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.
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]
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Since the start of the great anti-slavery republican insurrection nearly 220 years ago, Haiti has been presented as a dangerous place incapable of running its own affairs and requiring foreign intervention. Yet the reality is its people were the first enslaved population to deliver themselves from slavery and also carried out what was only the third successful republican insurrection on the planet. The threat of this good example was rewarded with centuries of invasion, blackmail, the robbery of Haiti's natural resources and the impoverishment of its people. This articles summarizes that history of intervention and the resistance to it in order to put into context what is happening in Haiti after the quake. It was written s predictions for the death toll from the Haitian earthquakes rise over 200,000, ABC News have reported that planes carrying medical equipment and relief supplies are having to compete with soldiers for the valuable slots at Port-au-Prince airport which was taken over by the US military after the quake.
The reality of the Orange Order is that it is a counter-revolutionary institution set up and maintained to target not just Catholics but also 'disloyal' Protestants. It's formation and spread was encouraged by the British state in the years leading up to the 1798 rebellion precisely in order to drive a wedge between ordinary Catholics and Protestants. The 12th of July was picked as the key date to provide an alternative attraction to the marking of Bastille day and in itself to mark the sectarian massacre that led to the formation of the Orange Order.