Category Archives: six counties

Statement from Republican Prisoners Roe 4 Maghaberry 26/07/16

Statement from Republican Prisoners Roe 4 Maghaberry 26/07/16

Over recent weeks Republican Prisoners have noted increasing repression towards Republican Prisoners by the Jail Administration. During this time we have also witnessed the appointment of another Unionist Stormont Justice Minister, with DUP fundamentalists obtaining key positions also on the Justice Committee. Similarly, we have witnessed the appointment of a British Secretary of State with a background in security under a Thatcher style British Prime Minister.

It is against this backdrop that a new Read the rest of this entry

Speech by RNU’s Paul Crawford at July 3 Newry anti-internment rally

13393911_1728270154112192_6645445412543553767_n“I’d like to begin by thanking the organisers of today’s picket for asking myself to represent the Republican Network for Unity and our POW’s department Cogus here this afternoon. It’s a privilege and an honour to address you all.

“The fact that we are here for the 3rd year in a row is evidence that Internment as a tactic to disrupt political activity is very much alive but also that our opposition to Internment is equally alive.

“In order to oppose Internment we must first understand what it is and what it is used for. In many ways the word has been over used and as such has lost much of its impact and meaning. There are those who would say that everyone incarcerated by the British or the Free State are interned. There are those who would state that while all internees are political prisoners, not all political prisoners are internees.

“For our purposes, however, it is enough to state that the original definition of internment is correct. Those who are detained without charge for the political expediency of the state. People like my comrade Tony Taylor, a perfect example of internment by the state to prevent and hamper legitimate political activity.
Tony, like Martin Corey before him, has been remanded in custody at the behest of the British secretary of state. No semblance of a trial, no pretence of a trial. Secret evidence that can’t be disclosed and won’t be disclosed because it doesn’t exist.

“We have miscarriages of justice like the cases of the Craigavon 2, men who have been deliberately framed on the word of informers and Walter Mittys. Set up by the dirty hand of the British security apparatus and practically ignored by the political elite despite a growing realization that these men are innocent across the board. Read the rest of this entry

Maghaberry prison administration steps up aggression

13567179_1025555037513181_8802081204186951436_nStatement by prisoners, July 1, 2016:

Yesterday the naked aggression of the Maghaberry administration toward republican political prisoners was once again exposed. The day of sinister events began at 11am when the notorious riot team raided three cells on Roe 3 occupied by Cogús republican prisoners. The three political prisoners concerned were not present in Roe House during this lockdown raid due to parole, court and visiting arrangements.

The day’s events then culminated during the evening lockup when once again the riot team entered Roe 3 and forcibly removed political prisoner and current internee Tony Taylor from Roe House and moved him to the jail’s punishment block – the SSU.

The prison administration and particularly security governor Brian Armour and Ciaran McGuinness over recent months have been overt in their attempts to fuel conflict through introducing red herring arguments to deflect possible resolutions to the main issues and systematically playing Machiavellian games.

Yesterday’s events can only be seen as a plan to further intensify tensions in Roe House. Cogús republican prisoners will not stand idle and let such antagonistic actions go unchallenged, though in contrast to the bigoted reactionary forces, we will meet their provocations in a disciplined and an organised manner, employing an intelligent and practical strategy to ensure our rights as political prisoners are won.

Cogús POWs
Roe 3, Maghaberry
1/7/16

Workers and the way forward: a socialist-republican perspective

In order to get real action, the workers will need to act for themselves not rely on ICTU leadership

by Philip Ferguson

It seems a long time now since trade union members in the south of Ireland voted to reject Croke Park 11, a deal promoted by leaders of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in partnership with the Fine Gael/Labour coalition government in Dublin.  The current coalition, like the Fianna Fail/Green coalition that preceded it, has sought to make southern Irish workers pay for the financial crisis of Irish banks and the meltdown of the so-called ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy.

For several decades the bulk of the union leadership has pushed tripartite deals with the bosses and the state, a ‘partnership’ model which has been held up by union leaderships as far afield as New Zealand as worth emulating.  But these tripartite deals did not deliver to workers even during the ‘good times’ of the ‘boom’ periods in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Now the boom has turned to bust the partnership model has simply locked unions into accepting responsibility for the financial crisis and agreeing to the austerity measures demanded by the Troika.

Rhetoric v resistance

The leadership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has engaged in some token rhetoric about ‘sharing the  burden’ of the crisis and they have marched workers up and down the hill and then sent them home a couple of times.  But, in general, they have acted as faithful lieutenants of the state and capital, serving more to Read the rest of this entry

DUP-Sinn Fein cuts

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Scott Masterson of éirígí speaking at protest outside Fine Gael ard fheis on Saturday (January 23)

 

Scott is one of the people accused of “kidnapping” Labour Party leader and tanaiste Joan Burton at an anti-Water Tax protest in Jobstown early last year (see here).

 

éirígí on the new settlement

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‘A Fresh Start’ – the latest ‘deal’ in a line of apparently never-ending deals from the Stormont Coalition and the Dublin and London governments. But in truth there is nothing ‘fresh’ about it.

There is nothing fresh about opportunist politicians acting to protect their own jobs, the jobs of their cronies and their place at the expenses trough.

There is nothing fresh about politicians in a capitalist system bending over backwards to maximise the profits of their corporate sponsors.

There is nothing fresh about politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths, declaring themselves as defenders of the marginalised and the poor while implementing policies that will increase marginalisation and poverty.

There is nothing fresh about Sinn Féin claiming to be opposed to austerity in the Twenty-Six Counties while implementing austerity in the Six Counties.

Let those who think that Sinn Féin is a left-wing party and a defender of the working class take note of yesterdays ‘deal’. See how quickly some of the poorest people and communities in Western Europe were sacrificed to ‘save Stormont’ (and the jobs for the boys).

Let those who think that Sinn Féin is a genuine partner in the fight for the Right to Water, Housing and Change similarly take note.

No amount of spin and double-talk can change the facts of what Sinn Féin has cooked up with the DUP and the two governments.

Yesterday’s deal can only have one outcome – the rich will get richer as corporation tax is reduced AND the poor will get poorer as the Tories are handed control of social welfare payments in the Six Counties. Logically, there can be no other outcome.

A new people’s movement against austerity, poverty, exploitation and injustice must be built upon solid ideological foundations, not the double-speak of self-serving, hypocritical politicians.

For our part we are ready to play our part in a movement for maximum change – a movement that will topple the rule of the political and business elite once and for all.

The above appeared on the party’s facebook page, here.

 

What about the Protestant working class?: an analysis from 1981

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The 1974 strike against power-sharing was far more representative of Protestant working class politics than the Outdoor Relief strike of 1932

The following article appeared in the September 1981 issue of the British Marxist review the next step.  This was one of the few British left publications which understood the importance of the national question in Ireland and the struggle of Irish republicans with the British imperialist state.  Most of the British left preferred to ‘play it safe’ and failed miserably to meet their obligations to support the Irish anti-imperialist movement against the British occupation and the British state.

by Suki Gray and Carol Taggart

Introduction

Nowhere was last month’s ‘royal’ wedding more enthusiastically celebrated than in Belfast’s Shankill Road and in all the other working class Protestant areas in the six counties.  The loyalist workers are a peculiar phenomenon: Irish workers whose basic allegiance is to the British crown.  During 12 years of war the Protestant workers have formed a solid bloc with their employers and the British state: a million strong, highly armed and organised, an implacable barrier to Irish unity and independence.

The British left retains the prejudice that it is possible to unite Protestant and Catholic workers around ‘bread and butter’ trade union issues.  To refute this notion (dismissed as a “doctrine almost screamingly funny in its Read the rest of this entry

The changing faces of Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness, charismatic young IRA leader, 1972

Martin McGuinness, charismatic young IRA leader, 1972

Martin McGuinness and Britain's chief constable in the six counties George Hamilton

Martin McGuinness and George Hamilton, Britain’s chief constable in the six counties, 2015

Martin McGuinness at Sinn Fein ard fheis, November 1986:
“I can give a commitment on behalf of the leadership that we have absolutely no intention of going to Westminster or Stormont. Our position is clear and it will never, never, never change. The war against British rule must continue until freedom is achieved. We will lead you to the Republic.”

Martin McGuinness on BBC Northern Ireland, October 2001:
“As far as I’m concerned it [decommissioning] couldn’t happen quick enough – if it happened tomorrow morning it would not be quick enough.”

Martin McGuinness, on republicans engaged in armed struggle in the north of Ireland, March 2009:
“These people are traitors to the island of Ireland, they have betrayed the political desires, hopes and aspirations of all of the people who live on this island. They don’t deserve to be supported by anyone.”

“Let me be clear, if I call on the people, our people, to Read the rest of this entry

Shinners sink to new depths. . . or just the same oul’ shite

McGuinness and Britain's chief 6-County cop George Hamilton

McGuinness and Britain’s chief 6-County cop George Hamilton

by Philip Ferguson

On the night of August 6, as part of Feile an Phobal, the West Belfast Community Festival, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness shared a platform, and a warm handshake, with the head of the British state’s police in the six counties, George Hamilton.

Hamilton has obviously been well-schooled in the language of political correctness that they teach in police forces across the western capitalist world these days.  Thus, he said things like “Just because I am the chief constable does not mean that I am not prepared to accept that there were serious problems in policing in the past, I do.”

McGuinness and the British 'queen'

McGuinness and the British ‘queen’

And, “Fear does not make peace – courage, optimism, belief is where peace is made. . .

“I think we need to be brave and courageous, easy words to say. I think we need to believe in our ability to continue to build a safe, confident, peaceful society together.

“To do so we have to face our fears, to go beyond our comfort zones, to be selfless, to be generous, to be gracious, to be ready to listen to each other and to have challenging and respectful conversations.”

McGuinness and Ian Paisley

McGuinness and Ian Paisley

McGuinness meanwhile has exchanged the language of militant republicanism for the language of Read the rest of this entry

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