Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Campism’ Category

Ukraine excommunication. Brokenhearted . Not

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Guest post by Des Derwin

The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB, ) have the merit of consistently applying the ‘proxy inter-imperialist war’ position. If only for that there is value in reading this, Social imperialism is betrayal (Weekly Worker, Issue 1428, 2nd February 2023).

But even they, for all their bold declaration of ‘revolutionary defeatism’, can’t bring themselves to say they want Ukraine defeated, Russia to occupy Kyiv ‘this time’ and the Russian occupation regime to be extended to the whole of Ukraine, crushing the labour movement in Ukraine and the democratic and civil rights still surviving there.

Who cares that they have irrevocably broken with us and the likes of us. We should break with them and the likes of them. If socialism still has two souls ours is not theirs. 

Written by siptuactivist

May 30, 2023 at 9:15 pm

Mick Lynch – Rail Marine and Transport Union (Britain) – participates in solidarity with Ukraine

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Recently Mick Lynch visited Ireland, speaking at a well attended Robert Tressell commemoration in Liberty Hall, headquarters of Lynch’s political hero, the Easter 1916 Rising rebel James Connolly.

Mick Lynch understands that all on the left must stand with Ukraine.

Who on the Irish left comes anywhere close to this internationalist and revolutionary policy?

‘”The general secretary of the RMT rail union, Mick Lynch, refuted the government official’s accusations towards Ukraine: “I was in Ukraine when the Russian tanks invaded, and ASLEF deputy general secretary Simon Weller was also there to talk to the railway workers when the Russian bombs fell on Ukraine. And we are involved in the solidarity campaign with Ukraine.”‘

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Against Half-Solidarity and False Pacifism – Statement of the Russian Socialist Movement on May Day

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Source : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article66416

This excellent statement diagnoses a political blight – False Pacifism – which has entered the bloodstream of significant parts of the Irish left and trade union movement. We are dealing with an international phenomenon :

We would like to highlight that such pacifism is false for several reasons. First, it is armed with old dogmas which are not reconsidered in light of current circumstances. Rejecting ‘concrete analysis of a concrete situation’, the Left devalues the concepts and principles of the Left movement, turning them into mere abstractions. “Anti-imperialism” is reduced to struggle with American imperialism and NATO expansion whereas pacifism is transformed from the instrument of struggle against the aggressor into the instrument of the appeasement of the aggressor. “False” pacifism promotes neutrality or limited support for Ukraine. However, we are convinced that the application of the same critical standards the Left apply to capitalist societies of the Global North means full-blown support of Ukraine since Russia is an imperialist aggressor which has already annexed part of the Ukrainian territory, killed more than 120 000 people and displaced millions of Ukrainian peoples whereas Ukraine is fighting a war of national liberation.

May Day is not only International Workers’ Day but also a day of solidarity with the oppressed peoples and civil disobedience against war. For example, one can remember the 1971 May Day protests against US imperialist aggression in Vietnam in Washington. During that time, the antiwar movement’s stance was clear: halt the war, complete the withdrawal of American troops, and support the right of the Vietnamese people to self-determination. Nowadays the Left is also leaning toward pacifism but its present iteration is much more ambivalent. While it still highlights issues of American imperialism, the prevention of nuclear war, and condemns militarization and war as means of resolving conflicts, it faces challenges in precisely identifying the aggressor and exhibits a willingness to tolerate Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory and the continued presence of Russian troops there. Thus this version of pacifism is deprived of real solidarity with the oppressed peoples.

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Russian and Ukrainian activists silenced at Greek MeRA 25 party event – Tankie Politics in Action

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A shameful story from Athens – source : https://freedomnews.org.uk/2023/03/10/russian-and-ukrainian-activists-silenced-at-mera25-event/ also : https://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article65987; also

Russian activist Artem Temirov writes on what he sees as a concerning trend within the Hellenic left to fall into a knee-jerk “anti-imperialism” that is in fact anything but.

Author’s note: A significant part of the Greek Left for a very long time has been plagued by narrow anti-Americanism that has replaced genuine anti-imperialism. As a result of that even supposedly more moderate voices on the Left often fell in the trap of siding, even if in a subtle way, with regimes that supposedly oppose the West, regardless of how authoritarian and oppressive they might be. This has created an increasingly widening gap between this Greek Left current and leftist dissidents that come from countries whose governments are perceived by the former as “anti-imperialist”. It seems that the former are disinterested in listening to those who have come to seek refuge and avoid arrest and torture. There have even been recorded cases of representatives of the more hard-line pro-Putinist Left in Greece physically attacked an Iranian refugee at a public event, because the latter protested the pro-Putinist, pro-Mullah propaganda he was hearing. The case presented below, if much milder in regards the confrontation, represents continuation in this worrying trend of Greek leftists refusing to listen to the voices of those who have lived under the boot of supposed “anti-imperialist” regimes. This comes to indicate an ideological dogmatism, as well as a loss in trust in the abilities of common people to self-organize and initiate from below revolutionary change. In the imaginary of such leftists greater hope for social change is placed not on the potentials of popular self-determination and self-emancipation, but on foreign geopolitical powers. This must be perceived as drastic counter-revolutionary regression towards Stalinist type of thinking that can only nurture authoritarian logics.

Last year, my wife and I arrived in Greece. While I am a Russian citizen, my wife is a citizen of Ukraine. She left Kyiv a week after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and I left Russia a few days later because it became dangerous to stay there with an anti-war position, with both us always holding left-wing and antifascist positions. In Greece, we are living under a temporary protection program for Ukrainian families.

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“War and an Irish Town” – Joan McKiernan reviews a classic Eamonn McCann study of Derry and Partitioned Ireland

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Joan McKiernan is an Irish-American socialist-feminist activist living in New York.

Joan McKiernan

War and an Irish Town
By Eamonn McCann
First publication Pluto Press, 1974. Chicago: Haymarket Books edition, 2018, $20 paperback.

Source : https://againstthecurrent.org/atc223/war-and-an-irish-town/

“‘WE’RE GONNA WALK on this nation, we’re gonna walk on this racist power structure, and we’re gonna say to the whole damned government — “STICK ‘EM UP MOTHERFUCKERS.’”

WITH THIS QUOTE from a film of the Black Panthers, Eamonn McCann, launches the Haymarket edition of his classic study of Derry and the North of Ireland Troubles, War and an Irish Town, taking us back to those heady days when so much change not only seemed possible, but likely to happen.

This is an especially timely reissue when the question of a united Ireland is again on the table.

Those in Derry that 1968 night cheering the Black Panthers’ words shared a common goal: the fight against inequality and repression, whether on the streets of Derry or Chicago where Black activists were “then under murderous assault by the feds and local police forces across the US.”

In those years, from Vietnam to Yugoslavia, Chicago to Mexico and many other places, the world was filled with students, workers, communities fighting back. McCann argues that “Each upsurge of struggle sent out a flurry of sparks which helped ignite struggle elsewhere.”

He situates The Troubles in the North of Ireland in this time of international struggles. Those who were there for those struggles should read this latest edition, with a new introduction by the author, to reconsider what happened and why we did not win. Those who were too young at the time can read about those exciting times and what lessons can be learned for the future.

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Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity – Dublin Book Launch Report and Video

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We wish to thank Independent Left, Conor Kostick, Donnacha Ó Bríain, Halyna Herasym and Nóirín Greene for this report and visual record. Source : https://independentleft.ie/voices-of-resistance/

Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity

27/02/2023

Ukraine Book Launch Voices of Resistance and Solidarity
Irish book launch of Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity

Ukraine: Voices of Resistance and Solidarity is a book edited by Fred Leplat and Chris Ford, published by Resistance Books and Ukraine Solidarity campaign. It contains essays by Mick Antoniw, Welsh Labour MP; John-Paul Himka, history professor; Taras Bilous, activist for Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Yuliya Yurchenko activist for Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Oksana Dutchak, co-editor of Spilne/ Commons; Viktoriia Pihul, Ukrainian feminist; Nataliya Levytska, Deputy Chair of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine; Vitalii Dudin president of Sotsialnyi Rukh / Social Movement; Bogdan Ferens, founder of the Social Democratic Platform; Eric Toussaint, spokesperson of the CADTM International; Ilya Budraitskis, activist in the Russian Socialist Movement; Niko Vorobyov, Russian-British freelance journalist; Gilbert Achcar, Lebanese socialist; Simon Pirani professor of modern languages and cultures; Stephen R. Shalom, editor of New Politics; and Dan La Botz, editor of New Politics.

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The first anniversary of the imperialist military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on 24 February 2022 – Statement by Irish Left With Ukraine (ILWU)

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The Ukrainian people are foremost on our minds as they suffer under and resist the Russian invasion. Anyone who considers themselves an opponent of imperialism should be in support of their resistance.   

We in the ILWU — socialists, anarchists, feminists, trade unionists, anti-imperialists — have watched with dismay, however, as many on the Western left who have campaigned vigorously against US imperialism have failed to recognise the need to do the same with respect to Russian imperialism. If Ukraine has the right to self-determination and to resist the dismemberment and partition of their state then Irish socialists should expend their energy on seeking out practical means of supporting the Ukrainian people’s struggle. This struggle echoes the same fight Ireland undertook over a century ago.

Some left-wing organisations oppose deliveries of weapons to Ukraine. They are fast becoming isolated in the international labour movement. Trade unions, social movements, and organised left-wing parties across the European continent are mobilising in support of the Ukrainian right to self determination.

Indeed some left-wing organisations oppose deliveries of weapons to Ukraine. They are fast becoming isolated in the international labour movement. Trade unions, social movements, and organised left-wing parties across the European continent are mobilising in support of the Ukrainian right to self determination.

Support Irish State Mine Clearance in Ukraine

The ILWU makes this statement to publicly register our support for Irish assistance, by the Irish Defence Forces, with mine clearance in Ukraine. Mine clearance is humanitarian work that will save lives, will clear land to enable farming, and will make towns and villages habitable once again. Defence Forces personnel will use their specialist demining skills to train Ukrainians in this activity.

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RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN THROWS LEFT SUPPORTERS UNDER THE BUS – by Brendan Ogle

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The Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for several hours to a captive audience in a Moscow palace on February 21, describing LGBT Rights as “Pure Satanism”. Brendan Ogle, a UNITE Trade Union official in Ireland, responds. Source : https://www.facebook.com/camilo.ogle

It had to come to this.

In fact for those watching, those not completely blinded by their understandable hatred of US and NATO imperialism, it came to this a long time ago. But yesterday it happened in horrific awful technicolour. Putin threw left supporters – and there are still far too many of them – under the bus.

A year from his invasion of Ukraine Putin’s war with what he calls ‘the west’ has now openly gone full #FarRight. The language of the toxic fascist inspired racist protests that took place here and elsewhere recently is 100% Putin’s language. He helped to create it. Yesterday in a lengthy monologue in front of a room of nodding donkeys applauding rapturously in case they got a nerve agent in their lunch, he described LGBT rights as ‘pure satanism’, engaged in transphobic hate speech and described paedophilia as the ‘new norm’ in the west.

A year from his invasion of Ukraine Putin’s war with what he calls ‘the west’ has now openly gone full #FarRight. The language of the toxic fascist inspired racist protests that took place here and elsewhere recently is 100% Putin’s language. He helped to create it.

Yesterday in a lengthy monologue in front of a room of nodding donkeys applauding rapturously in case they got a nerve agent in their lunch, he described LGBT rights as ‘pure satanism’, engaged in transphobic hate speech and described paedophilia as the ‘new norm’ in the west.

Sound familiar?

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“There is no route to Peace Without Ukraine Being Able to Defend Itself” – Mick Antoniw, Labour Party Member of the Welsh Assembly – Jeremy Corbyn is “Fundamentally Wrong”

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Mick Antoniw, a Labour Party member of the Senedd (Assembly) in Wales, says that Jeremy Corbyn’s recent comments on Ukraine are “fundamentally wrong”. The Welsh Labour MS was a big supporter of the former Labour leader and is heading to the war zone to deliver aid.

More about Mick Antoniw : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Antoniw

“The Nord Stream Pipeline Explosions: Challenging False Narratives”- New Politics (USA)

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Simon Pirani’s article is recommended reading.

Left-evasionist and tankie political activists everywhere are promoting a Seymour Hersh post claiming that the USA ruling class blew up the Nordstream 2 pipeline which is designed to allow Russia to supply Germany with Natural Gas, by-passing Ukraine.

In Ireland, Paul Murphy TD (People Before Profit [PBP], Dublin South-West) highlighted this story on the grounds that Seymour Hersh is “one of the world’s best journalists”. In December 2022 a pro-PBP publication, the Irish Marxist Review (a well-produced and often interesting journal published by the Socialist Workers’ Network) carried a Maurice Coakley article which stated “the US Navy were the only force likely to have carried out the attacks on the gas pipeline”. (Maurice Coakley’s article is here : https://irishmarxistreview.net/index.php/imr/article/view/479/464)

Seymour Hersh, decades ago, was a credible journalist. Today he is a conspiracy nut. One correspondent on Paul Murphy’s facebook page, James Doyle, observes “This is all nonsense. For example, Why would the US use a Norwegian aircraft rather than a fake fishing boat in a supposedly covert operation. For those who refer to Hersh as a “respected journalist”, you should know that he thinks the Osama Bin Laden operation was fake and Assad never used chemical weapons in Syria. A good journalist in his day, but sadly has gone off the rails into a rabbit warren of attention seeking conspiracy theories.”

Is this dispute important? It is. In the activist Revolutionary Marxist tradition, theory is needed as a guide to action.

John Meehan February 16 2023

“Left” organisations and personalities retail Hersh’s Nord Stream story uncritically, because it is what they want to hear. Dogma beats inquiry. Innuendo and false claims beat solidarity with the victims of Russia’s scorched-earth war on populations, in Syria in 2014 and 2017, and Ukraine in 2022-23.

Re-forming critical public spaces means challenging the “great men” of the “left” when they offer blinkered, one-sided and untruthful explanations for the dangerous, uncertain realities we face.

Simon Pirani, The Nord Stream Pipeline Explosions – Challenging False Narratives.

Source : https://newpol.org/the-nord-stream-pipeline-explosions-challenging-false-narratives-2/

See also : https://theecologist.org/profile/simon-pirani

The claim that the Nord Stream gas pipeline was blown up by U.S. special forces, made last week by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, is being used to reinforce false narratives about Russia’s culpability for the war in Ukraine.

On 26 September last year, explosions damaged three of Nord Stream’s four pipelines, which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, and sent a large cloud of methane into the atmosphere. Russia has blamed the United States; western media suspected Russia itself of sabotage.

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