Category Archives: EU

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

éirígí launch campaign for EU withdrawal

13307473_1197141990298216_1157554319007110554_nWith the assertion that socialist politics is on the rise in Ireland, particularly in the wake of the Stormont elections, the socialist republican party éirígí now calls upon the progressive and socialist forces in British occupied Ireland to galvanise and deliver a strategic blow to both capitalism and imperialism; by voting ‘LEAVE’ in the upcoming referendum on membership of the European Union.

Speaking from the éirígí party office in West Belfast party spokesperson Pádraic Mac Coitir said:

“The denial of the Irish people to the right of national self-determination is twofold, hindered by the British puppet administration in the North, and the plutocratic EU lapdogs in the south. The dual nature of this occupation by two separate imperialist entities has served to only further subdue the Irish working class to the barbarity of Read the rest of this entry

Anti-austerity protest, Dublin, Thurs, March 6

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Kildare turf-cutters now on Facebook

The Kildare turf-cutters have a Facebook page to make their case and advertise their political campaigning.  They’ve stuck up our most recent article on the turf-cutters’ cause.  Check out: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=689356367758771&id=188042187890194

UNITE and organising against Croke Park III

imagesby James Fearon

Rank-and-file Unite union members have expressed angry opposition to the Croke Park III agreement (called Haddington Road to protect the guilty.) The recent Belfast Conference saw the Regional Secretary, Jimmy Kelly, using language that echoes James Connolly’s ’Old Wine in New Bottles’, say that workers would not be deceived by a deal that was the contents of the ‘Croke Park bottle’.

The radicalism did not last long. No sooner than we have been marched up the hill than the leadership are instructing us to turn around and march back down again. It should come as no surprise; we have been at this point of departure before when Unite rejected Croke Park I. Jimmy made exactly the same noises then but later went in to avoid being ‘victimised’. 

Only the incurably naïve could suggest that we take the bureaucracy’s rhetoric at face value. Radical speeches are followed by a climb down, in this case by means of a re-ballot with a recommendation to ‘accept’ coming from the leadership. 

For years the trade union leadership have hidden their betrayals behind the low level of industrial struggle and the concomitant low level of self confidence among workers. Promises of success at the negotiating table were always linked to reminders of unsuccessful attempts at industrial action. No mention is made of course that the lack of success was as often as not due to the Read the rest of this entry

éirígí to hold series of anti-private banking protests

Cathaoirleach éirígí, Brian Leeson, has announced that the socialist-republican party are to hold a series of anti-private banking protests in Dublin and Wicklow (see below).  Come along and spread the word amongst your family, friends and work mates.

5pm, Thursday, July 11, Bank of Ireland, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

5pm, Thursday, July 11, Artane Roundabout, Malahide Road, Dublin.

11am, Saturday, July 13, Dargle Bridge, Bray, Co Wicklow, Dublin.

5pm, Thursday, July 18, Bank of Ireland, James’s Street, Dublin.

Speaking in relation to the Anglo Irish Bank tapes controversy Leeson said, “The content of the Anglo-Irish Bank tape recordings has caused widespread revulsion across this state and beyond.  The arrogance, vulgarity and cavalier attitude of the bankers is particularly galling to families and communities that are having to live with the reality of mass unemployment, enforced emigration, underfunded public services, reduced incomes and increased taxation.

“The tapes provide a Read the rest of this entry

éirígí and the anti-G8 protests

g8_belfast_15jun2éirígí activists were heavily involved in protests against the G8 visit to Ireland.

That opposition was based on a simple, but true, premise. This was a visit by eight individuals who have been responsible for war crimes and widespread human rights abuses, and who collectively share a political and economic ideology that has not only crippled Ireland’s economy but which has also condemned tens of millions of people around the world to death as a result of poverty and hunger.

These same war criminals kill their opponents without compunction from a safe distance in order to maintain the position of wealthy and powerful elites around the globe.

The purpose of the G8 visit to Fermanagh was to show how ‘normal’ Britain’s six-county colony in Ireland has become – that the Irish struggle for justice had been defeated. Along with many others, éirígí aligned itself to that respectable minority seeking to prove that notion wrong.

It was evident from the security measures put in place across the Six Counties and which even extended into the Twenty Six Counties that Ireland is a society which is far from ‘normal’. The cost of the British security operation in the Six Counties has been estimated to have Read the rest of this entry

Marching in circles. . . ?

There’s a very interesting post by Citizen Partridge, reflecting on last week’s “Jail the Bankers” protest organised by the Socialist Workers Party in Dublin.  Kevin looks at the problems of just continually marching people from A to B to listen to the same old speeches, talking up the size and power of such actions, exaggerated projections for future protests, and the weakness of the demands put forward.  There’s also some good points made in the discussion below Kevin’s post.  Well-recommended, read the post and comments here.

Protest EU Military Committee meeting in Dublin

People’s Movement

Protest

Against Dublin meeting of the EU Military Committee

Assemble opposite the Olympia Theatre
Dame Street, Dublin 2
Tuesday, 30 April 2013, 1:00 p.m.

For information on the EU Military Committee, see here.

10,000 march in Dublin against home tax and austerity

Saturday April 13 saw up to 10,000 people take to the streets of Dublin in a march and rally against the new home tax and the wider austerity programme.

The event, organised by the Campaign Against Home and Water Taxes, marched from the Garden of Remembrance through Dublin city centre to Dublin Castle, where EU Finance ministers were holding a meeting.

One of the largest blocs on the march was made up scores of éirígí activists and supporters behind a banner which read ‘1913-2013 A Century of Resistance!’. The socialist republican bloc was awash with colour as participants carried tri-colour, starry plough and éirígí flags. éirígí activists also carried placards which read ‘Austerity isn’t Working – People of Ireland Rise Up!’ and ‘Fight Home and Water Taxes!’ whilst chanting ‘Fine Gael/ Labour hear us clear – We don’t want your home tax here!’ ‘No way – we won’t pay!’ and ‘Fine Gael/ Labour- Out, Out, Out!’

Speaking from the demonstration, éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, “Today’s march has had a fantastic turnout. People here are defiantly opposed to Read the rest of this entry