Tomás Ó Flatharta

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Zero Tolerance for intimidation – Anthony McIntyre reports on a Labour Party Public Meeting in Drogheda – Unity in Action Against a Common Far-Right Racist Enemy

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Differences exist on the left-wing spectrum in Ireland – some of them concern fundamental disagreements about political principles. One clear example is opposition to entering any coalition government with right wing ruling class parties in Ireland such as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Democratic Unionist party or the Alliance party.

Other issues place a duty on parties in the broadly left-wing spectrum to put aside tactical differences, and explore methods of practical co-operation. Building effective practical opposition to the dangerous growth of far-right racism in Ireland is on the agenda today. In this spirit we re-publish an Anthony McIntyre article which reports on a well-attended Irish Labour Party rally in Drogheda which tackled the issues of racism, immigration, and Russia’s fascist and genocidal invasion of Ukraine head-on.

Anthony pulls no punches discussing his political differences with the Labour Party!

John Meehan February 3 2023


link : https://www.thepensivequill.com/2023/02/zero-tolerance-for-intimidation.html

Zero Tolerance For Intimidation

Anthony McIntyre Wednesday, February 1, 2023

It has long struck me that the Irish Labour Party more than any other has abandoned the constituency that returns it in pursuit of office. It promises a left package then delivers the Rabbitte punch to the recipients of the promise so that it may become the prop sustaining governments which view left packages much as a dog does a lamppost.

Whatever the Labour leadership sought to project onto the screen, the filtering process left the electorate feeling that it had just viewed Pensions Before People. Last time out those who had voted the party in such numbers in the previous general election followed through on Eamon Gilmore’s promise, while still with the Workers Party, to destroy the Labour Party. Since then Labour has struggled to make any impact on the Irish political scene.

None of that stopped me from turning up at a Labour Party Town Hall meeting in Drogheda’s D Hotel on Monday evening. I actually left Dublin early to make the event which was attended by around one hundred people. I had never been at any of the party’s gatherings before although any time I have approached its elected representatives or party workers, the response has been nothing less than helpful. Their members also have been to the fore in defusing the moral panic that the far right has been trying to stoke and amplify over a range of issues, most notably refugees.

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Report : Community Standout Against Racism — Monday January 30 6pm @Ashtown Station, Dublin 15

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Up to 200 protesters attended an anti-racist protest in Ashtown (Dublin 15) on a freezing cold night – an impressive turnout to a demonstration called at short notice after news of a brutal racist attack was widely circulated two days beforehand. Journalists from various mainstream media organisations attended.

Significant Update from Ruth Coppinger, a former Dublin West TD :
At the end of the solidarity standout in Ashtown last night, we were approached by one of the men who lived in the homeless encampment that was attacked. My colleague Cllr John Burtchaell and others went with him to the campsite to retrieve some belongings and they gave him a lift to a place to try get a bed for the night in north county Dublin, and some other assistance. This man is Polish and worked in one of the largest companies in Ireland since 2006. He was even a union activist.
The lies and denial of some that this attack even happened is quite sickening. A whole number of men are probably on the streets tonight. They were living in squalor and not using resources from anyone. The attack on Saturday afternoon was preceded by a number of visits and videos which encouraged people to clear out the site because they weren’t Irish. All of this evidence should be pursued by the Gardai. Shame on all involved.

The Irish Times reported :

Between six and eight men – Polish, Croatian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Indian and Scottish – had been living at the camp since August, without incident they say, until the attack by a number of men and their dogs on Saturday, after which they abandoned the site.

Protesters in Ashtown on Monday evening chanted “Reject fear racist attacks end here” and “Homes for all not racism” while several people carried placards reading slogans such as “everyone is welcome here”.

One speaker at the protest, Myriam Point Marouki, said the “vile beating up of homeless migrants” was making everyone in the area “very fearful” and racism “cannot be left unchallenged,” she said.

“The lack of services in our society affecting everyone isn’t the fault of refugees or migrants who disproportionately find themselves in vulnerable situations and homelessness like the men who were attacked this weekend”. The full report is here : https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/social-affairs/2023/01/30/anti-racism-protest-takes-place-in-ashtown-after-attack-on-migrant-camp/

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Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

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Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Grusha Gilaveva’s fascinating article comes from the Russian left-wing publication Posle. Gilaveva argues, in a very convincing manner, that Marx and Engels started out in the 1840’s opposing the rights of small nations to self-determination – inspired by a blanket opposition to all nationalism – but changed their policy after 1867. Marx and Engels were heavily influenced by Ireland’s struggle for liberation from the British Empire, and the Phoenix like rise and fall of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Fenians. Policy divisions on the question of self-determination for small nations continued within the Marxist second and third internationals in the twentieth century. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin championed a policy favouring the rights of small nations and nationalities – and was opposed by revolutionary comrades such as Karl Radek and Rosa Luxemburg. Once again Ireland featured strongly in the debate among revolutionary Marxists. The Easter 1916 Rising in Dublin, although it was militarily crushed by British artillery, inspired socialists all over the globe who were fighting against the barbaric World War 1. The impact was brilliantly described by the famous North American feminist revolutionary Louise Bryant in “The Masses”, published in July 1916. “The Masses” can be accessed here : https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/masses/index.htm

Louise Bryant Describes the Global Impact of the 1916 Rising in Ireland

An alliance between the descendants of the IRB (the Irish Volunteers led by Pádraig Pearse) and a brand-new working class actor fighting for Irish Freedom, James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army (ICA), inflicted devastating wounds on the most powerful empire the world had ever seen in those early years of the 20th century.

The 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution began to go badly wrong in the 1920’s. An early sign that all was not well was Great Russian chauvinist suppression of smaller nations such as Ukraine. We live with and suffer from terrible consequences today. We cannot change history, but we can learn from it.

John Meehan January 25 2023

Grusha Gilayeva

Did Lenin Сreate Ukraine? On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination and Marxism

Source : Posle https://posle.media/language/en/was-ukraine-created-by-lenin-once-again-about-marxism-and-the-right-of-nations-to-self-determination%ef%bf%bc/

Why do Marxists defend the right of nations to self-determination? What does the struggle for national liberation have to do with the workers’ struggle? Social researcher Grusha Gilaeva analyzes the positions of Marx and Lenin on the national question and explains why the left movement must support the anti-colonial struggle of Ukraine

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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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The Strange Rebirth of Stalinism – Colm Breathnach (Independent Left)

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THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

THE STRANGE REBIRTH OF STALINISM

The editors of this blog offer recommended reading – an article By of the Irish Left-Wing organization Independent Left.

Source : https://independentleft.ie/rebirth-of-stalinism/

A more colourful literary description of this phenomenon was offered by Yuliya Yurchenko at a November 2022 Dublin public meeting organised by Irish Left With Ukraine. The Ukrainian Marxist and Feminist offered us the idea that the USSR is dead – it is not coming back. The worst features of the dead ☠️ USSR have been imported into a new capitalist-imperialist-genocidal monster headed by Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. The good bits have been discarded and killed off permanently. Think of Stephen King’s horror story Pet Sematary :

A well-tended path leads to a pet cemetery(misspelled “sematary” on the sign) where the children of the town bury their deceased animals.

A cat called Church dies, then :

after Church is run over outside his home around Thanksgiving. Rachel and the kids are visiting Rachel’s parents in Chicago, but Louis frets over breaking the bad news to Ellie. Sympathizing with Louis, Jud takes him to the “sematary”, supposedly to bury Church. But instead of stopping there, Jud leads Louis farther on to “the real cemetery”: an ancient burial ground that was once used by the Miꞌkmaq Tribe. There, Louis buries the cat on Jud’s instruction. The next afternoon, Church returns home; the usually vibrant and lively cat now acts ornery and, in Louis’s words, “a little dead”. Church hunts for mice and birds, ripping them apart without eating them. He also smells so bad that Ellie no longer wants him in her room at night. Jud confirms that Church has been resurrected and that Jud himself once buried his dog there when he was younger. Louis, deeply disturbed, begins to wish that he had not buried Church there.

WHAT IS STALINISM?

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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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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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Christmas Subversion 2022 – by Sarah Springer

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Trotskyist Subversion Again – “By far the favorite of all the miniatures I’ve made: my Merry Marxmas house!”. – Sarah Springer.

Readers might like to see and read more articles written by Sarah Springer. I recommend this short essay “Literature from a Marxist Perspective”.

John Molyneux – “As capitalism’s crises grow worse, his voice will be missed”

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Many tributes are online paying tribute to John Molyneux, who died in Dublin on December 11 2022 aged 74.

Tempest member Phil Gasper discusses the work and politics of the prominent and dedicated British Marxist John Molyneux. This article comes from the USA based magazine tempest
Source ; https://www.tempestmag.org/2022/12/in-memoriam-john-molyneux/

The Marxist writer and activist John Molyneux died in Dublin on December 11 at the age of 74. John was a longstanding member of the International Socialist Tendency, first as a member of the International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in Britain, later as a member of the Socialist Workers Party/Network in Ireland.

A black and white image of British Marxist John Molyneux. He is a large man with a gray beard and wire-rimmed classes and is wearing a button-down Oxford shirt.
Photo by Hossam el-Hamalaway via Flikr.

John was one of the generation of ’68. He joined the International Socialists in Britain in 1968 after being radicalised by the antiwar movement and the global revolutionary upsurge of that year. He soon became one of the group’s leading theorists and most popular speakers.

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Excellent statement from French trade unionists, left MPs and others on the issue of negotiations and a just and lasting peace for Ukraine – The French Began, We must join them

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Our comrade Federico Fuentes alerted us to this statement. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Very good statement from French trade unionists, left MPs and others on the issue of negotiations and a just and lasting peace for Ukraine:

An unprecedented humanitarian crisis is threatening the population of Ukraine this winter. The conflict situation that has prevailed in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has become an all-out, “high intensity” war since Putin’s troops invaded Ukrainian territory on 24 February 2022.

The explicit aim of this ‘special operation’ was to overthrow the Ukrainian government and destroy the Republic of Ukraine as an independent entity. The failure of this first objective led the government of the Russian Federation to modify its objectives and to prolong a brutal war of conquest with the proclamation of the annexation of a large part of Ukrainian territory.

The victims are counted in tens of thousands, the displaced in millions, the damage in tens of billions of euros. The invading forces are committing war crimes, and systematically committing crimes against humanity – such as the destruction of vital infrastructure, forced displacement and deportation of people – including children. Not to mention the mass rapes.

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