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O'Hagen WP on the attacks on Garland

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis author Friday November 11, 2005 14:29author by Stickie Report this post to the editors

“Garland the Target Since 1972”
Oration by Des O’Hagan,
Central Executive Committeee member of The Workers’ Party at Milltown Cemetery - Sunday 30 October 2005 - On the 30th Anniversary of the Pogrom, October 1975

In our short history as a Workers’ Party we have been subject to many serious assaults and therefore were compelled to make critical decisions in line with our ideological position. From the creation of the Provisional Alliance by right wing forces and gross sectarian elements, both native and foreign, the attempts to kill our membership and leadership in 1975 by right wing and ultra-left gangs, to the defections and betrayals of 1992, these have been difficult years.
Now we are faced with another even more insidious assault on our Party - the attempt to extradite our Party President, Sean Garland, by the infamous Bush administration, the most right wing government the American people ever have to endure and which has brought enormous bloody suffering and death to the Arab peoples of the Middle East. The war against Iraq which now threatens to engulf neighbouring states, was launched on lies about weapons of mass destruction and the fabrication of evidence, now exposed, by the highest figures in the American administration, top advisor Karl Rove, known as Bush’s Brain and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney. Libby is now charged with perjury, false statements and obstructing justice. The investigation into Rove continues.
As we remember our comrades and supporters gunned down without warning by the Provisionals on October 29 1975, let us reflect on two questions. Could these events in our history, from 1972 to 1992 have been avoided? And secondly were they stand-alone happenings without any connection, without any common thread running through them? You will have noticed, comrades, that though there are two questions here, they are really deeply interconnected.
Yes, they could have been avoided. But only if we had abandoned fundamental principles. What were and are these? In 1972 we refused, categorically, to add to the growing murderous sectarian slaughter, because we believed and believe in the unity of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter and there would be no progress towards a democratic republic, never mind a democratic, secular, socialist unitary state, without that unity.
To state how right we were, is not to gloat, but to recognise that working class Protestants must have the same goals. There will be no socialist revolution in Ireland without the wholehearted compliance of the majority of workers, both Protestant and Catholic. Those who persisted in terrorist violence and murder after 1972, ensured even deeper and more vicious sectarian division, than had hitherto existed, and on that account served the interests of capitalism, as surely as if they were receiving daily orders from Washington and Downing Street. Bear that in mind, comrades and friends.
By 1975 the “remnants of sectarian militants” either departed or were expelled from the Party. They armed themselves, murdered and tried to murder many good comrades and embarked down the same road as the Provisionals. During the three years from 1972 that they remained within the Party they had factionalised and sought, not only to disrupt the Party at every opportunity, but also tried to divert the Party into a so-called war of liberation in Northern Ireland.
Then came October 1975. We know the bloody details of those murdered on the night of October 29th and those seriously wounded and the subsequent murders and wounding. But behind the blind hatred for our Party lies a more sinister dimension. How was it possible for Provisional gangs to roam freely through the streets of Belfast? The answer is obvious for those willing to look. Incident centres had been set up, weapons given by the British Army to the Provisionals “to police” districts and on the night in question many British Army patrols withdrawn so that they could go about their killing. The truth of that statement is underlined by the actions of a lone British patrol later that evening. Tommy Flanagan snatched by a Provisional gang was being driven to certain death when the car in which he was travelling was stopped by this British patrol. Tommy barefooted and in his shirt sleeves, made a dash for freedom. The armed gang in the car were allowed to proceed. No one was questioned, arrested or charged.
That period was collusion in murder and attempted murder.
In defence of that collaboration between the British Army and the Provisionals, their American newspaper, The Irish People, in its November issue’s front-page headlines, gives its version of the pogrom. “Provisional wedge against communism in Ireland”. The same paper employed people who were either members of the CIA or their informants. Bear that also in mind, comrades and friends.
By 1977 the Party had fixed its sights clearly on our goal - socialism. Our name was changed to Sinn Fein The Workers’ Party. Then in 1982 we discarded the prefix Sinn Fein and declared ourselves to be The Workers’ Party. This was not, repeat not, a break with the Republican tradition. It marked our approval of and allegiance to the most human strand in Irish and international political thought that stretched back to Paine, Tone, Hope and Russell, to Marx, Engels and Davitt. It found its modern expression in Ireland in James Connolly, Liam Mellowes, Frank Ryan and Cathal Goulding.
From the early seventies we had identified with the Soviet fighters against Tzarism and Nazism, the republican heroes of the Spanish Civil War, the ex-colonies fighting for freedom in Africa, the gallant Vietnamese people who defeated the mighty American war machine and their comrade counterparts in Latin America.
We built fraternal relationships with many of the socialist countries - the USSR, China, Vietnam, the GDR, Cuba, the DPRK (North Korea), Czechoslovakia and many communist and workers and socialist parties throughout the world. We stood in other words openly and clearly against the growing ravenous monster of American imperialism. No one could be in any doubt where our allegiances lay and still do, who were our comrades and who were our enemies. Bear that also in mind, comrades and friends.
During those years the Party went from strength to strength. In the Republic we won many local government seats, seats in the Dail and a seat in Europe. Workers were beginning to look at the Party as their defence in an age of Thatcherism. In Northern Ireland while we still found it difficult to increase our representation, our vote was growing, breakthroughs seemed certain.
But at the end of the 1980s the catastrophic collapse of the socialist countries in Europe created havoc in socialist, workers and communist parties throughout the world. Virtually overnight our Party was under attack by the parliamentary cabal in the Dail rushing to safeguard their seats against what they believed, in Gustav Havel’s words was the death of socialism.
Not only that, but in their attacks on the Party they took a leaf out of the Provisionals’ book of 1975. Our comrades in the Markets’ district of Belfast were accused, by a spokesperson for the cabal, of criminality, because they refused to bend the knee to renewed attacks by the Provisionals! Naturally this received widespread publicity in all media outlets. The pronouncements of the Dail cabal were also trumpeted in major newspapers and on television. Let me make it absolutely clear, here and now. Every member of the Party both in and outside the Dail knew that we reserved the right to defend ourselves from any physical attacks. No one was in any doubt about that. To pretend otherwise is simply a lie. So much then for principles, so much for comradeship, so much for loyalty and so much for ideology.
So far then, comrades and friends, from 1972 until 1992, the attacks on the Party and on particular individual members have included murder, attempted murder, accusations of criminality, widespread campaigns of black propaganda, including misinformation and misrepresentation. There was one purpose and one purpose only - to eliminate The Workers’ Party and its ideology. That was and is the common strand that persists to this day.
However that is not the whole story. As far back as 1972 as has been revealed recently by former Provisional Eddie Gallagher who was responsible for the abduction of Dutch industrialist Mr. Herrema elements in the Provisionals were approached by prominent Irish politicians to murder the leadership of the “Official IRA”. It also was alleged roundabout the same time in Derry City, by former IRA member John White, that Sean Garland in particular should be assassinated.
Only three years later Sean Garland survived a murder bid, although grievously wounded. The leadership and members in Belfast, a key component of our organisation, were subject to repeated murderous attacks leaving senior figures dead and many wounded. Were these just bizarre coincidences or were there guiding hands, one filled with guarantees of wealth and the other with weapons?
Let us look at the context, more so than the individuals who carried out these acts of criminal terrorism.
The Provisionals were founded by disparate nationalist/sectarian elements. But from their origins to this day America has played a more than substantial role in their bloody affairs. Money and guns flowed freely from the US - NorAid was the channel for the collection of vast sums of money from Irish Americans, many of whom were as right wing as the present George Bush. Leading Provisionals such as Joe Cahill were allowed to tour the States unhindered. Part of this role, trading on his jail history, was to contact Irish priests or priests of Irish descent, defaming our leadership and members, singing different tunes to different audiences. We were communists or criminals or pro-unionist, whatever each audience would like to hear.
It takes no stretch of the imagination to see how the Provisionals in 1975, dependent on American largesse and goodwill, needed little or any encouragement to attack the Party as the headline, quoted previously, proves conclusively.
The case of the IRSP is slightly different, but again America is deeply involved. During the early 1970s American ultra-left groups, of which there were many, sought to influence our organisation. One in particular stands out for its linkages with the IRSP. That was the American Socialist Workers’ Party. Later it would become notorious when it was revealed that a large number of secret service agents (FBI, CIA etc) were in their ranks. At one meeting of several hundred more than half were working for the American government.
Articles on Ireland were written by one Gerry Foley, a frequent visitor to Dublin and published in the A.S.W.P. magazine Intercontinental Press. Foley was not his real name as he was an emigrant from Poland, but it helped him blend into the Irish political landscape. Prior to the creation of the IRSP article began to appear attacking the Party’s support for the socialist states, especially the USSR. Subsequently then Foley launched a series of articles praising the breakaway group as the real revolutionary socialist force in Ireland and defending their murderous actions against our Party. It is notable that certain ultra-leftist Irish journalists took up the same theme and wrote the Party’s obituary. The Party, however, refused to die and went, as was said earlier, from strength to strength.
This is a classic example of CIA manipulation of politics and murder in foreign countries, particularly through intermediaries of the ultra-left or the nationalist right. The examples are worldwide from Chile to Angola to the Congo and Iran. And they have not been loath to employ the same tactics against their own citizens.
The story was different in 1992. This time the American target was not individuals as such. The Party itself was to be eliminated through the indirect manipulation of the cabal in the Dail.
For years as part of their propaganda war against the socialist countries, American undercover agents in Europe had infiltrated all parties of the left, but concentrating on the larger communist parties of Western Europe, France, Italy and Spain. Their tactics were to foster and exploit differences, encourage factionalism, individualism, Euro communism (i.e. anti-socialist countries viewpoints), social democratic tendencies and negative fears about the validity and vitality of the socialist project.
The late 1980s was their golden opportunity, aided by the collapse of the socialist countries. Although the majority of our members refused to follow the strenuous efforts of the Parliamentary cabal (with one honourable exception former Party President Tomas MacGiolla, TD for Dublin West) to liquidate the Party and register as a social democratic tendency to be known as “Democratic Left”, grave damage was done to Party funds and membership. However once again in spite of long range American intervention the Party stayed in existence.
Since then, as you know, we have been slowly but surely rebuilding. We have maintained our internationalist solidarity with parties all over the world and attended numerous extended European conferences opposing American imperialism and aggression in the Middle East. We have also developed links with the Latin American anti-imperialist parties through the Sao Paolo Forum. Comrades, this internationalism has always been of central concern to the Party and although weak financially we have kept this to the fore of our programme.
In the long run or maybe not so long, these are the forces which will defeat imperialism. We will play our part.
That takes us to the core of the present fabricated case, by a totally discredited and criminal American administration, against Comrade Sean Garland and the DPRK. First it is absolutely clear, and has been for a long time, that the United States will brook no opposition whatsoever in its pursuit of world hegemony. The present Washington administration, however, has gone even further than any other. It has literally ripped the heart and soul out of the democratic America envisaged by its Founding Fathers. The tragic disasters caused by the recent hurricanes exposed to the world and to an increasingly shocked section of the American people that brutal racism is deeply embedded in the Republic. Where there is harsh and degrading poverty there you will find masses of coloured people, denied a genuine citizenship.
The classical way for criminal states to deal with such internal situations is to focus on foreign “enemies”. Thus came the famous “axis of evil” which naturally included the DPRK. Let us carefully note the following: In February 1981, American Gore Vidal, political author, playwright and political critic, wrote in the New York Review of Books, “With the surrender of Japan in 1945, the last official war ended. But the undeclared wars - or “police actions” - now began with a vengeance, and our presidents are very much on the march. Through secret organisations, like the CIA, they subvert foreign governments, organise invasions of countries they do not like (emphasis added) while spying illegally on American citizens. The presidents have fought two major wars - In Korea and Vietnam - without any declaration of war on the part of Congress”.
The Korean war began in 1950, has never really ended as far as America is concerned. For years they have conducted economic and military blockades, sought to isolate the DPRK (North Korea) internationally and constantly haunted Korean air space with spy missions averaging almost 100 per year. Their purpose has been to create a war psychosis. But they also had to create a new threat.
By targeting Sean Garland with a ludicrous series of accusations the USA is seeking to brand Korea as a “criminal state”, with obvious consequences. Sean played a key role in developing party to party relations with the Workers’ Party of Korea and worked strenuously both in Ireland and in Europe to expand friendship, political, cultural and economic relations between Korea and the European states.
The ending of the Korean War, 1953, in which the USA literally bombed the city of Pyongyang out of existence, only one building was left standing, did not stop US from continuing with its anti-democratic dictatorial programme against the Korean people. This was first begun in 1945 when they refused to allow united democratic elections. Such elections would have returned a government hostile to America’s global plans.
Comrades and friends, we are living in sinister and dangerous times. Not only personal freedoms are threatened as in the base, fabricated accusations against our comrade Sean Garland, but entire peoples as in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Korea are told to bend the knee to American diktat or suffer the consequences.
That is the true scenario. Not the CIA manipulated “trial by media”, conducted in BBC Spotlight, the Washington Times and International Herald Tribune which, as was pointed-out, reads more like a bad airport novel than an account of international economic espionage. Comrades and friends, our job is clear; to defend our comrade and our Party, to make our contribution to the worldwide demands for peace, democracy and freedom of all peoples, including the exploited people of America and to oppose as best we can the evil and warped foreign policy of the current United States administration. This moment is the time to hear that century old slogan ring out loud and clear: “Workers of all countries unite”.

author by tom eilepublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why did you murder seamus costello?

author by Andres Ninpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 15:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jaysis, that was like a voice from another age. Cracked, just cracked. The WP are really doing their best to alienate everyone on the left from the Garland campaign.

author by observerpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have no problem opposing Garland's extradition but O'Hagan's speech is awful. Especially nauseating is the reference to building "party to party links" with the bastards who run North Korea like a prison camp, infact AS a prison camp.

author by Barrypublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 15:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why did they murder Charlie Hughes as well ?

And if the Brits wanted the sticks wiped out why were so many of them allowed to carry British supplied personal protection weapons since the 1970s ?

The incident in the Markets area in the early 90s OHagan refers to concerns an occasion when a bunch of joy riders were screeching around the narrow streets of the area in a stolen car . Local people brought their car to a halt. The crims ran from the vehicle straight into the home of a senior stick as per usual . A local provo went alone to the sticks door to ask why he was harbouring joyriders whod been torturing the area for weeks and was brutally beaten by the stickie gang.

As tension heightened in the area a BBC camera crew then recorded sticks with their personal protection weapons arriving in their drinking club from all over Belfast under the noses of the RUC . It was quite obvious these weapons were being brought into an area where they would be used to shoot people in a feud , but the peelers never stepped in to remove them .

Only a twisted , bitter stick like OHagan could seriously claim they have been victims of state persecution for the last 35 years . Utter bollocks , they took an active role on behalf of the British state and made no bones about it . Ohagan isnt doing comrade Sean any favours at all by spouting this particular line of bullshit .

author by JMCpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The WP is running around begging everyone to oppose Sean Garland's extradition. Then, have succeeded in getting a very broad range of backers including SF, Labour, most of the radical left and even some right-wingers, presumably on the basis that most people put their dislike of that person/party aside because of the principle involved, up pops the 'Divil' O Hagan with a dinosaur rant calculated to alienate almost everybody who isnt an existing member of the WP. Its as if he wants their campaign to fail or perhaps its a fear of having to communicate with those outside their tiny time warped self-imposed ghetto.

It don't get weirder than this!

author by WP Watchpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 16:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This type of venom is nothing new for the WP. On the one hand, the WP is appealing for anybody to join in the campaign to prevent General Garland's release, and on the other they are lashing out and practically everyone.

The same happened at Cathal Goulding's funeral where Garland went on a rant against all of the WP enemies.

Below is a letter written to a national newspaper about that event and the effect it had on many:

Funeral Of Cathal Goulding

Sir, - I went to bury a chief on New Year's Eve. He was one of my heroes from my teenage years. I joined his crusade as a 19-year-old in 1964 and participated in his resolve to build a party of the Left from a traditionalist movement that was more intent on fighting to "free Ireland" than on freeing the Irish people from exploitation.

Twenty-two years later I had joined the long list of those who, since its inception, had for various reasons left the Republican Movement. Mine was a failure to convince the then leadership that action was required to deal with a serious problem locally that threatened to destroy the political developments being achieved by a growing party of the Left.

As we gathered on that bleak December day to await the funeral service for Cathal Goulding I had a feeling of the greatness of the man. All around the crematorium building were faces from the past, from the 1940s to the 1990s, including very many who were no longer "involved", and they mingled with others from different strands of life in Ireland. All of us came to pay our respects to a man we respected and admired for his contribution to political life in Ireland.

As soon as the funeral service began, it became apparent that those conducting it had no sense of the significance of the gathering that day.

The only message the Workers' Party had for the largest audience it had the opportunity to address since the funeral of Malachy McGurran just over 20 years ago was a paraphrase of a 1920s RC Church edict: "Outside the WP no one can be a socialist or a republican."

Yes, the WP was entitled to bury Cathal Goulding. It was entitled to remind us all of where he stood and to reiterate his defining message that those who engaged in a blind, nationalist slaughter of fellow Irish people had besmirched the name of republicanism. But to use the occasion almost exclusively as a platform to attack the most recent group of people who left on the basis of a political decision was to sully the memory of Cathal Goulding.

The intolerance and narrowmindedness of the three-and-a-quarter orations I heard before I took myself off were a total negation of the tolerance and inclusiveness propagated by Cathal Goulding during some of the worst times in our recent history.

Had the funeral notice made it clear that only current, card-carrying WP members and associates would be welcome, I am sure that, like myself, the majority of those present would have chosen to pay their respects to Cathal in a more fitting manner. - Yours, etc.,

Tom Moore,
Chestnut Grove, Newry, Co Down.

author by Cynically Cynicalpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 17:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why did they murder Danny McGurk and/or Martin Conlon. Oh, that's right they didn't.
People in glass houses and all that.

author by Frank Richardpublication date Fri Nov 11, 2005 19:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

copy and pasted text replaced with URL of source material - ed

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author by old timerpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 01:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A very informative post from FrankR and a helpful counterpoint to the 'Divils' revisionist piece. I was particularly interested in the 'Divils' claim that the British Army allowed armed PIRA members to roam the streets of Belfast freely. A funny thing happened in Newry about the same time as his claim about the Belfast happenings. A young stick came off worst in a bout of fisticuffs at a dance/disco in the Parochial Hall adjacent to the Plough Social Club. Stung by his loss of face the young warrior ran down to the club and returned shortly afterwards with several men armed with handguns. The dancehall was by this time emptying and while some of the armed men stood at either side of the gates others singled out young Shinners most of whom were 15 or 16 years old. This group of armed and grown men proceeded for the next 15 minutes to kick the crap out of anyone among the crowd of teenagers who they saw as Shinner supporters. While this was going on three jeeps full of armed Brits stopped within five yards of the 'intervention' and watched for several minutes. At no stage did the Divils mates feel the need to conceal their weapons or stop assaulting teenagers at gunpoint. You might think maybe the Brits thought discretion was the better part of valour and would return once the crowd had dispersed to check if any of the at least a dozen weapons which came out of the Plough returned there. As the gunslingers sauntered back down the street to the Plough bar with weapons still in hand they were clearly not concerned about the possibility of such an event. The type of guys I would suggest would be welcome any day at a Goulding funeral.

author by darkiepublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 05:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the reason there was so few brit patrols on the Falls on the 1977 " night of the long knives " was the provos were on a feckin ceasefire . Billy McKee decided enough was a feckin nuff and all the stickie chickens came home to roost . All their harassment , shootings and beatings of a once tiny Provisional IRA got paid back big style . I recently spoke to an ex prisoner who remembers that week well and was one of those who stuck it to the no good criminal collaborating bastards .The majority of the provos who got wired into them were teenagers , under 18 . That was because it was republican youngsters that age the sticks regularly harassed . Some of them were still wearing their school uniforms as they shot sticks .

It was exactly the same with the IRPS . Gerard Steenson was no more than 16 when he whacked the sticks Belfast commander outside Hardens shop on the Falls. The sticks tried to wipe out the IRPS at birth , yet most IRPS were just youngsters , teenagers . OHagan and Garland declared war on basically schoolkids because they wouldnt follow their bullshit collaboration and Stalinism . The youngsters wanted to fight the British and the stick leadership decreed they should be shot as class traitors . The stick leadership openly collaborated with the Brits and cops . That was why young provisionals and IRPS got stuck into them after theyd been regularly on the receiving end .

The sad thing is today ,the Provo ledership of Adams and scapitticci that ousted McKee are no feckin different save the stalinist rhetoric . If you think the Sticks are corrupt Adams puts them in the halpenny place .

The same shit will happen all over again .

author by Cynicpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The WP/OIRA had another demo for Sean Garland at the Larkin statue in O'Connell St Dublin today, only 15 at it. The numbers are falling.

I think Darkie above means the 1975 feud rather than the 1977 one.

author by old timerpublication date Sat Nov 12, 2005 23:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bad place to have a demo for the remnants of the OIRA. While 15 was a decent crowd by their standards they probably lost at least a dozen supporters scared that the statue of Larkin would rise and kick their quango loving arses.
Interesting post from Darkie but I don't think any of the latter day 70s teenagers will accept the type of Stalinist dictatorship the Sticks tried to impose on nationalist areas. If only for the reason that while the dissidents may be going nowhere the 'securocrats', remain the enemy even if we did'nt know them as that in the heady days of the 70s.

author by C. Desmond McGrory.publication date Sun Nov 13, 2005 15:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Those who were tried in New York in the 1980s with running guns to the Provos claimed at their trial that the operation was run by the CIA and was not therefore illegal. Former CIA agent Ralph McGehee tesitified to this effect. All were acquitted.

The Irish People newspaper, edited by John McDonagh, ran a regular column by William Hughes, (aka, Nosey Flynn) a former law official from Baltimore, Maryland. Hughes regularly quoted and praised the fascist weekly newspaper, the Spotlight. He also praised and recommended the work of nazi, Francis Parker Yockey. Yockey's book Imperium was dedicated to Adolph Hitler.

McDonagh is now the New York representative of Republcan Sinn Fein/Cira. Although the U.S State Department has declared RSF to be a terrorist organization, McDonagh continues to raise funds for Cira and promote its views on his weekly radio show. 'Nuff said.

author by The Divils daughterpublication date Sun Nov 13, 2005 17:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

O'Hagans sppech is certainly full of the WP venom that we all know and love. I can see that his perspective is unapoligetic WP propaganda. Some of the content could be true. I think that during the Provo ceasfire the PIRA were given the freedom of the city (Belfast) to do as they wished.

Other things sound less plausable, but who knows?

I was in Easons yesterday brousing through the history section and came across a glossy A4 book calld 100 years of SF, or something similar. Now if you want provo propaganda this is the most one sided rubbish I habve ever seen.

Should be in the fiction section under the heading tragicomedy

author by Fintan Lanepublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I still believe that it is essential that all on the left (and elsewhere) oppose the proposed extradition of Sean Garland. I outlined my reasons for this on an earlier thread and I fully stand by that position. That said, the above rubbish from Dessie O'Hagan is hardly going to encourage support for this campaign.

My advice: ignore O'Hagan's poison and the politics of the WP, and oppose this extradition because of the broader issues involved. The man would not get a fair trial in the US, particularly in the current political climate.

author by Darkiepublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a means of implying anyone who disagreed with him was some kind of tout . And as presenting his strategy of Ulsterisation , normalisation and criminalisation of republican prisoners as somehow different from Britains strategy of Ulsterisation , Normalisation and Criminalisation of republican prisoners .

Quoting Old Timer - "Interesting post from Darkie but I don't think any of the latter day 70s teenagers will accept the type of Stalinist dictatorship the Sticks tried to impose on nationalist areas. If only for the reason that while the dissidents may be going nowhere the 'securocrats', remain the enemy even if we did'nt know them as that in the heady days of the 70s."

The only difference this time is that Adams will very shortly be telling his people to join the peelers and controlling the areas that way , as fully legal gunmen and collaborators . The sticks patrolled areas , harassed , beat , shot and searched republicans while wearing snorkel jackets and flared trousers . Adams will tell his people to do the same , only this time in British PSNI uniforms . And that will undoubtedly lead to bloodshed .

And maybe you have never voiced dissent against the Provisionals in a republican area . Their behaviour throughout the surrender process was every bit as Stalinist , just a lot more smoothly managed .

author by Anthonypublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 18:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Intersting snippet of info about the origin of the word "securocrat". Only last week, I did a little research on where the term comes from. However I only found the following short definitions in Wikipedia and MS Encarta.

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author by Barrypublication date Mon Nov 14, 2005 19:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

was also regularly trotted out every time someone questioned Adams strategy or attacked the crown forces . McGuinness referred to the rocket attack on MI5 HQ as the work of securocrats . Anything that makes Sinn Fein look bad is the work of securocrats .

Questioning Sinn Fein strategy = "whats your agenda mo chara , why are you undermining the peace process = you are a securocrat puppet / tout . For some strange reason Sinn Fein persist in the mantra that Britains security services are opposed to the return of Stormont and IRA decommissioning , despite these objectives being formulated by the spooks in the first place .

author by Henry McD - Nonepublication date Tue Nov 15, 2005 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For people who publically proclaim the right to use violence you Trots do too much squealing when it happens to you and seem unable to remember the mant instances of your idiotic use of it, eg any episode of Mr Steenson's career or the Darkley Massacre.

author by old timerpublication date Wed Nov 16, 2005 00:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tell us it really isnt you Henry the irony would be just too much. You may have missed the point of the posts which were to highlight the hypocrisy of the 'Divil' a man much given to death threats after a few drinks. The nonsense that the WP and OIRA were some benign group set upon because of socialist beliefs is laughable. Murders, kneecappings ,assaults and intimidation not to mention robbing the country were the Sticks stock in trade. It seems you have just sought to justify this while condemning others for the same thing.

author by John Meehanpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 20:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many readers of Des O'Hagan's speech, at the start of this thread, have noted strongly worded attacks on a wide range of individuals and rival political organisations.

One of the individuals mentioned is an old friend and comrade, Gerry Foley. A number of people (including me) drew Gerry's attention to Des O'Hagan's speech, and the Indymedia commentary.

Gerry's reply is below.

Readers can take a look at this San Francisco based site, Socialist Action, to see other material
written by Gerry Foley - and contact him, if you wish.

Like many others, Gerrry opposes the USA government attempt to extradite Seán Garland, but is very critical of the past and present politics of the Workers' Party.

A political bestiary

By Gerry Foley

It seems that the most common response to Dessie O’Hagan’s speech has been astonishment that it would be published on a site supposedly devoted to rallying opposition to the threat that Sean Garland may be extradited to face criminal charges in the United States. It is indeed hard to imagine a more sectarian rant, or one more “ultraleft” in the practical sense, despite Dessie’s reformist political perspectives. In fact, it is a characteristic of Stalinism that it combines reformist politics with ultraleft-type anathemas. The purpose of this has been to get people who want to fight for socialism to accept every opportunistic lurch of the bureaucratic leaderships and to reject any criticism of these zig-zags as the insidious maneuvers of agents of the right or the police.

In this history of Stalinism, this approach proved effective in the short run. In the longer run, it has led to paranoia and total confusion. In fact, the prevalence of conspiracy theories on the left today seems to be a result of the inability of Stalinists to explain why the corrupt bureaucratic bosses they looked to as their leaders and exemplars abandoned socialist perspectives and are trying to convert themselves into capitalists. It had to be a result of the diabolic science of the Western intelligence agencies, therefore, implicitly, it is not observable political processes that shape world history but dark, obscure forces—that is the traditional view of conspiracy theorists.

By its nature, Stalinism involves extreme contradictions. Politically, it is a false ideology invented to cover up the real nature of bureaucratic castes that ruled in the name of socialist revolution but in reality had a capitalist mentality that eventually led them to try to restore capitalism with themselves as the capitalists. The real objectives of the Stalinist rulers have been the opposite of what they professed. Dessie invoked the “Spanish Republican heros.” In reality, Communists who volunteered to fight in the Spanish civil war were regarded with suspicion by Stalin, that is, they might be sincere, in which case they were objectively Trotskyist and had to be eliminated. Virtually all of them in the Soviet Union were.

It is thus natural that someone who tries to follow Stalinist ideology as a guide becomes totally confused about reality. They make it up as they go along, like Dessie’s fantastic assertion that I am a “Polish immigrant.” Dessie says that the SWP was infiltrated by police agents. Of course it was. All left organizations are. The Bolsheviks were also,, as is well known. But the SWP, when it was a revolutionary party, responded to this problem the same way Lenin did. That is, it minimized the damage infiltrators could do by maintaining a high political level and demanding a high standard of activity. Actually, in a corrupt totalitarian organization like the American Communist Party, which members could only uncritically mouth the current slogans, infiltrators were much more of a problem than they were in the SWP throughout its history as a Trotskyist party. .

Since reality is always changing, especially in politics, Stalinism is an extremely poor guide. Actually, Dessie now has more in common with the SWP than I do. It succumbed to the same temptations and the same illusions that he did. The youth organization of the SWP now belongs to the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the Stalinist world youth organization. So, it may be that in the diehard Stalinist circles Dessie apparently frequents he will run across some of their representatives and he can discuss the question of police infiltration with them. The SWP is no longer my party, any more than the Workers Party is the party of Billy McMillan or Malachy McGurran. But I at least I was educated to understand the change that took place, and to make my escape and continue to fight for the principles and the kind of party that I devoted my life to. I fear that most of the members of the Old Official Sinn Fein did not see it happening and became trapped. The saddest case is Sean Garland.

When I knew Sean, he impressed me as a devoted and pure-hearted revolutionary. But his weakness was that he was a “practical sort of person,” as he and his friends told me. That is, he was a pragmatist, and it was his pragmatism that destroyed him. Obviously from a pragmatic point of view political principles and ideas are much less substantial than big bureaucratic organizations, governments and their resources. But the underlying reality is different. In orienting to such forces, the old Official IRA destroyed what was its real basis, its historic principles, and as a result it suffered catastrophic losses. The same thing happened to the SWP when it made a similar choice.

Nonetheless, in view of his past devotion to the Irish socialist revolution, I think Sean deserves a dignified retirement. I hope he gets it. I would hate to see him in the clutches of a brutal imperialist government. Moreover, I hope that an effective campaign can be built in Ireland to stop his extradiction, not only for his sake but to prevent the United States from victimizing other people in Ireland and Britain that it regards as its enemies.

author by malachy steensonpublication date Fri Feb 17, 2006 17:15author email malachysteenson at yahoo dot comauthor address 23 spencer street, dublin 3author phone 00353866024239Report this post to the editors

The October speech by the Divil, was significant, as it was the first time that WP had acknowledged tehj existance of an army, when he points out that DeRossa etc were well aware that WP had retained the means to defend themselves. The analysis put forward by O'Hagan is becoming clearer by the day. There is no differance at this point between MI5 and the Provisionals.
Republicans should at this time relook at the past 30 odd years, one of the most important issues to look at is the list given to John White by Captain Kelly in 1970. All following events should be viewed with this in mind. It is also necessary for Republicians to claim the moral high ground, we should only refer to the Provisionals as the Provisionals. I believe that most Republicians are now non aligned and are looking for somewhere to go.
It was dissapointing to note Tom Moores comments in relation to Cathals funeral, I was there along side my late father who a comrade of Cathals and a close friend until the late 80's. While the cermomies were long winded and most of us were outside, we were there to pay our respects to a man who will emerge as one of the greatest and farsighted leaders the Republican movement ever had. We were there to honour the man in a personal capacity and as fellow republicans, it matters little to us what other thought. In light of Toms and his brother Dan's role in defending Republican Socialism from the 50's right through to now, the inclusion of his comment about Cathals funeral smack of begrudgery.
What is need now is for Republicians to engage in a new Republican forum which shoulfd be inclusive of all who are genuine Repubicians and are outside of the control of the Provisionals/MI5.
Let the debate begin.

author by malachy steensonpublication date Fri Feb 17, 2006 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All Republicans and Socialists should stand behind Sean Garland and prevent his extradition. I have known Sean since I was a kid, I like many others have not agreed with his position over the years, as we have been sucked into a war taht was not going anywhere but away from a Democratic Socialist Republic. I am confident enough in my own beliefs and analysis to admit that we were wrong and that we should now relook at the Goulding position and arguements of 1969/1970.
Regardless of what one may think of Garland, he has devoted his entire life to the cause he believes in and has almost paid with his life on two occassions. Its worth noting that all the trendy liberals in the media who rattled on about Provisional /MI5 drug dealers in Columbia getting a fair trial have been silent since October.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Feb 17, 2006 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"There is no differance at this point between MI5 and the Provisionals."

when you write something like this do you really think you are helping sean garland? sean garland and the wp have been happy to accept the support of SF. do you think that sean garland should have refused sfs support?

whatever differences i have with sean garland i oppose his extradition. i might not think hes innocent, but then i dont think that undermining the us economy is a crime.

author by malachy steensonpublication date Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat C

Pehaps you could be more specific on the Provisionals assistance, perhaps tehy raiesed the issue with Blair or Bush, I don't think so. With the Provisionals there is a hierarchy of grief and suffering, only those who are associated with them are suffering from injustice.
I fail to see how my comments are unhelpful to Sean, O'Hagan's speeh was after all remembering the pograms when the provisionals tried to wipe them out. He raises valid questuions which need to be adressed. Sean has stood true to his beliefs at huge personal and political risk. Are we all now to keep quit so that we don't6 upset the Provos.

author by anti coppublication date Mon Feb 20, 2006 13:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tom Moores wife Rosaleen , another very bitter begrudging ex stick has been a member of the Police Authority alonside Ian Paisley jnr the last number of years . Just goes to show...n all that .

author by Anto - Nonepublication date Mon Feb 20, 2006 14:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

TM isn't responsible for his wife's politics. Only back woods primates would expect, nay demand that their partner have the same politics as themselves.

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