Category Archives: six counties
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 →
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Elections, EU, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Fintan Lalor, General revolutionary history, Independent Workers Union, Irish politics today, James Connolly, Labour Party, national, Partition, Political education and theory, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Repression in 26-county state, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Social conditions, Toadyism, Trade unions, twenty-six counties, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Workers rights
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).
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Anti-household and anti-water tax, éirígí, Economy and workers' resistance, Irish politics today, Natural resources, Political education and theory, Public events - Ireland, Repression in 26-county state, six counties, Social conditions, twenty-six counties
‘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.
Posted in 21st century republicanism and socialism, éirígí, British state repression (general), Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Historiography and historical texts, Partition, Provos - then and now, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, six counties, Toadyism, Unionism, loyalism, sectarianism, Workers rights
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
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 →
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 →
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.”
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 meanwhile has exchanged the language of militant republicanism for the language of Read the rest of this entry →
The following appeared on July 19 on the IRSP site, here.
Saturday 18th July 2015 saw Derry City centre come to a standstill as Republican Socialists from across Ireland assembled to say farewell to Peggy O’Hara, a lifelong supporter and activist in the Irish Freedom struggle and mother to three imprisoned Republican Volunteers, including H-Block martyr Patsy O’Hara, who died following 61 Days on Hunger Strike in May 1981 aged 23.
Peggy’s was a life immersed in the cause for Irish Freedom, a dedicated supporter of the armed campaign against British Imperialism, she balanced the priorities of running a family with those which inevitably come with a National Liberation struggle, in this task she was faced many times with agonising realities and trials, all of which she faced with courage and dignity.
Earlier in the week a firing party paid tribute to Comrade O’Hara by delivering a volley of three shots over her coffin, on which was placed the Starry Plough and Irish National Flags. The Volunteers then offered further salute in the fashion of military genuflexion, the same salute paid at her son’s graveside in 1981.
Peggy’s death had brought people together from the wider revolutionary republican family with comrades from across the country making their way to Longtower Church in Derry where requiem mass was said before the funeral cortege made its way to Derry City Cemetery.
Marching ranks of Volunteers as well as IRSP activists in Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in 1981 hunger strike, 21st century republicanism and socialism, British state repression (general), Commemorations, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, General revolutionary history, IRSP, Partition, Political education and theory, Prisoners - past, Provos - then and now, Public events - Ireland, Repression and resistance in 1970s and 1980s, Repression and resistance in the six counties today, Revolutionary figures, six counties, Women in republican history
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: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/in-review-the-birth-of-the-pill/
éirígí Béal Feirste will be providing transport to the Bloody Sunday march in Doire on Sunday.
The bus will leave our Belfast office on the Springfield Road shortly after 10.45am. Return ticket is just £10.
Return will be approximately 1 hour after the march and seats are limited so please get in touch asap by replying to this email or messaging our Belfast Facebook page at fb.com/eirigiBealFeirste
Go raibh maith agaibh,
éirígí Béal Feirste