Dé Domhnaigh, Feabhra 19, 2012

Save Our DEIS Schools
The recent decision by the Fine Gael and Labour government to implement cuts to the DEIS school initiative, while continuing to fund the elitist private school system, can only be seen as a direct attack on working class people in the Twenty-Six County state and proves that these government parties, despite how they might try to convince us otherwise, are in fact no better than the band of crooks that they replaced.
The DEIS initiative is designed to ensure that the most disadvantaged schools benefit from a comprehensive package of support, while also ensuring that other schools continue to get support in line with the level of disadvantage experienced by their pupils. Not only will these cuts lead to more job losses – teachers, classroom assistants and special needs assistants – the loss of these much needed DEIS funded schemes are an indictment of the education system and will have a huge impact on our society as a whole.
Cork rally against DEIS cuts
In Cork alone there are thirty-seven schools under the DEIS scheme, and of these nineteen schools will see a combined loss of 88 teaching posts which will inevitably lead to higher class numbers. This is not acceptable. Pupils in smaller classes are proven to achieve better results and receive a better standard of education. Therefore there is no logical reason for cutting such vital services as this can only lead to negative social problems for future generations.
éirígí members were among a crowd of over 300 parents, teachers and pupils that braved the wet conditions recently to march through Cork city to voice opposition to these cuts. Parents and teachers took to the stage and made their feelings known about the seriously negative effect these cuts will have on our youth and to plead with Twenty-Six County education minister Ruairí Quinn to reverse the proposed cuts. Quinn has recently admitted he had not fully researched the DEIS initiative before deciding to make these cuts and has promised to review his decision.
Although this ‘review’ is welcomed, it must be noted that Ruairí Quinn has a history of breaking promises with regards to the education of our youth. Before the 2011 general election Quinn had promised not to reintroduce college fees if Labour were to get into government, but within 100 days he had reneged on this pre-election promise thereby ensuring that less students from working-class backgrounds will be able to benefit from the ‘privilege’ of a higher education.
Cork rally against DEIS cuts
Speaking at the march Labhrás Ó Tuama of éirígí Corcaigh said, “The 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic that James Connolly died for stated “The Republic guarantees… equal opportunities to all its citizens”. So for the Labour party, which claims to carry on the legacy of Connolly, to be the ones to cement further the huge class division within our education system proves conclusively that they have betrayed the working class and sold out all of the principles they claim to stand for and.
“éirígí is calling on all parents, teachers, students and anyone who wishes to see a publicly-funded, high quality and widely accessible education system to resist these cuts in any way they can. Contact your local TD to let your opinion be known, come out and march to show your opposition, but most importantly never be fooled by the lies and deceit of those in power.
“The Young Irelander Thomas Davis once wrote, “Educate that you might be free”. At a time when the Twenty-Six County state provides the private school system with annual funds of over €100 million we implore you; resist these attacks on our civil liberties, resist the education cuts! Beir bua!”

Dé Domhnaigh, Feabhra 12, 2012

 Vigils Held in Solidarity with Palestinian Hunger Strikers
éirígí held vigils in Belfast and Newry yesterday [February 11] in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan.
Adnan has been on hunger strike since his arrest by Irsaeli military forces on 17th December 2011. He is protesting against being held in administrative detention – internment without charge or trial for up to six months, which can be repeated indefinitely. He is shackled to a bed and is being tortured and interrogated, and is also not permitted to wash or shower. Khader Adnan has now been joined on hunger strike by his comrades.
Belfast picket
Palestinian prisoners have for years experienced degrading treatment and humiliating conditions at the hands of the Israeli Prison Administration. Their friends and families on the outside have to also endure shameful treatment just to get to visit their loved ones, and sometimes even this can’t happen as detainees are routinely moved from one prison to another with little notice.
Speaking at the Newry vigil, éirígí’s Stephen Murney said, “The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called upon all Palestinian and international organisations and activists to join in a campaign of solidarity with the hunger striking prisoner and to launch protests and solidarity actions in support of Khader Adnan.
Newry vigil
“So here we are here today to show solidarity with our comrades in Palestine who are currently on hunger strike. We have deliberately picked this location, Ray McCreesh Park, for obvious reasons. Over thirty years ago Raymond McCreesh and his comrades also embarked on hunger strike and paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing so.”
Murney continued, “Unsurprisingly the PSNI made a very deliberate and obvious decision that they would target today’s vigil and those taking part in it. This morning, several hours before the vigil, I was stopped and searched in the Derrybeg estate by the PSNI. I was searched for ammunition, wireless apparatus and transmitters, they then attempted, unsuccessfully, to question me about the vigil we would be having. The zionists would be proud of the actions of this militia today.
Belfast picket
“éirígí will continue with our local, national and international campaigns. Internationalism and internationalist solidarity have always been a central theme of Irish republicanism. éirígí understands that now, more than ever, the struggle for an Ireland free of the twin fetters of capitalism and imperialism is integrally linked to the wider international struggle of the poor and oppressed against the rich and powerful.
“For this reason éirígí is committed to building links with progressive organisations and individuals internationally as well as assisting various solidarity campaigns based in Ireland.”

Déardaoin, Feabhra 09, 2012

Cearta Gael á n-Éileamh i Rith an Ama
StormontBa bheag an t-iontas a bhí ar phobal Gaeilge na Sé Condae nuair a rinneadh tagairt d’Acht na Gaeilge i gcuimhní cinn Peter Hain a foilsíodh ar na mallaibh,Outside In. Maidir le cainteanna Chill Rímhinn in 2006, admhaíonn iar-státrúnaí na Breataine nach raibh aon rún ag rialtas na Breataine an tAcht a rith, ag rá gur ‘sheafóid’ a bhí ann ach gur chuir siad é i gComhaontú Chill Rímhinn ar scor ar bith.
Níl an chaimiléireacht neamhiontach seo ag cur aon bhac ar Ghaeilgeoirí a gcearta a éileamh áfach. I ndiaidh stocaireacht agus cruinnithe le habhcóidí Gaeilge, mhol Comhairle na hEorpa le déanaí go bhforbraíodh na húdaráis reachtaíocht chuimsitheach ar an Ghaeilge sna Sé Chondae agus go ndéanaidís beart le cearta teanga phobal na Gaeilge a chonsaint agus a chur i bhfeidhm níos éifeachtaí. Mhol siad chomh maith go ndéanadh na húdaráis tuilleadh le ceist chomharthaíocht phoiblí agus chraoltóireachta a réiteach.
Dúirt Janet Muller ón eagraíocht Pobal, “Tá sé an-suntasach, mar gheall ar an raon leathan de cheisteanna a dhéanann an Coiste Comhairleach trácht orthu a bhaineann le Sasana, le hAlbain, leis an Bhreatain Bheag agus leis an thuaisceart, gur dhírigh siad ar an Ghaeilge mar bhuncheist go réiteofaí láithreach bonn.”
Cé gur tábhachtach é reachtaíocht a bheith ann chun an pobal Gaeilge a chosaint, is léir nach sin tús deireadh an scéil. D’ainneoin go bhfuil sé leagtha amach i gComhaontú Aoine an Chéasta go ndéanfadh rialtas na Breataine “dualgas reachtúil a chur ar an Roinn Oideachais chun oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a spreagadh agus a éascú”, tá sé soiléir go bhfuil lucht leanúna na caipéise úd i Westminster agus i Stormont ag déanamh a bheag den Ghaeloideachas go fóill.
Nuair a thug an mheánscoil Ghaeilge Coláiste Feirste roinn oideachais na Sé Chondae os comhair na cúirte anuraidh as seirbhís bus a dhiúltú don scoil, rinne dlíodóirí na roinne iarracht cinneadh an aire a chosaint as rá nach raibh sa Chomhaontú ach ábhar ‘mianaidhme’.
Bhí sampla eile den drochiompar seo le feiceáil díreach seachtain ó shin nuair a dhiúltaigh aire oideachais Stormont John O’Dowd do mholadh naíscoile reachtúla in iarthar Bhéal Feirste. Rinneadh iarracht an cinneadh a chosaint trína rá nár chóir an naíscoil dheonach a chur in áit naíscoile reachtúla, ach tá foireann dheonach na naíscoile ag streachailt leis na deiche míle punt a thiomsú gach bliain i gceantar díothach Lóiste na Móna leis an scoil an chothú. Pé scéal é, tá an fhoireann tiomanta chun leanúint le deachaighdeán oideachais a chur a fáil trí mheán na Gaeilge sa naíscoil.
Ní thiocfaidh deireadh ariamh leis an streachailt chun cearta Gael a chosaint, ach ní féidir bheith ag brath ar fhreagraí reachtúla nuair is léir go ndéanann na húdaráis neamhaird orthu agus iad míchaoithiúil. Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann an pobal Gaeilge agus is é an pobal céanna sin a chosnóidh agus a chuirfidh an teanga chun cinn i ndeireadh an dála.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Irish Speakers Continue to Demand Rights
Peter HainThere was little surprise in the Irish language community of the Six Counties when the Irish Language Act was referenced in Peter Hain’s recently published memoirs, Outside In. In regards to the St Andrew’s talks in 2006, the former British secretary of state admits that the British government had no intention of passing the Act, saying that it as“nonsense” but they included it in the St Andrew’s Agreement at any rate.
However this unsurprising duplicity has not prevented Irish speakers from demanding their rights. Following lobbying and meetings with Irish language advocates, the Council of Europe recently recommended that authorities “develop comprehensive legislation on the Irish language in Northern Ireland and take resolute measures to protect and implement more effectively the language rights of persons belonging to the Irish-speaking community”. They also recommend that the authorities do more to resolve the issues of public signage and broadcasting.
Janet Muller of the organisation Pobal said, “It is highly significant, given the broad range of issues which the Advisory Committee have commented on throughout England, Scotland, Wales and the North, that they have focussed on the Irish language as a key matter for immediate resolution.”
Although it is important that there be legislation to protect the Irish language community, clearly this is not the beginning and end of the story. Despite it being laid out in the Good Friday Agreement that the British government would “place a statutory duty on the Department of Education to encourage and facilitate Irish medium education”, it is clear that the supporters of that document in Westminster and Stormont are still making little of Irish-medium education.
When the Irish-medium second-level school Coláiste Feirste took the Six-County department of education before the courts last year for refusing the school a bus service, the department’s lawyers attempted to defend the minister’s decision by arguing that the Agreement was merely “aspirational”.
Another example of this negative attitude could be seen just last week when Stormont education minister John O’Dowd rejected a proposal for a statutory nursery in west Belfast. There was an attempt to defend this decision by saying that a voluntary nursery should not be replaced by a statutory nursery, but the voluntary staff at the nursery is struggling to raise tens of thousands of pound every year in the deprived Turf Lodge area to maintain the school. Nonetheless, the staff is committed to continue providing a good standard of education through the medium of Irish in the nursery.
The struggle to defend the rights of Irish speakers will never end, but legislative solutions cannot be depended on when it’s clear that the authorities ignore them when they are inconvenient. The Irish language community prospers by its own initiatives and achievements and ultimately it will be that same community that will defend and develop the language.
Ní neart go cur le chéile.

Dé Máirt, Feabhra 07, 2012

Vita Cortex Workers Keep Her Lit
Support the Vita Cortex WorkersSince December 16th last, the resilient workers of Vita Cortex have braved the undesirable conditions of having to squat in the cold, damp and poorly ventilated warehouse of their former employers in order to demand their just rights from millionaire boss Jack Ronan, and to expose his betrayal of the workers to the public.
As anyone that has visited the workers can assure you, this is not a decision they have taken lightly. Yet despite the inconvenience of their new residence, the agony of being apart from their families and the obvious stress and strain the situation has brought upon them, they remain determined with their spirits unbroken.
But these thirty-two workers, with a combined 847 years of service to the company are not making any unjustifiable demands from Mr. Ronan. All they are asking for is 0.9 weeks pay for every year worked, with the Twenty-Six County government having committed to paying the extra two weeks per years service as agreed to in the Labour Relations Court late last year.
In addition to Vita Cortex, which operates on eight sites in both the Twenty-Six and Six Counties, Ronan has a 300-acre stud farm, two crèches, various plots of development land, a piggery, an extensive residential property portfolio, a retail park, forestry, a couple of supermarkets, a furniture factory in England, and a boar station. He has 27 directorships listed with the Companies Registration Office and won the Irish Field “breeder of the year” award last August for a racehorse called Cape Blanco. With such a vast amount of wealth, the €1.2 million he agreed to pay the workers will undoubtedly not cause him too much hardship.
Over the past few weeks the Vita Cortex 32 have upped their campaign, and began to confront Ronan and fellow shareholder (and father-in-law) Seán McHenry by picketing their homes. Mr. McHenry was quoted as saying, “It’s not very pleasant for my wife and family… But we’ll see it through.”
Commenting on the workers’ situation, Labhras Ó Tuama of éirígí Corcaigh stated, “I’m sure the inconvenience of having the reality of the workers’ struggle brought to your doorstep pales in comparison to the hardship that the workers themselves, and their families, have to endure. Such shameful remarks prove that these men that have benefited from the labour of others are completely out of touch with reality, and are incapable of showing any empathy to the working classes.
“éirígí will continue to stand in solidarity with the Vita Cortex workers, and all other workers who seek to reap the fruit of their own labour, and we urge all working class people to support them in any way they can.
“100 years ago, William Martin Murphy and fellow Dublin capitalists crushed the workers’ struggle with the force of the state and law. Great men like James Connolly and James Larkin became icons of labour movements worldwide, and today it is the Vita Cortex 32 that are inspiring workers in similar situations to stand up for their rights and to rally the cry of Connolly and Larkin, ‘The great only appear great because we are on our knees. Let us arise’.”

Dé Luain, Eanáir 30, 2012

Protest Greets Colombian Vice-President Garzón
On Tuesday [January 24], trade unionists and members of the Irish Colombia Solidarity group Grupo Raíces/Grúpa Fréamhacha, including members of éirígí, held a protest outside Leinster House to coincide with the visit to Ireland of Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzón.
As the protesters displayed a banner with the words ‘Gilmore: Don’t back human rights abuse in Colombia – Demand a ceasefire and talks’ on the street outside, inside Leinster House Garzón held talks with members of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Protest against Colombian Vice-President Angelino Garzón
Apart from the obligatory ‘war on terror’... ‘evil FARC’... ‘give peace a chance’ etc. etc. etc. propaganda that the Colombian Government passes off for a considered update on the political situation in that country, the real motivation for this meeting is that Garzón is currently lobbying for the position as head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Although there are no Irish votes in the election to determine who becomes director-general of the ILO, Garzón is keenly aware of the not inconsequential influence that Irish trade unions have at times been able to exercise with regard to Irish diplomacy vis-a-vis Colombia. Garzón’s real interest here is in trying to exert subtle influence on the perception of Colombia at an EU/European level.
The notion that a representative of the Colombian state might assume a position of such importance to debates on the condition of labour internationally would be laughable if the situation for trade unionists in Colombia wasn’t so critical. Humour however is not something that trade unionists in Colombia can afford – Colombia is the most dangerous country on the planet in which to be a trade unionist. Violence and death are an everyday reality for those who are involved in the struggle for workers’ rights in that country.
In the Colombia section of its 2009 ‘Freedom at Work’ global review the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) paints a grim picture of the conditions experienced by workers, trade unions and union activists in Colombia when it the states that“roughly 4,000 Colombian trade unionists have been murdered in the past 20 years, more than 2,000 of them since 1991.... 2008 saw a disturbing 25% rise in cases of anti-union violence due to increased paramilitary activity. A total of 49 trade unionists were assassinated in 2008 and 2009 has seen a similar labor homicide rate.”
With regard to the complicit role of big business, right-wing paramilitaries and the Colombian State and its legal system the ILRF report continues that “U.S. corporations such as Coca-Cola, Chiquita, Dole, Nestle and the Drummond mining company have been complicit in such egregious union rights violations. The International Rights Advocates (comprised of ILRF’s former lawyers now part of Conrad and Scherer law firm) have brought a number of lawsuits against these companies. The lawsuits charge that companies’ practices of hiring right-wing paramilitary groups to kill and intimidate union leaders is a violation of the Alien Torts Claims Act, a law meant to hold U.S. corporations accountable for human rights violations abroad...
“Workers are also intimidated through the use of death threats, attacks, disappearances, black lists, arrests, dismissals for organizing and widespread contract labor arrangements which limit collective bargaining rights. Only 1.2% of workers in Colombia are covered by a collective bargaining agreement and the rate has been declining over the years as workers see the danger in organizing. Paramilitary groups such as the AUC (United Self Defense Forces of Colombia), which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, are responsible for the majority of the violence targeting trade unions. There is also a pervasive culture of impunity for crimes targeting unions. The ITUC estimates that over 99 percent of the cases were unpunished and/or not investigated and not a single person/organization to order a labor homicide has ever been convicted”.
The words of Tarciscio Mora, director of Colombia’s Confederation of Workers, might help explain the reality that trade unionists experience in the Colombia of 2012 for those who might be tempted to suggest that times have changed and that the new Santos’ administration of which Garzón is a senior member is qualitatively different from the previous administration of ex-President and right-wing paramilitary associate Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
Protest against Colombian Vice-President Angelino GarzónMora is categorical in his assertion that today in Colombia “trade unionists are still being killed” and therefore the candidature of Garzón for ILO director-general is inappropriate. Indeed the latest trade unionist to be murdered in Colombia died on Thursday January 19th. Mauricio Arrendondo of the USO petroleum workers’ trade union and his wife, Janeth Ordoñez Carlosama, were murdered at home by two gunmen. Their murders followed on from deaths threats issued against USO activists in December by right-wing paramilitary death squads.
In a statement released by the USO in the aftermath of the murders the union stated: “We blame this on Colombian State and Ecopetrol for their negligence and slow action in preventing aggression and attempts against our union. We are asking human rights organizations and trade unions both national and international to reject these crimes, and we ask the national government and Ecopetrol to answer for the security of USO members.”
Speaking at the protest éirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac an Mháistir said, “The fact of the matter is that the Colombian economic and political system is anathema to the rights of the overwhelming majority of Colombians. The wholesale, relentless and unimpeded slaughter of those who would seek to organise in defence of the rights of the Colombian working class bears testament to the nature of the Colombian state.
“For Angelino Garzón to be elected head of the ILO would be to profane the memory of the thousands of dead trade unionists whose blood has flowed in the streets of Colombia for no reason other than that of securing the continued accumulation of profits and power for that country’s oligarchy, of which Garzón is a member. On behalf of éirígí I would like to take this opportunity to extend solidarity to the workers and trade unionists of Colombia, and in particular to the families of Mauricio Arrendondo and Janeth Ordoñez Carlosama at this time of great sorrow for them.”

Dé hAoine, Eanáir 27, 2012

Campaign Against the Austerity Treaty Launched in Dublin
A press conference to launch the Campaign for a Social Europe’s ‘Campaign against the Austerity Treaty’ was held in Dublin’s Mont Clare Hotel on Tuesday [January 24]. The Campaign for a Social Europe is the successor organisation to the Campaign against the European Union Constitution (CAEUC) group that campaigned for a No vote in both Lisbon Treaty referendums.
Campaign against the Austerity Treaty launchThe proposed Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union is the latest initiative of the European Union elite to the end of furthering their ultimate goal of economic, political and monetary union.
Speaking at the event éirígí Councillor Louise Minihan said:
“The proposed treaty on ‘Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union’ is in reality an Austerity Treaty. The goal of those who are pushing this treaty is to force the further erosion of our national and economic sovereignty. Their aim is to remove our hard fought for democratic rights. Ireland is now in a position of total colonial occupation. We are a colony. British Imperialism continues to illegally occupy the Six Counties. In the Twenty-Six Counties we are once again under the rule of European imperialism in the guise of the EU/ECB/ IMF troika. The terms of the proposed treaty would see the 26-County State become nothing more than an economic province of Europe, a far cry from the vision of sovereignty and independence as envisioned in the 1916 Proclamation.
“As a republican I believe in ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’. The terms of this austerity treaty are anathema to this notion; this treaty will see democratic decisions on Ireland’s future taken out of the hands of the Irish people and placed into the hands of faceless unaccountable bureaucrats who serve the agenda of the powerful and wealthy.
Louise Minihan addresses the launch
eirigi councillor Louise Minihan
“The terms of the treaty will see high levels of unemployment persist for decades to come as well as social welfare provision driven further down. Combined with ongoing cuts to health and education, acceptance of this treaty will drive many Irish families further into poverty. We all remember how we were promised the Lisbon Treaty would ensure jobs for our unemployed yet since that treaty was been signed the dole queues have continued to grow.
“In the interest of democracy, the Fine Gael/Labour Government must put the terms of this treaty to the people by way of referendum. Not to do so would be to grossly insult the people. The consequences for all of our futures arising out of the terms of the proposed treaty are too great to be made by political parties, particularly by parties who have shown they do not have the interests of the Irish people at heart.
“We are demanding a referendum on this issue and will not settle for anything less. We will campaign for a No vote in that referendum. A No vote is a vote against austerity. It is a vote against the cutbacks which have inflicted widespread hardship on families up and down the country; it is a vote against the anti-worker policies that have been pursued by successive governments for too long.”

Dé Luain, Eanáir 16, 2012

Ahmad Sa’adat – Ten Years a Hostage
Ahmad Sa’adatYesterday, January 15, marked the tenth anniversary of the abduction and imprisonment of Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Below we carry a statement by the Campaign to Free Ahmad Sa’adat marking the anniversary and giving advice on how to support the struggle for Sa’adat’s release.
January 15, 2012 is the 10th anniversary of the abduction of Palestinian political leader Ahmad Sa’adat by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah at the hands of the PA intelligence services headed by Tawfiq Tirawi. Sa’adat, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has been imprisoned for ten years – first by PA security, then under US and British guard in a PA prison in Jericho, and now, for the past six years, inside Israeli jails alongside thousands of other Palestinian political prisoners after a siege on Jericho and the kidnapping of Sa’adat and his comrades in 2006.
The kidnapping of Ahmad Sa’adat on January 15, 2002, was emblematic of the deep damage of the crime of “security cooperation” to the Palestinian people and their national cause. “Security cooperation” has meant nothing but attacks on the Palestinian resistance at the behest of Israel, committed by Palestinian Authority hands. The abduction of Ahmad Sa’adat, and his imprisonment – and that of his comrades – in the PA prison in Jericho, under U.S. and British guard, was a clear example of the PA’s status as fundamentally beholden to the interests of Israel, the U.S. and other international powers, at the expense of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian resistance.
The abduction of Ahmad Sa’adat has come to symbolize the thousands of Palestinians who have gone through the jails of the PA because of their loyalty to the Palestinian people, cause and resistance, and the impunity of PA officials – like Tawfiq Tirawi – who continue to find lucrative and influential positions within the Authority despite their shameless acts of betrayal, imprisoning, and abducting Palestinian leaders and activists.
This complicity with Israeli demands for the subjugation and suppression of the Palestinian people led directly to the Israeli assault on Jericho prison in 2006, where Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades were immobilized in the face of Israeli occupation aggression. Sa’adat had never been charged with a crime throughout his four years in PA prison; his release had been ordered by the PA’s highest court. Yet the PA refused to release Sa’adat, respecting the dictates of Israel, the US and Britain above Palestinian legitimacy; it claimed that it “could not guarantee his safety” outside the prison. Yet it simultaneously guaranteed that he and his comrades could not be safe from Israeli aggression, their locations known at all times by Israel and under the watchful eyes of U.S. and British guards, directly in collusion with Israel. (It should be noted that, forewarned of the attack, the U.S. and British guards absented Jericho prison at the request of the Israeli occupation army.)
Since his second kidnapping, from a PA prison to the heart of the occupation’s jails, Ahmad Sa’adat has remained a leader of the prisoners’ movement. Today, he has spent nearly three full years in isolation at the hands of the occupation. He was an inspiration - and his release from isolation a key demand of the prisoners’ hunger strike that galvanized the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and the prisoners’ cause in October 2011.
Just as Sa’adat’s kidnapping is a symbol of the crime of security cooperation, Sa’adat’s imprisonment in the hands of the occupation is a symbol of the steadfastness of the nearly 5,000 prisoners inside the jails of the occupation – like his fellow prisoners, resisting isolation, refusing rights violations, and not allowing their will and strength to be broken by the actions of the occupation jailers.
Ten years after the abduction of Ahmad Sa’adat, this anniversary is a reminder that we must continue to organize, act, and demand the freedom of Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian political prisoners, and expose the complicity of the U.S., British, Canadian and other international governments in the enforcement of “security cooperation” and the abuse and mass imprisonment of Palestinian political leaders and activists by the Israeli occupation. While the Quartet pushes the Palestinian Authority to return to bogus negotiations with the occupation (while the occupation continues settlement expansion, ethnic cleansing, land confiscation, home demolitions, isolation, solitary confinement, and mass imprisonment), it is urgent that we form an international popular basis of support for the Palestinian people and their activists and leaders inside the jails of the occupation, rather than those complicit with the occupation at the table of negotiations.

Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 11, 2012

One in Five Children Live in Poverty
John McCuskerOver 80,000 children in the Six Counties are living in poverty, according to a new report published yesterday [January 10].
The report, produced by the Campaign to End Child Poverty, found that over 1 in 5 children in the statelet live below the poverty line – the point at which families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating and clothing.
That figure rises to over 2 in 5 in West Belfast (where 46 per cent of children live in poverty) and North Belfast (41 per cent), with Derry close behind at 36 per cent.
The report also reveals that there are now more children in households without work, and in households where only some of the adults have jobs.
Commenting on the report, éirígí representative John McCusker condemned the dire situation in which more and more families are finding themselves.
He said, “It’s disgraceful that families are being forced to choose between feeding themselves or heating their homes, and it’s a situation that’s more common than many people are willing to admit.
“In my local area in West Belfast, the figures for child poverty given in the report are appallingly high – 64 per cent in Whiterock, 63 per cent in Falls, 56 in Clonard and 53 in the Upper Springfield.
“This already intolerable situation will only worsen as our communities feel the bite of the Tory cuts agenda. People in work are having their pay frozen or reduced and, and people in receipt of benefits are finding these slashed. Add to this that more people are finding that their income cannot keep up with inflation and it’s clear that many families are struggling to afford even the basics.
“The cabinet of millionaires in Westminster will not have to face these circumstances, neither will the Stormont politicians who are just getting by on their £43,000-a-year ‘poverty’ pay.”
John concluded, “The most vulnerable are suffering the most from the regressive economic policies of the Tories. This sorry state of affairs will continue only as long as people allow it. Workers are facing further attacks on pay and conditions, and people on benefits and tax credits will see all of these schemes cut as the British government and its Stormont administration continue with their austerity economics. Now is the time to say ‘No more’ so we don’t condemn yet another generation of children to a poverty-ridden existence.”

Dé Luain, Eanáir 02, 2012

Ráiteas Athbhliana 2012 éirígí

(english version follows)

Tapaíonn éirígí deis na hAthbhliana chun aitheantas agus ómós a thabhairt dóibh siúd go léir a thacaaigh leis an streachailt ar son Éire shaor in 2011. Agus an Bhliain Úr linn, ba mhian le éirígí a dtiomantas a athmhaíomh do shárú fhorghabháil na Breataine ar na Sé Chondae agus an chórais shoch-eacnamaíochta chaipitligh atá ar dhá thaobh na teorann.
Do na milliúin daoine ar fud na hÉireann, cuimhneofar ar Éirinn 2011 mar bhliain de chiorruithe, déine, dífhostaíocht, eisimirce, bochtanas agus éadóchas. Agus an ghéarchéim chaipitleach dhomhanda ag dul in olcas, thromaigh an lucht ceannais sa dá stát a n-ionsaí ar na daoine is laige sa tsochaí, ag cinneadh go n-íocfadh an mórán as saint an bheagáin.
Chuir pleidhcí fonnmhara i dTeach Laighean agus Stormont orduithe frith-shóisialta de chuid a máistrí i mBeirlín, Washington agus Londain i bhfeidhm go sona. Lena mbeart tá éagóir déanta ag na riaracháin sa dá stáitín teipthe ar mhuintir na hÉireann; ag ualú na glúine seo agus glún le teacht le díobháil agus fiacha gan áireamh. Ar mhaithe le scothaicme ceannais na n-airgeadaithe, forbróirí réadmhaoine, baincéirí agus polaiteoirí.
Rinne stát na Breataine iarracht a chumhacht mhailíseach a mhéadaú in Éirinn in 2011. Sna Sé Chondae lean póilíneacht pharaimíleata na Breataine lena feachtas ciaptha agus imeaglaithe ar an phobal náisiúnach go ginearálta agus ar ghníomhaithe poblachtacha go háirithe. Baineadh úsáid as sciuirdeanna tí, stad agus cuardach, baitíní agus piléir phlaisteacha chun imeaglú agus ionsaí a dheánamh ar dhaoine atá go fóill ag cur i gcoinne na forghabhála. Thug na gníomhaíochtaí seo de chuid an PSNI tuilleadh fianaise ar nádúr doleasaithe phóilíniú na Breataine in Éirinn. Glaonn éirígí orthu siúd a dúirt go raibh a leithéid de leasú indéanta glacadh le réaltacht an scéil agus a dtacaíocht a aistharraingt ó phóilíneacht pharailmíleata na Breataine agus córas dlí na Breataine.
Sa bhliain ina dearnadh cuimhne ar an tríochadú bliain ó chinn Stailc Ocrais 1981 ar fud na cruinne, lean rialtas na Breataine ag iarraidh caitheamh le cimí polaitiúla poblachtacha mar choirpigh, a raibh an agóid intuartha agus inchosanta ag na cimí céanna mar thoradh air. Athdhearbhaíonn éirígí a dtacaíocht leis na cimí ar agóid i bPríosún Mhaigh gCabraí in 2012 agus éilíonn ar na riaracháin i Stormont agus Westminster stádas polaitiúil iomlán a thabhairt dóibh gan mhoill.
Sna Sé Chondae Fichead bhí éirígí ar thús cadhnaíochta ag eagrú chur i gcoinne do chuairt stáit Elizabeth Windsor. Bhrúigh an cur i gcoinne sin rialtas Átha Cliath chun an obráid shlándála is mó le linn cuimhne a chur i bhfeidhm, ina measc bhí cur faoi ghlas chuid mhaith de Bhaile Átha Cliath ar feadh seachtaine. D’ainneoin áibhéil na meán chorparáideach agus an stáit, dhaingnigh máirseáil Windsor trí chathair bhán nádúr mínormálta an chaidrimh idir an Bhreatain agus Éire. Lean na daoine bhí páirteach sna hagóidí sráide agus i bhfeachtas leathan an chur i gcoinne do chuairt Windsor coiscéim Connolly agus Markievicz, a bhí i mbun cur i gcoinne don chuairt dheireanach chuig Baile Átha Cliath ag monarc Briotanach. Moltar iad as a gcalmacht agus a smacht in aghaidh neart saighdte.
Go hidirnáisúnta thug an streachailt in éadan tíorántacht an impiriúlachais, na margaí agus an nua-liobrálachais talamh leis le bliain anuas. Bhuail na milliúin daoine ar fud na cruinne na sráideanna le dúshlán a thabhairt dá scothaicmí ceannais, ag solathár fíordhóchas do fhéidearthacht na haistroda domhanda. Sna Stáit Aontaithe, san Eoraip, sa MheánOirthear agus eile thug oll-léirsithe agus gníomh stailce spléachadh de na féidearthachtaí ar féidir le hollghluaiseacht dhomhanda ar son ceartais a tháirgeadh. Ag aithint an ghá le freagra sóisialach domhanda ar fhadhb chaipitleach dhomhanda, tapaíonn éirígí an deis le beannachtaí dlúthpháirtíochta na hAthbhliana a chur chucu siúd go léir atá ag troid in éadan éadulaingthe, leithcheala agus dúshaothraithe.
Leis an Bhreatain i gceannas ar na Sé Chondae agus an IMF/EU/ECB i gceannas ar na Sé Chondae Fichead tá Éire trína chéile anois faoi fhorghabháil eachtrannach den chéad uair le beagnach céad bliain. An rud nár féidir a bhaint amach le tancanna agus gunnaí, tá sé déanta anois le conraí agus tarrthálacha. Ta clár na gcomh-fhorghabhálacha seo soiléir – cruthú ord polaitiúil, sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta nualiobrálach atá éagórach – ord ina mbeidh líon síorardaithe cumhachta agus maoine cruinnithe i láimhe líon síorlaghdaithe daoine.
Agus 2012 ag tosnú is mó an gá le gluaiseacht phoblachtach réabhlóideach Éireannach athspreagtha. Tá na smaointe ag croí an phoblachtachais Éireannaigh chomh ábhartha inniu agus a bhí siad nuair a tháinig siad chun cinn den chéad uair sna 1790s. Tá codarsnacht shuntasach idir fís Éire shaor rialaithe ag na daoine ar mhaithe leis na daoine agus Éire éagothrom, ghafa agus críochdheighilte an lae inniu. Is í Poblacht Shóisialach Dhaonlathach uile-Éireann nua an t-aon mhalairt inmharthana agus inbhuanaithe ar an deighilt, bhochtanas agus anord atá déanta ag an chóras reatha.
Tá tógáil gluaiseachta coiteanna a chuirfeas a leithéid de phoblacht nua faoi seoil cheana. Sa bhliain le teacht tá sé de rún ag éirígí an tógáil sin a luasú, trína bhfeachtais chur i gcoinne gníomhach do fhorghabhálacha na Breataine agus an IMF/EU/EBC a threisiú.
Molann éirígí do na poblachtóirí sin a chúlaigh ó streachailt ghníomhach chun athmhachnamh a dhéanamh ar a seasamh agus bliain úr ag tosnú. Is annamh a raibh dhúshláin ní ba mhó os comhair mhuintir na hÉireann ná na cinn atá ann faoi láthair. Tá géarghá le bhur scileanna, taithí agus croí sa tréimhse seo inár stair. Agus dóibhsean nach raibh riamh gníomhach i streachailt tugann éirígí cuireadh le bheith linn in seasamh a ghlacadh in éadan fhorghabhála agus éagóra. Le chéile is féidir linn gluaiseacht phoblachtach réabhlóideach a thógáil a bheas ábalta stát uile-Éireann nua a chruthú – ceann a ráthós i ndáiríre cearta polaitíochta, sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta chách, neamhaireach ar a n-inscne, a gcreideamh ná a gcine.

éirígí New Year Statement 2012
éirígí takes the opportunity of the New Year to recognise and pay tribute to all those who supported the struggle for a free Ireland in 2011. As the New Year dawns, éirígí also wishes to restate its commitment to the overthrow of the British occupation of the Six Counties and the capitalist socio-economic system which exists on both sides the border.
éirígíFor millions of people across Ireland 2011 will be remembered as a year of cutbacks, austerity, unemployment, emigration, poverty and despair. As the global capitalist crisis deepened the ruling class in both states intensified their attacks upon the weakest in society, determining that the many should pay for the greed of the few.
Willing fools in Leinster House and Stormont happily implemented the anti-social dictates of their respective masters in Berlin, Washington and London. By their actions the administrations in both failed statelets have committed a great wrong against the people of Ireland; burdening this and future generations with untold debts and deprivation. And all in order to protect the ruling elite of financiers, property developers, bankers and politicians.
2011 saw the British state attempt to further increase its malign influence in Ireland. In the Six Counties Britain’s paramilitary police continued with their campaign of harassment and intimidation of the nationalist community in general and republican activists in particular. House raids, stop and search, batons and plastic bullets were all used to intimidate and attack those who continue to resist the occupation. These activities by the PSNI provided yet more proof of the irreformable nature of British policing in Ireland. éirígí again calls on those who claimed that such reform was possible to accept the reality of the situation and withdraw their support for Britain’s paramilitary police and Britain’s legal system.
In a year that saw the thirtieth anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike remembered across the world the British government continued to attempt to treat republican political prisoners as criminals, resulting in an entirely predictable and justified protest by those same prisoners. éirígí reaffirms its support for the protesting prisoners in Maghaberrry Jail in 2012 and calls upon the administrations in Stormont and Westminster to grant them full political status immediately.
In the Twenty-Six Counties éirígí was to the fore of organising opposition to the state visit of Elizabeth Windsor. That opposition forced the Dublin government to mount the largest security operation in living memory, including the lock-down of much of Dublin city for up to a week. Despite the hype of the state and corporate media, the parading of Windsor through a sterile ghost city did little but reinforce the very abnormal nature of relations between Britain and Ireland. Those who joined the street protests and wider campaign of opposition to the Windsor visit followed in the footsteps of Connolly and Markievicz, who in their time led opposition to the last visit to Dublin by a British monarch. For their bravery and discipline in the face of ample provocation they are to be commended.
Internationally the struggle against the tyranny of imperialism, the markets and neo-liberalism gained much ground over the last twelve months. Countless millions across the globe took to the streets to challenge their respective ruling elites, providing real hope for the possibility of a global fight back. In the United States, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere mass demonstrations and industrial action gave a glimpse of the possibilities that a global mass movement for justice could produce. Recognising the need for a global socialist solution to a global capitalist problem, éirígí takes the opportunity to send New Year’s solidarity greetings to all of those who fight against intolerance, discrimination and exploitation.
With Britain in control of the Six Counties and the IMF/EU/ECB in control of the Twenty-Six Counties all of Ireland is now under an effective foreign occupation for the first time in almost a century. What could not be achieved with tanks and guns has now been realised with treaties and bailouts. The agenda of these joint occupations is clear – the creation of a deeply unjust neo-liberal political, social and economic order – an order which will see an ever increasing amount of power and wealth concentrated into the hands of an ever decreasing number of people.
As 2012 begins the need for a reinvigorated Irish revolutionary republican movement has never been greater. The ideas at the core of Irish republicanism are as relevant today as they were when they first emerged in the 1790s. The vision of a free Ireland governed by the people for the people stands in stark contrast to the partitioned, occupied and deeply unequal Ireland of today. A new all-Ireland Democratic Socialist Republic represents the only viable and sustainable alternative to the division, poverty and chaos that the current system has produced.
The building of a popular movement that will deliver such a new republic is already underway. Over the coming twelve months éirígí intends to accelerate that build, by increasing its campaigns of active opposition to the British and IMF/EU/ECB occupations.
éirígí encourages those republicans who have withdrawn from active struggle to reconsider their position as a new year begins. The Irish people have rarely faced greater challenges than those that currently confront them. Your skills, experience and heart are badly needed at this juncture in our history. And to those who have never been active in struggle éirígí extends an invite to join with us in taking a stand against occupation and injustice. Together we can build a revolutionary republican movement capable of creating a new all-Ireland state – one which will genuinely guarantee the political, social and economic rights of all, regardless of their gender, religion or race.