Imperialism and war

If Ireland was treated like Palestine - An alternate history

 For the size of its population Ireland has seen very large Gaza solidarity demonstrations. It is also one of the few places in the world outside the USA where there has been public displays of support for the Israeli military assault. Internationally there are many variations of this map where activists present to their population what the expulsion of the Palestinians from much of the land they once occupied would look like in a local context. One of our members prepared this but we soon realised its an impossible image to post without some reflection on our own settler colonialist past.

 

Ireland, Expelling the Israel Ambassador (not) and abstaining on UN War Crime investigation

 People in Ireland have been protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza in every city and many towns across the country. Online polls show a majority want the government to take action through expelling the Israeli ambassador. Yet the southern government abstained on a crucial UN vote to set up an investigation into Israeli war crimes. We’d suggest when you include a look at the map above it becomes very clear that this is yet another example of the Irish state putting its alliance with the imperialist countries that have imprisoned the majority of the worlds population in misery ahead of the wishes of the population.

This isn’t new. During the American invasion of Iraq over 100,000 marched through the streets of Dublin demanding an end to our participation yet the government continued to allow US warplanes to refuel at Shannon. When hundreds of people threatened to physically enter Shannon to stop the refuelling ‘our’ same government deployed riot police and even the army against ‘their’ people’. Last month they sent 80 year old Margaretta D’Arcy to jail for a second time for refusing to stop protesting against that same refuelling, a decade on. And a few days ago they even arrested two TD's for daring to try and inspect a clearly visible US military plane that was on the runway for weapons or prisoners.

 

Bloody Sunday in Derry - Origins & Consequences of a Massacre

On the 30th January 1972 British soldiers opened fire on protesters in the city of Derry, north-west Ireland. Twenty six unarmed protesters were shot, 13 died immediately or within hours, one more died just over four months later. Derry was in the section of Ireland claimed by the British state and the shootings happened in the context of the suppression of a growing civil rights movement demanding equality for Catholics in the 6 of Ulster’s counties claimed by Britain.

 

As Gaddafi falls - Lessons from Libya - imperialism, anti-imperialism & democratic revolution

The sudden end of the Gaddafi regime some 6 months after the start of the Libyan revolt leaves some difficult questions unanswered for the left. Gaddafi’s determination to physically crush the revolt quickly transformed it into a civil war, a civil war that saw considerable imperialist intervention on the rebel side, intervention that was essential to their eventual victory. This and Gaddafi’s historic record led to some on the left taking his side in the civil war while other organisations tried to balance support for the ‘Arab spring’s’ arrival in Libya with opposition to imperialism. This question of where the balance lies between international solidarity with pro-democracy movements and opposition to imperialism could well rapidly return to the top of the agenda in a very much bigger way as the regime in Syria continues its months long military suppression of the democracy movement there. [Italian translation]

(Image from B.R.Q. via Flickr under Creative Commons )

Palestine solidarity rallies support Flotilla to Gaza and demand Riverdance don't play Israel

Over 200 people took part in co-ordinated rallies and marches in Dublin last night (28 June 2011) to express solidarity with Palestine through support for the 2nd 'Stay Human' Freedom Flotilla to Gaza and protesting outside the launch night of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.  Riverdance are intending to break the boycott of Israel by playing 9 dates there in September.  The march then went to the Israeli embassy where there was a live hook up with the MV Saoirse, the Irish ship in the Flotilla to Gaza. (This article was written before the Sabotage of the MV Saoirse)

Dublin New Years eve Solidarity rally with Gaza

New Years Eve in Dublin saw a gathering on the Hapenny bridge in Dublin to mark the anniversary of 'Operation Lead' when the Israeli attack on Gaza killed more that 1400 people.  Meanwhile in Israel there were arrests of Israeli activists protesting the killing of a Palestinian women, Jawaher Abu Rahmah by teargas.

 

The republican tradition - a place to build from?

Ireland has an indigenous revolutionary tradition that successfully mobilized tens if not hundreds of thousands in the struggle for more freedom over the 200 years since 1798. Irish republicanism has always included a radical democratic and leveling element and which continues to provide part of the culture of resistance of the most down trodden sections of the working class. Many believe this makes it the best base to build from, at the fifth Rethinking Revolution meeting Andrew Flood asked if they are right?  This article contains the draft text of the talk and the audio recording of the meeting.

 

Hundreds protest war-criminal Tony Blair in Dublin

At 9:30 Saturday 4th August people gathered on O'Connell Street In Dublin to protest against the presence of war criminal and ex British prime-minister Tony Blair. Blair arrived at Easons at around 10am for the book-signing of his recent autobiography, escorted and protected by a sizable gardai presence. Despite the heavy rain, hundreds of protestors took part.  At least one protester managed to get past the heavy security to try to make a citizens arrest of Blair for his war crimes.

Covering the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla and responses in Ireland

This collection of articles covers the attack by the Israeli military on the Freedom Flotilla which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza.  The muderous attack resulted in the deaths of at least ten activists and the wounding of dozens.  More of the hundreds kidnapped off the high seas by the Israeli pirate action were injured when they were beaten in jail.  These articles also include coverage of some of the protests that then took place in Dublin.  All were originally written as the stories broke for the WSM site.

Haiti: Intervention and Imperialism

The horrific death toll from the earthquake in Haiti briefly focused the world’s attention on the plight of the Haitian people. The earthquake was a natural disaster coming on top of decades of human disasters imposed upon the people as its economy has been forced to transform to suit the needs of transnational corporations. This is the reason so many people were packed into substandard accommodation in Port-au-prince.Those who want to turn all of Haiti into one vast low wage sweatshop have used the earthquake to advance their agenda. On the day it occurred, the US Heritage Foundation issued a statement arguing that "the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy."

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