Author Archives: Admin

Education for socialist-republicans


Karl Marx

I’m involved in the little collective behind Redline blog.  While a chunk of what Redline produces uses specifically New Zealand examples, because that’s where it’s based, it also runs educational material that is relevant to anti-capitalists everywhere.  Below are a few pieces.

What is Marxism?

What is exploitation?

How capitalism works – and why it doesn’t

4,000 words on Capital

Karl Korsch on “tremendous and enduring” impact of Marx’s Capital (1932)

Marx’s critique of classical political economy

Capital, the working class and Marx’s critique of political economy

Capital and the state

How capitalist ideology works

Pilling’s Marx’s Capital: philosophy, dialectics and political economy

How capitalism under-develops the world 

See also the document from éirígí:
From socialism alone can the salvation of Ireland come


Easter Rising event, Dublin, Saturday, April 4

A Chara,

This year marks the 99th anniversary of one of the most momentous events in Irish history – the 1916 Easter Rising. The insurrection and the executions that followed transformed the political landscape in Ireland.  Within three years of the Rising the Irish people had rallied to the Republic, leading to the establishment of the revolutionary Dáil Éireann, the Tan War, Partition and the withdrawal of British forces from the Twenty-Six Counties.

The 1916 Rising asserted the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland and their right to control the destiny of the Irish nation.  The 1916 Proclamation placed equality and social justice at the heart of a new Irish Republic.  Ninety-nine years later and much remains to be done to fulfill the vision contained within the 1916 Proclamation.

At 4pm on Saturday April 4th a Citizens Celebration of the 1916 Rising will take place in Dublin City.  This family-friendly event is being organised to give citizens an opportunity to honour those who have died for Irish freedom whilst also demanding an Ireland that truly cherishes all the children of the nation equally.

The format for the 1916 Citizens Commemoration will be as follows:

  • Assemble at 4pm beside the statue of Countess Markievicz on Townsend Street (just off Tara Street)
  • Parade across the Liffey to Liberty Hall where a short piece from James Connolly will be read aloud
  • From Liberty Hall the parade will re-trace the route taken by the Republican forces in 1916 to the GPO where the 1916 Proclamation will be read out and lilies and a wreath will be laid
  • From the GPO the parade will head to the final headquarters of the 1916 Republican forces at No 16 Moore Street where there will be a short speech by Brian Leeson and a rendition of Amhran na bhFiann

Music on the parade will be provided by the Black/Ryan flute band from Glasgow who are travelling to Dublin to participate in the celebrations.

It’s expected that the Citizens Celebration will take about ninety minutes in total, finishing up about 5.30pm.

A social event with ól, ceol agus craic will follow in Lloyds Bar on Amiens Street.

We would like to invite you and your family to join the Citizens Celebration of 1916 on April 4th.  Please invite your neighbours, friends and workmates to come along to remember our patriot dead and demand a new Ireland that will put the needs of the people ahead of the greed of the corrupt politicians, bankers, landlords and the rest of the ruling elite.

All welcome.  Bígí linn.

Blog future

Just a short note on the future of the blog.

In the past, up til about a year ago, I tried to get heaps of stuff up on the site and cover lots of small things that were happening in Ireland.  However, it’s proved to not be possible to keep doing this and attempting to do so has become exhausting and also gotten in the way of having time (and energy) to get up more substantial stuff.

So, from now on, I won’t be making any attempt to cover various events as they happen within Ireland.  Instead I’ll put in links to stories on particular struggles maybe once a week – or once a fortnight if not much is happening at any time – from socialist-republican sites.  They have members on the ground involved in these struggles and do much more ongoing articles on them than I ever could.

Instead I’m going to concentrate on:

  • Historical material

  • Occasional in-depth work on particular contemporary issues of Irish politics and political economy

  • Book reviews

At the end of this year, I’ll also review whether it’s worth continuing the blog.

In the meantime, I’m really keen to run book and film reviews that anyone might fancy contributing, anything on the Irish economy/ies, the new political dispensation in the six counties, historical material, etc etc.


Palestine solidarity

downloadAs readers will be aware, as well as doing this site I am part of the collective behind Redline, a great little marxist site based way down in New Zealand.

One of the main areas covered by Redline is the struggle for Palestinian liberation and, within that context, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.  A number of us at Redline were engaged a few years ago in a campaign to raise funds for the PFLP.  A campaign which, sadly, no longer exists.  However, it managed to raise several thousand dollars in its only too-brief existence.

The Palestine/PFLP connection also fits neatly with this blog because of the solidarity between éirígí and the PFLP.  Indeed, it was an earlier incarnation of Redline which was able to put éirígí in touch with Leila Khaled and the PFLP, although Leila has been banned from entering the twenty-six counties (ironically, she has been able to enter Britain – another case of the neocolonial lackeys sometimes being worse than their imperialist masters!).

Anyway, this is a plug for the Redline coverage of Palestinian and PFLP material, as I keep this site for specifically Irish material.

We have numerous articles up on Redline on the cause of Palestinian liberation and the PFLP, including an interview that was done with Leila as part of the fundraising campaign.

Below are a few pieces:

Remembering George Habash: Palestinian revolutionary intellectual and freedom fighter:

For a world free of racism, imperialism and capitalist exploitation – message from PFLP to 2014 éirígí conference:

Palestinian liberation and the PFLP today – interview with PFLP deputy-general-secretary:

PFLP on the Palestinian Authority:

NZ solidarity activist interview with Palestinian revolutionary icon Leila Khaled:

The case of Ahmad Sa’adat:

Also, check out the Palestine and PFLP categories on the site.

Upcoming conference on radical agitation from 1968-2010: a call for papers

“From Civil Rights to the Bailout: Social movements, workers agitation, and left-wing activism in Ireland, 1968-2010″

Irish Centre for Histories of Labour and Class
NUI Galway
19-20 June 2015

From the Civil Rights Movement to contemporary protests against austerity, the years since 1968 have witnessed widespread and varied social movements in communities, workplaces and colleges throughout Ireland, North and South, that have fought for, and resisted, social change. These movements have spurred the growth of numerous organisations ranging from those advocating limited reform, to those advancing revolutionary change in society. However, despite its immediate relevance to an understanding of contemporary Ireland, the lack of historical research conducted in the agents and resisters of social change since 1968 is a noticeable gap in the study of class and politics in Ireland. This interdisciplinary conference hopes to address this.

We welcome scholarly contributions of 20 minutes from established academics to students on any issue that falls under the remit of the conference title. The conference also affords us the opportunity to preserve and generate sources for the benefit of future researchers. We hope to offer workshops on oral history and the preservation, including digitisation, of documentation such as leaflets, posters and periodicals. To this end, we especially want to hear from activists in movements and organisations from the period who may be interested in sharing their experiences and documentation in a friendly and open environment.

Possible topics for papers include but are not limited to:
* Civil Rights in Northern Ireland
* Trade union growth, activism, and change
* Workplace strikes/occupations
* Left Social Democratic groups (e.g. Socialist Labour Party, Liaison of the Left, etc)
* Socialist Republicanism
* Trotskyist, Communist, and other Leninist groups
* Anarchist and other libertarian groups
* Catholic Worker, Christian Socialist groups
* Left-wing periodicals
* Community campaigns (e.g. housing, drugs, hospital closures, water charges)
* Second Wave Feminism and Women’s rights (e.g. equal pay, access to contraception, divorce, abortion rights)
* LGBT rights
* Anti-globalisation movement
* Anti-war movement
* Solidarity campaigns on issues abroad (e.g. Nicaragua, Vietnam, Miners’ Strike, apartheid in South Africa)
* Student activism                                                                                                                         * Media representation of social movements, trade unionism, and left-wing activism

If you wish to present a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biography including affiliation, if any, by 31 March 2015 to David Convery at

If you were/are an activist in this area and are interested in attending, please let us know at the same address by the same date. We would be especially grateful if you could inform us if you are willing to share your experiences as part of an oral history interview and/or have documentation which would be of interest. All documentation will remain the possession of the owner.

For more information, please see the conference website at:

éirígí condemns further arrests of anti-water charge protesters

Wed, Feb 11:

éirígí condemns the arrest of another four people, including a fourteen year old child, this morning in relation to a legitimate anti-Water Tax protest in Jobstown last year. With twelve arrests over the last three days it is now clear that the state is attempting to criminalise the largest mass movements of recent decades.

Attempts to criminalise legitimate political struggle have a long history in Ireland. For centuries those attempts have failed and they will fail again on this occasion. We extend our solidarity to all of those who have been arrested over recent days and repeat our call for the closure of all criminal investigations into the Joan Burton protest.

éirígí on arrest of Scott Masterson, Paul Murphy and other anti-water charges campaigners

Scott Masterson

Scott Masterson

Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson has slammed the arrest of his party colleague, Scott Masterson, and a number of others on charges of ‘false imprisonment’ of Joan Burton.

Detailing the nature of Masterson’s arrest Leeson said, “At around 7am this morning up to a dozen Gardaí in five vehicles arrived at Scott Masterson’s home. Scott was the only adult in the house getting his two young daughters ready for primary school and pre-school. When Scott’s partner returned to the house, having earlier gone to work, there were eight Gardaí in the house along with Scott and the two children. Scott was then arrested and made to stand in handcuffs on a public road for a number of minutes before being transported to Tallaght Garda barracks.”

Slamming the politically-motivated nature of Read the rest of this entry

Blog top 20

Below are the 20 most hit-on pieces on the blog.  The top two – on women’s rights and the national struggle 1916-1922 and the aftermath of the 1972 British Army’s Bloody Sunday massacre – both have almost 3,500 hits.

  1. Women’s rights and the national struggle, 1916-1922

  2. The burning of the British embassy – 40 years on

  3. Politics and the rise of historical revisionism

  4. Saor Eire – Marxist and republican

  5. Nationalisms and anti-nationalisms in Irish historiography

  6. A history of the Provisional Republican Movement – part one of three

  7. The New IRA and socialist-republicanism in the twenty-first century

  8. The Easter Rising and the ‘blood sacrifice’

  9. Chapter 4: The Home Rule Crisis

  10. Republicanism and the national independence struggle, 1916-21

  11. Interview with veteran socialist-republican Gerry Ruddy

  12. In review: Joost Augusteijn on Patrick Pearse

  13. The Rossville Street (Derry) Bloody Sunday murals

  14. The working class and the national struggle, 1916-1921

  15. Remembering Máirín Keegan, 1932-1972

  16. A history of the Provos – part three

  17. The Re-Imaging Programme in the six counties

  18. A History of the Provos – part two of three

  19. Remembering Peter Graham, 1945-1971

  20. Interview with Jim Lane: veteran socialist-republican

The story of veteran republican Richard Behal

The birth of The Pill

Given the excitement caused in Ireland, north and south, by The Pill folks might be interested in this new book called The Birth of the Pill, reviewed by a friend of mine here:



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