Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

“Woman Proud That First Time She’s Ever Protested Was Against Refugees” – Waterford Whispers News

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A hard-hitting story from the satirical news site Waterford Whispers News.

Source : https://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2022/11/22/woman-proud-that-first-time-shes-ever-protested-was-against-refugees/

JOINING a protest in East Wall to make her opposition to asylum seekers being housed ‘without consulting her’ first known, local woman Emma Blaylin is proud to have finally attended her first ever protest.

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“Russian president Vladimir Putin held meetings with the Official IRA during two visits to Belfast in the 1980s.” – Intriguing Report on the Cedar Lounge Blog

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Are past events in Ireland a guide to current events?

From the Irish News.

Source :

Russian president Vladimir Putin held meetings with the Official IRA during two visits to Belfast in the 1980s.

The former KGB intelligence officer was part of two separate delegations from the Soviet Union that visited Ireland in 1986, sources linked to the Official movement have claimed.

On both occasions Mr Putin travelled north where he met with representatives of the republican paramilitary group.

Could it be true?

Did Vladimir Putin Meet the Official Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Dublin in the 1980’s?

How about this?

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French Trade Unions Call Demonstration at the Russian Embassy in Paris – December 10 2022 – RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT OF ALL OF UKRAINE

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French Trade Unions take action

Solidaires, the FSU, and the CGT have signed the call for a demonstration on 10 December to be held at the Russian Embassy, with the slogan: RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT OF ALL OF UKRAINE (joint call below).

Some reasons the French trade unions have acted :

  • Let’s make it known, let’s make it a reality
  • Let’s make this demonstration the turning point that will save the honour of the French workers’ movement!
  • Let’s show solidarity with the political prisoner Maksym Butkevych whose life must be saved!
  • The fight for peace is nothing else than the fight for the Russian troops out of the whole Ukraine!

Source : https://aplutsoc.org/2022/11/28/la-majorite-du-syndicalisme-francais-appelle-a-la-manifestation-du-10-decembre-vers-lambassade-russe/

Here is a copy of a leaflet supporting the demonstration :

The Joint Call :

Après Solidaires et la FSU, la CGT vient de signer l’appel à manifester le 10 décembre prochain en direction de l’ambassade russe, sur le mot-d’ordre : TROUPES RUSSES HORS DE TOUTE L’UKRAINE (appel commun ci-dessous).

Il faut le faire savoir, le faire passer dans la réalité. Faisons de cette manifestation le tournant qui sauvera l’honneur du mouvement ouvrier français ! Affichons la cause de Maksym Butkevych qu’il faut sauver ! Interpellons les organisations syndicales, à commencer par FO, qui en son temps a défendu Pliouchtch et Solidarnosc : où serez-vous le 10 décembre ? Le combat pour la paix ce n’est rien d’autre que le combat pour les troupes russes hors de toute l’Ukraine !

Par milliers vers l’ambassade, stop à la guerre impérialiste, Poutine-salaud-les-peuples-auront-ta-peau, dehors les troupes russes !

The War in Ukraine – How Should Socialists Respond?

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“Learning at the Teachers” – Anthony McIntyre Reports on a Meeting about Ukraine in Dublin

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Anthony McIntyre 🏴‍☠️ I was just about to leave a premises on North Strand Road last Monday night to make my way to a public discussion in the Teachers’ Club when I heard news that dismayed me. 

Immediately, I felt the words of Bertold Brecht throb in my head.

Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.

A friend told me that just a few hundred yards from where we sat, a rally was taking place on East Wall against migrants. It later prompted the satirical headline from Waterford Whispers,Woman Proud That First Time She’s Ever Protested Was Against Refugees

According to the Sunday Times the protest was “seized upon by some of Ireland’s most vocal right-wing activists.” They are as opposed to helping people in need of accommodation as the people I was going to listen to are in favour of welcoming them. The event in the Teachers’ Club was organised by Irish Left With Ukraine – “a campaign of anarchists, socialists and trade unionists united in support of the left in Ukraine.” During the course of the evening I would gladly hear calls for people to maintain an open door policy towards refugees. 

I arrived slightly late, having stopped along the way to assist a foreign woman attending to an inebriated Irish man who had collapsed on his bottles of beer and was bleeding from a head wound. The meeting was already under way, chaired by Nóirín Greene, former executive member of the ICTU. On the panel of speakers were David Joyce, ICTU International Officer; Seamus Dooley from the NUJ and guest speaker Yulia Yurchenko, a left wing Ukrainian activist.

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UNITE Trade Union says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build – Supports Rally for Housing, Saturday November 26, Parnell Square, 1.00pm

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UNITE is one of the trade unions backing a Dublin Rally for Housing on November 26.

Source : http://unitetheunionireland.org/2022/11/24/saturdays-raise-the-roof-rally-must-signal-turning-point-on-housing/

Support the Anti-Racist Bloc: https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/11/23/racism-in-dublins-east-wall-area-demanding-garda-vetting-for-asylum-seekers-and-refugees-and-using-this-as-an-excuse-to-surround-asylum-seekers-and-chant-get-them-out/

Unite says many construction workers cannot afford homes they build

November 24th: Unite, which represents workers throughout the economy, has called for a large turnout at the Raise the Roof housing rally due to take place this coming Saturday (26 November). 

Commenting, the union’s Regional Coordinating Officer Tom Fitzgerald said:

“A generation has been locked out of secure and genuinely affordable housing.  House prices rose by 77% between 2012 and 2020, while incomes increased by just 23% over the same period.  At the same time, average rents now consume over half the average wage.

“The housing emergency did not arise overnight.  Home building by local authorities collapsed as a direct result of public policy, with new housing builds by local authorities across the country amounting to just under 2,300 units in 2019 – a derisory figure given the level of housing need.  Instead of building homes, funding has been channelled into tax breaks for large investors, lucrative leasing deals for developers and large subsidies for private landlords.  It’s clear that we need a new deal for housing”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

James McCabe is Unite Regional Officer for Construction and added:

“Younger construction workers cannot afford to buy or rent the homes they build, while their older colleagues see their children unable to access secure and affordable accommodation.

“We need a new state-led housing programme focused on building public housing on public land, and on providing high-quality accommodation as well as high-quality jobs for those working in the sector”.

Concluding, Tom Fitzgerald said:

“The housing emergency is not a simple matter of policy failure:  it is a consequence of the policy choices pursued by successive governments.  Whether directly or indirectly, the housing emergency affects all workers, and on Saturday we need to turn out in huge numbers to demand that housing be treated as a human right and public good”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

Irish Left With Ukraine: Solidarity Meeting With Ukrainian Socialist Yuliya Yurchenko – Podcast of the Meeting

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Introduction by Conor Kostick :

I’ve posted the audio from the recent Irish Left With Ukraine public meeting here:

Irish Socialist Podcast

Also here : https://media.publit.io/file/KillianRaynor/ILWU-24-11-2022-08.19.mp3

On 21 November 2022 Irish Left With Ukraine – a campaign of anarchists, socialists and trade unionists united in support of the left in Ukraine – organised a solidarity meeting at the Teachers Club in Dublin. The chair of the meeting was Nóirín Greene, former executive member of the ICTU and the speakers were (in order of how they appear in this Irish socialist podcast version of the event) David Joyce, ICTU International Officer; Seamus Dooley (NUJ, guest speaker) and Yulia Yurchenko, Ukrainian socialist.

So much of the left in Ireland and internationally has a blind spot when it comes to listening to the voice of the left in Ukraine. But not to do so is to violate a fundamental principal of activism from below: nothing about us, without us. Taking a position on the war in Ukraine without listening to what the left in Ukraine are saying would be like taking a position on a strike without listening to any of the strikers. Here’s a chance to listen to an English language account of a socialist who is part of Sotsіalniy Rukh (SR; The Social Movement).

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On Ukraine, 8 Months, 4 Weeks – A post published first on the Cedar Lounge Blog

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This article is strongly recommended.

Source : https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2022/11/24/on-ukraine-8-months-4-weeks/

Ukraine news continues to arrive – in some ways so rapidly changing as to make posts redundant by the time they are published. Tomás Ó Flaharta carries a very interesting piece here. Consider though the numbers above. 8 months, 4 weeks and 3 or so days since the start of the war. 

An excellent analysis of the flaws in the ‘realist’ analysis in international political science here from Fred Kaplan in Slate. One aspect of that analysis, along with others, is how incoherent it all is, and contradictory too. Russia acted because it was exercised over NATO expansion, but as Kaplan notes:

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A 1936 Obituary : The first known Irish Supporter of Trotsky’s Left Opposition – TJ O’Flaherty (Tomás Ó Flatharta) – passed away on Inis Mór ( one of the Aran Islands)

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Gort na gCapall, Inishmore, Aran. Home of the Ó Flaithearta family.

Des Derwin drew our attention to this fascinating obituary.

Source : https://revolutionsnewsstand.com/2022/11/23/t-j-oflaherty-dead-from-new-militant-vol-2-no-22-june-6-1936/?fbclid=IwAR08oP2REQBBFNs2tWByO1-U3tWdwtjv7-OXax_0Ljm3ycJkB2IrK67FO-g

‘T.J. O’Flaherty Dead’ from New Militant. Vol. 2 No. 22. June 6, 1936.

The New Militant learns with great sorrow of the sudden death in Ireland of comrade T.J. O’Flaherty, an adherent of “Trotskyism” from the first days of the formation of the Left Opposition in the United States and a firm supporter to his dying day of the movement for the Fourth International. On his deathbed all his thoughts and interests were with his comrades in the United States and to the last he had hopes to recover his health and to return to the States to function actively in the movement. He gave full support to the Workers Party of America upon its formation and viewed it as the first step in the process of unification of the genuine revolutionary elements who based themselves on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky.

His sister, Anna Johnson, in a letter to comrade Martin Abern, writes from the Aran Isles, Ireland:

Letter from His Sister

“You will be surprised to hear that Tom has passed away. He died on May 19 from heart trouble. He came back here on January 15 after 18 months between Dublin and England. He was ill when he got back and got worse every day. You know he always suffered from heart trouble.

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Racism in Dublin’s East Wall Area : “Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets”

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Let’s be clear and unambiguous.

A correspondent writes :

Demanding Garda vetting for asylum seekers and refugees and using this as an excuse to surround asylum seekers and chant “Get them out” is as racist as it gets. That’s the inner core of the protests in East Wall and it has nothing to do with housing. Calling for vetting to make sure these black men are not pedophiles is a propaganda repeated everywhere such protest emerge. It is learned from European racism over the past decade. Nothing can make this look any different. Nothing should try to make this any different than what it is.

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“If 9 months into this thing you are still blaming NATO, Nazis, and Zelensky for this war, you aren’t ever going to be sensible about it, are you?”

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A correspondent, James Doyle, took three weeks off social media – recommended therapy for many of us! He thinks that political differences among the left have deepened.


There was me thinking that everything that happened in Ukraine/Russia during my three weeks off social media might have led to some revaluations on the pro Putin/Campist “left”, but if anything it seems the delusional have simply gotten more detached from reality and the sympathetic have decided stubbornness is the better part of valour when it comes to deciding which “camp” to stick your flag in, which team to support.

I mean, we’ve had the retreat from Kherson and the illustrative response of the people who (apparently) voted 95% to be annexed by Russia there, Human Rights Watch reports of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians (and thousands of them unoccupied children) being forcibly deported into Russia, the offical self-outing of the Wagner Group as the main (and deliberate) agitators of sectarian violence in Donetsk and Lukhansk in preparation for Russia’s first invasion back in 2014, the deliberate and -frankly – genocidal targeting of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine to freeze/starve the population to death during this Winter, the public statements in the Duma re: Russia’s plans to create millions of refugees from Ukraine and provoke racism and division in Europe, more unhinged messianic death cult sermons from Medvedev, UN warnings of war crimes in Kherson etc etc ad nauseum…

But still some on the left want to talk about the bridge in Crimea, Russian accusations of surrendering soldiers being executed (forgetting of course one of the “surrendering soldiers” actually opened fire first) and fake concerns over what the war stretching into Winter means for all of us in the West and our radiators while millions of Ukrainians are being targeted for freezing to death by an invading force.

But I suppose, “If 9 months into this thing you are still blaming NATO, Nazis, and Zelensky for this war, you aren’t ever going to be sensible about it, are you?”

Ukrainian socialist and academic, Yuliya Yurchenko, speaks at a public meeting ‘Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left’ in Dublin on Monday November 21 : Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1.

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Ukrainian Socialist Yuliya Yurchenko to speak at Solidarity Meeting in Dublin :

Ukrainian socialist and academic, Yuliya Yurchenko, speaks at a public meeting ‘Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left’ in Dublin on Monday November 21.

The meeting is organised by Irish Left With Ukraine, which says that the purpose of the meeting is to extend solidarity to the Ukrainian people as they continue to resist the Russian invasion of their country – and to amplify the voices of Ukrainian socialists and trade unionists.

Statement – Meeting Chairperson Nóirín Greene

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“Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion” – An outstanding PhotoBook – Interview with Co-Author Therese Caherty

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We’ve come a long way!

The fight for reproductive freedom in Ireland

Irish publisher Lilliput Press recently launched the photobook, Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion, in Dublin’s Mansion House. Social policy analyst Pauline Conroy, photographer Derek Speirs and journalist. Therese Caherty have documented in pictures and words Ireland’s choice movement over half a century.

John Meehan interviews Therese about the project, where it came from and the future for reproductive rights in Ireland.

John Meehan – What gave you idea for the book?

Therese Caherty – Our project began in 2013 at Against the Tide, a retrospective of 1980s activism by photographer Rose Comiskey. At a closing discussion on Irish feminism, a young woman asked some of us oldies – Why did you let the 8th Amendment happen? It wasn’t a view we were familiar with. But you could see where she was coming from. She had arrived into the world of the Eighth and seen, maybe experienced, its effects. And she was angry.

In 2014 we answered her question with Women to Blame, a multimedia exhibition on the struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion. Today, thanks to Lilliput Press, we have what we always wanted – a permanent home for that exhibition. Road to Repeal commemorates in pictures and words a people– powered movement that believed in a more equal Ireland for women and pregnant people, and their unfettered right to independent decision– making about parenthood.

We see our book as part of that movement of activists and participants and a contribution to it. It’s not for profit and all royalties go to the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

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Ukraine: Divisions Among The Indian and Global Left – by Achin Vanaik

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Achin Vanaik, a revolutionary socialist from India, writes a comprehensive review of differing left-wing responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Find out more about Achin in the notes below this fine article.

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article64701

The author does not directly discuss the policies advocated by organisations on the Irish left. Readers can judge for themselves where various left-wing groups in Ireland align within the categories described by the author.

Irish Left With Ukraine belongs to Achin Vanaik’s Fourth Group

“This fourth group aligns itself with what the anti-Stalinist Marxists and Socialists and Socialist Feminists and progressive Anarchists of Ukraine themselves say. Listen to us, they say. We are as much against the US and NATO as you in the West and elsewhere are. But this war is not about Russian security concerns but primarily about its imperialist ambitions.”

The organisation People Before Profit, represented in Dáil Éireann by four Teachtaí Dála (TD’s, member of the Dublin parliament) is, sadly, a candidate for membership of Achin’s “Third Group”.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Nov 19, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Ireland

Ireland – Ukraine International Solidarity of the Left – Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1, 7pm – 9pm – Monday November 21 2022

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Yuliya Yurchenko – an active supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) – speaks at this Dublin meeting. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Find out more about Irish Left With Ukraine here :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/466892938791354/?ref=share

The meeting will be chaired by Nóirín Greene (Former member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions [ICTU]) Executive. The other speakers are : David Joyce (ICTU International Officer); Séamus Dooley (National Union of Journalists, Guest Speaker); A Ukrainian socialist refugee who is living in Ireland.

Find out more about Yuliya Yurchenko here :

https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-business/yuliya-yurchenko

://www.plutobooks.com/author/yuliya-yurchenko/

Yuliya Yurchenko is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the Department of Economics and International Business and a researcher at the Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability Institute, University of Greenwich, UK. She is the author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital (Pluto, 2017). She researches state, capital and society relations as well as public services, with a regional focus on Europe and Ukraine.

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Jill Stein : Fake Anti-War Activist, Apologist for Russia’s Imperialist Invasion of Russia – Green Party (USA) Split Down the Middle

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Jill Stein has form. Mary Scully, an Irish-American activist and blogger, explains below.

The Green Party (USA) is split down the middle on this issue.

This party’s 2020 Presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, endorses the policy of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) and its Irish supporter Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU).

Here is an extract from a Howie Hawkins post dated March 2022 :

People are not going to respond to a call for no US war with Russia when they plainly can see that the shooting war is Russia’s assault on Ukraine. If we are not clear that we oppose Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine, we won’t be able to get a public hearing about opposing the expansion of NATO to Russia’s doorstep as a precipitating factor in this war, as well as opposing the many “low-intensity” and economic wars that the US and NATO are fighting around the world.

I would like to suggest some more particular demands we should make and actions we should take under these two slogans of Russian Troops Out and No NATO expansion.

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PANEL: UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN ACADEMICS DISCUSS THE WAR – Broadcast by the Real News Network

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Debates over the proper approach to the Russo-Ukrainian War have dominated much of the year. Yet discussions within the western left have not always featured the perspectives of Ukrainians and Russians themselves. The Real News Network board member Bill Fletcher, in partnership with Haymarket Books, hosts a panel with Ukrainian and Russian academics.

Link : https://therealnews.com/panel-ukrainian-and-russian-academics-discuss-the-war?fbclid=IwAR2rLkZ0rerziSQgyPsEf4mb7_F-yrHa0TQCHpQPtA8gtNjuq-U2hOKByjs

Bill Fletcher, a long-time trade union and human rights activist from the USA hosts a discussion with Yuliya Yurchenko, Ilya Budraitskis and Alona Liasheva
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The Fallacies of the Call for “Negotiations” Between Ukraine and Russia – Charles Pierson

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The following article was submitted to the USA journal Counterpunch replying to the article mentioned in the paragraph below. Counterpunch refused to publish it.

We wish to thank the New York based Irish-American activist Joan McKiernan who brought the article below to our attention. This vital discussion is occurring in many parts of the world, including Ireland. If you wish to actively participate in principled left-wing solidarity with the Ukrainian masses we recommend the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine (ENSU). The ENSU’s Irish supporters work with Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU), which has organised a public meeting in Dublin taking place on November 21 2022. The main speaker is ENSU activist Yuliya Yurchenko.

John Meehan November 10 2022

Links :

ENSU https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/ ILWU : https://www.facebook.com/groups/466892938791354

“Victory against Russia,” is the wrong goal in Ukraine, writes Binoy Kampmark (“Vicarious Zeal: Fighting to the Last Ukrainian,” Counterpunch, Jul. 15, 2022). Kampmark, a frequent contributor to Counterpunch, worries that Ukraine and the West are demanding what amounts to Russia’s “unconditional surrender.” Instead of demanding Russia’s surrender, Kampmark recommends peace talks. A negotiated peace, he writes, will shorten the war and save lives. Unfortunately, “Hard-headed peace talks, let alone anything approximating to negotiations have … become taboo.”

I respect Binoy Kampmark. I believe this is the first time I have disagreed with something he has written, but I do disagree. Strongly. Here’s why.

Russian-Ukrainian Peace Talks Since the Russian Invasion
Kampmark appears to have bought into the myth propagated by the “anti-imperialist left” that Ukraine refuses to negotiate. That puts the onus on Ukraine for rejecting peace. The truth is that negotiations between Russia and Ukraine began even before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia and Ukraine, together with France and Germany, met in January and February to attempt to defuse the growing crisis.

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Statement by Ukrainian Feminists in Solidarity with Iranian Women

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Ukrainian Feminists offer solidarity to their sisters in Iran. The Teheran and Moscow régimes are reactionary allies.

the Iranian state is not only oppressing its own citizens. It also provides support for other oppressive and imperialist regimes. During the last few weeks, Iranian drones employed by the Russian army have killed tens of civilians and destroyed countless housing and critical infrastructure objects in Ukraine.

We, Ukrainian feminists, express our solidarity with Iranian uprising, triggered by the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian Morality Police. Thousands of women responded to this crime by going out on the streets, cutting their hair and publicly taking off and burning hijabs as a symbol of their oppression. What started as a protest against police brutality and obligatory hijab, quickly transformed into a general resistance of the Iranian people against the patriarchal and dictatorial mullah regime and the authoritarian form of capitalism that it represents. The grassroot mobilization is today being joined by schoolgirls, students, trade unions, ethnic minorities, and people from other social groups affected by the economic crises, high food prices, social cuts, and privatization. This new wave of struggles thus continues and expands the series of uprisings against socio-economic inequalities, political oppression and ethnic disctimination that shook Iran during the last decade. 

Source : https://femwork.org/en/fm-news/solidarity-with-iranian-women-eng/

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Sinn Féin 2022 Árd Fheis Policy on the Russian invasion of Ukraine – “Immediate Withdrawal of all Russian armed forces”

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Credit where credit is due – the Sinn Féin 2022 Árd Fheis has adopted a very good policy statement. This policy compares very well against the policy of People Before Profit and the Dublin South-West TD Paul Murphy – who need to think again.

The Sinn Féin policy statement is also a welcome contrast with Kremlin-inspired wild conspiracy stories issued by various parts of the traditional Irish anti-war movement – for example, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA).

The SF Árd Fheis resolution is silent on some key issues. It does not directly refer to the right of the Ukrainian masses and their government to defend themselves and their sovereign territory by any means necessary. It also does not refer to the Ukrainian government’s recent anti-Labour neo liberal law, which has been heavily criticised by genuine Ukraine Solidarity organisations (see in particular a statement issued by Central European Trade Union Federations). Link here https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/to-read/ukraine-resolution-of-the-central-european-trade-unions

Street Art in Lyon, France. Thanks to Judit Kinszki and Katalin Jánosi (Budapest, Hungary) for circulating the photo.

Here is the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis Resolution on Russia’s far-right invasion of Ukraine :

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“Neither faction of the Conservatives is nicer. But, for the moment, Trumpian Conservatism is dead. It’s back to food banks and dole queues and cuts to services” – David Renton

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The British socialist David Renton offers an interesting analysis of the turmoil in the 2022 British Tory Party – Three Prime Ministers in quick succession – and he warns :

Sunak’s Conservatives will be more socially liberal than the people who backed Liz Truss or Boris Johnson. But they will also be much more ardent cutters – and this at a time when inflation is at 10%, interest rates are rising, and fuel bills are rocketing…

A contrast – The Financial Times reports

Markets look forward to “dullness dividend” in wake of Truss turbulence

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Changing of the Guard 💂‍♀️ in London’s 10 Downing Street – British Prime Ministers 2022

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Brilliant Satirists are superb political analysts – getting the message across, injecting lethal poison into the heart of a terminally ill body. Examples :

Jeremy Hunt, current finance minister (chancellor) in Britain, brings misery to the masses https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
Rishi Sunak , the latest British Prime Minister, married a billionaire, Akshata Murthy. https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
The story is true – Liz Truss, British PM for 50 days, is guaranteed £115,000 a year for life.
The tweet is a humorous fake – John Truss, father of former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, is a socialist
A prediction of doom https://www.belltoons.co.uk/hotoffpress
Rishi Sunak, Leader of the Pack
Brexit Britain – the view from the other side of the Irish Sea – Martyn Turner, The Irish Times

Solutions? Smashing Brexit would be an excellent start!

The Politics of Apologising – Sinn Féin to Regret the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland and expel members who sing “Come Out You Black and Tans” – Could this be true?

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Before readers leap to their keyboards, rest assured folks – the claim is a brilliant joke. The full story is below – Source is the journal.ie.

Moving to a serious point – Irish public figures are regularly swamped with ignorant demands to “apologise” for any Irish ballads which belong to a rich culture of resistance to British Imperialism. The latest example is the Irish international women’s soccer team which recently secured World Cup qualification for the first time.

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A Crisis in 21st Century Feminism – Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees – Choice Should be the Guiding Principle

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This interesting post comes from an Irish-American activist, Mary Scully :

There’s a deep crisis in modern feminism around fundamental questions of women’s oppression. Philosophical idealists like Judith Butler have taken over the narrative, gained ideological dominance, & destroyed its relevance for working class women. One of the chief symptoms of this decline is the almost complete lack of solidarity with Muslim women who wear the hijab or niqab whilst at the same time supporting women resisting the forcible imposition of the headscarf.

They get the concept of resistance but that’s not good enough if they refuse to accept the concept of choice, as if Muslim women were just empty-headed Barbie dolls in scarfs.

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Two tweets, a ‘Phoenix’ fable and a hatchet to the bud of left solidarity with Ukraine.

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Guest post by Des Derwin

The Phoenix piece (below) from 5th May 2022- re-posted in the ‘Left Links’ Facebook group on 3rd October 2022 – is a case of accusation through association, and association through juxtaposition, seeking to identify Ukrainian activist and academic Nadia Dobrianska with the far right.

In the Facebook group ‘Left Links’ the Phoenix piece was re-posted (3rd October 2022) with the demand for “some kind of explanation why socialists in Dublin would be hosting an event with Nadia Dobrianska who, if not a fascist, would certainly appear to be aligned with them”. There is no evidence provided for these innuendos and claims. There is possibly ground for a case of defamation from Nadia Dobrianska.

The flyer for the public meeting organised by Irish Left With Ukraine  (with additional speakers’ names covered to keep them out of the present controversy).

Two tweets referring to Russian refugees from Nadia Dobrianska were also posted on ‘Left Links’ (29th September). If these tweets are genuine they – or one in particular – are problematic for her and for a speaker at a left public meeting on Ukraine. These will be discussed later but for now it should be noted that they do not offer evidence that she is fascist, or far right or even has an anti-immigrant position in general.

The general political background to a piece on Ukraine in the Phoenix is that the magazine tends, like much ‘left-leaning’ commentary in Ireland on Ukraine, to blame the US and NATO for the invasion and to portray the Zelensky government as oppressive, right wing and particularly objectionable.  

The Phoenix piece is headed “Azov Human Rights”.  Azov is a sea to the South of Ukraine. It is also a signal for the imputation of fascist politics to Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion, extrapolated from the common propaganda claim that the far right Azov paramilitary organisation reflects the viewpoint of the Ukrainian government. The claim usually denies that Azov has been depoliticised and incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard engendering the departure of its leaders to found new independent political organisations. Indeed the claim is exactly repeated later in this Phoenix article where it says: “The Azov Battalion is a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine which has as its core white supremacist and neo-Nazi members and ideology.”

The first sentence in ‘Azov Human Rights’ contains a gratuitous claim that Nadia Dobrianska “has become quite the Irish media darling”. This is another signal to those who object to the mainstream media’s support for Ukrainian defence and who would see it as the same as the usual media bias and misrepresentation in favour of the West on Palestine, Iraq, Julian Assagne, etc.

The Phoenix article begins:

Irish-speaking Nadia Dobrianska works for a human rights organisation in her native Kyiv and has become quite the Irish media darling. Dobrianska works for ZMINA, which ‘aims to promote human rights, the rule of law and the ideas of civil society in Ukraine’ … one of the high profile cases is that of Serhiy Sternenko… “former head of the regional branch of the Right Sector’ [which] has been widely described as neo-fascist [and] has been linked to attacks on journalists, left-wing party members and offices.

A second case of ZMINA support for a rightest is then offered. Note she works for ZMINA. That is, she does some of the work that ZMINA does and would not presumably be involved at all in every case that ZMINA takes up, such as for instance the two cases cited by Phoenix.

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Double Standards Applied to Irish Women’s Soccer Team : Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0 – Oh Ah Up the Mná

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Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrate World Cup Qualification, October 11 2012

A gaggle of West-Brit politicians have denounced Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrations. Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield dismisses the reactionary chorus as “cranks and unionists or people who side with them”. Warfield is dead right.

Song Composer Derek Warfield Declares “Don’t tell that you can’t sing Celtic Symphony but you can sing God Save the King”

Jack Charlton was the best international soccer manager who ever worked for the Republic of Ireland – he encouraged his players to sing Irish rebel songs. Former kit-minder Charlie O’Leary recalls :

Sean South of Garryowen was his favourite.
It got to the stage where it had to be played. It’s a rabble rousing song full of life, if you forget about the words; it was lovely.

Charlie O’Leary, kit-minder for Jack Charlton’s Boys in Green https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

“I had two tapes with me. One tape was all Luke Kelly songs and your man Moore [Christy Moore]. Going to Lansdowne, I’d come to around Haddington Road, and I’d stop that tape and I’d put on the other tape – Seán South of Garryowen. Just as we’d be arriving in the ground, we’d be at the crescendo of Seán South of Garryowen. So the lads would be really worked up by that time. They’d be singing at the top of their voices.”

Irish Times December 15 2014

In his book on the Charlton brothers and their relationship, Leo McKinstry recorded how there was hell to pay when news of the Republic of Ireland team playlist reached the English tabloids.

Teddy Taylor, the comically Eurosceptic right-wing Conservative MP from Glasgow, fulminated in public that Jack should be ashamed of himself for belting out such a ballad.

The FAI weren’t inclined to play up the fact that the Irish team used to sing songs celebrating the IRA’s 1950s Border campaign.

https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0

Public figures must stop bullying the Irish female soccer players. Manager Vera Pauw has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Jack Charlton.

Pauw’s game management strategy is a carbon copy of the Jack Charlton method “Yeah, of course,” Pauw says. “We need to develop further. We’ve got five clean sheets in a row. We’ve got four goals against, and that’s our strength. Because we always create chances, so we always score in a game. As long as you don’t get goals against and you score in a game you win, right?”

Charlton was a brilliant motivator, an extremely empathetic manager. He backed his players – even when they misbehaved – and bought into the Irish rebel ballad culture, our anti-imperialist culture, and sense of fun. After his team was eliminated from the Euro 88 tournament in Germany Charlton expected a barrage of criticism in Ireland. We did not win. Instead the manager and his team were greeted by hundreds of thousands of fans who did not give a toss about losing Euro 88 – we got to a major tournament for the first ever, and we beat England 1-0. The miner’s son from Ashington in the north of England, an unorthodox man of the left and the workers’ movement, understood this very profoundly.

Jack Charlton – “Proud to be Irish” – Dublin Airport after Euro 88 in Germany

Pauw failed to back her players – and appears to have no understanding of Ireland’s proud tradition of cultural resistance. She made a public statement which must immediately be withdrawn :

Pauw insisted that the release of the footage on social media by one of the squad was not the core issue, adding the player “was devastated and crying in her room”.

“I don’t want to hide behind that because it she hadn’t put it on social media and I had been notified about it and the significance, then I would have addressed it immediately.

“I’ve also told her that putting it on social media is not the biggest thing.

“The biggest thing is that it has happened. It doesn’t matter if you are in private room or a dressing room or if you are outside.”

European Soccer bosses in UEFA are threatening disciplinary sanctions against the Girls in Green. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63242412

Football Association of Ireland (FAI) blazers, assorted cranks and a talented soccer manager are profoundly wrong. Let’s hope Vera Pauw reflects on the successful methods of Jack Charlton, the miner’s son from Ashington who loved Irish rebel songs.

Jack Charlton, The Best Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager

John Meehan October 13 2022

An interview with song composer Derek Warfield :


Irish team being ‘persecuted and bullied’ for singing ‘ooh ah up the ‘Ra’, songwriter says

Article Source https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2022/10/12/irish-team-being-persecuted-and-bullied-for-singing-ooh-ah-up-the-ra-songwriter-says/

Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield has accused those who criticise his song Celtic Symphony of being “cranks and unionists or people who side with them” amid controversy over the Irish women’s football team singing along to it.

Warfield wrote the song, which includes the refrain ‘ooh, aah up the ‘Ra’, in 1987 for the centenary of Celtic Football Club, which occurred a year later.

He claims the line was taken from graffiti he saw on a wall in Glasgow around that time, which read ‘we’re magic, up the Celts, ooh, aah up the Ra’. He said he was not necessarily referring to the Provisional IRA in the lyrics.

No excuses

Celtic Symphony was playing in the dressing room while the Irish team celebrated qualifying for the World Cup after winning at Hampden Park on Tuesday night. Players were filmed singing ‘ooh, aah up the Ra’ and a clip was posted on social media.

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Double-Standards: The Destroyed Kerch Bridge in Crimea, Russia’s Bombing of Civilian Targets – How will the Westplainers on the Left React?

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Russia is losing the war in Ukraine – that is clear. The principled left is for solidarity with Ukraine and favours Immediate Withdrawal of the Russian military forces from Ukraine – also, clear. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Two cartoons and a satirical meme sum up some options :

Two correspondents offer observations

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“Russian Fossil Fascism is Europe’s Fault” – OLEKSIY RADYNSKI

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Since February 24, when Russia’s ethnic-cleansing army invaded Ukraine, the activist European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) has promoted analyses rooted in the east of the European continent. We found this article thanks to the diligent work of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) and Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières (ESSF), which are cold houses for Westplaining.

Links : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/. http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?rubrique2

About the Author :

Oleksiy Radynskiis a filmmaker and writer based in Kyiv. His films have been screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Docudays IFF, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), and S A V V Y Contemporary (Berlin), among others, and have received a number of festival awards. After graduating from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, he studied at the Home Workspace Program (Ashkal Alwan, Beirut). In 2008, he cofounded Visual Culture Research Center, an initiative for art, knowledge, and politics in Kyiv. His texts have been published in Proxy Politics: Power and Subversion in a Networked Age (Archive Books, 2017), Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and East Europe: A Critical Anthology (MoMA, 2018), Being Together Precedes Being (Archive Books, 2019), and e-flux journal.

Article Source : https://soniakh.com/index.php/2022/10/04/russian-fossil-fascism-is-europes-fault/?fbclid=IwAR1a2ADRu8jwGM_eedaEGKT755N23YnEJj0M2Yut_zl0dQu-AmTjIT6rr0Q

As it often happens in history, an informal agreement between the two imperial powers has been thrown into disarray by one factor that remained out of reach of these imperial designs: Ukraine’s popular resistance. As we now know, Western predictions about the swift collapse of Ukrainian resistance proved to be completely false, since they were themselves based on neo-colonial, technocratic logic, which is usually very poorly informed when it comes to the complex dynamics of the societies it is trying to comprehend. For Ukrainians, it was clear from the start that a potentially occupied Ukraine promised something different than what Minister Lindner could probably imagine: it meant mass killings, brutal counter-insurgency, establishment of concentration camps and, most likely, genocide on a scale not seen on the European continent since WWII. The popular effort to aid the Ukrainian army saved innumerable lives that would definitely have been lost had the Russians (whose invasion arsenal included equipment for the mass disposal of dead bodies) been able to take control of Ukrainian territory as predicted by Western analysts.

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Up to a Million People are Deserting Putin’s Imperialist Army – Crimea’s Kerch Bridge Destroyed – Russia is Losing the War in Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin is losing the war launched in Ukraine on February 24 2022 – symbolised by the destroyed Kerch Bridge linking Russia to Crimea, captured by an ethnic-cleansing army in 2014 :

The attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge has highlighted that nowhere is Russia invulnerable.

Despite heavy security, innovative defences and dire warnings of retaliation if targeted, this symbol of Russian pride and engineering — at 19km (12 miles) the longest bridge in Europe — was severely damaged by what Russia said was a Ukrainian truck bomb.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/10/10/bridge-too-farwhy-the-attack-on-bridge-bodes-ill-for-russia

This is the assessment of experienced war reporter Patrick Cockburn :

Russian missiles fired at Ukrainian cities and infrastructure are aimed at demonstrating to the world that Russia is still a power to be feared. But the barrage will not erase the impression of Russian weakness created by the blowing up of the Kerch Bridge.

As with other Russian setbacks, the response of President Vladimir Putin is to escalate the conflict, but he shows no signs of having a plan to change the balance of forces on the battlefield.

The partial severing of the bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula may be more important politically than militarily. It will further persuade countries such as China and India that Russia is losing the war and that they need to avoid becoming collateral damage. Russian allies in Central Asia and the Caucasus will see it as further evidence of Russia’s decline as a regional power.

https://inews.co.uk/opinion/destruction-of-the-kerch-bridge-is-more-important-politically-than-it-is-militarily-1904476?ico=most_popular

Over 83 missiles hit Ukraine on the morning of October 10 2022, targeting homes, streets, hospitals and power stations. Half of Ukraine is now without water and electricity. For many in Ukraine it is again February 24 2022. Putin wants the people of Ukraine to be afraid, but they are not afraid.


At very short notice, almost 200 protesters gathered at the Kremlin HQ in Ireland, the Embassy of Russia located at 186 Orwell Road.

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Putin is trying to wipe out Ukraine – “but we are NOT afraid. Together we stand!We’re gathering by the Kremlin HQ in Ireland on 186 Orwell Road at 18:00” – October 10 2022

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Organised by Ukrainian Action in Ireland

Irish Left With Ukraine supports protests against against the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all Russian Troops from Ukraine.


See also https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/466892938791354/?ref=share


Over 83 missiles hit Ukraine this morning, targeting homes, streets, hospitals and power stations. Half of Ukraine is now without water and electricity. For many of us it is again Feb 24. Putin wants us to be afraid, but we are NOT afraid. Together we stand!
We’re gathering by the Kremlin HQ in Ireland on 186 Orwell Road at 18:00.
📍Meeting point: https://goo.gl/maps/WCehLKNGwwkfR2BY7
If you’re unable to attend at 18:00, come at any time – there are already protesters there.
Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/28dR9dfLq

RussiaIsATerroristState #GenocideOfUkrainians #StopRussiaNOW #ExpelFilatov #ExpelRussianSpies #StandWithUkraine

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10162401065724698&id=818794697&set=gm.466911675456147

Postponed : Ireland-Ukraine : International Solidarity of the Left – Public Meeting Tuesday October 4 2022

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Our ‘Ireland-Ukraine: International Solidarity of the Left’ public meeting in Dublin on Tuesday 4th October is postponed due to the illness of the principal speaker Yuliya Yurchenko. Our apologies to all for any inconvenience. We will announce the date for a re-arranged meeting as soon as possible. We wish Yuliya a speedy recovery.”

Irish Left With Ukraine

Yuliya Yurchenko – an active supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) – speaks at this Dublin meeting along with Irish trade union speakers and others. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Yuliya Yurchenko, author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict (Pluto, 2018). She is a Lecturer in International Business and Researcher at the Public Services International Research Unit, the Centre for Business Network Analysis, and the Political Research Centre at the University of Greenwich.

An extensive interview with Yuliya is here : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/04/12/fighting-for-self-determination-yuliya-yurchenko-explains-for-ukrainians-its-an-existential-fight-our-countrys-identity-territorial-boundaries-and-our-very-existence-is/


Latest News from the ENSU :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

Putin’s attempt to conscript up to a million young Russians to fight in Ukraine is failing. In less than one week, more than 300,000 young Russians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries like Georgia and Kazakhstan. Hundreds of thousands are expected to seek exile in the next few weeks. We call on West European countries to open the borders to these courageous and principled young Russians, in the name of peace and justice.

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Protests Spanning Decades – 1969 – 2018 – 2022 : Take Back the City : Cost of Living Coalition Demonstration, Saturday September 24 2022, Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin, 2.30pm

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Des Derwin Michael Taft and Mick O’Reilly squatting on O’Connell Bridge, at a protest supported by Dublin Council of Trade Unions about the Housing Crisis in Ireland – Friday September 23 2018.

Three comrades on a Dublin Bridge : Des Derwin, Michael Taft, Mick O’Reilly

On Saturday September 24 2022 the same people, the same Trade Union organisation, will be at a Dublin Cost of Living Coalition demonstration in Dublin.

From Michael Taft : “A Protest Spanning Decades” :

Des Derwin and I sat down at today’s Take Back The City protest on O’Connell Bridge on the very same spot that Mick O’Reilly sat down in January 1969 when he was participating in a sit-down protest with the Dublin Housing Action Committee. The issue then, as now, was homelessness and housing need.

And we will continue to protest – Des, Mick and myself along with thousands of others – until the Government acts on the most important social issue of the day.”

One of many media reports – this is from Hot Press, one of Ireland’s leading rock music and culture magazines

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Imperialism Today : Victory to Ukraine, Defeat for Russia – Responses to Paul Murphy TD

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In an article of 19 September 2022, Paul Murphy, an Irish TD and member of RISE, offered an analysis that attempted to bridge the position between those supporting Ukraine’s right to resist the invasion and those in the west who see NATO, not Putin, as the main enemy here. See https://rupture.ie/articles/imperialism-today?fbclid=IwAR0w3tMJhsTnHFO-FHlJ3j-RC7H-pkG3NaTno2w92aT0ThTNckw1jYIyagg.

There are several problems with this analysis, which places itself within a camp accurately described by Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) activist Conor Kostick as “Left Evasionist” See https://independentleft.ie/ukraine-evasions/

We offer two immediate responses. The first is from Conor Kostick :

Both Anti-Imperialist and Inter-Imperialist?

Paul Murphy’s conclusion was :

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“If you hate the royal family clap your hands”

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You can’t fool Celtic Soccer Fans :

Celtic fans disrupt minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II with anti-Royal chanting and banner.

From CNN :

“CNN

Supporters of Glasgow-based football team Celtic FC chanted anti-royal sentiments during a planned minute’s applause for Queen Elizabeth II ahead of the team’s match against St. Mirren in Paisley, Scotland, on Sunday.

The minute’s applause had been organized after the home team, St. Mirren, chose to pay tribute to the late monarch, but Celtic fans unfurled a banner reading “If you hate the royal family clap your hands” and chanted the same words throughout the planned homage.

The Scottish FA said in a statement on Monday that “as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of National Mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the National Anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands.”

Sky, who was broadcasting the match, confirmed to CNN that it turned down the stadium microphones to limit the audibility of the chants during its broadcast of the minute’s applause.

After the applause ended, commentator Ian Crocker said, “Apologies if you were offended by anything you might have heard. Most people showed respect, some did not.”

It is the second time this week that groups of Celtic fans have expressed anti-royal feelings, with the club currently subject to an investigation by European football’s governing body UEFA after displaying a banner reading “F**k the crown” during Wednesday’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

CNN has reached out to the Scottish Professional Football League and Celtic FC for comment but did not immediately get a response.

Though Celtic is based in Scotland, its traditions are intertwined with those of anti-monarchist Irish republicans since it was founded with the aim of alleviating poverty in Glasgow’s Irish Catholic immigrant population in the 1880s.

Its crosstown rival Rangers, meanwhile, is traditionally more aligned with Protestantism and royalist unionism, heightening the antagonism between the two sides.

The Scottish FA, the governing body for football in the country, said to CNN that it didn’t have “any jurisdiction over fan behaviour at league matches.”

Booing during the minute’s silence was also audible in other matches held in the Scottish Premiership this weekend.

Dundee United released a statement, acknowledging that “a small section of the crowd chose to not respect the minute’s silence” ahead of its match against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/19/football/celtic-anti-royal-chants-scottish-football-spt-intl/index.html

“Thousands Expected at People-Power Protest in Dublin over the Cost of Living” – Interview with Eddie Conlon

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Des Derwin reports :

Something good, as well as Gene Kerrigan, in the ‘Sunday Independent’:

Sunday Independent interviews Eddie Conlon, Cost of Living Coalition and PBP activist

‘A ‘people power’ movement hopes to see thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of Dublin next weekend, in protest over the spiralling cost of living.

The number of rallies has increased around the country in recent weeks — but next Saturday’s planned demonstration is expected to be by far the largest.

Organised by the Cost of Living Coalition, which is supported by over 30 national organisations, it is sending a clear message to the Government: people cannot afford looming energy bills, and should not be forced to pay them.

The coalition was set up in March by Eddie Conlon, TU Dublin (formerly DIT) sociology lecturer and a long-time activist for People Before Profit.

The Crumlin native was previously involved in the anti-nuclear movement.
“I’ve been politically active since the 1970s, but I’ve never seen such unity in any campaign as this one,” he said.
“It has support from so many organisations and from every generation. This is a huge issue in society. People are frightened. People are worried about the bills that are due to arrive.”

In the UK, a movement called ‘Don’t Pay’ has urged people to cancel their gas and electricity direct-debits from October 1, with over one million people already pledging support. Is the Cost of Living Coalition poised to make the same call to people living in Ireland?
“The coalition is not at this point calling on people not to pay.
“But the reality is that some people just won’t be able to pay these bills. What we need from government is a clear ban on people being cut off for not paying a bills if they cannot afford it,” he added.

The coalition is supported by People Before Profit, with TD Paul Murphy recently throwing his weight behind it.
Sinn Féin and the Social Democrats are backing the movement, as are the Union of Students Ireland (USI) and the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, among many others.

“As people prepare to turn on their heating in the coming weeks, the cost of energy is about to become more critical than ever,” said Conlon.
“This is about people power. It’s about people coming together to say ‘enough is enough’. We expect thousands of people at the demonstration next weekend.

“I think, since Covid, people have really started to see the cracks in our society and need their voices to be heard.”

The extremist far-right in Ireland have recently tried to associate themselves with the Cost of Living Coalition, making occasional appearances at rallies.

“They have nothing to do with us,” Mr Conlon said. “We have nothing to do with the far-right. We are about unity. What they do is seek to divide people.
“People want to be able to lead a decent life and have their basic needs met without having to pay through the nose for it. The premise of this coalition is to give ordinary people the opportunity to say, ‘we can’t put up with this.’”

They’ll sit in the cold themselves — but they won’t do that when they’re minding the grandkids’

Sue Shaw, CEO of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, a member of the coalition, said she has “no doubt” that “momentum is building” around how unaffordable energy bills are becoming. She said older people are particularly worried about the cost of heating their homes in the coming months.

“Two-thirds of older people in this country are solely reliant on the pension. Over the past two years, we have already seen heating oil, coal and turf increase by 137pc.

“The Government is trying to pitch old against young during this situation. But we have decided to all come together in this coalition.

“The accommodation crisis is impacting younger generations more — students in particular, and people who can’t afford to buy their own homes because of high rents. This coalition is about bringing every generation together and being united in saying: ‘We will not put up with this.’”

Ms Shaw said her organisation has already begun to receive calls from worried older people, who have been buying warmer duvets in preparation for the winter, in the hope it will reduce the need to switch on the heat.

Others talk about plans to spend large parts of their days in the coming months in public libraries, as these facilities turn on the heating.

“The anxiety is building. Some older people who mind their grandchildren, because their own children can’t afford childcare, are worried about their bills. They’ll sit in the cold themselves — but they won’t do that when they’re minding the grandkids.”
Ms Shaw advised the Government to “start listening” to the public mood.

“The coalition is not right now advocating people should not pay their bills. But if people don’t have the money, what can they do?

“Older people might be retired — but let’s not forget how much we contribute to society. As well as childcare for their families, older people make up a huge part of our voluntary sector.

“And of course, the Government should also remember that older people are the generation who vote.”
Both Ms Shaw and Mr Conlon criticised “profiteering” by energy giants, who they say are making millions in the midst of this crisis.

“We need price controls on energy. There is major profiteering going on. The ESB are making a lot of money right now,” Mr Conlon said. “There needs to be taxes on the energy companies. The Government just need to start listening to the people. Because the people must be heard.”

The coalition’s protest is due to get underway in Parnell Square, Dublin, at 2.30 pm next Saturday.’


End of article. Note I’ve corrected the time for the march which the Sindo got slightly wrong – Des Derwin

English Queen Kicks Bucket : Loyal Mass Media Bans Joke: “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes” – London Forelock-Tugging Mocked

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American Columbia Journalism Review retaliates – reporting the Sky multinational media corporation

removed jokes including a reference to the Queen’s passing as “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes.”

New York based Irish-American Correspondent Joan McKiernan circulates real news :

These are just some of the things that have been canceled—or stopped, or banned, or discouraged, or quietened, or postponed, or revoked—somewhere in the UK since the Queen died last week, out of respect or to facilitate other people paying theirs. (When the British network Sky rebroadcast the latest episode of Oliver’s US late-night show, it removed jokes including a reference to the Queen’s passing as “the shocking death of a 96-year-old woman from natural causes.” Sky declined to comment to Deadline about the changes.) Beside those that have affected the media directly, all the cancellations have provided the press with a running storyline this week, alongside a packed calendar of official mourning. They have occasioned much comment on social media, too. A Twitter account called @GrieveWatch has grown in popularity, highlighting not only cancellations but overbaked expressions of public grief. Currently pinned to the top of its feed is a video posted by a prominent right-wing commentator—who once mocked Meghan and Harry for attending a “personal” remembrance event with a photographer present—showing him engaging in some “quiet reflection” outside Buckingham Palace. “The important thing is that you filmed it,” @GrieveWatch wrote.

Correspondent Jon Allsop decided to sacrifice 12 hours of his life – the things some people must do to earn a crust – life is often cruel :

Of course, the packed calendar of official mourning has been themajor storyline this past week across major news organizations. It’s been a huge deal globally, including in the US, with networks dispatching staff to London, cutting into programming to broadcast the latest ceremony, marveling at British “pomp and circumstances” (sic), and lining up plummy-voiced royal commentators straight from British-stereotype central casting. But British news outlets, as is only right and proper, have shown the way.

Yesterday, I settled in at 8am local time with the intention of watching twelve consecutive hours of British TV news coverage; the mourning calendar was relatively empty—King Charles III took the day off—but Britain’s mourning period still had days to run, and I was curious to see if major networks had run out of things to say yet. Reader, I did not quite make it twelve hours, though I gave it my best shot. I started on the BBC, where news from the outside world (the war in Ukraine, the retirement of the tennis great Roger Federer) occasionally punched through, but where the biggest story, to begin with at least, was the real-time progress of a line—soon known to Brits simply as The Queue—that snaked for miles through central London as mourners waited hours for the chance to observe the Queen’s casket lying in state. (The BBC is also livestreaming footage of the casket, “for people who want to pay their respects virtually.”) Reporters queued up themselves to interview people in The Queue. Some particularly intrepid journalists joined it themselves and reported back, including a science correspondent at The Times of London, who was the twenty-second person in line. His boss had decided there was “nothing happening in science,” he wrote. Nothing at all.

Back on the BBC, a reporter was talking to two women who had brought loved ones’ ashes to see the Queen. Half an hour later, the Archbishop of Canterbury appeared on-screen in a high-vis jacket and started to interview people in The Queue as a reporter tried to interview him. At 10:47am or so, the BBC cut away from The Queue for a video interview with a man who edits a newsletter called Our Corgi World. The man batted away concerns that the Queen’s death could tank the popularity of corgis as pets while shoveling treats into his own dogs’ mouths. “Edward, Mungo & Barney, corgis,” the on-screen chyron read. After that, I cut away from the BBC to watch Sky News, which was also interviewing people in The Queue: a woman with a net over her face in tribute to the Queen’s love of horse-riding; a man who was born on the same day as King Charles and claimed he’d received extra milk rations and similar “goodies” from the palace as a result. “There’s been a royal vein through my life from day one,” the man said. If he seemed happy to talk at length, the same couldn’t be said for interviewees in a different, faster-moving section of The Queue, with a reporter having to gallop to keep pace with them as if she were staking out a recalcitrant politician. (Talk about queue anon.)

Marty. Turner, Irish Times, September 17 2022

Reader, if you can bear it, click the source for more :

Source : https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/queen_mourning_media_coverage.php?utm_source=CJR+Daily+News&utm_campaign=7bcb053024-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_11_11_06_33_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9c93f57676-7bcb053024-174914994&mc_cid=7bcb053024&mc_eid=b33e596e19

“Monarchy is steeped in the crimes of British colonialism and imperialism” – Statement Issued by PBP Belfast Councillor Matt Collins

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Vincent Doherty reports :

Hear,hear comrades. I remember being at the front of a banned march in Derry in 1977 to mark the Queens visit. Some of those who organised and took part in the march are the same people in Stormont now fawing over the late monarch. Shame on them, shame, shame, shame!

Vincent Doherty

PBP COUNCILLORS STATEMENT ON MONARCHY CORONATION

Today, Belfast City Council will meet for a special meeting to pay tribute to the Queen and welcome the coronation of a new King.

People Before Profit will not participate in these tributes. As a socialist organisation, we view celebration of the monarchy as an inherently political act.

There is no lack of sympathy on our part for any individual who dies, and we are not without respect for those who wish to mourn at this time.

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Support Ukrainian Resistance and Disempower Fossil Capital

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Several left-wing authors co-operate here arguing for support to Ukrainian Resistance against the Russian imperialist invasion. The authors come from several different parts of Europe.

This is the source : http://europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63931

Thursday 18 August 2022, by BUDRAITSKIS Ilya, DUTCHAK Oksana, ETZBACH Harald, GEHRKE Bernd, GELINSKY Eva, HÜRTGEN Renate, KOWALEWSKI Zbigniew Marcin , LOMONOSOVA Nataliia, PEREKHODA Hanna, PILASH Denis, POPOVYCH Zakhar, SCHMID Philipp, WÄLZ Christoph, WIELGOSZ Przemysław, ZELLER Christian

Similar debates are occurring on the left in Ireland : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/08/22/a-strange-policy-is-reviewed-support-ukraines-resistance-against-an-imperialist-russian-invasion-politically-but-oppose-giving-arms-to-the-resisters-a-critique-of-iri/

On June 9, Heino Berg, Thies Gleiss, Jakob Schäfer, Matthias Schindler, Winfried Wolf published a detailed statement in Junge Welt in which they advocated an “anti-militarist defeatism” and the abandonment of Ukraine’s military resistance to the Russian war of occupation. [1] We take her article as an opportunity for a fundamental response about a necessary anti-imperialist ecosocialist perspective committed to global solidarity. We are appalled at the way they bend the reality of war in this article and ultimately argue in favor of Putin’s oligarch regime. Paternalistically, they recommend that the Ukrainian population submit to Russian occupation in order to end the war. The authors make not the slightest reference to socialist, feminist, and anarchist forces in Ukraine and Russia. They argue from a distinctly German perspective. They are not alone in this. Many statements of the old peace movement turn against the “escalation of the West” and “forget” that Russia has already escalated long ago and wants to systematically destroy Ukrainian society. The statement of the five authors ignores anti-imperialist solidarity to such an extent that we consider it appropriate to set our arguments against it.

Reversal of Responsibility

The statement of the authors reads like many contributions from the old peace movement and a one-sided sham anti-imperialist left. Of course, at the beginning of the text they condemn the invasion of Ukraine “without any reservation or relativization.” But afterwards they do exactly that: they relativize the aggression of the Putin oligarchy. Under the title “No Interest in Ceasefire,” they explain in detail why NATO is much worse than Russia and that the West, first and foremost the U.S., does not want an early ceasefire but is primarily using the Ukrainian battlefield to weaken Russia.

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French Lessons for Irish Forelock-Tuggers : “We are a republican country. Why should I pay tribute to a foreign monarch?”

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The Irish élite and its satellites 🛰 are tugging the forelock to the British Monarchy after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. French left-wing politicians are having none of it. The message must spread in Ireland, and other parts of the world. “We are a republican country. Why should I pay tribute to a foreign monarch?”


Several left-wing mayors are defying government orders to fly flags at half-mast for the Queen’s funeral, earning support from French people who say President Macron and the media are lavishing excessive attention on the British monarchy.

Report Source : The Times (England, September 12 2022) Charles Bremmer, Paris.

The row was opened when Yann Galut, mayor of the central city of Bourges, and Patrick Proisy, mayor of Faches-Thumesnil, on the Belgian border, announced that they would disobey the instruction from Élisabeth Borne, the prime minister, that town halls and other public buildings must lower the Tricolour to half-mast next Monday, the day of the funeral.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Sep 13, 2022 at 10:51 am

Whiteys Mourn an English Queen at Buckingham Palace, London

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Whiteys gathered at a London Palace because the English Queen died..

“Throngs of mourners gathering outside Buckingham Palace on a rainy day saw a rainbow form over the palace. This is being taken as some kind of divine omen rather than a natural phenomenon related to rain. Some are crying & the crowd broke spontaneously into an off-key “God Save the King” even after it was announced she was dead. The whole scene would be touching if it didn’t signify that too many Brits have a dysfunctional relationship with a woman they only knew from her hand-waving on TV. It’s not surprising that as far as the eye can see that crowd is lily white, kind of Tory-like, way too many white people in a single location for anyone else to feel safe.”

Mary Scully

We can all do better than this.

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After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

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Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) distributed this leaflet at an Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Global Solidarity Summer School.


After over 6 months of war Ukrainian workers need to hear our voices of support

Irish Left with Ukraine are a recently-formed group of trade unionists, socialists and anarchists who have come together to help to amplify voices of support from the Irish Left for Ukrainian workers and trade unionists in their desperate attempts to repel the Russian invasion of their country. We believethere is absolutely no excuse for the savagery, destruction and death that hasbeen unleashed on the people of Ukraine. Claims that Putin is trying to remove fascism or ‘denazify’ Ukraine are palpably false. He is in fact one of the biggest supporters of the far right and it is clear that this is an attempt by Russian imperialism to expand the territory under Russian control.

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“The biggest and most destructive war in Europe since the Second World War. A war waged for more than four months against Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe, by Putin’s Russia, the largest country in Europe!” – Demands that the left should put forward

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The author of this report is Stefan Bekier, a former left opposition activist in Poland against the dictatorship of the “Communist” Party and an activist of Ensemble! in France https://fourth.international/fr/europe/88.

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63883

See also : https://blogs.mediapart.fr/stefan-bekier/blog/070922/la-gauche-en-france-doit-sortir-de-son-silence-sur-la-guerre-en-ukraine

The majority of the left in France – we’ll leave aside the sectors that openly support Putin – condemns this war of aggression by Russian imperialism, demands the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. But at the same time, it remains paralysed and voiceless, abandoning the field of defence of Ukraine to Macron, to the bourgeoisie.

A deafening, shocking silence

Presidential and parliamentary elections are traditionally the moment when strategic priorities are debated and compared, including those concerning the international situation. But, for most of the left in France, it is clear that Putin’s Russian war against Ukraine was not part of its strategic priorities during these elections. Probably, to avoid the very important divergences on this issue between the different components of the left-wing coalition Nupes from coming to light during the election campaign and weakening the very promising new alliance. In particular, in relation to the very controversial positions of part of the left on Ukraine and Russia since the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Donbass in 2014. So much so that during the elections the subject practically disappeared within the left

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During World War 2 French, Polish and Yugoslav workers did not much care who supplied them with arms – Marxist History Notes in Relation to Ukraine’s 2022 War of National Liberation Against Russian Imperialism

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The Irish uprising is 100 per cent justified. Even if German imperialism tries to profit from it, even if leaders of the national movement link up with German submarines – VI Lenin

https://www.marxists.org/archive/mandel/1976/xx/trots-ww2.htm?fbclid=IwAR0qN9NhtAiVhh1GHpSI1tWvKN-Pe3aEPHyUc9a4kIzuRWHJaDduMwBhUlU

We are presenting some Marxist history notes in relation to Ukraine’s 2022 war of national liberation against Putin’s Russian imperialist invasion.

The above quotation from the Russian Bolshevik leader VI Lenin – who praised the Easter 1916 Rising in Ireland – is deployed by Ernest Mandel who offered some extremely useful analyses of World War 2, which he suggests was “a combination of five different wars”.

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Britain – “The War on Woke”

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Attacks on trans people are an international phenomenon in the 2020’s. The article below examines these bizarre and dangerous politics in Britain, where they have featured in the grisly Conservative party contest to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Predicted winner Liz Truss is likely to promote a couple of transphobes to high-level Cabinet posts. These developments are likely to encourage transphobes in Ireland who recently got a boost on RTÉ Radio 1 presenter Joe Duffy’s live phone-in programme.

The source of this article is the British revolutionary socialist publication Anti-Capitalist Resistance. https://anticapitalistresistance.org/the-war-on-woke/

roland rance details the latest goings-on in the anti-trans moral panic, placing Kathleen Stock’s appalling attacks on trans people, their defenders and families, in the context of reactionary attempts to divide liberatory struggles.

When examined, the moral panic about trans people never survives surface scrutiny. To pick a recent example, when transphobic academic Kathleen Stock resigned last year from her post at Sussex University, it was widely misreported that she had been sacked for her views. This was then used to smear supporters of trans rights and opponents of bigotry as “censors”, and Stock was misleadingly compared to academics who had been fired from their jobs because of their support for Palestinian rights. Unfortunately, this sleight of hand was echoed by some on the left, who mistakenly accepted this comparison, and expressed solidarity with Stock on that basis.

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Ukraine: Under the cover of Putin’s war, Zelensky tears up workers’ rights

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The first article here comes from the Green Left Weekly (Australia) a supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU), which has also issued a statement about new anti-worker laws ratified by the Kyiv government. (see statement below). https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Sources :

1. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/ukraine-under-cover-war-zelensky-tears-workers-rights?fbclid=IwAR04iwJ3n1A6-t8VFiq7Tz94_8dWCNn4m4jBqmoQIVqIYR-tWLBVijx-tEg

2. https://www.change.org/p/demand-president-zelenskyy-veto-anti-worker-law-5371/u/30858652

Almost a month after Ukraine’s parliament adopted two anti-worker bills, President Volodymyr Zelensky finally ratified Draft Law 5371 on August 17, thereby removing union rights for most of the country’s workers.

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“Putin Has to be Defeated Militarily – We want the Russian Troops out of Ukraine Now” – John Lyons, Dublin City Councillor at Ukraine Independence Day March, Elgin Road, August 24 2022

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Thousands of people, mostly from Ukraine, celebrated Ukraine Independence Day August 24 in Dublin.

They were joined by a contingent of Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) supporters who distributed this leaflet :

The ILWU supports the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU). https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Listen to the speech of John Lyons here :

https://share.icloud.com/photos/096a22v0fJsUPEsohbrn-7tnw

See also this Independent Left Report : https://independentleft.ie/irish-left-solidarity-with-ukraine/

Ukraine: To undermine NATO retrenchment, the left must fight to win the peace – Ali Khan writes from Berlin

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Ali Khan offers a provocation for supporting Ukraine’s military effort

Sources : https://www.theleftberlin.com/provocation-reflections-on-ukraine-and-nato/. and http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article63745

Today’s radical left has long recognised only one foe, that which Ayatollah Khomeini aptly titled “The Great Satan” – namely the USA. Little attention was paid lately to about “The Lesser Satan” – or Russia. For over 30 years after the fall of the USSR, we only imagined a single imperialist actor on the world stage. But 179 days ago we were reminded of the presence of another imperialist contender with full force. For too many, memories of the World War I collaboration of Social Democratic parties and the labour movement linger. The depressing jingoism of Western Europe and the USA prevents us from assessing a moral and rational response to the situation. As useful as historical parallels are, when we face a situation with almost no convenient parallel, at least none that are readily accessible and understandable to a population at large, we face a most difficult intellectual challenge. Let us not be fazed.

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