Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Mass Action’ Category

Institutionalized Sectarianism in the North of Ireland – Ian Paisley, Prayers for Partition, Marching Feet in Derry

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Today’s Stormont Administration is controlled by the Democratic Unionist Party, founded by far-right religious rabble-rouser Ian Paisley. Despite the honeyed words of today’s peace process, the Northern state’s government is choked by institutionalized sectarianism. Paisley’s spiritual children will descend on Armagh City on October 21 reciting prayers for partition.

October 11 1988 – Ian Paisley heckles the “AntiChrist” Pope in the European Parliament

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Decent People Boycott British Sun Newspaper – This Rag Smeared Victims of the Hillsborough Disaster – British Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer Becomes a Scab

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From the Cedar Lounge Revolution https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/10/04/sun-correspondent/ :

Will comrades in Britain be Able to Boycott Sir Keir Starmer and force him to resign?

One has to wonder about Keir Starmer. One really does. The latest news?

“Above Us Only Lies”

The Labour leader used an article in the newspaper to try to turn focus back on the government by laying the blame for food and petrol shortages on ministers. But he sparked ire from those who observe a boycott of the Sun over its role in smearing victims of the Hillsborough disaster. http://robbohuyton.blogspot.com/2010/03/above-us-only-lies-liverpools-sun.html

Frontbench Labour MPs were among those to challenge Starmer, who said during a speech in Liverpool last January during the leadership election: “This city has been wounded by the media – the Sun … I certainly won’t be giving an interview to the Sun during the course of this campaign.”

Keir Starmer has provoked outrage among Labour MPs representing Merseyside after he wrote an opinion piece for the Sun.

The Labour leader used an article in the newspaper to try to turn focus back on the government by laying the blame for food and petrol shortages on ministers. But he sparked ire from those who observe a boycott of the Sun over its role in smearing victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

The problem for Starmer is, as noted here before, this is the sort of thing that has resonances far beyond what appears to be the very limited area of competence that he and those around him exhibit. It genuinely isn’t rocket science to appreciate the specific issues with regard to the Sun in Liverpool.

But if they’re getting that basic stuff wrong…

Bombing will not go softly: on Andreas Malm’s ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’.

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[Guest post by Des Derwin]

I have written a long critical essay on Andreas Malm’s new ecosocialist book ‘How To Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire ’ (Verso, 2021).

It was written quite independently of Alan Thornett’s review on the Global Ecosocialist Network website, and before I had read it. It concurs with his review in almost every aspect, though his response is expressed more forcefully and briefly than mine. The exception is Alan’s enthusiasm for James Hansen’s fee and dividend proposal, which strikes me, at first glance, as less realistic than the ‘Just Transition’ demand. The paper is here:

https://www.academia.edu/45142728/Bombing_Will_Not_Go_Softly_On_Andreas_Malm_s_How_to_Blow_Up_a_Pipeline

Ernie Tate’s “Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s”

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Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s, Volume One, Canada 1955-1965By Ernie Tate268 pages. Resistance Books. $15.00 Revolutionary Activism in …

Ernie Tate’s “Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s”

Ernest (Ernie) Tate was born in 1934 in the Shankill Road, heart of Protestant Belfast. In 1955 at the age of 21 he migrated to Canada and within a year had become a member of the Canadian Trotskyist organisation, the Socialist Educational League.

Louis Proyect writes a wonderful tribute to Tate, one of the founders of the British International Marxist Group and the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign in the 1960s, who has died from cancer at the age of 86 at his home in Toronto. He played a vital role in a campaign that would re-shape the British far left.

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For a European shutdown in solidarity from below against the pandemic – For a ZeroCoVid Policy in Ireland

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Irish Action – German Action – European Action – ZeroCoVid is the way forward.

Promote the Call

The CoVid-19 virus does not recognise borders. Sign Circulate and Promote this Zero CoVid Call :

The appeal says: “We need a common strategy in Europe immediately to fight the pandemic effectively. Vaccinations alone will not win the race against the mutated viral variant – even more so if the pandemic fight continues to consist of actionist restrictions on free time without a shutdown of the economy.” Similar initiatives emerged a few weeks ago in other countries, notably the UK and Ireland, see for example Zero Covid The Campaign to Beat the Pandemic or the article “Covid is a Class Issue”.

https://zero-covid.org/language/en/

Paul Murphy is a RISE TD for Dublin South-West, part of the Solidarity – People Before Profit grouping in the Dáil. See below, one of many articles written and circulated by Paul Murphy promoting a Zero CoVid policy for Ireland and further afield.

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We need travel bans in Ireland; We need travel bans between Ireland and Great Britain – ZeroCoVid Ireland is the way forward

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Decisions made by the Dublin Belfast and London governments threaten the lives and health of everybody living in Ireland. Solutions exist.

On December 21 Claire Byrne, RTÉ Radio 1 journalist, asked the right question : do we need a travel ban in and out of Northern Ireland, a CoVid-19 hot-spot? Do we need to seal the border? Is this proposed measure any different, operationally, from a Kildare travel ban some weeks ago? This was an internal 26 County state ban – and it worked. The virus in the north currently runs at four times the rate of the 26 Counties.

“The NI Executive has voted against imposing a travel ban from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

In a late-night vote, Sinn Féin and the SDLP backed the move but Alliance, the DUP and Ulster Unionists voted against.

The executive later unanimously backed plans to issue new guidance against all but essential travel between Northern Ireland, GB and the Irish Republic.” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-55406075

Message to Sinn Féin and the SDLP – the Stormont Government has voted for mass murder.

Do the honourable thing – resign from the coalition government, bring down Stormont.

Shame on the DUP, Alliance Party and UUP. A public backlash is developing rapidly – Already Alliance Party representatives, such as the North Down Westminster MP Stephen Farry, are publicly trying to backtrack.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann votes against Great Britain travel ban – Mass Murder via Belfast Airport and the Larne-Stranraer Ferry

On December 21 Claire Byrne, RTÉ Radio 1 journalist, asked the right question : do we need a travel ban in and out of Northern Ireland, a CoVid-19 hot-spot? Do we need to seal the border? Is this proposed measure any different, operationally, from a Kildare travel ban some weeks ago? This was an internal 26 County state ban – and it worked. The virus in the north currently runs at four times the rate of the 26 Counties. https://www.rte.ie/radio1/today-with-claire-byrne/

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Pat O’Connor 1948-2015, Limerick Socialist, Supporter of the Fourth International

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cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2020/12/07/left-archive-pat-oconnor-limerick-based-socialist-1948-2015-published-2015/

Recently, following prompts by Pádraig Malone, I forwarded material celebrating the life and political activities of the late Pat O’Connor to the Irish Left Archive site.

A 21 year old Pat O’Connor is holding the placard saying “PD [People’s Democracy] Opposes Racism”. 1970 demonstrations against the touring South African 
All-White Rugby Team.

Readers can find links to to that material in two PDF’s below. The pamphlet link includes the text of a speech I delivered at a 2015 memorial meeting for Pat. A second link is a copy of an obituary submitted to the Limerick Leader newspaper written by myself and Cian Prendiville.

John Meehan December 7 2020

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Conspiracy Anti-Vaxers against Covid-19 lockdowns blend with far-right fascists – Irish and British Examples

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No to Racism Defend Our Public Health Workers – Minorities, Migrants, Homeless, Asylum Seekers, LGBTQ+Solidarity for Real Change

12 September 2020 | 1 PM
Assemble: GPO | O’Connell Street Dublin United Against Racism is organizing this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email: info@united-against-racism.net…

https://www.facebook.com/events/653860718566358?active_tab=about

Congratulations to United Against Racism for calling this event. It needs to be supported by other organizations across the left, and mass membership organizations like trade unions.

Mass action is badly needed to confront and crush the racist far-right.

Professor Dolores Cahill, leader of far-right Irish Freedom Party

In Dublin, across Ireland and internationally the racist far right are using anti-mask, anti-vaccine and other fears to promote themselves and their racist agenda. In Dublin they mobilised up to 2000 at the Custom House on 22 August. In London, with the aid of Dolores Cahill (pictured above) from the Irish Freedom Party they put several thousand in Trafalgar Square.

In Berlin they mobilized up-to 30,000 and in the US they have been holding armed demonstrations. In Dublin they also rally regularly at the GPO on Saturdays. This is very dangerous; they must be exposed and opposed. At the heart of these mobilizations are individuals and organisations whose core agenda is to attack people of colour, migrants, minorities, asylum seekers, Muslims etc. but at present they are focusing on other prejudices, bigotries and COVID-19 fears and doing so in the name of an utterly perverted version of Irish nationalism that is an insult to Connolly and Pearse and all they stood for. They mounted a vile homophobic campaign against Green Party government minister Roderic O’Gorman.

DON’T ENDANGER OUR FRONT LINE WORKERS

ANTI-MASK IS ANTI – WORKER!

We can trust our healthcare workers who have risked their lives and are telling us first hand to wear a mask and follow the basic health advice. We can mind our health and criticize the government at the same time without the lies and conspiracy theories of the far-right.It is urgent that their lies are exposed and their influence is countered.The far-right have zero policies or interest in protecting civil liberties, defending workers, ending the housing crisis, improving the health system or uniting people. These are the same people that campaign against asylum seekers and refugees. They simply want to divide us and scapegoat vulnerable sections of our society which lets the government off the hook.We therefore call on all progressive organisations and individuals – trade unions and trade unionists, migrants rights organisations , anti-racists, LGBTQ+ activists, feminist activists, progressive political parties, environmental activists, housing activists – everyone who wants to defend public health and see a more just and equal country – to unite and oppose the far-right and their growth in IrelandWe in United Against Racism like to organise this rally in partnership with others and co-hosted by all organisations supporting it. For support and endorsements please email info@united-against-racism.netWe are planning to call for an organisers Zoom meeting next week 8 September 2020, 6.30PMJoin us for a peaceful, socially distant rally to give your support to our front line heroes in hospital; shops etc who are being put in danger by those who think COVID-19 is a conspiracy – not a disease.’This is will be a socially distances rally. Please wear a mask to protect yourself and others around you. Thank You!

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While they had non-whites speaking, they had a hateful message – Donald Trump holds a virtual Republican Party Convention while white racists gun down black people in Kenosha, Wisconsin

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Something very rotten is happening in the United States of America.

Hope erupted after the racist police murder of George Floyd – protests went global.

Will protests erupt again?

Black basketball stars lead the way, launching what amounts to a nationwide sporting general strike in the USA.

The words of LeBron James

FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT

Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

LeBron Raymone James Sr. born December 30, 1984 is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeBron_James?wprov=sfti1

Racist police shot African-American man Jacob Blake seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Bucks staged an unprecedented boycott on Wednesday over the police shooting of a black man, forcing the NBA to halt its playoff schedule and prompting a wave of walkouts by teams and players across other sports.

The NBA postponed its entire slate of Wednesday fixtures after the Bucks refused to play game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest at the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

Blake was seriously injured after being shot point blank in the back seven times by police officers in a confrontation captured in video footage.

“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors,” the Bucks players said in a statement explaining their boycott. https://scroll.in/field/971490/black-lives-matter-nba-walkout-sparks-historic-sport-boycott-in-us-osaka-withdraws-tennis-halted

More protests are badly needed.

At the same Donald Trump’s political party, the Republicans, staged a bizarre “virtual” convention. Read the rest of this entry »

Jack Charlton (1935-2020) World Cup winner, Ireland football manager, supporter of the miners, anti-fascist

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There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977.

In Ireland Jack Charlton is celebrated – he was the most successful ever manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. There was a political side to this cultural phenomenon – it is well explained in the Keith Flegg blog below. Months before the opening 1990 game between Ireland and England in Cagliari a small group of Dublin people met in a Dublin pub, the Teachers’ Club. They wondered : how they could raise funds for a cash-strapped campaign seeking freedom for the Birmingham Six and other Irish political hostages in British jails. The venue, largely because of the example set by this campaign, has become home to many left-wing, trade union, feminist and human rights social movements.

A couple of the men in the group focused on the forthcoming Battle of Cagliari – Ireland’s Game Versus England, our Italia 90 opener. We were overcome by a brainwave : let’s organise a big screen showing. In those days that was a novel idea – we booked the scarce equipment months in advance. The staff in the Teachers’ Club did a great job installing the required technology. As the big day approached many large pubs and hotels offered to buy the equipment from the campaign, allowing us a huge profit. We refused – the event was going ahead. The venue was overwhelmed by the crowd – mainly young, male, Dublin working class, and proudly Irish. A number of women activists joined in – a little bemused, entertained, and deeply moved.

The Diceman, Thom McGinty, Symbolises British Justice and the Birmingham Six

A follow-up

“It begins with a man getting to shake the hands of some of the football heroes he’d only ever previously been able to see on television in prison. It ends with one of those same football heroes, having partied well but not wisely, fast asleep at a table in a motorway café and being prodded awake by a couple of passing Welsh supporters. And in between is one of the defining games of the Jack Charlton era, a 1-1 draw with England in a European Championship qualifier at their national stadium which should, in truth, have been a victory for an Irish side playing at something close to the peak of its powers.

For one Irish supporter in particular, the experience was bound to be memorable, whatever the result. Hugh Callaghan was one of the Birmingham Six, innocent men who had served 16 years of a life sentence for the IRA’s 1974 Birmingham pub bombings. With those convictions finally quashed after a long-running campaign and, having been released amid scenes of unbridled joy only 13 days before the game at Wembley, Callaghan found himself walking the famous turf as a guest of the Irish team at their eve of match training session.

Niall Quinn, the striker who would have such a significant say in the game itself, has vivid memories of meeting a man who had endured one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in British legal history.

“He came on the bus with us from the hotel and stood with Jack and watched the training,” he recalls today.

“We had a good chat with him first on the pitch and then he had a cup of tea with us in the dressing room. He was a football fan, very proud of what we’d achieved over in Italy. He spoke about how he used to listen intently on the radio and saw bits and pieces on TV. I think Paul [McGrath] was his favourite – but then Paul was everybody’s favourite. It’s one of those nice memories that stay with you. It was a thrill to meet him and my memory of the meeting is that he was thrilled to meet us, and it was a very happy occasion.” https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/we-felt-a-little-bit-robbed-232294.html

Kmflett's Blog

Jack Charlton at the Durham Miners Gala

Jack Charlton who has sadly died at 85 was an iconic figure in post-1945 British culture as part of the 1966 World Cup winning England team, and a football manager most significantly with the Ireland team

The media rightly carries a range of appreciations and obituaries

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jul/11/jack-charlton-england-world-cup-winner-dies-aged-85

There has also been some coverage of the fact that Charlton along with a number of other footballing figures including Brian Clough & Terry Venables signed the founding statement of the Anti-Nazi League in 1977. Charlton had some criticisms. While the ANL was about building a broad united front to isolate the fascists of the National Front it also confronted their attempts to whip up racism when they held deliberately provocative actions.

Charlton was clear in his opposition to fascism but not happy about confronting the NF physically. This of course was a tactical not an…

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