This year marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the civil rights movement as a mass movement on the streets of the north-east of Ireland.
A peaceful movement was met with fierce repression by the Orange state – peaceful protesters were assaulted with police truncheons and tear gas. Sections of the Special Powers Act, legislation jealously admired by the apartheid regime in South Africa, were used to try to ban marches and other civil rights activity. Orange mobs, protected by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, were also unleashed on the nationalist population.
As the nationalist working class began to effectively defend its areas with barricades and street fighting, the British government sent in troops to “restore order”, ie put a risen people back in their place.
An array of repression
Over the following decades the British used a whole array of repressive measures against the nationalist people: batons and tear gas, along with stun guns, live rounds, rubber and then plastic bullets, internment, non-jury Diplock Courts, supergrass frame-up trials and shoot-to-kill (ie execution) policies were all deployed. While the British state widely used terror Read the rest of this entry
by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (21 March 2018)
I had great expectations from this documentary. Its own publicity said it was the first documentary to deal with the events of March 1988 and that it included footage and interviews with people who had never spoken about the events before. That much was true; there are new interviews included. On that level the documentary lived up to the hype.
It included interviews with RUC officers in charge of security on the days in question, loyalist paramilitaries, republicans and relatives of those killed. Some of the interviews are informative and many of the interviews with republicans and relatives are poignant and they are allowed speak for themselves. The technique employed by the documentary maker is to let the interviews to speak for themselves, with very little input or voiceover. This is supposed to lend an air of objectivity or neutrality, but it doesn’t. The infrequency of commentary and discussion serve only to highlight the bias and the political position of the documentary. This is, we are told, a documentary about a time in the north when Protestants and Catholics were fighting each other – there is no mention of the British state as part of the conflict. We are introduced to a Read the rest of this entry
Redline blog has some excellent articles on Marx/ism ranging from very introductory stuff to features on the so-called transformation problem in Capital, to material on present-day work practices and how Marx’s analysis explains why bosses use ‘teamwork’, intensification of labour etc, to material on Marx’s critique of political economy.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx and the 135th anniversary of his death; also the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto. Marx and his political partner and friend Frederick Engels were staunch supporters of the struggle for Irish freedom against British political rule and economic exploitation.
So, over the course of this year, I’ll be sticking up various bits and pieces of Marx (and Engels) on the Irish national liberation struggle – and also on its relationship to the British revolution.
Anyway, here’s an extract from a letter by Marx to Engels, December 11, 1869:
“As to the Irish question. . . . The way I shall put forward the matter next Tuesday is this: that quite apart from all phrases about “international” and “humane” justice for Ireland – which are to be taken for granted in the International Council – it is in the direct and absolute interest of the English working Glass to get rid of their present connection with Ireland. And this is my most complete conviction, and for reasons which in part I cannot tell the English workers themselves. For a long time I believed that it would be possible to overthrow the Irish regime by English working class ascendancy. I always expressed this point of view in the New York Tribune. Deeper study has now convinced me of the opposite. The English working class will never accomplish anything before it has got rid of Ireland. The lever must be applied in Ireland. That is why the Irish question is so important for the social movement in general.”
Unfortunately, most of the British left, especially in England, have never really grasped Marx’s work on Ireland and the British revolution. Instead they Read the rest of this entry
Gaelic Athletic Association Fans for Choice, supporting the repeal of the 8th amendment and the right of women to access abortion, have produced a t-shirt for the campaign.
A great way to support GAA Fans for Choice and women’s rights in general would be to buy a t-shirt. You can do this through their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GAA-Fans-For-Choice-158402364881890/
And don’t forget to “like” the page as well.