IRSP call on Sinn Féin to end diplomatic relations with Israel.

The IRSP shares the dismay and confusion of the vast majority of supporters of the oppressed Palestinian nation at the decision of the Sinn Féin party to meet with, greet and ultimately give legitimacy to the political forces behind the brutal occupation of Palestine.

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In recent days representatives of the Palestinian resistance movement have appealed for Irish supporters of their cause to condemn in the strongest possible terms, Sinn Féin’s decision to court members of the extreme Zionist Likud party, as well as meeting with various representatives of the Occupying Israeli government in Ireland.

Our party endorses fully this position and the general opinion of Professor Haidar Eid of the al-Aqsa University.

As Irish Republicans, Socialists and internationalists we are angered that those claiming to represent the Irish struggle would attempt to give succour and legitimacy to those who endorse, plan and support the systematic murder of thousands of Palestinian people in their quest to establish an illegal Zionist regime.

It is nothing short of embarrassing that our comrades in Palestine would think that the actions of Sinn Féin are somehow representative of the thinking of the Irish people as a whole, they are not. We hold that symbolic Sinn Féin visits to Palestinian political figures or sporadic calls for a boycott cannot cover up that parties failure to uphold the principles of boycott when and where they matter most.

The IRSP assures those suffering in Palestine that our position is one of total rejection towards their oppressors; we endorse the principled position of boycott against Israeli goods, political representation, sporting and cultural expression.

Throughout decades of oppression in apartheid South Africa, the IRSP stood along with Sinn Féin in an effective campaign for a total boycott of all emanations of that regime, recognising that there can be no accommodation between justice and Facism.

We can only surmise on the political pressures which have now coerced Sinn Féin from that position in relation to occupation, apartheid and downright genocide in Palestine. We urge those within Sinn Féin who share our concerns to put immediate pressure on their leadership to ensure that party structures are no longer used by those who would provide oxygen of legitimacy to the brutal Zionist oppressors of Palestine.

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Memorable day in Derry marks 35th Anniversary of ’81 Hunger Strikes

Up to seven hundred people gathered in Derry City, Sunday 21st August to mark the 35th Anniversary of the death of INLA, POW Michael Devine, the end of the 1981 Hunger Strikes and the sacrifice of north west volunteers who … Continue reading

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Memorable day in Derry marks 35th Anniversary of ’81 Hunger Strikes

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Up to seven hundred people gathered in Derry City, Sunday 21st August to mark the 35th Anniversary of the death of INLA, POW Michael Devine, the end of the 1981 Hunger Strikes and the sacrifice of north west volunteers who died in the course of the conflict.

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Republican Socialist faithful gathered at Rosemount factory accompanied by four flute bands including; Parkhead RFB Glasgow and the James Connolly RFB Derry.

The march which was heavily monitored by the PSNI/MI5 in both camera mounted jeeps and by helicopter made its way from Rosemount to Creggan and onto the City Cemetery, led on its way by an IRSM colour party bearing the National Flag, the International Workers Flag, provincial flags and the Battalion Flag of Derry City INLA.

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Along the way local people gathered recalled their memories of the Hunger Strike period, including former H-Block activist Jacqueline Canning who recalled both the tension and anger which existed in Derry City at the time, as well as travelling to Dublin for the now infamous march on the British embassy which was brutally attacked by baton wielding Gardaí, asked what would be a fitting tribute to the martyrs of 1981 she replied ‘a united Ireland and nothing less’.

At the Republican Socialist plot the platform was bedecked with flags of the Palestinian nation, in recognition and solidarity with comrades currently undertaking hunger strike in protest at brutal Israeli oppression of imprisoned freedom fighters there.

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A section of the crowd carry images of the 1981 Hunger Strikers

IRSP Ard Comhairle member Martin McMonagle chaired the proceedings during which he condemned recent attacks upon the local community centre Dove House but urged that the incidents not be used as a smokescreen excuse to wrongly condemn republicans in the city who espouse a different philosophy than establishment parties. The Republican Socialist Movement would not tolerate further attacks on a community resource he concluded.

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Following the lowering of the flags and the reading of the North West and H-block rolls of honour, wreaths were laid on behalf of the INLA, the IRSP Ard Comhairle, Republican Sinn Féin, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement and Republican Network for Unity.

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Derry Battalion flag of the INLA

The main oration was given by Michael Kelly of the Matt McClarnon IRSP Cumann Belfast. Comrade Kelly paid tribute to the herculean struggle of the men of 1981, he also outlined the efforts being made by the IRSP to restructure and grow, giving a personal assurance to the IRSM veterans gathered that the younger activists would carry on the name of the party and struggle which they began and suffered so much for.

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Michael Kelly delivers the main oration

A special message of support and solidarity was sent to comrade Bilal Kayed of the PFLP who is entering a critical stage of Hunger Strike in Palestine.

Following the ceremony several hundred people gathered in the Tower Hotel to listen to a memorable historical lecture delivered by veteran IRSP and INLA prisoners and which outlined the history of Republican Socialist prison resistance.

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Willie Gallagher former INLA prisoner gives a detailed account of various prisoner escapes from Long Kesh and Belfast crown court

Tommy McCourt gave a sterling account of the foundation of the movement from the period of the Official IRA, endorsing the political ideals of Seamus Costello and urging young people present to carry on with the ideals which the IRSP were founded to endorse.

Comrade Willie Gallagher gave a detailed and intense account of INLA prison escapes including a previously unheard an in depth account of the ‘Red Mole’ escape, the first successful mass escape from the cages of Long Kesh.

 

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Rab Collins former OC of Republican Socialist POWs in Long Kesh gives an emotional run down of events leading up to the ’81 Hunger Strikes

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Comrade Tony O’Hara gave a detailed account of the harrowing blanket protest period along with a revisiting and challenging of the historical revisionism which attempted to write the INLA prisoners role out of the period of the 1980 and 1981 Hunger Strikes.

Finally, former INLA O.C Rab Collins gave a moving account of his role in directing the Hunger Strikes addressing the emotional battle which occurred alongside the physical. Rab concluded by addressing how the British State were currently attempting to reintroduce the policy and concept of criminalisation, and reminding young people present that it was now up to them to resist the former policies of Margaret Thatcher in the modern age.

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Families of Mickey Devine, Patsy O’Hara and Kevin Lynch accept presentations on behalf of the Republican Socialist movement

The day was concluded with a presentation ceremony, in which beautiful Chrystal sculptures were presented to the families of INLA Hunger Strikers; Patsy O’Hara, Kevin Lynch and Michael Devine.

 

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PSNI attempt to denigrate memory of the Hunger Strikers during peaceful Falls Road vigil.

The IRSP in Belfast have accused the PSNI of attempting to denigrate the memory of the hunger strikers after a peaceful vigil on the Falls Road (held to mark the anniversary of the death of Michael Devine) was stalked by at least five PSNI vehicles, including a specially adapted camera mounted jeep which circled the vigil for its entire duration recording the identities of those present.

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Upper Springfield IRSP spokesperson Aisling McLaughlan claimed that the harassment began minutes after those present had made their way onto the road to participate in the peaceful and now annual black flag vigil.

Activists had taken up their place on the Falls Road with black flags and images of the Hunger Strikers as we have done so for years now, we noticed at first one jeep which approached us at speed initially with sirens sounding, some activists were forced to move out of the way for their own safety as the jeeps driver appeared determined to park as close as possible to the vigil’.

 Shortly after the arrival of the first jeep, a second with a specialised mounted camera appeared, which for the entire duration of the event drove slowly along the length of the vigil stopping only to capture the faces of those present. Throughout the event several unmarked cars with armed PSNI officers present also drove slowly past the vigil, sounding sirens intermittently and halting traffic as they stopped to point out individual ex-prisoners and members of the IRSP.

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The IRSP spokesperson believes that the PSNI are now attempting to marginalise and intimidate any political activist or action which has not been sanctioned by one of the mainstream Stormont parties here.

“Over the last number of years these people have been engaged in a particularly open and overt campaign of intimidation against the republican and republican socialist community in west Belfast and beyond.

“They have threatened and intimidated legitimate activists, including ex-prisoners, community workers and others and have even attempted to intimidate local artists who commissioned a mural against political policing”.

“Their only conflict seems to be with the principled Republican community and today’s action in denigrating the memory of the hunger strikers is another new low.”

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Following today’s attempted denigration of a Hunger Strike vigil, the Belfast Comhairle Ceantair of the IRSP met and agreed that party activists would be encouraged – in the strongest possible terms – to persist in their legitimate activity despite obvious PSNI provocation and the damning silence from previously hysterical mainstream politicians.

Messages of solidarity with our comrades in Palestine were also relayed including a particular message of support for PFLP Hunger Striker Bilal Kayed.

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National Hunger Strike 35th Anniversary Commemoration – Derry Sunday 21 August 2016

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The National Hunger Strike 35th Anniversary Commemoration leaves Rosemount in Derry at 2pm where it will make it’s way with the Red Flag of International Socialism leading the Colour Party to the Irish Republican Socialist Movement memorial in the City Cemetery.  Transport arrangements can be arranged via the IRSP HQ at Costello House, Belfast; the Derry offices of the IRSP or via your local IRSP representative

“Must we live in the shadow of the tyrant in the chains of slavery?  And must we die to shake the shackles from our limbs and taste the fruits of liberty?  Surely it is not to much to ask for freedom and lasting peace in our native land?  And surely it is not too much to be treated as we truly are – soldiers of Ireland and of the Irish People”

(INLA Volunteer Mickey Devine who laid down his life for political status on 20th August 1981)

 

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Saoirse go deo!

Posted in Commemorations

Vigil For INLA Hunger Strike Martyr Mickey Devine Noon-1pm Saturday 20 August Outside Costello House

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There will be a vigil from 12-1pm on Saturday 20th August 2016 outside Costello House on the Falls Road in remembrance of INLA Hunger Strike Martyr’s 35th anniversary organised by Belfast IRSP.

All available members are to attend.

All freedom loving Republican Socialists are also welcome – Posters and flags will be supplied by the Irish Republican Socialist Party in Belfast.

Irish Republican Socialists will never forget the ultimate sacrifice of Mickey Devine or his 9 other comrades in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh Concentration Camp in 1981!

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Saoirse Go Deo!

Posted in Commemorations

What Can Irish Republican Socialism do for Ireland 2016?

The deadly combination of Imperialism and Capitalism is clear for all to see in 2016 Ireland. Ireland a proud nation that once stood up and defended its people against the biggest Imperial power in the world, a nation that supplied generation after generation whose political thinking has been world renowned amongst global revolutionaries. This nation now lies politically, economically and socially crippled and isolated.

Our nation has become one of low wages, mass unemployment and mass emigration.  The land which boasts a long history of revolution has become a land of zero hour contracts. Contracts designed to spread fear amongst the workers, to weaken trade union movements making it difficult to withdraw labour in any workers dispute. Zero hour contracts are the modern day slave shackles of the working class, shackles which send us to a lifetime of debt and pure reliance on corporate credit and landowners as the working people are in no financial position to own their own property. Ireland ranks second highest in the world in terms of percentage of the population deemed to be in a ‘low wage job’.  Our highly skilled and highly educated youth are forced to work in minimum wage jobs in call centres and Poundlands, while some fight crippling student debt which destroys any hope of a safe personal financial future.

Mass unemployment and Emigration holds a crippling burden on the Irish Working Class. Recent estimates indicate that 22% of our youth across the 32 counties are unemployed while approximately 10% of the population as a whole are unemployed. These figures would be substantially worse if it wasn’t for the ‘Safety valve’ of mass emigration. Over 200,000 young people in Ireland have emigrated in the past 5 years. Emigration leaves our communities with huge socio-economic problems in now and in the future as our potential young highly skilled workforces are exported around the world. Our working class communities left socially empty, demoralized, divided and weak.

Irish Republican Socialism has always been embodied within the Irish Working Class, our ideology has always expressed, promoted and fought for real change in Ireland, this change is needed and more importantly wanted more than ever before. In recent months recent elections in Ireland have shown a swing of support of voters in support of left wing candidates both north and south.  Even though our politics see this as a victory of sorts many of these candidates and parties cannot provide the real change in which Irish Republican Socialism can.

 Irish Republican Socialists has always demanded that the Irish people have their right to National Self-Determination. While many politicians, socialist activists and parties shy away from this matter, national self determination is a pure class issue as it is a fundamental question which the Irish Working Class must face on its road to conquering power, it is a democratic demand pointing to the fullest democracy which creates the perfect conditions for the Irish Working Class struggle. Those who ignore this demand surrender this issue to the capitalist class leaving it open to their solutions.  While this belief in National Self Determination may leave the Irish Republican Socialist movement vulnerable to those who believe in the idea of ‘labour must wait’, any socialist or ‘left winger’ must take the side of those opposed to imperialism and the oppressed as the belief in National Self-determination is the purest form of democracy and democracy is the only way to unite the working class.

 Irish republican Socialists have never believed that the objective of the 32 county Socialist Republic can be achieved through sole individuals or as a party. Examples both in Ireland and worldwide have proven that you cannot change a system via their own political medium to those they exploit.  Irish republican Socialists have always maintained the steadfast belief  that the working class as a unit can only achieve this true objective. Our only allegiance is to the working class and our objective as a group is to help organise and politicise the Irish Working class to achieve our 32 county workers republic.

A 32 county socialist workers republic, created by the incorruptible Irish Working class would be a nation where the needs of the people come before the needs of the financial elite.  A republic where the workers have seized the ‘levers of power’ and the means of production. The billions upon billions worth of profit created by Irish Workers which are today put into the pockets of a few individuals and exported to foreign banks  are seized and put back into the nation. The Republic would provide true working health and education systems which provides for the people. Our National resources will be under the full control of the Irish people and not exploited by multi-national foreign billion dollar companies whose only intention is to exploit and maintain its global financial monopoly at the interest of the few.

 The Irish Republican Socialist ideology provides the Irish Working class the answers to its ongoing devastating problems. Our politics offer  true freedom in every sense of the word, a nation free from imperial and capitalist intervention, a nation free from exploitation and modern day slavery, a nation free from corporate greed and corruption.  The power to achieve this objective lies solely with the working class and the ongoing tireless work of those whose only allegiance is to the protection, politicisation and organisation of the Irish Working Class.

Joe Matthews, Vol. Matt McLarnon IRSP Cumann, Belfast

 
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Drug dealers challenged in Andersonstown

Capture.PNG;;iWest Belfast IRSP last night (2nd August) distributed awareness raising leaflets in the Andersonstown/Shaws Road/Lenadoon areas in response to increasing local concern at a rise in open and clandestine drugs dealing which is occuring both from the shopfront area and from local flats complexes.

Activists delivered hundreds of leaflets to residents as well as to local young people who had gathered close by informing them of how predator Heroin dealers were seeking to take their trade into the locality with particular concern being expressed at how the local schools were vulnerable as drug capitalists were knowingly targeting them as a potential market.

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The IRSP made both local people and the drug capitalists themselves aware that the Republican Socialist Movement were monitoring the situation and encouraged residents to organise against the influence of such parasites operating amongst them, assuring them that the IRSP would back them in any such initiative.

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IRSP activists enter Andersonstown to encourage locals to rally against drugs dealers operating in the area.

Gerry Foster leads IRSP activists enter Andersonstown to encourage locals to rally against drugs dealers operating in the area.

 

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Michael Kelly (Lower Falls) explains to local youths the importance of collective community action against drugs dealers who seek to exploit residents and vulnerable young people.

 

 

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Kevin Lynch commemoration hears calls for active support for Palestinian Hunger Strikers.

Hundreds gathered in Dungiven South Derry today (Sunday 31st July) to march in commemoration of INLA Volunteer and H-Block martyr Kevin Lynch, who died after 71 Days on Hunger Strike, on August 1st 1981.

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A large congregation made up of two RSM colour parties, the James Connolly memorial flute band (Derry City) and the ‘Martyrs of Eireann’ Flute band (South Derry) were joined by several phalanx of Ex RSM prisoners, current IRSP members, a visiting delegation of comrades from the Basque country and many local people.

The march made its way through the South Derry village stopping to lower flags at Kevin’s memorial in the centre of the town before making its way to the local parish church and the final resting place of comrade Lynch.

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Following a minutes silence and lowering of the flags, wreaths were laid on behalf the IRSP Ard Comhairle, the leadership of the INLA and various Cumain from around Ireland.

RSM veteran Danny Morrisson of Derry City delivered a stirring oration in which he pointed out the fact that the Irish Working Class were the mainstay of support for the men of 1981 and that in any future revolutionary situation it will no doubt be left again to the working class to form the vanguard of any fight.

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Those assembled were reminded that although conditions change and the political environment may change “the fundamentals remain constant”, re-iterating the solid opinion of James Connolly who stated that “Britain never had any right in Ireland, has no right in Ireland and never can have any right in Ireland”.

“We have lost too many comrades” he continued, “to allow us do anything but carry on in their struggle, in the spirit of men like Kevin Lynch”.

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Before closing, Danny asked those in attendance to cast their attention towards the plight of Palestinian prisoners embarking upon Hunger Strike in Zionist gaols, in solidarity with activist Bilal Kayed, who was put on administrative detention after completing his prison sentence of more than 14 years and in response embarked on Hunger Strike himself.

Their struggle, really is our struggle” he concluded.

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Belfast IRSP Newsletter ‘Workers Republic’. Summer 2016

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