Saturday, 28 July 2012

Protest for the right to give blood!

Protest for the right to give blood regardless of sexual orientation.

The rule against gay men being allowed to give blood in Northern Ireland is a blatantly homosexual one and should be challenged not only at Stormont level but also on the streets by the LGBT community. Edwin Poots' stance is 'irrational and unlawful' as well as being completely homophobic.

A protest will take place outside the Playhouse (where the blood donation will be happening) - everyone is encouraged to bring placards, rainbow flags etc.

Gay men are encouraged to take part in a second protest inside the building, where they will offer to give blood. If a lot of gay men show up to give blood then it will ridicule the law even further. There are regular shortages of blood in N.I., yet they turn down willing donors because they are gay.

Everyone is encouraged to be very friendly to the staff and nurses as this is nothing to do with them.

Be there on the second of august and bring all your friends. We need AS MANY people as possible.

Sarah Mair Memorial Night

The 1st of August marks the first anniversary of the untimely death of our friend and comrade Sarah Mair.
In Sarah's memory we are having a 3 course dinner followed by music at Na Croisbhealaí Cafe in King Street. The 3 course meal and the gig costs £20 and includes a vegan starter and dessert with a choice of vegan or carnivorous main course. 

To toast Sarah's memory there will be a glass of Laphroaig Single Malt peated Whisky from Islay (for the non-whiskey connoisseurs among us you can have a glass of wine).

Places for the meal are limited so if you want to join us contact Jason Brannigan or Paul Donnelly (or phone 028 95088115) to book your place (cash in advance unfortunately) and let us know whether you want the vegan or carnivore main.

For those who just want to join us for the music we have Kevin Jones, That Bastard Chapman, Mel Corry, Hungerkunstler and Marty Quiet performing acoustic sets from 8.30pm. Without the meal the door tax is a fiver.

All the proceeds will be donated to Just Learning, a community and education project that Sarah was involved in setting up.

Truth about the Olympics

The brutal truth about the London Olympics

Violence, cover-ups and dirty secrets litter the 2012 Games

Mike Wells has been covering the London 2012 Olympics as a photographer and reporter on the Games Monitor website since Stratford was confirmed as the site for Europe’s biggest building project.
In that time he has been harassed, threatened, repeatedly attacked, had his equipment broken up and in the most recent incident was arrested because he dared to try and fill pages in the 2012 story that the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) would rather stayed blank.

While filming working practices at Leyton Marsh on the western edge of the project, Mike was attacked by security personnel who wrestled him to the ground, opening up a gash in his forehead in the process.
Carting him off to Stoke Newington police station, the authorities would eventually throw a laundry list of bizarre charges at him, including the Orwellian-sounding offence of “publishing events about the Olympics” and claiming falsely that he was breaking an injunction by filming.

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Revolutionary Prisoners in Chile (Pamphlet)

A new pamphlet from Bristol ABC titled the Revolutionary Prisoners in Chile is now available.

This is a list of revolutionary prisoners that remain kidnapped by the $hilean States. This list is a translation that was made in July 2012, it is constantly updated at due to the transportation and living circumstances of the prisoners.

We recall the situation of some comrades who remain underground, among them Carlos Gutierrez (Charged in the “Security Case”), Diego Rios and Gabriela Curilem.

We hope to never have to add them to this list and that they never have to walk in the prison.

Any input or update, send to liberaciontotal (at)
Solidarity with Chilean prisoners!

PSNI Spy on Pro Choice rally in Belfast

New Pamphlet on Marian Price

The Prisons Crisis Group in Derry have published and new pamphlet calling for the immediate release of Marian Price. 

The 24 page booklet is the latest initiative in the long running campaign to bring about the immediate release of Marian Price.

Copies of the booklet (launched at the PFC with Paul O'Connor in the Rath Mor Centre in Creggan this morning including Eamonn Mc Cann and Betty Doherty) is now available from the PFC, Free Derry Museum, Tar Abhaile and An Culturlann.

It is also available in Belfast at Na Croisbhealaí workers' co-op. From the WSM in Dublin as well as other outlets will be published soon.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Join the Workers Solidarity Movement in Derry

If you would like to find out more about the Workers Solidarity Movement and would like to get involved locally in Derry then get in touch.

Or click on the following link About the Workers Solidaity Movement

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Orange Order: an enemy of ALL workers

It is unfortunate, if perhaps somewhat inevitable, that the now annual battles around the 'marching season' fall along religious lines. The Orange parades are being used to test the supposed neutrality of the northern regime and the RUC in particular. The losing side in this dangerous game however is likely to be the working class, Protestant and Catholic, as the confrontations and the sectarian attacks that occur around the Orange marches drive people further into 'their own' communities.

The reality of the Orange Order is that it is a counter-revolutionary institution set up and maintained to target not just Catholics but also 'disloyal' Protestants. It's formation and spread was encouraged by the British state in the years leading up to the 1798 rebellion precisely in order to drive a wedge between ordinary Catholics and Protestants. The 12th of July was picked as the key date to provide an alternative attraction to the marking of Bastille day and in itself to mark the sectarian massacre that led to the formation of the Orange Order.

The Orange Order was born in Armagh in 1795 as part of an armed terror campaign to deny full citizenship rights to Catholics. This was in the context of struggles between landlords and tenants in the area of which the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh said "the worst of this is that it stands to unite Protestant and Papist, and whenever that happens, good-bye to the English interest in Ireland". Specifically the penal laws forbade Catholics from bearing arms, but radical (and mostly Protestant) volunteer companies in the 1780's had been recruiting and arming Catholics with the "the full support of a radical section of Protestant political opinion"(1).

The sectarian attacks that accompany Orange marches today also go right back to its origins. Again in 1795 up to 7,000 Catholics were driven out of Armagh by Orange Order pogroms. But there was one key difference with today, then many expelled Catholic families were sheltered by Presbyterian United Irishmen in Belfast and later Antrim and Down, and the (mostly) Protestant leadership of the United Irishmen sent lawyers to prosecute on behalf of the victims of Orange attacks. They also sent special missions to the area to undermine the Orange Order's influence.
Indeed the Orange Order probably played a key part in ensuring the failure of the 1798 rebellion. At the time General John Knox, the architect of this policy described the Orange Order as "the only barrier we have against the United Irishmen"(2)after the failed rebellion he wrote "the institution of the Orange Order was of infinite use"(3) . The survival of the Orange Order since, and in particular the special place it was given in the sectarian make up of the northern state (every single head of the 6 counties has also been a senior member of the Orange Order), reflect its success in this role.
The strategy was simple. In order to prevent Protestant workers identifying with their Catholic neighbours the order offered an anti-Catholic society, led by the wealthy Protestants that offered all Protestants a place in its ranks, and the promise of promotion and privilege. The annual parades were a key part of this strategy, they filled two roles. They allowed the working class Protestant members a day in the sun to mix with their 'betters' and at the same time lord it over their Catholic neighbours.
At the same time they exposed radical Protestant workers to accusations of being 'traitors' for refusing to take part in the events. Much of the imagery of loyalism, the bonfires, the bunting and the painted kerbstones provide an opportunity to demand of every Protestant worker in a community 'which side are you on'.
Right from the start the parades have been accompanied by violence as they attempt to force their way through areas where they are not wanted. The first parades of 1796 saw one fatality, but in 1797 14 were killed during violence at an Orange parade in Stewartstown. In 1813 an Orange parade through one of the first areas of Belfast identified as 'Catholic' saw four more deaths.

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Eyewitness: The anarchist movement in Russia

A big thanks to our Finnish comrade who spoke in town last night giving our Derry audience a very detailed insight into Anarchism in Russia, the work Antifa and the Anarchist Black Cross. Also thanks to everyone who turned up for the talk.

Over the next couple of months Derry Anarchists are planning another meeting or two, if you would like to find out more about our activities locally and how you can get involved, just drop us an email or a PM via facebook.

Pro Life Pro Mass Murder? - arrested for protesting fascist on 'Rally for Life' march

Saturday's Youth Defense march in Belfast saw a WSM member arrested for protesting the presence of Michael Quinn, the fascist who told the Sunday World that he would "he would have "no problem" with an Anders Breivik style-massacre" in Ireland. When Quinn was pointed out to stewards on the so called 'Rally for Life' they protected him and allowed him to continue on the march. On Sunday Youth Defence deleted posts of the picture of Quinn on the demonstration from their Facebook page and banned people who posted the picture or demanded to know why they had allowed Quinn to march.

One woman described how "I posted up a picture of Micheal Quinn from the Belfast rally on the Youth Defence page. One person replied going something like 'that is a massive generalisation' and before I could reply, by posting up the youtube of his racist rant my post was removed and I was banned from posting on their page. They seem to be particularly sensitive about people revealing Quinn's presence as I had previously posted a link to the Danish survey on mental health and abortion which was not removed and is still rumbling away according to my alerts."

A member of Anti-Fascist Action Ireland, who has been following Michael Quinn's entry into far-right politics since 2010, posted the same image to the Youth Defence page and was also then banned. "I wanted to alert their supporters that long-term YD activist Michael Quinn is now a self-confessed and active White Nationalist and has been building links with Irish neo-Nazis, formerly of the group Celtic Wolves, and Greek fascists from Golden Dawn. For my trouble, my post was deleted and I was banned from the page."
Other people also contacted us to tell us their posts on the same topic had also been deleted from the page. So what are Youth Defence trying to hide and what does it tell of the real nature of the 'Rally for Life'?

Quinn's links with those around Youth Defence go back a long way. On July 11th 2000 the Independent described him as a member of Youth Defence after a court appearance with five other Youth Defence members. The others listed included Justin Barrett and Maurice Colgan. Barrett's link with the far right have already been broadly exposed in the mainstream press but AFA told us that "The former National Organiser of Youth Defence, Maurice Colgan, shared a flat with Anthony Barnes, lead singer of Dublin neo-Nazi bonehead band ‘Celtic Dawn”, in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Colgan was seen at least once, at a YD leafleting session, wearing a Celtic Dawn t-shirt. His friend Barnes was later convicted for assault, slicing a political opponents neck with a beer bottle."  (as reported in the Dublin Tribune, Nov 15 1990)  (Read more )

The Sunday World article revealed that "As the news of the sickening Norwegian terror attack broke last week, DRM chief Quinn (51) took to the web to broadcast his sickening support for the murders." The article then went on to point out that "Fascist Quinn ran for election in Dun Laoghaire in 1992 as an 'Independent pro-life' candidate but failed to gain popular support. He went on to become a supporter of Justin Barrett, the anti-Nice treaty campaigner disgraced over alleged links to European neo-nazis . Barrett and Quinn were arrested at a violent anti-abortion picket of a Dublin hospital in 1999 but the charges were later dropped." Another Sunday World article sub headed "Sick Irish thugs' recruitment drive with members of racist BNP group" published April 29 2012 revealed that Quinn had previously travelled to Belfast to meet with the far right British National Party and loyalists.
There was also controversy over Quinn's presence on last years anti-choice march in Dublin - in short there is no excuse for claiming not to know who and what he is. Quinn is certainly a nut, but after the Breivik massacre in which 76 people were killed, many of them teenagers, nuts cannot be simply dismissed as harmless. The fact that Quinn was not only tolerated but protected by stewards exposes the lie that is the entire 'Pro-Life' label. Those on the pro-choice counter rally were chanting "Pro Life, that's a lie, they don't care of women die" as the march passed. The continued toleration and protection of Quinn reveal that the fundamental truth of that slogan is much deeper than many of those chanting it probably realized. (Watch a copy of Quinn's post massacre youtube video)

The "Rally for Life' was otherwise the standard march of the religious far right determined to continue the regime which makes it possible to criminalize Irish women and doctors. The organizers pulled their usual branding routine of having young women carry the front banner but apart from this banner and a couple of other 'created to be photographed' clumps the march was overwhelmingly composed of religious fundamentalists, men, women over 50 and young children. In other words almost no one on the march was someone who might find themselves pregnant in the near future yet all were determined that a women with a crisis pregnancy should not be allowed to decide themselves whether or not to continue with it.  Many of those marching thrust rosary beads into the faces of those on the counter protest or waved religious placards.  Many of the older men were either wearing priests collars or were wearing the standard priest black shirt with the collar removed. (Facebook album of photos from the march).

The anti-choice march seemed quite a bit smaller than last years march, despite the massive amount spent promoting it and running coaches to it from all over the island. On the other hand the 'organised on a shoestring' counter rally had grown in numbers in comparison with that last year with as many as 300 taking part.

Those attending included a coach load of pro-choice campaigners from Dublin who had been moved to action by the shocking Youth Defence billboard campaign aimed at traumatizing the tens of thousands of Irish women who have had abortions abroad. As we previously reported women outraged at these bill boards have torn many of them down, splashed them with paint or covered them with counter slogans.

All this in the context in the south where the Labour Party seems so scared of Youth Defence that rather than legislate for abortion in the very limited circumstances of the X-Case judgement they voted down a Dail bill to do just this and are hiding behind seeking a report from yet another committee. This 20 years after the X-case and after all previous governments have either tried and failed to overturn this judgment in referenda or also hidden behind getting reports from committees. This pathetic situation has gone on far too long, every day women are forced to make the difficult and often expensive trip aboard for an abortion or risk using medication ordered off the internet to self-induce an abortion at home.

Youth Defence have been crowing about their success in stopping legislation being passed under the weird '100,000 babies saved' slogan. Weird because in reality about that number of women in Ireland have obtained an abortion since 1992 through travel or self inducement. Women have not been prevented exercising choice by Youth Defence, its just been made much more difficult for them. It's time Youth Defence were stood up to, their constant campaigns of shaming and traumatizing women ended and abortion made available, free and on demand as part of the Irish health services north and south.

Eyewitness from the anarchist movement in Russia - public meetings in Ireland

The Ireland segments of a European speaking tour with an Anarchist from Moscow who will talk about the anarchist movement in Russia, its successes and failures. Antti Rautiainen lived in Moscow for 13 years, participating in anarchist activities. His residence permit was revoked in March of this year, allegedly because he "called for a violent overthrow of constitutional order, or otherwise endangered the safety of Russian Federation or its citizens". He is member of Autonomous Action and the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow.

  • Cork on Sat July 7th, 5pm at Solidarity Books, Douglas St.
  • Dublin on Sun, July 8th, 4pm at Seomra Spraoi, 10 Bevedere court D1
  • Belfast on Tue, July 10th, 7pm at Na Croisbhealai Workers Co-op cafe
  • Derry on Wed, July 11th, 7pm Castlebar Waterloo street 
The anarchist movement in Moscow has faced huge challenges in this period, we strongly encourage you to come along and hear Antti's first hand account of these experiences.

Does the handshake with the British Queen spell the demise of Republicanism as a radical alternative in Ireland?

The handshake that lasted 3.7 seconds kept the broadcast media on knife-edge as the crowning moment of the so-called peace process. However, beneath the carefully choreographed piece of political theatre is a settlement built on sand, on managing sectarianism and regulating division, rather than confronting and removing the causes of conflict in our society.

As former IRA member Tommy McKearney summed up, ‘Therein lies the real difficulty many of us have with this contrived handshake. It was merely a piece of theatre, which does nothing to address the real problems faced by the people of Northern Ireland. If anything, this type of symbolic posturing is actually harmful. It displaces and/or prevents mature and necessary debate and reflection on the unequal nature of our society and the detrimental impact of Britain’s ruling class upon the public’s wellbeing.’(1)

The media hype may have receded for now until the next showcase of ‘normality’ but the reality of living in an unequal class society where inequality is at its worst since the second world war (2), came back as a ‘monsoon’ arrived on our steps. In the face of a crumbling water and sewage system and neglect from our local political class, we were left fall back on the spirit of working class mutual aid and solidarity to tackle the devastating floods and damage to homes and communities caused by the Belfast floods.

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Derry and the War on Drugs: An Anarchist View

News that the Red Cross, an international humanitarian organisation, have been directly assisting local community workers in the Rosemount area of Derryhas again heightened concerns of a potential “drugs epidemic” developing in the city.
The story first broke over the last few weeks prior to a BBC Spotlight programme investigating the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs or RAAD.  It revealed that the Red Cross has been working with the Rosemount Resource Centre over the past eight months, believed to be the first time ever the humanitarian group has worked with another organisation in the north.  
It’s been well documented over the last number of years that community workers within the Rosemount Resource Centre liaise with several armed republican groups and a growing number of young people said to be involved in anti-social behaviour or drugs.

Workers at the centre stated that as mediators they help prevent young people falling victim to possible punishment beatings and shootings, being exiled from their families or worse, executed. Likewise it’s said that if it wasn’t for their direct intervention then the numbers killed or maimed locally would be excessively higher.  There’s on doubting that that’s true enough, recent figures show an estimated forty people have been shot in Derryalone as a result of paramilitary-style attacks over the past 5 years. Five in Strabane while another three were shot in Donegal, including a young 24 year old father of one, Andrew Allen, murdered by RAAD in Buncrana back in February.
RAAD themselves have been in existence since 2008, and are said to have been created by members and recent ex-members of the Provisional IRA.  After a pipe-bomb attack outside a house in the city the following year they informed a local newspaper to explain that, “There is absolutely no political agenda within our organisation” stating also that they “rank-and-file members” of Sinn Fein were “fully supportive” of it activities.

Over the past number of months news coming out of Derry at times has resembled some type of Mexican border town rather than a host for the forth coming ‘UK City of Culture’, hence the pressure is on for someone to put a lid on things as the situation spirals out downwards.  The PSNI and RAAD, as well as a number of other republican groups have claimed they too are tackling the “drugs problem”. So in turn our children have been brutality assaulted or beaten, terrorised in house raids, drug finds here and there, people shot by appointment and expelled, blast bombs thrown, elderly people traumatised, even a raid on a rock memorabilia shop for selling ‘legal highs’ has been the order of the day.  So the propaganda war escalates as to who are the rightful ‘protectors of the community’.
Amidst all the hysteria no one has so much as considered even asking the young people themselves as to why some feel the need to be engaged in taking drugs in the first place. No one has considered cutting the drugs trade out from under the dealers, through legalisation or decriminalisation. Nor has anyone considered asking what help or assistance young people themselves could be given in order to tackle the issues surrounding drug taking or criminality?
In what look’s to be more and more like a battle for domination and control ordinary working class households, housing estates and communities have been left behind.

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