|éirígí's anti- IMF/ECB banner erected in|
Dé hAoine, Samhain 26, 2010
Dé Domhnaigh, Samhain 21, 2010
Dé hAoine, Samhain 19, 2010
The Great Money Trick
The following short film is a collective reading of an extract from the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell and gives a brief insight into the workings of the capitalist system and how it exploits workers. The reading is from chapter 21 and is seen as one of the key extracts of the book.
Dé Máirt, Samhain 16, 2010
Crises of Capitalism
In the coming weeks, the Twenty-Six Counties are facing the harshest budget in the states history. This budget will see the unemployed, the young, the old, the sick and ordinary workers suffer in order to bail out the capitalist elite who caused the economic calamity we now find ourselves in. In the following short film, renowned academic David Harvey asks if it is time to look beyond capitalism towards a new social order that would allow us to live within a system that really could be responsible, just, and humane.
Dé Sathairn, Samhain 13, 2010
The Struggle for Irish Neutrality
Writing below, Roger Cole of the Peace & Neutrality Alliance recounts the struggle against the facilitation of imperialist powers in Ireland and states the need for Irish neutrality. Read on…
The Peace & Neutrality Alliance [PANA] held its first demonstration at Shannon Airport in May 2002 to protest against its use by US soldiers in the Afghan and then coming Iraq war.
The Alliance has participated in many such demonstrations since. In 2002, 73,000 US troops used Shannon Airport and, by 2009, 250,000 US troops were landing in Shannon. To date, nearly two million US troops, the equivalent of one third of the population of Ireland, have landed in the airport on their way to the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
Planes landing in Shannon Airport are not searched, despite the fact that there is a prima facie case to be made that ‘rendition’ flights have landed in Shannon carrying prisoners on to torture chambers elsewhere. Indeed, not only are the planes not searched by the Garda, the Twenty-Six County state has spent over €17 million on guarding them.
In May 2007, PANA commissioned Lansdowne Market Research to carry out an independent survey on the attitude of the public to Shannon Airport’s use by US troops in the run up to the Twenty-Six County general election that year.
People were asked: “Are you in favour of, or opposed to the use of Shannon Airport by US troops travelling to and from Iraq?”
The results were as follows:
In favour: 19 per cent
Opposed: 58 per cent
No opinion: 21 per cent
Don’t know: 2 per cent
This independent survey was all but ignored by the corporate media and the leaders of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the now-defunct Progressive Democrats all made it clear that they supported the war Iraq war and the use of Shannon Airport in that war during the election.
Thus, on this key issue of war and Ireland’s participation in it, there is clear blue water between the desires of the Irish political/media elite on one hand and the people on the other.
Since then, PANA has continued to campaign against the use of Shannon Airport, which is now spearheaded by a local group affiliated to PANA – Shannonwatch.
Our two websites – www.pana.ie and www.shannonwatch.org – provide substantial information on the ongoing use of Shannon Airport in these apparently unending wars.
The historical origins of Irish neutrality need to be understood.
In 1790, Theobald Wolfe Tone was the first to advocate Irish neutrality in a pamphlet entitled The Spanish War when the British Empire appeared likely to go to war with the Spanish Empire. Tone went on to be one of the founders of the Irish republican movement, so that the demands for Irish independence, democracy and neutrality became intertwined.
However, the original republicans in the United Irish Society were defeated and, throughout the 19th and early 20th century, Irish political leaders opposed national independence, seeking only, at best, a degree of home rule within the British Empire.
It was only with the 1916 Easter Rising and the Tan War that the values of Irish independence, democracy and neutrality were at least partially restored and ensured Twenty-Six County neutrality in World War 2. However, the home rule and imperialist values were not destroyed and their supporters just waited for their time to come again.
In European Union treaty after European Union treaty, these imperialist values grew stronger and stronger as the Irish political elite rejected the republican traditions of democracy, independence and neutrality and supported the acceleration of the integration of Ireland into the EU/US/NATO military structures.
PANA was the only alliance to campaign against the Amsterdam Treaty and provided a shock when 38 per cent voted no. An even bigger shock was caused, with the help of PANA, when the Nice Treaty was defeated as was the Lisbon Treaty, the core purpose of which was to accelerate the militarisation of the EU and liquidate the last remains of the already terminated policy of Irish neutrality. The policy that had, in fact, ended in 2003 when, without even the fig leaf of international law, the US went to war with Iraq and used Shannon Airport with the permission of the Irish political elite in total contravention of the 1907 Hague Convention which explicitly states that, if a state wishes to be regarded as neutral, it cannot allow its territory to be used by belligerents in a war.
When PANA’s international secretary took the Dublin government to court for allowing the use of Shannon Airport, the judge made it clear that the Twenty-Six Counties was, indeed, in breach of the Hague Convention, but since the convention was not part of Irish law, if the Dublin government wanted to end the long standing policy of Irish neutrality, a judge had no right to interfere with that decision.
Finally, the question arises about Ireland’s future. The Irish political/media elite is totally in favour of an imperialist neo-liberal militarist ideology. All they and their ideology now offer the Irish people is unending war and growing poverty. The elite all but totally exclude those in organisations such as PANA from the mainstream media.
However, this policy comes from fear, not from confidence. As anger rises, and new forms of media develop that allows us to communicate, resistance will grow stronger. The overwhelming reality is that the desire for Irish independence, democracy and neutrality can never be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.
They have their wealth and their power. We have the Fenian dead. We have generation after generation of Irish people who fought for our independence on our side. The outcome is inevitable. We will defeat them. The Republic will be established.
Dé Máirt, Samhain 09, 2010
Protest Against Garda Brutality
Protest Against Garda Brutality. Assemble at 6pm, Wednesday, November 10th at the Wolfe Tone Monument, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, before marching to Pearse Street Garda Barracks.
Over the course of the last number of days a large volume of video and photographic evidence has emerged of the Garda attack on student protesters on Wednesday last (November 3). The story that this footage tells sharply contradicts the version of events that have been peddled by the Garda press office and the main media outlets.
Viewers of RTÉ’s main television news programme on Wednesday night could have been forgiven for believing that the ‘violence’ had consisted of a few minutes of relatively minor scuffles outside of the Department of Finance building. No footage of Gardaí in full riot gear beating defenceless and submissive protesters, or Gardaí dragging protesters by the hair, or Gardaí on horses charging into protesters, or Garda attack dogs straining on their leads, were seen by the hundreds of thousands who tuned into the ‘national’ broadcaster.
Nor did RTÉ see fit to broadcast to the people of Ireland the bloodied faces and split heads of the young people who felt the full force of the Garda batons. That the ‘violence’ came almost exclusively from the Gardaí, that it lasted for well over an hour or that it spread from Merrion Row to Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street was all deemed not worthy of mention by the Montrose censors.
And in the immediate aftermath of the Garda onslaught many other private media outlets followed RTÉ’s lead, choosing to focus on ridiculous fantasies about ‘militants’ and ‘extremists’ who supposedly ‘hijacked’ the students’ protest. Journalist after journalist repeated the ludicrous suggestion that up to two thousand intelligent young people had allowed themselves to be ‘hijacked’ by a number of named organisations including éirígí. Not one journalist or commentator thought to ask how precisely so many people, all of whom were in possession of their full faculties, could have been duped into taking part in a building occupation, a sit down protest and other forms of protest.
It seems it is easier to believe in the republican bogey man than the prospect of educated, intelligent young people thinking for themselves. Easier to talk of looney left hijackings than the possibility of young people robustly defending their right to be educated and their right to protest.
Thankfully the days of the RTÉ and Tony O’Reilly media monopoly are over. Even as the Garda attack was continuing word was spreading via mobile phone and internet across the country and the world. By the following morning tens of thousands of people already knew that the official version of events was nothing but a web of lies. With each passing day ever greater numbers of people are learning how the forces of the Twenty-Six County state dealt with dissent on November 3rd 2010.
On Wednesday next (November 10) the student groups Free Education for Everybody (FEE) and Students in Solidarity have organised an anti-Garda brutality march. People are asked to assemble at the Wolfe Tone Monument for 6pm before marching to Pearse Street Garda barracks. Speaking in advance of the protest, Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson encouraged people to join the protest:
“The Garda attack on the students last Wednesday demonstrated once again the true nature of this state. The political establishment and the Garda are quite happy to allow people to march around Dublin city until their feet ache. But should anyone dare to engage in a more direct form of protest such as a building occupation or a sit down protest, or should they refuse to do the bidding of the Garda the punishment is as rapid as it is brutal. The people of Erris in Mayo learned this lesson the hard way over the course of the last five years.
“In May a completely peaceful éirígí protest, in the form of a rooftop banner drop at Anglo Irish Bank, was attacked by members of the public order unit – the same cowboys that ran amok in the Department of Finance last week. Seven members of our party are to go on trial next year on trumped up charges arising from that Garda attack.”
Leeson continued, “It is no accident that last week’s protest was dealt with so harshly, coming as it did just four weeks before the 2011 blood budget. The government and the wider political establishment are sending out a very clear message to the people of this state. They intend to dish out their neo-liberal medicine on December 7th and if you don’t like it you can lump it. And if you protest in a meaningful way you can expect a baton or boot in response.
“These are incredibly important times for the people of Ireland. The shape of our economy and society for generations to come will be decided over the next couple of years. I would encourage everyone who believes in the right to protest to come along to Wednesday’s protest and show solidarity with the students who were attacked. We have to show the Garda and the government that we won’t allow ourselves to be beaten off our own streets.”
Dé Luain, Samhain 01, 2010
Alternative Community Cinema in Donegal
Friday 29th October seen a large crowd gather in Annagry, County Donegal, at the launch of the new Alternative Community Cinema (ACC) initiative. ACC, which has been set up by éirígí activists in Donegal, plans to show various films and documentaries over the next several months with the aim of the initiative to educate through the medium of film screenings.
The first screening which was a Cuban film entitled 'Kangamba' attracted a crowd of over 130 people to the small Annagry Community Hall in the west Donegal village. The film told the story of how Cuban internationalists fought along side the Angolan Liberation Armed Forces during the war against the apartheid forces of South Africa. Those gathered also enjoyed a selection of food and live music by the Afro-Caribbean band 'Talking Drums'.
Attending the event and guest speaker on the night was the Cuban Ambassador to Ireland Teresita Trujillo. Speaking about the film, which Fidel Castro described as one of the most serious and dramtic films he had ever seen, Ambassador Trujillo explained the special meaning the film had for the Cuban people and herself.
|Presentation being made to Cuban|
Ambassador Teresita Trujillo
“This film tells of the heroism of a small number of Cuban internationalists and the assistance they gave to the Angolan people during a time of war and it is a story we are very proud of in Cuba. There are very few families in Cuba who do not have a connection to this story as almost everyone in Cuba had a family member or friend who was involved with that issue in Angola. It also shows the heros that seemingly very ordinary people can be” Ambassador Trujillo said.
“I myself used to live and work in Africa so this film screening had a particular and special meaning for me” she said. “Doing community development and youth work in Africa and Angola itself I had made a lot of friends, some of who died in the long conflict. The story of Cuba's involvement giving aid to the Angolan people was solely one of international solidarity. Our country helped because it was the right thing to do and in 1991 when the last Cuban soldier left Angola the only thing we took with us was the pride we felt in being able to help the Angolan people. This recently made film brought back to life the events of the time and instils pride in our nation and brings the idea of international solidarity to a new generation.” During the evening the Ambassador was presented with a commemorative poster of the event as a mark of appreciation for her attendance and support of the event.
|Cllr Thomas Pringle|
éirígí Tir Chonaill spokesperson Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig who co-ordinated the event thanked the Ambassador for coming to Donegal for the launch of the ACC initiative. “Its great to see the Ambassador here with us tonight. She travelled all the way from Dublin by bus to be here for the event. No fancy limousines for this diplomat!” he quipped as he addressed the crowd. “This is a story of international solidarity and it is one we have a long proud tradition of here in Donegal with the likes of Peadar O'Donnell and others and their involvement in the likes of the anti-fascist International Brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War against the Franco armies.”
|ACC co-ordinator Micheál|
Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig
Thanking those who helped with the event Mr Mac Giolla Easbuig continued “There are so many people who should be thanked, from Ambassador Trujillo and Cllr Thomas Pringle to those who helped organise the project and tonights event. Those too who helped to set up tonight, the caterers and musicians and the staff of Annagry Community Hall must be thanked also for making tonight a success.”
He concluded by saying “Tonight was about solidarity and pulling together. The likes of Annagry Community Hall is for everyone to use and such facilities should be used to their full potential by all of the community for the good of the community. Its amazing what can be achieved when people pull together for a common purpose and use the facilities they have. Hopefully our work here tonight will encourage everyone to organise in their communities and establish similar projects in their own areas for the benefit of all the people”.