Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Solidarity With Palestine, Solidarity With Ukraine – Sotsialniy Rukh (Ukraine) Compared With People Before Profit (Ireland)

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist

Sotsialniy Rukh Statement on Palestine and Ukraine (in English and Ukrainian)

📣 November 29 since 1978 has been celebrated as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. For 44 years, the world officially talks about the Palestinian tragedy that has no end.

This day reminds us of Palestine’s ongoing struggle for life and freedom. Despite condemnation of Israel’s policy, which leading human rights organizations say fits the crime of apartheid under the Roman Statute, the de facto Palestinians and Palestinians still have neither protection nor independence. Their homes are being taken, cities bombed, and their lives are totally in vain.

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“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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