Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

The Annual Orange Order Hate Festival in Northern Ireland – Partition Within a Partitioned State

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Suzanne Breen reports :

‘Kill All Taigs’ on a ‘children’s’ bonfire in Belfast. That’s not family fun, it’s a hate crime. Was there nobody in the community to show leadership & remove it? Shameful.

“Kill All Taigs” Belfast Bonfire
No social Distancing at a Racist Belfast Bonfire

Hang on a second, I hear people say. The 12th was postponed in 2020 because of the CoronaVirus Crisis. That is the “Official Version” (OV):

There will be no official Orange Order parades after the organisation announced their cancellation earlier this year.

Grand Secretary of the Orange Order, Mervyn Gibson, urged people to stay at home, while the Order have launched a ‘Twelfth at Home’ campaign to urge people to celebrate safely.

https://www.derrynow.com/news/news/556402/thirteen-twelfth-parades-to-go-ahead-in-county-derry.html

OV is not the real world – it has become a “talking point”.
Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Six Counties leave their homes and travel far away to avoid the tyranny of the “OrangeFest”. Not this year due to travel restrictions. But residents of Andersonstown and other areas like it do not have to worry about flags; Lambeg Drums; blocked streets; 11th night bonfire parties in their public parks. A new partition within partition exists in the Six County State today.

An update :

The Belfast Telegraph suggests “community relations” have “taken a hit” :

There had been a surge in the number of bonfires being organised by loyalists following the contentious west Belfast funeral of former IRA man Bobby Storey on June 30 – in defiance of an Orange Order plea for no pyres because of the coronavirus threat.

Scrap wood and furniture with messages mocking Bobby Storey written on them were placed on some bonfires along with tricolour flags and the sectarian abbreviation KAT. Pictures also emerged in social media of an anti-Black Lives Matter placard at Whitehill bonfire in Bangor.

Yesterday afternoon cops confirmed they were investigating a separate loyalist banner which also ridiculed the funeral of Bobby Storey.

The ghoulish banner was circulated on social media as preparations for the bonfires ramped up last week and the PSNI said it was being investigated as a hate crime. The banner, which carried images of Bobby Storey and his funeral, carried the caption: “Bobby Storey raised in west Belfast, burnt in Loyalist east Belfast.”

Former British soldier and UUP MLA Doug Beattie condemned the banner, saying: “I’ll be clear – I think this is wrong and only targets the grieving family.

“There are issues to explore in respect to the funeral but this is not the way to do it.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/news/burning-bridges-community-relations-take-hit-as-old-hostilities-resurface-39360717.html

Stormont Crackdown on Black Lives Matter Rallies in Derry and Belfast – Dáil greenIights Special Criminal Court

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In Dublin Sinn Féin is the largest Dáil opposition party up against the new right-wing FFFGGG Coalition. In Belfast the same party is part of a coalition headed by the far-right Democratic Unionist Party at Stormont.

The Northern Ireland State is almost a world-leader for practicising racism, bigotry, and discrimination. The “Protestant State for a Protestant People” spent decades discriminating against a nationalist minority. That still happens, but has been scaled down. Rebellions helped – and mass struggle caused progressive legal change – for example the lifting of legal bans on abortion and gay rights. But, in 2020, this state discriminates vigorously against other minorities, especially immigrants.

Derry People Before Profit highlights Sinn Féin moving in the wrong direction on these issues :

Despite Sinn Féin’s claim to be a party interested in fundamental change – they are headed in the opposite direction.

In the North, Sinn Féin support the PSNI crackdown on Black Lives Matter rallies in Derry and Belfast. In the Stormont Assembly Sinn Féin MLAs voted with the DUP and others for Amendment 5 of the Health Regulations to approve the PSNI’s political policing of the Black Lives Matter rally including prosecution threats and fines. By backing Amendment 5 Sinn Féin voted to give the PSNI more enforcement powers even though no other incidents or events – including mass rallies of loyalists and racists to ‘protect statues’ – have been targeted by the PSNI.

Sinn Féin President and Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill

In the South, by abstaining on the vote Sinn Féin gave the greenlight to legislation empowering the Special Criminal Court. Throughout its history Sinn Féin has voted against and called for the non-jury Special Criminal Court to be abolished. They’ve now turned their back on this position.

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Strange resurrection in Tallaght – Sinn Féin‘s Martial Arts Fighter Paddy Holohan returns to the stage after a 5 month suspension – political gobshitism in action

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Many people were startled by this news report :

Paddy Holohan suspended by Sinn Féin for remarks about women and underage girls during #ge2020 tonight nominated for Mayor of South Dublin by Sinn Féin councillors.

“Paddy Holohan

@PaddyHolohanMMA

County Council Annual General Meeting.

Honoured to be nominated in the running for Mayor of South Dublin by my sinn_fein comrades, Congratulations to the incoming mayor and a job welldone to the outgoing Mayor… https://instagram.com/p/CB5_3LFFiU3/?igshid=uy8eg795a10b

Mr Holohan made a number of racist and woman-hating statements, prompting his party leader Mary Lou McDonald to take swift disciplinary action in January 2020 :

Speaking in Bray, Co Wicklow, described the comments about women as “beyond offensive” and “very upsetting”.

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Unravelling the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey | Jewish Voice for Labour

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While the rest of the world is rocked by an anti-racist uprising, sparked by a the actions of a USA cop Derek Chauvin

– murdering George Floyd, the killer-cop kneeling on his victim’s neck for nearly nine minutes, choking him to death live on camera

A British political leader sacks a colleague who draws attention to Derek Chauvin style police misbehaviour in a faraway country which is a strong political ally of the USA – Israel.

Pictures, a thousand words…

Routine Derek Chauvin Police Behaviour in Israel

Palestinian Lives Matter

Could a copy of Sir Keir Starmer get away with this shite in most parts of Ireland?

Probably not, unless you were a leading light in the Fine Gael Party – for example Charlie Flanagan TD.

This sort of political shite might go down well with Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party.

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The struggle has moved far “Beyond Bernie” | International Socialism Project

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Mainstream USA politics is dominated by the Republican and Democratic parties, which are a Tweedledee-Tweedledum option.

An antidote for the radical left can be an erupting mass movement – a factor largely absent from the American continent for decades, but suddenly back in play since police officer Derek Chauvin choked gentle giant George Floyd to death in Minnesota.

The Black Lives Matter Movement has swept through the American continent, and detonated anti-racist protests across the globe, including Ireland.

First example : a wonderful mural in Tallaght, a working class district of Dublin, the constituency of RISE radical left TD Paul Murphy.

Annemarie Blake’s Mural Honouring George Floyd, Tallaght, Dublin

Second example : large Black Lives Matters demonstrations at the Ballsbridge American Embassy, a prosperous part of Ireland’s capital city.

Black Lives Matter Demonstration, USA Embassy, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Before the eruption of mass street-level struggle in the States, many sectors of the radical left made a valiant effort to break their isolation by critically supporting a left-wing candidate, Bernie Sanders, using the label of a Tweedledee party, the Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »

Bernadette Devlin retains Mid-Ulster Westminster Seat June 1970 – June 2020 campaigns because Black Lives Matter!

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50 years ago, on June 19 1970, Bernadette Devlin, an Independent socialist candidate, retained the Mid-Ulster Westminster seat she first won in a 1969 by-election. She continued to use these impressive electoral victories as platforms for building progressive mass movements. She is still a very committed political activist.

Viva Bernadette!

Bernadette McAliskey June 2020 – Black Lives Matter!

The RTÉ report below includes one significant mistake. In North Antrim the reactionary far-right rabble-rouser Ian Paisley won the North Antrim Westminster seat for the first time, unseating the sitting Unionist MP.

Protestant Unionist Paisley won the Stormont Bannside constituency in 1969, former seat of ex-Stormont Prime Minister Terence O’Neill, a right-winger not right wing enough for the Unionist Party.

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Prosecution Threats Against Black Lives Matter Protesters – Derry, Belfast June 6 2020

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Disgraceful events in Belfast and Derry – resistance is stepped up.

The originators of a statement supporting Black Lives Matter have condemned the Derry Journal for refusing to print a paid advert for the statement in today’s issue.

Dermie McClenaghan, Bernadette McAliskey, Eamonn McCann and Kate Nash, said that they were “deeply disappointed” at the paper’s decision.

They point out that the statement had already been published in full in a paid advert in the Derry News.

The signatories went on: “The statement condemned police action at the BLM protest in Derry on June 6 and was critical of some local interests which had called for the protest to be abandoned. We supported the decision of the BAME community in Derry to go ahead with the protest. We reiterate that support.

Censorship in the Six County State, Ireland

“There are two pandemics ravaging the world – Covid-19 and racism. The anti-racist demonstrations in Derry and in Belfast were meticulously arranged to meet public health requirements. In Derry, the PSNI operation – as if for a major riot – made the arrangements difficult to uphold.

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Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim – Gombeen State Racism in Ireland

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Donal O’Kelly’s article should be circulated far and wide – Action is Necessary.

Ciúin is a word I love. It’s the Irish word for quiet. It has a peaceful, secure and sleepy feel to it, ideal for a lullabye. Suantraí. Ciúin, ciúin, a stór .. as baby closes her eyes .

Last May I used my facebook page to highlight the fact that Ciúin House Carrick-on-Shannon, the then newly-opened emergency accommodation centre for asylum seekers, had just received 38 male international protection applicants who’d been transferred from Hatch Hall Direct Provision centre in Dublin. Hatch Hall was being converted into a luxury hotel. Ciúin House was accommodating these people on a general basis of two per room. It had a sign and a book in the reception hall that everyone had to sign. The sign said that all residents had to be in their rooms by 10pm nightly.

I met three of the residents on their second evening in Carrick-on-Shannon. I know about the curfew because the men, all in their thirties or thereabouts, wanted to get back to Ciúin House in case there was an unknown penalty for not observing the curfew. I dropped them back at 10pm sharp.

After the facebook post drew a lot of public attention, the curfew was dropped. The owners at first said it was a language misunderstanding, then that the note only referred to not using the washing machine after 10pm. It was neither of those things. It was a curfew. And the owners obviously considered they had a right to impose it.

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Open the Borders! Let Refugees Enter Europe! Shameful Scenes at Greece-Turkey Border – Huge Anti-Racist Demonstrations in Athens

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Brendan Young :

Great to see this demonstration in solidarity with Syrian and other refugees seeking escape from the terrible conditions of the camps in Turkey and Northern Syria. The Irish government should publicly distance itself from the despicable and shameful stance of the president of the European Commission who has praised the current right wing government of Greece as the ‘shield’ of Europe – by physically driving refugees from the border and killing some in the process. Urusla von der Leyen may speak in the name of the ruling bureaucracy of the EU and the governing parties of EU member states and be cheered by racists and neo-nazis, but she evidently does not speak for the ordinary people of Greece and many others across Europe. Open the borders: let refugees into Europe. Provide money to move people out of the overcrowded camps on the Greek Islands – not to further militarise the borders. End the struggle between the poor and the very poor for scarce resources caused by the the austerity which the EU imposed to pay for the bank bailouts, a struggle that is fueling racism and the far right, by lifting the EU restrictions on public spending so as to fund the housing, health and social services needed by both the existing population and migrants.

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Bernadette McAliskey on Racism, Brexit, and proposed British Immigration Controls on Northern Ireland

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This article appeared in the Thursday February 20 2020 Edition of The Irish Times. The author is Freya McClements.

The North’s Economy Cannot Survive Without Immigrant Labour

Bernadette McAliskey on Racism, Brexit, and proposed British Immigration Controls on Northern Ireland :

“There will be a “whitening” of immigration into the UK as a result of the country’s points-based application system, the activist and campaigner Bernadette McAliskey has warned.

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Written by tomasoflatharta

Feb 26, 2020 at 8:46 pm