Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Irish Left Archive Podcast Number 44: Vincent Doherty: Official Sinn Féin, International Marxist Group, Troops Out, People’s Democracy, H-Block Committee, Sinn Féin – reblogged from The Cedar Lounge Revolution

leave a comment »

I first met Vincent Doherty in the late 1970’s via People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. Since then we travelled on different political paths, while remaining on very good personal terms. In 2022 Vincent and me – along with a group of left-wing activists who come from different but complementary streams of the Irish Left – have been working actively together in the Irish Left With Ukraine organization.

The comrades who publish the Cedar Lounge Revolution Blog come from a stream of the Irish Left which is different from Vincent Doherty and me. But we converge politically in 2022 on a very decisive issue – the genocidal imperialist Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On the left nothing stands still. There is a strong mistaken current dominant of the Irish Marxist left which does “what if” interpretations of historical events. This interview avoids that approach. It is much better to accept the past, warts and all. We cannot change the past, but we can with 20-20 vision learn from our history. We can apply that knowledge to the present day and the immediate future – which we can influence.

Rayner Lysaght Tribute – Irish Labour History Society Event

Rayner Lysaght RIP (January 30 1941 – July 2 2021) was a close comrade of Vincent and me for many years in People’s Democracy and the Fourth International. The Irish Labour History Society staged a commemorative tribute in honour of Rayner on May 14 2021. I delivered the speech below, which also deals with some of the events described by Vincent Doherty.

John Meehan January 2 2023

Read the rest of this entry »

Transgender Rights – “Scotland is now ahead of the rest of the UK – though still behind Ireland” – Michael Farrell

with 3 comments

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

leave a comment »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

France : Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA -New Anticapitalist Party) Divides Down the Middle

leave a comment »

The congress of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (New Anticapitalist Party) took place on 9-10-11 December. It resulted in a separation of the party. The first statement published was adopted by the platform winning 48.5% of the votes. The second by the platform obtaining 45.5% of the votes.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Woman Proud That First Time She’s Ever Protested Was Against Refugees” – Waterford Whispers News

with one comment

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

“Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion” – An outstanding PhotoBook – Interview with Co-Author Therese Caherty

leave a comment »

We’ve come a long way!

The fight for reproductive freedom in Ireland

Irish publisher Lilliput Press recently launched the photobook, Road to Repeal: 50 years of struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion, in Dublin’s Mansion House. Social policy analyst Pauline Conroy, photographer Derek Speirs and journalist. Therese Caherty have documented in pictures and words Ireland’s choice movement over half a century.

John Meehan interviews Therese about the project, where it came from and the future for reproductive rights in Ireland.

John Meehan – What gave you idea for the book?

Therese Caherty – Our project began in 2013 at Against the Tide, a retrospective of 1980s activism by photographer Rose Comiskey. At a closing discussion on Irish feminism, a young woman asked some of us oldies – Why did you let the 8th Amendment happen? It wasn’t a view we were familiar with. But you could see where she was coming from. She had arrived into the world of the Eighth and seen, maybe experienced, its effects. And she was angry.

In 2014 we answered her question with Women to Blame, a multimedia exhibition on the struggle in Ireland for contraception and abortion. Today, thanks to Lilliput Press, we have what we always wanted – a permanent home for that exhibition. Road to Repeal commemorates in pictures and words a people– powered movement that believed in a more equal Ireland for women and pregnant people, and their unfettered right to independent decision– making about parenthood.

We see our book as part of that movement of activists and participants and a contribution to it. It’s not for profit and all royalties go to the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

Read the rest of this entry »

PANEL: UKRAINIAN AND RUSSIAN ACADEMICS DISCUSS THE WAR – Broadcast by the Real News Network

leave a comment »

Debates over the proper approach to the Russo-Ukrainian War have dominated much of the year. Yet discussions within the western left have not always featured the perspectives of Ukrainians and Russians themselves. The Real News Network board member Bill Fletcher, in partnership with Haymarket Books, hosts a panel with Ukrainian and Russian academics.

Link : https://therealnews.com/panel-ukrainian-and-russian-academics-discuss-the-war?fbclid=IwAR2rLkZ0rerziSQgyPsEf4mb7_F-yrHa0TQCHpQPtA8gtNjuq-U2hOKByjs

Bill Fletcher, a long-time trade union and human rights activist from the USA hosts a discussion with Yuliya Yurchenko, Ilya Budraitskis and Alona Liasheva
Read the rest of this entry »

Double Standards Applied to Irish Women’s Soccer Team : Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0 – Oh Ah Up the Mná

with 2 comments

Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrate World Cup Qualification, October 11 2012

A gaggle of West-Brit politicians have denounced Irish Women’s Soccer Team Celebrations. Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield dismisses the reactionary chorus as “cranks and unionists or people who side with them”. Warfield is dead right.

Song Composer Derek Warfield Declares “Don’t tell that you can’t sing Celtic Symphony but you can sing God Save the King”

Jack Charlton was the best international soccer manager who ever worked for the Republic of Ireland – he encouraged his players to sing Irish rebel songs. Former kit-minder Charlie O’Leary recalls :

Sean South of Garryowen was his favourite.
It got to the stage where it had to be played. It’s a rabble rousing song full of life, if you forget about the words; it was lovely.

Charlie O’Leary, kit-minder for Jack Charlton’s Boys in Green https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

“I had two tapes with me. One tape was all Luke Kelly songs and your man Moore [Christy Moore]. Going to Lansdowne, I’d come to around Haddington Road, and I’d stop that tape and I’d put on the other tape – Seán South of Garryowen. Just as we’d be arriving in the ground, we’d be at the crescendo of Seán South of Garryowen. So the lads would be really worked up by that time. They’d be singing at the top of their voices.”

Irish Times December 15 2014

In his book on the Charlton brothers and their relationship, Leo McKinstry recorded how there was hell to pay when news of the Republic of Ireland team playlist reached the English tabloids.

Teddy Taylor, the comically Eurosceptic right-wing Conservative MP from Glasgow, fulminated in public that Jack should be ashamed of himself for belting out such a ballad.

The FAI weren’t inclined to play up the fact that the Irish team used to sing songs celebrating the IRA’s 1950s Border campaign.

https://www.balls.ie/football/jack-charlton-rebel-songs-350401-350401

Jack Charlton 1 Vera Pauw 0

Public figures must stop bullying the Irish female soccer players. Manager Vera Pauw has a chance to follow in the footsteps of Jack Charlton.

Pauw’s game management strategy is a carbon copy of the Jack Charlton method “Yeah, of course,” Pauw says. “We need to develop further. We’ve got five clean sheets in a row. We’ve got four goals against, and that’s our strength. Because we always create chances, so we always score in a game. As long as you don’t get goals against and you score in a game you win, right?”

Charlton was a brilliant motivator, an extremely empathetic manager. He backed his players – even when they misbehaved – and bought into the Irish rebel ballad culture, our anti-imperialist culture, and sense of fun. After his team was eliminated from the Euro 88 tournament in Germany Charlton expected a barrage of criticism in Ireland. We did not win. Instead the manager and his team were greeted by hundreds of thousands of fans who did not give a toss about losing Euro 88 – we got to a major tournament for the first ever, and we beat England 1-0. The miner’s son from Ashington in the north of England, an unorthodox man of the left and the workers’ movement, understood this very profoundly.

Jack Charlton – “Proud to be Irish” – Dublin Airport after Euro 88 in Germany

Pauw failed to back her players – and appears to have no understanding of Ireland’s proud tradition of cultural resistance. She made a public statement which must immediately be withdrawn :

Pauw insisted that the release of the footage on social media by one of the squad was not the core issue, adding the player “was devastated and crying in her room”.

“I don’t want to hide behind that because it she hadn’t put it on social media and I had been notified about it and the significance, then I would have addressed it immediately.

“I’ve also told her that putting it on social media is not the biggest thing.

“The biggest thing is that it has happened. It doesn’t matter if you are in private room or a dressing room or if you are outside.”

European Soccer bosses in UEFA are threatening disciplinary sanctions against the Girls in Green. https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/63242412

Football Association of Ireland (FAI) blazers, assorted cranks and a talented soccer manager are profoundly wrong. Let’s hope Vera Pauw reflects on the successful methods of Jack Charlton, the miner’s son from Ashington who loved Irish rebel songs.

Jack Charlton, The Best Republic of Ireland Soccer Manager

John Meehan October 13 2022

An interview with song composer Derek Warfield :


Irish team being ‘persecuted and bullied’ for singing ‘ooh ah up the ‘Ra’, songwriter says

Article Source https://www.irishtimes.com/ireland/2022/10/12/irish-team-being-persecuted-and-bullied-for-singing-ooh-ah-up-the-ra-songwriter-says/

Wolfe Tones songwriter Brian Warfield has accused those who criticise his song Celtic Symphony of being “cranks and unionists or people who side with them” amid controversy over the Irish women’s football team singing along to it.

Warfield wrote the song, which includes the refrain ‘ooh, aah up the ‘Ra’, in 1987 for the centenary of Celtic Football Club, which occurred a year later.

He claims the line was taken from graffiti he saw on a wall in Glasgow around that time, which read ‘we’re magic, up the Celts, ooh, aah up the Ra’. He said he was not necessarily referring to the Provisional IRA in the lyrics.

No excuses

Celtic Symphony was playing in the dressing room while the Irish team celebrated qualifying for the World Cup after winning at Hampden Park on Tuesday night. Players were filmed singing ‘ooh, aah up the Ra’ and a clip was posted on social media.

Read the rest of this entry »

Postponed : Ireland-Ukraine : International Solidarity of the Left – Public Meeting Tuesday October 4 2022

with one comment

Our ‘Ireland-Ukraine: International Solidarity of the Left’ public meeting in Dublin on Tuesday 4th October is postponed due to the illness of the principal speaker Yuliya Yurchenko. Our apologies to all for any inconvenience. We will announce the date for a re-arranged meeting as soon as possible. We wish Yuliya a speedy recovery.”

Irish Left With Ukraine

Yuliya Yurchenko – an active supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) – speaks at this Dublin meeting along with Irish trade union speakers and others. https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Yuliya Yurchenko, author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict (Pluto, 2018). She is a Lecturer in International Business and Researcher at the Public Services International Research Unit, the Centre for Business Network Analysis, and the Political Research Centre at the University of Greenwich.

An extensive interview with Yuliya is here : https://tomasoflatharta.com/2022/04/12/fighting-for-self-determination-yuliya-yurchenko-explains-for-ukrainians-its-an-existential-fight-our-countrys-identity-territorial-boundaries-and-our-very-existence-is/


Latest News from the ENSU :

Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!

Latest news from the anti-conscription movement in Russia : https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/9c8950df16724719b875eece066b3912?v=3bc1cb6bcdb84da2b0a88fdb3783cfdc

Putin’s attempt to conscript up to a million young Russians to fight in Ukraine is failing. In less than one week, more than 300,000 young Russians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries like Georgia and Kazakhstan. Hundreds of thousands are expected to seek exile in the next few weeks. We call on West European countries to open the borders to these courageous and principled young Russians, in the name of peace and justice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ukraine: Under the cover of Putin’s war, Zelensky tears up workers’ rights

leave a comment »

The first article here comes from the Green Left Weekly (Australia) a supporter of the European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU), which has also issued a statement about new anti-worker laws ratified by the Kyiv government. (see statement below). https://ukraine-solidarity.eu/

Sources :

1. https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/ukraine-under-cover-war-zelensky-tears-workers-rights?fbclid=IwAR04iwJ3n1A6-t8VFiq7Tz94_8dWCNn4m4jBqmoQIVqIYR-tWLBVijx-tEg

2. https://www.change.org/p/demand-president-zelenskyy-veto-anti-worker-law-5371/u/30858652

Almost a month after Ukraine’s parliament adopted two anti-worker bills, President Volodymyr Zelensky finally ratified Draft Law 5371 on August 17, thereby removing union rights for most of the country’s workers.

Read the rest of this entry »