Nov 20 2016

FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?


WHAT DOES TRUMP’S VICTORY SIGNIFY?

– ALLAN ARMSTRONG IN CONVERSATION WITH

ALAN BISSETT, BRIAN HIGGINS, PAUL STEWART AND

JOHN TUMMON

(see short biogs at end)

 

 1. ALLAN ARMSTRONG – 9.11.16

“An even greater leap into fantasy land is the belief that Brexit will provide a progressive example to other member states wanting to break away from the EU…. The first and unfortunately well-known non-UK person to celebrate Brexit was none other than the Right populist US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump. With typical crassness he chose his new golf course at Turnberry in Scotland to declare his solidarity with Brexit… Another presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen, of the French Far Right National Front, was the first significant European politician to proclaim her solidarity with Brexit.
Continue reading “FROM FARAGE’S BREXIT TO TRUMP’S “BREXIT PLUS, PLUS, PLUS”, AND ON TO ‘MADAME FREXIT’?”

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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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Jan 17 2011

Trade Unions – Are They Fit For Purpose? – Global Commune Event

3rd Global Commune Event

Trade Unions – Are They Fit For Purpose?

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Registration 10. 30 for 11. 00 – 16.30

Out of the Blue Centre,
Dalmeny Street,
Leith
Edinburgh

In both the UK and Ireland today, the overwhelming majority of trade union leaders have signed up to social partnerships. These effectively reduce unions to a free personnel management service for the employers. However, the traditional Broad Left response of electing alternative leaders has shown itself unable to counter social partnerships. Indeed many current union leaders, who now accept social partnership, were themselves earlier Broad Left members. The third Global Commune event, jointly sponsored by the Republican Communist Network and the commune, asks the question – Trade unions – Are they fit for purpose? A number of different approaches to organising workers will be discussed in workshops over the day.

Cost

£5 for full-time employed
£2 for others

First session 11.00 – 12. 30

Panel followed by workshop sessions and follow up plenary

1. Working within trade unions – the rank and file perspective – Allan Armstrong

Allan is a member of the Republican Communist Network and the commune group. He was the convenor of Lothian Rank & File Teachers and involved in the three month long independent industrial action of Scottish teachers in the mid-70’s. He later became the Chair of the first regional Anti-Poll Tax Union, which was formed in Lothian.

2. Working with the IWW – Alberto Durango

Alberto is a member of the Latin American Workers Association, UNITE and the IWW. He is worker from Colombia who has been centrally involved in the campaigns of migrant workers cleaner in London. This culminated in an attempt to victimise him by the Swiss bank, UBS, which prompted a solidarity campaign. UNITE union officials tried to sabotage this, so Alberto has looked to the IWW (which comes from an industrial unionist tradition) to organise cleaners.

3. Building the Independent Workers Union – Tommy McKearney

Tommy is an organiser for the Independent Workers Union in Ireland. He is also the editor of Fourthwrite, a journal designed to promote debate amongst communists, socialists and republicans. Ireland was the first place in these islands where a government/employer/trade union social partnership was formed. The IWU was created to organise workers opposing social partnership.

4. Supporting workers from outside – an autonomist perspective – Mike Vallance

Mike comes from an autonomist tradition, writes for Counterinformation and is involved in the Autonomous Centre for Edinburgh (ACE). Mike was a dedicated activist in the anti-poll tax struggle. ACE has recently been providing support to the street cleaners employed by Edinburgh City Council. They have been involved in a longstanding dispute, hamstrung by local UNITE officials.

How do communists organise in trade unions? – Stuart King

Stuart is a member of Permanent Revolution. He will be drawing on the experience of the Minority Movement in the early Communist Party to show possible lessons for today.

Second Session 1.30 – 15.00

Community unionism – Should trade union membership be confined to employed workers? Patricia Campbell and Paul Stewart

Patricia is a member of the IWU and has been centrally involved in health workers struggles in Belfast. She has also been to Palestine to examine the health implications of the Israeli occupation. Paul is co-author of We Sell Our Time No More – Workers Struggles Against Lean Production in the British Car Industry. He has produced a short film, which will be shown. This shows examples of union organisation in the community, particularly in Japan.

Workshops

15.00 – 15.15 – break

Third Session 15.15 – 16.30

Repeat workshops followed by plenary

There will be a chance to continue the discussion informally afterwards.

Further information can be had by contacting Allan Armstrong at:-

allan.armstrong.1949@hotmail.co.uk

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