Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

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Ukrainian Action on Ireland; Free Russians Ireland; Women Life Freedom (Iran) – Dublin City Protests January 22 2023 – Russian Troops out of Ukraine Now

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Irish Left With Ukraine activists attended two well-supported Dublin city protests on January 22 2023 connected to the genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Free Russians Ireland event at Stephens Green/Grafton St. was supported by over 80 citizens, including Women-Life-Freedom, an Iranian-led solidarity organization. Similar numbers supported the Ukrainian Action Ireland protest on the Halfpenny Bridge.

 Free Russians Ireland, which regularly works with Women-Life-Freedom, is a striking instance of woman led protests and solidarity.

Gregor Kerr photographed the Ukrainian Action Ireland Protest at the Halfpenny Bridge https://m.facebook.com/FreeRussiansIreland?eav=AfblU6Xlq_0_WZroeEfTwK93iOqoLz-1S7oKFbmqNucT4NYMrng6ZvHGuI90JO1sjgA&paipv=0

Irish Left With Ukraine supports calls for mass action against the Imperialist Genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine on dates around the first anniversary of the invasion, February 24 2023.

Towards a global week of action for solidarity with Ukraine

Stop the Russian war of aggression! Peace for Ukraine!

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Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

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Chaos in the United States of America Congress – We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

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2023 international news coverage began with banana republic scenes from Washington DC, capital city of the United States of America. Establishment Irish media outlets usually look for an excuse to tug the forelock in the direction of prominent North American politicians. Irish broadcaster RTÉ and newspapers such as the Irish Times were presented with a perfect opportunity to roll out the sleeveen carpet – the new Republican Congress Boss is called Kevin McCarthy. For now, the paddywhackery shamrock wavers in Dublin have decided that the Kevin Mccarthy card may not be an attractive PR option.

The “Irish News” of Belfast failed to restrain the natural instincts of Ireland’s forelock-tuggers :

Mr McCarthy has highlighted his Irish roots previously on St Patrick’s Days. In 2015, during the Obama administration, he shared an Irish blessing his father used to recite. In a 2021 St Patrick’s Day message, McCarthy reflected: “My great-grandfather came to America from Ireland back in the 1800s.”

Irish News January 7 2023
Marjorie Taylor Greene is a far-right member of the USA Congress

A North American correspondent, John Reimann, reviews the dark side of Washington DC politics.

Republicans step back from abyss…. for now

Source oaklandsocialist on

Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala) is restrained from assaulting Matt Gaetz. Chaos ruled the day. That chaos will return in even greater form.

The Republicans stared into the abyss and stepped back…. for now. They watched Matt Gaetz apparently renege on a deal. They watched fellow Representative Mike Rogers (R, Alabama) have to be restrained from assaulting Gaetz. They watched vote after vote with no end in sight. They watched the Democrats thoroughly enjoying themselves. And they convinced Gaetz “not now. Not this time.” Unspoken (amongst themselves) was, “we’ll save the rest for later.”

Republican Party fragmentation
And just as night follows day, “later” will certainly come. Consider what former Republican bomb-thrower Newt Gingrich (of all people) said about Gaetz: “He’s essentially bringing ‘Lord of the Flies’ to the House of Representatives” As far as the Freedom Caucus rebels in general, Gingrich said they’re not interested in “anything that takes longer than waiting for their cappuccino.” The same could be said about those people’s supporters.

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Razem: Building a left alternative in Poland – Federico Fuentes interviews Zofia Malisz

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Polish left-wing party Razem (Together) International Office member Zofia Malisz speaks to Green Left’s Federico Fuentes about the party’s history, Polish politics and Razem’s views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The source is an Australian website, Greemn Left Weekly https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/razem-building-left-alternative-poland

Razem supports the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

January 10, 2023

razem zofia malisz

Members of Razem at May Day in Warsaw in 2022. The banner reads: ‘Housing! Jobs! Decent Pay!’. Inset: Zofia Malesz. Photo: @RazemWM/Twitter

Could you tell us about Razem’s history and politics?

Razem was formed in 2015 by a group of leftist activists with years of experience in the Polish green and feminist movements, along with members of the Young Socialists.

The impetus for creating a new party was two-fold.

One was the frustration that emerged under the liberal Donald Tusk government (2007‒14). Whenever voices started to demand the government focus on social spending instead of cuts and privatisations, Tusk’s response was to say Poland was still in its transformation stage [towards a market economy] and that now was not the time to build up a welfare state.

See also

Poland sets up ‘terrifying’ pregnancy register after banning abortion

Poland: Caught between Western and Russian imperialism

Frustration grew as neoliberal policies were implemented at breakneck speed to indulge business elites, while people were denied even modest social benefits and public services were being dismantled.

All this occurred as anti-austerity protests were taking place in Greece, something we supported and that inspired Razem.

The other major factor was the protests against the Iraq war and against Poland’s participation in the occupation of Afghanistan. Several activists who went on to build Razem came from these protest movements.

The revelations of alleged illegal US prisons in Poland used to torture al-Qaeda members created huge outrage. Seeing the Polish government bow down to US imperialism unchallenged — and in fact encouraged by the mainstream, including former Solidarność activists — fuelled frustration on the left.

Razem was formed as an expression of this anger and frustration that had built up during the transformation process.

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Russia’s Road Toward Fascism

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Sunday 1 January 2023, by POPOVYCH Zakhar

Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65239

WAR IN UKRAINE is plunging more and more into massacre but possibly the worst is about to come. Mass killings of prisoners and civilians, numerous and systematic rape in Russian-occupied territories are now “normal” news from Ukraine. Millions could be killed this winter by freezing alive in their apartments without heat, water and electricity.

The daily count of dead is far higher than at any moment of the Donbas wars of 2014-2021. According to reports from both sides, the death toll probably exceeds 100,000 from the beginning of the war, and may now be higher than a thousand combatants and civilians daily. [1]

Not just the scale but the cruelty of violence is steadily rising and Russian state propaganda is systematically pushing for escalation. If it is not genocide yet, the ideology for eliminating Ukrainians in the millions is already announced on Russian state TV, and by high-ranking officials.

Russians claim it is “denazification,” but it turns closer and closer to the ideology of fascism and Nazi state practices. [2] It is hard to say how deep Ukraine will dive into this abyss of terror, but it is clear that withdrawal of Russian troops is the best way to “denazify” Ukraine — and possibly Russia.

In October, Russian armed forces began systematic attacks against the Ukrainian electricity grid and civilian infrastructure including water supply facilities of the major cities. These activities don’t have immediate military significance and don’t influence Ukrainian armed forces’ ability to fight. But these attacks are affecting the chances of the civil population to survive this winter.

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Call for solidarity actions with anti‑war activists in Russia – Week of January 19 to 24

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The article below is written by Ilya Budraitskis on behalf of The Russian Socialist Movement. Source : https://anticapitalistresistance.org/call-for-solidarity-actions-with-anti-war-activists-in-russia/

Irish Left With Ukraine will work with other organisations and individuals answering this call.

See also : https://www.tempestmag.org/2023/01/to-remember-is-to-fight/?fbclid=IwAR0WOTwC6AqdjHclwo59krczHCaYZPE39Av4HxNTXW1ZuySXwwI9t9Qhf3g – Tempest shares the call of the Russian Socialist Movement for solidarity with Russian anti-war and anti-fascist activists.

For over a decade, Russian antifascists have commemorated January 19 as their day of solidarity. This is the date when in 2009, in the center of Moscow, the human rights and leftist activist Stanislav Markelov and the journalist and anarchist Anastasia Baburova were gunned down by neo-Nazis.

The murder of Markelov and Baburova became the culmination of the ultra-right terror of the 2000s, which killed hundreds of migrants and dozens of anti-fascists. For many years, while it was still possible, Russian activists held antifascist demonstrations and rallies on January 19 under the slogan “To remember is to fight!”

Today, when the Putin regime has invaded Ukraine and unleashed unprecedented repression against its own citizens who oppose the war, the date of January 19 takes on a new meaning. Back then the danger was posed by neo-Nazi groups, often acting with the connivance of the authorities.

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Social Movement (Ukraine): Looking back at 2022

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Social Movement (Ukraine) [Sotsialniy Rukh] is a left-wing organisation. These comrades have published a review of 2022, which is full of interesting news. The organisation participates in the European Network for Solidarity With Ukraine (ENSU).

Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU) was honoured to hold a public meeting about Ukraine in November 2022 – the main speaker was Sotsialniy Rukh comrade Yuliya Yurchenko, who was joined on the platform by spokespersons affiliated to the Irish Trade Union movement.

Summing up :

2022 was a difficult year for all of us. We hope that 2023 will be better. We will work just as hard for a social, independent and just Ukraine, and we wish everyone security, victory and social progress in the new year.

January 1, 2023 Source : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/to-read/social-movement-ukraine-looking-back-at-2022?fbclid=IwAR2pxU3Kl5MegBhKSoDgz37CUalhQJ24sR2izZrMOo8fvO7yjC3eOsNqrTg
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Irish Left Archive Podcast Number 44: Vincent Doherty: Official Sinn Féin, International Marxist Group, Troops Out, People’s Democracy, H-Block Committee, Sinn Féin – reblogged from The Cedar Lounge Revolution

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I first met Vincent Doherty in the late 1970’s via People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. Since then we travelled on different political paths, while remaining on very good personal terms. In 2022 Vincent and me – along with a group of left-wing activists who come from different but complementary streams of the Irish Left – have been working actively together in the Irish Left With Ukraine organization.

The comrades who publish the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog come from a stream of the Irish Left which is different from Vincent Doherty and me. But we converge politically in 2022 on a very decisive issue – the genocidal imperialist Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the left nothing stands still. There is a strong mistaken current dominant of the Irish Marxist left which does “what if” interpretations of historical events. This interview avoids that approach. It is much better to accept the past, warts and all. We cannot change the past, but we can with 20-20 vision learn from our history. We can apply that knowledge to the present day and the immediate future – which we can influence.

Rayner Lysaght Tribute – Irish Labour History Society Event

Rayner Lysaght RIP (January 30 1941 – July 2 2021) was a close comrade of Vincent and me for many years in People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. The Irish Labour History Society staged a commemorative tribute in honour of Rayner on May 14 2021. I delivered the speech below, which also deals with some of the events described by Vincent Doherty.

John Meehan January 2 2023

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Transgender Rights – “Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland” – Michael Farrell

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Veteran human rights activist Michael Farrell has campaigned in favour of transgender people for many decades. He publicly posted this comment in support of a recent Scottish Parliament Law reform:

Congratulations to the Scottish Parliament for taking a big step to protect transgender rights and resisting a bitter campaign by anti-trans groups to prevent them from making it easier for trans persons to get legal recognition. The new law, passed by 86 votes to 39, means trans people won’t have to get a medical diagnosis and wait for two yeas to register their gender. Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland. A good day for a small community of people who have been abused and discriminated against for generations.

Michael Farrell, a founding member of People’s Democracy, was a revolutionary socialist activist in the six counties of Northern Ireland during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

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Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

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Can Ukraine Achieve National Liberation, and Defeat the Russian Imperialist Invasion in 2023?

1. The short answer is : Let’s Hope So!

What is the role of the the left, the labour movement, and social movements outside Ukraine and Russia?

The short answer is : Back the Ukrainian Left approach on these issues and try to build the best international conditions for them, whatever they decide.

In this context a growing international solidarity movement, including the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) promotes effective action. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

There are no meaningful negotiations I am aware of.

How can meaningful negotiations occur without realistic pre-conditions – the obvious ones being an end to the Russian war-crime bombardments and immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine?

In short, activists should differentiate between 1) Talks 2) Negotiations.

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