need for political platforms

           ii)  the need for a revolutionary pole of attraction

           iii) the need for political balance sheets to avoid repeating earlier mistakes

E) Promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’

           i) The political legacy of the Republican Socialist Conventions and the Global Commune events

           ii) Debating with other socialists during the Scottish independence referendum campaign

           iii) promoting socialist republicanism and ‘internationalism from below’ in RIC

           iv) the debate over secularism

           v) the debate over Ireland

F) Debates and differences within the RCN

          i) in the lead up and during the referendum campaign

          ii) since the September 18th referendum

          iii) the future for RIC, the all-islands Republican Socialist Alliance and the Scottish Left Project

Appendix

 

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Continue reading “THE RCN AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION”

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Sep 21 2014

The Importance of Republicanism

Category: Emancipation & Liberation,Issue 23RCN @ 6:45 pm

Bernadette McAliskey gave the following talk at the ‘London Says Yes’ rally held on September 6th 2014

Going back in history there was the Great Debate in English democracy between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, which too may people forget. This debate preceded the more radical discussion on the rights of the working class. The debate centred around basic democracy, what constitutes the state, the role of the state and the role of citizens within it.

Edmund Burke, although actually an Irishman, was an English nationalist, who, at the time, argued that once the people had voted, the state, as it were, became the permanent voice of the people. It wasn’t really within the gift of the people to challenge this. However, Thomas Paine said that nobody has the right to set the boundaries for the next generation. Democracy is always evolving and the citizens who formed society created the government and created the state. And it was the right of the citizens, at any point, not only to dismiss the government, but to reconstitute the state.

We can see this in the later development of what is called parliamentary democracy, which the British think they invented. Actually, the Native Americans had a much better form of democracy before this. But the concept that, once the government is in place, it supersedes the rights of the people, fits very well with a backward democratic society like England.

Continue reading “The Importance of Republicanism”

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Sep 10 2014

IRELAND AND SCOTLAND – MUTUAL SOLIDARITY

Below we are posting two contributions which highlight the link for the struggle for self-determination in Scotland and Ireland. 

1. BERNADETTE McALISKEY ADDRESSES THE ‘LONDON SAYS YES’ RALLY

Sept 6th Image 2

On Saturday, September 6th, Bernadette McAliskey spoke at a ‘London Says Yes’ rally organised by the Republican Socialist Alliance to show their support for those voting for Scottish independence on September 18th.

Bernadette’s talk can be viewed on You-tube by going into the link:-

http://links.org.au/node/4039

 

Continue reading “IRELAND AND SCOTLAND – MUTUAL SOLIDARITY”

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Nov 25 2013

2nd RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE – ‘AFTER THE UK: THE FUTURE OF 4 NATIONS’

 

The RCN received the unanimous backing of  the Edinburgh branch of RIC to ask the  RIC National Steering Committee to organise a session at the second national RIC conference on November 23rd in Glasgow, entitled ‘The break-up of the UK – the case for ‘internationalism from below’’. This was then unanimously agreed by the Steering Committee, subject to availability of speakers and any modifications required by the overall conference programme. In the event, the session was renamed ‘After the UK: the future for 4 nations’.

The initial choice of speaker for Ireland was agreed to be Bernadette McAliskey, and for Wales, Leanne Wood, a republican and the president of Plaid Cymru. Leanne initially indicated her interest, but later had to give her apologies because the conference clashed with a Plaid Cymru event, which also meant that a substitute speaker could not be arranged. Steve Freeman of the Republican Socialist Alliance was also proposed as a speaker for England, and after the organisers’  consideration this was also agreed. The organisers were left to arrange a speaker for Scotland. In the meantime, Mary McGregor (RCN and Dundee RIC) was proposed to chair the session. Later the organisers came back and, in the interest of preserving gender balance, transferred Mary to speak on Scotland. Tony Kenny, a republican and former SNP member and council candidate was asked to chair the meeting instead.

Below we provide a video link which shows Bernadette’s contribution to this session. After this we provide both videos  and the full texts of Steve Freeman’s and Mary McGregor’s contributions (which was slightly curtailed because of time considerations).

This is followed by a reply to David Torrance’s report of the conference in The Herald.

Videos by Patricia Kirk and John Lanigan

 

Bernadette McAliskey, Mary McGregor, Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong at the RIC conference

Bernadette McAliskey, Mary McGregor, Steve Freeman and Allan Armstrong at the RIC conference

 

 1. BERNADETTE McALISKEY’S CONTRIBUTION CAN BE SEEN AT:-

http://youtu.be/biwdlxRElI4

Continue reading “2nd RADICAL INDEPENDENCE CONFERENCE – ‘AFTER THE UK: THE FUTURE OF 4 NATIONS’”

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