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Inside the world of Dissident Republicanism

category national | miscellaneous | feature author Wednesday April 12, 2006 01:02author by Terry Report this post to the editors

featured image
The Real I.R.A.

As we approach the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising this article looks at anti-Agreement Republicanism by reviewing its press.
The three main dissident republican political organisations are the Irish Republican Socialist Party, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, and Republican Sinn Fein. This article reviews their publications, which are The Starry Plough, The Sovereign Nation, and Saoirse.

These groups are all much much smaller than the mainstream or ‘Provisional’ Sinn Fein, but given the latter’s acceptance of the Unionist veto aka the principle of consent, that is that changes in the constitutional arrangement for Northern Ireland must be endorsed by its electorate, as well as their downsizing of the military arm, it is the dissidents rather than the Provisionals who carry on the spirit of what Irish republicanism meant for most of the 20th centuary.

Related Links: Conflict Archive CAIN Wikipedia on Real I.R.A. Ireland's Own, republican website Davy Carlin article on dissidents The Nationalism Project: site for the study of nationalism
Easter Statements: Na Fianna Éireann Cumann na Saoirse Náisíunta Irish Republican Socialism Movement the leadership of Ógliagh na hÉireann RSY To The Irish People from the Republican Movement IAWM
These Easter statements were all posted to the Indymedia Newswire


Racked by splits, with a poor reputation, incapable of using its chosen means – military force, which is in any case incapable of realising its goal, and with its erstwhile comrades going down the path of the Workers Party one might see this as the nadir of Irish republicanism.

However throughout the much of the 20th century Irish republicanism meant isolated micro groups, this was the case in the 1940s, the 1950s, and the 1960s. Rather than being an inevitable by-product of the “British presence” republicanism became a significant mass phenomenon at two particular junctures, firstly as part of the international backlash against the Great War (1918 to 1923) and secondly by taking advantage of a crisis produced by the left wing mass agitation around civil rights issues (1968 onwards).

The Starry Plough

Of the publications of dissident republican organisations the Irish Republican Socialist Party’s The Starry Plough is easily the most intelligent. Though as we shall see that is not an achievement worthy of great acclaim.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party, or I.R.S.P., is the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army (I.N.L.A.), and collectively they are known as the Republican Socialist Movement.
The issue of The Starry Plough I looked at was number 1 of series 11, and appears to be undated, though I bought it late January 2006, and it seems to have been current for then, that is, this is the winter 05/06 issue.

The front page editorial is an interesting piece, which sharply distinguishes the I.R.S.P. from the strategies of other dissident republican forces, rejecting “republican unity” as “no other republican group shares our analysis.”.

It slates the continuing attempts by the Real and Continuity I.R.A.s to mount a ‘military campaign’, writing that: “Those who have engaged in armed struggle have waged an ineffectual sporadic and pointless campaign totally divorced from the reality of everyday life in the North of Ireland.”
Another article inside the paper points out that as the Provisionals were unable to achieve anything approaching victory from their ‘military activity’, and no one today has the capacity to even imitate them, it follows that there is nothing to be gained from continuing the ‘armed struggle’. The I.N.L.A. went on ceasefire in 1998.

The editorial also points out recent splits within the ranks of the other dissidents (both in the Continuity and the Real) and criticises their obsession with the Provisionals. We are getting to the interesting parts now, it also claims that: “There are huge issues affecting the working class that need to be tackled now and if republicans are not in the forefront of the class struggles then Irish republicanism will become an irrelevance to the needs of the Irish working class.” .
“ The only road forward is the political road. Only be engaging in the everyday struggles of the working class can we make revolutionary republicanism relevant to the class. Come join with us in the only struggle that will make a difference.”

There are a number of things which can be said about this, but most appropriately to a review, how does the rest of the paper reflect this agenda?

Disappointingly the answer is not at all. One quarter of one page is given over to class politics – a brief report on the Joanne Delaney case, with no details of any actions around this apart from a cut and paste of a sample letter of protest to Dunnes Stores management. With only an e-mail address to send this to, kinda curious for something in a print publication, it looks suspiciously like this was cut and pasted straight off indymedia.
A report on Maoists in Nepal gets over twice as much space. The Catalan nationalist movement gets six times as much coverage. Most of the paper is taken up with party news and party history.
More fundamentally, as with much left republicanism, socialism and class politics does not appear as an end in itself, rather as a means to a republican end. It basically can be read as ‘do this, we will win support, which can then be used for THE cause’.

Also republicanism isn’t relevant to class struggle, there isn’t an objective relationship between one and the other, collective opposition to one facet of capital, say privatisation, contains seeds within in it for the suppression of capital (socialism), but doesn’t relate at all to a project to establish a unitary state in Ireland. I’m not at all sure how the I.R.S.P. would go about making the links between water tax (for instance) and the necessity to establish an independent united Ireland.

As I said much of the rest of the paper is taken up with party history, a bit on the origins of the 1987 feud, and a bit on Gino Gallagher, assassinated in another Republican Socialist feud in 1996.
These sections are interesting, generally the parts of the Republican press which is of most interest are the historical sections, without them one would be often relying on the journalists’ version of events. A version which is obviously very biased against these groups, and inclined to emphasis pathology and criminality over politics. But then the I.N.L.A. gave them plenty of ammunition down the years for such an approach.

The historical articles seem to be beseeching that so and so murdered in this or that feud was a communist, was political, was a thinker. Though that said the analysis offered of the feuds is, after all, for the most part, that apolitical militarist elements were seeking to get rid of the political types. How that is squared with claiming that one of the factions in ’87 – the Irish Peoples’ Liberation Organisation (I.P.L.O.) suffered from a “mish mash of half-baked and badly digested Marxism.” is unclear.

I can’t really comment on the exact ins and outs of the internal blood letting which has dominated the history of the I.R.S.P./I.N.L.A. since its founding 32 years ago.
However, supposing that all the Paul Williams type stories in corporate media about I.N.L.A. drugs related gangsterism are untrue, and for that matter I don’t see the logic to an organised crime consortium maintaining a political organisation; let’s take it for granted that all that is untrue, and that what is left of the Republican Socialist Movement rejects adventurist militarism and criminality and wants to build a serious class based political movement. Well the cross they bear, that of carrying the history of the I.N.L.A./I.R.S.P., a history of sectarian murder, militarism, gangsterism, and insane internecine violence, doesn’t really offer them much prospects for doing so does it? Like it or not the letters I N L and A are gonna be forever associated with chaotic sprees of murder being carried out by different parts of the organisation against each other.

The Sovereign Nation

‘The Sovereign Nation’ is the publication of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32 C.S.M.), this is the political wing of the Real I.R.A., which split from the Provos in 1997 and gave us the Omagh bombing, that being the single incident which accounted for the greatest loss of life during the Troubles, and which took place in the only town in which the 32 County had electoral representation. This tendency recently underwent a split with some of its prisoners now affiliating to a body called the ‘New Republican Forum’. I looked at the July-August 2005 issue of The Sovereign Nation. There are some parts of this publication which are just plain odd.

Page nine for instance, given over to an article entitled ‘Revolutionary Activism and the State: Security and Counter-Insurgency’, this is a ‘security culture’ how to guide and I would swear it was lifted straight from an American eco-anarchist publication. The language ‘direct action movement’, ‘activist’, ‘security culture’, all suggests very very strongly that is where this article came from and even more weirdly there is a picture of a black bloc. This illustrates the futility of the psuedo-militarist path some eco-anarchist types in the United States have gone down – one would question how liberatory a tactical approach is if it can be adopted by very authoritarian commandist nationalist groups. It also underscores what The Starry Plough would say about the inability of dissident republicans to launch a serious ‘military campaign’, or what some would say about their infiltration, I mean you couldn’t really imagine the Provos at the highpoint of their ‘campaign’ searching through Green Anarchist for tips now could you?

Page 11 is the really really odd one though. This contains a full page interview with Shamil Basayev, or Amir Abdallah Shamil Abu-Idris as he prefers to call himself. Making ‘The Sovereign Nation’ possibly the first Irish republican newspaper to carry the immortal line: “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Glory to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, who created us as Muslims and delivered us with a Jihad on His direct path. Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad, his family, his disciples, and all those who follow his direct path to the Day of Judgment.”

Basayev is the leader of Chechen insurgents who has claimed responsibility for: hijacking a civilian Aeroflot flight in 1991 and threatening to blow it up, the Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis in 1995, the 1999 invasion of Dagestan (which launched the Second Chechen War), the 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis, and the 2004 Beslan school hostage seige.

Basayev is a Wahhabi, a member of the virulently bigoted sect of Islam, predominant in Saudi Arabia, known as Wahhabism. Wahhabism persecutes religious minorities, oppresses women, and of course, looks forward to the massacre of Jews. In total since 1975 the Saudi authorities have spent over 70 billion U.S. dollars on promoting Wahhabism in the Islamic world. This process, kick started by the profits bonanza of the oil crisis, is an important part of the current rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

While some of their former comrades would criticise hardline anti-Agreement republicans for turning a tactic – armed struggle, into a principle (and many leftists would have said the same of the Provos), the 32 C.S.M. seems to have elevated it into a political philosophy. The Basayev interview led me to look at the international section of their website, which unites big bearded Chechen religious fanatics, with Hamas, with Columbia’s FARC, with what seem to be Turkish Leninists of one variety or another. Guns appear to be the common denominator.
This is an organisation which has a military fetish, something which wouldn’t really make it unique in the culture of Irish Republicanism (see songs, murals, websites of action films, general fondness for uniforms).

On to more pedestrian things, a more theoretical article on page ten brings us to the central dilemma for post-Good Friday Agreement militant republicans. This article attacks the Provisionals for supporting ‘National Self-Determination’ as opposed to ‘National Sovereignty’: “this means that if a majority of people in Ireland as a whole decide that there will be no united Ireland until a majority of people in the North decide to, that constitutes national self-determination rather than a partitionist compromise.”

Yeah the sound of waking-up-to-smell-the-coffee. Republicanism could square ‘self-determination’ for 32 Counties but not for 6 Counties on the basis that, under international law, part of a “national territory” didn’t have a separate right to ‘self-determination’ (where that leaves pre-1922 Ireland is unclear), however when it becomes blatantly obvious that the 32 county ‘nation’ would ‘self-determine’ partition you are entering into a problematically contradictory political territory. This means rejecting ‘National Self-Determination’ for ‘National Sovereignty’. How you figure that one out is beyond me. What isn’t gone into is what the above admission means for a programme of armed struggle to force a British declaration of intent to withdraw coupled with, in the interim period prior to withdrawal, talks and votes on a new constitutional arrangement, which would most likely not produce the 32 C.S.M.’s united independent Ireland.
The 32 C.S.M.’s main political activity seems to have been a submission to the United Nations on Britain’s denial of sovereignty to Ireland. A truly quixotic effort. One would suggest they contact their friends in Hamas for information on the value of United Nations’ resolutions.

Saoirse

Saoirse is a Gaelic word meaning freedom, and this is the paper of Republican Sinn Fein (R.S.F.). I looked at the February 2006 edition, though it could have been any one in the last ten years as it doesn’t go in much for variety.

R.S.F. broke from the Provisionals in 1986, unveiling its’ military wing, the Continuity I.R.A., much later. This split was over some traditional Republican theology which didn’t recognise the 26 County state and as such didn’t take seats in the Dail. In addition the ditching of Sinn Fein’s previous policy on a federal Ireland with a parliament for each province was an exacerbating factor. R.S.F. has been largely a Southern movement, as has been the case with the Real I.R.A./ 32 C.S.M., though they apparently do get support in areas of the North which are not republican strongholds and wherein Catholics are a small minority. The I.R.S.P. is more Northern.

The leadership of the R.S.F. split included a fair slice of the 70s leadership of the Provisionals, responsible for the disastrous 1975 ceasefire, that, and their long inability/unwillingness to blow anything up/shoot anyone, it being over ten years after the split before they started up ‘military operations’, seems to have reduced their attractiveness to Provos disillusioned with the peace process in the 90s. The R.S.F./C.I.R.A. grouping also recently suffered a split, with a number of its’ prisoners quitting.

Saoirse is a more regular publication than The Starry Plough or The Sovereign Nation, coming out monthly. It is however much less interesting, lacking the intelligence of the first (well given the context) or the sheer madness of the second (Basayev).

Motions to the R.S.F. 2005 Ard Fheis sought a greater focus on wider issues beyond just ‘Brits Out’, for example Shannon and Corrib Gas, both of which can be fitted into the Republican discourse of sovereignty.
This isn’t reflected in Saoirse, which is very much single issue ‘national question’ focused. Unlike the 32 C.S.M. R.S.F. claims socialism, though it is much less staunch about this than the I.R.S.P. .

The major article in this issue of Saoirse is focused on the then upcoming Love Ulster demonstration in Dublin on the 25th of February, with a white on red banner headline ‘oppose loyalist march’ on the front page.
There is much rhetorical flourish in the article about Wolfe Tone, Thomas Francis Meagher, and non-sectarianism. Republicans are, objectively, engaged in a communal conflict rather than an anti-colonial one, and any amount of invoking the cold dead spirits of United Irishmen or Young Irelanders will not make any bloody difference to that.

As an aside the article shows how out of touch R.S.F. are. It rhetorically asks would “nationalist parades, of whatever kind, or even civil rights marches” be allowed “down Belfast’s Royal Avenue? The British forces would certainly stop them.”
Except since the early 90s such things have happened, there have been nationalist parades and protests in Belfast city centre.

Saoirse doesn’t explain how opposing the march would contribute to their goal of an independent united Ireland. It claims, as one of the three reasons to oppose the march, that it is a dry run “softening up process” for a visit by the Queen of England
To believe such we must believe that the Love Ulster march was, rather than a protest against the two governments, a conspiracy by them, devised in the strange belief that the population of Dublin, many of whom follow the royal family in celebrity magazines and tabloids, would find a parade of loyalist madmen less offensive than a state visit by the Queen, and would be acclimatised for such a visit by this apparently less distasteful event.
This strangeness, and references to “British backed death squads”, is an attempt to frame the march and opposition to it in Ireland versus London terms. This is a part of the contradictions of Irish republicanism most pronounced in R.S.F..

It cannot be sectarian, blatantly communal or follow an overtly ethnic rather than civic nationalism. It cannot do this as conferring a status other than part of the Irish nation onto Unionists would also confer ‘national rights’ (in the ideology of republicanism) onto Unionists and hence grant them a right to separate, much as the bulk of Ireland exercised a right to separate from the U.K. .
So despite the communal nature of the conflict, and despite the fact if one is to get to a united independent Ireland you’ll have to fight your way through the Unionist population to get there, republicanism veils itself behind platitudes from the 18th and 19th centuries, and aims to continually deny the indigenous aspects of the conflict.
Ironically if it were less sophisticated and more given to religious sectarianism like loyalism it would be better equipped to purse its ends.
According to some histories a factor in the ousting of that part of the 70s Provo leadership which went on to form R.S.F. was that willingness to attempt to accommodate Unionists, a willingness which, of course, flew, and flies, in the face of the reality that Unionists are the enemy, more than Whitehall.

author by Batmanpublication date Tue Apr 11, 2006 16:24Report this post to the editors

I honestly dont see the point in this ''article''. First it was claimed that it was a dissertation on the so-called 'dissident' Republican's and then the author proceeds to review the political papers of the IRSP, RSF and the 32CSM. Either this author is a confused Provo/ Provo supporter or they are just straight of the mill, anti-Republican. It was the Provo's who dubbed groups who didnt agree with them as 'disssidents' after all.
A critique of the various Republican organisations is welcome, the current edition of The Starry Plough has an editorial which is a lot more coherent and intellident than what is above, when it comes to the analysis of the various groups and their strategies.

On the issue of Republicanism and class nature. The author would do well to remember that this is the ninetieth anniversary of the 1916 Rising. The first time a broad front of Irish anti-impeialists came together. The two main strands of this tradition being the militant-nationalist and the Labour movement's or Socialist tendency. The two are compatible. Read James Connolly if you want to know more of the dual struggle of national liberation and socialism. The author then states:

''Also republicanism isn’t relevant to class struggle, there isn’t an objective relationship between one and the other, collective opposition to one facet of capital, say privatisation, contains seeds within in it for the suppression of capital (socialism), but doesn’t relate at all to a project to establish a unitary state in Ireland. I’m not at all sure how the I.R.S.P. would go about making the links between water tax (for instance) and the necessity to establish an independent united Ireland. ''

This is where groups like the IRSP and Connolly before made clear the relationship between the aim of national liberation and socialism. British soldiers patrolling the streets of Belfast and the unemployed labourer in Dublin are both results of the one system. Capitalism. Imperialism being the highest stage of capitlaism. Exploitation whether by an impeiralist force or by native capitalists and their lacey's are still exploiting the one class. The working class. The Irish working class still remain the only true inheritors of the fight for Irish freedom, both social and national.

author by Oh yeahpublication date Tue Apr 11, 2006 16:28Report this post to the editors

No review of 'Forum' then, or Fourthwrite?

author by Barry - 32csmpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 01:16Report this post to the editors

Unlike an phoblacht , saoirse or indeed any other political party newspaper the Soveriegn nation offers a platform for other republicans and anti imperialists to express their views as comrades and have them critically analysed by 32csm members , such as the article rubbished in this so called critique of our movement ( a critique which doesnt iclude a single quote of our political position). We reagard it as a hallmark of a democratic organisation to offer such a platform. We make no secret of our support for the chechen independence struggle , for Farcs revolutionary struggle , or Hamas , Hezbollah , Devrimici Sol , the anti imperialist war in Iraq and the Moaist struggle in Nepal and india . Whatever our ideolgies we regard those struggles as progressive and anti imperialist.

This article is neither . More like a sneer . The 32csm democratic strategy , our submission to nationalists , unionists , the British and Irish governemnts isnt even touched upon . 2 out of 10 . Must try harder . Please come back back with a properly researched critique , not his half arsed excuse of an effort .

author by Ciarán Ó Brolcháinpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 02:30Report this post to the editors

Wow. The author was really able to get "inside the world of dissident republicanism", and all it took was to read one issue of The Starry Plough, The Sovereign Nation, and Saoirse. There was no political analysis of these movements, except in the form of matter-of-fact statements of questionable intention, such as "republicanism isn’t relevant to class struggle" and "Republicans are, objectively, engaged in a communal conflict rather than an anti-colonial one, and any amount of invoking the cold dead spirits of United Irishmen or Young Irelanders will not make any bloody difference to that". Definitely the stuff of the 'revisionist' writers.

There was no serious or mature critique of dissident republicanism here; just more of the same old shite.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 03:28Report this post to the editors

the article was published on the front page because it was proposed and approved. Its an open, accountable system which you are welcome to learn and partake in.

On the Chechen stuff Barry - does the 32CSM (or you if you don't feel comfortable expressing the organisations opinion, do you) see lessons to be learned from Hamas and the Chechens or do you feel part of the same struggle.

In many ways I can see why oppositional and anti-hegemony politics would now find expression through islamist struggle and accept that in many ways this struggle takes forms that fulfill the revolutionary idea contained within 'sinn fein' - reclaiming sovereignty through setting up of institutions, are very concretely mirrored. But is your support part of a binary world view or an education project?

That stuff in the school in Russia scared me, even if the idea of a nation of widows fighting back also pulls at the heart strings. Is this emotional support or is there contact and critical analysis?

author by alertpublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:33Report this post to the editors

Barry

Can you explain a bit more about what anti-imperialist war in Iraq the 32CSM supports? Do you mean that you endorse and approve the actions of the suicide bombers who blow up mosques? Do you endorse the kidnapping of western civilians, including the woman who was married to an Iraqi for decades and lived there, and who ended up dead? Please tell.

If the answer is yes to the above questions, does that mean that you think the 32CSM should adopt similar tactics in Ireland - eg do you plan to turn up at a DUP conference with a bomb in a knapsack and detonate yourself anytime soon?

author by kppublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 17:01Report this post to the editors

There is more to Iraqi resistance than the sectarian cival war taking place now.
32csm supports the rights of the iraqi people and all other oppressed peoples throughout the world to resist foreign imperialism and imperialism in general.

Back to the article. Its a joke right? Does the other hold a grudge or is he just not very good at this sort of thing ; analysis.

author by hydrapublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 22:40Report this post to the editors

While I'm not a supporter of these republican organizations, I can understand why those who are feel hard done by regarding this article- it's garbage, entirely superficial and incomplete. To mention just two which aren't covered at all: "Forum" and McIntyre's excellent "The Blanket".

Of course I understand that there is a process for front-page features, and have no doubt that the procedure was correctly followed, but I can only assume that the other participants were asleep at the wheel, because qualitatively this does not pass muster. Particularly given the ability of the republican tradition to morph and recreate itself according to new conditions (whilst keeping some sacred cows intact), efforts to criticise it have a responsibility to be serious rather than facile.

My two euro cents,

hydra

author by risiblepublication date Wed Apr 12, 2006 22:43author email risible at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors

Instead of berating, use peer-review. Create instead of destroy. I know about The Blanket, but what /where is Forum?

Related Link: http://lark.phoblacht.net/
author by Ciarán Ó Brolcháinpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 00:07Report this post to the editors

Fourthwrite - http://www.fourthwrite.ie/

New Republican Forum - http://www.newrepublicanforum.ie/

author by Kevin Murphy - South Armagh 32csmpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:23Report this post to the editors

Hopefully these links will pad out the dreadfully superficial and inaccurate analysis of 32CSM contained in this poor quality article ( Davy Carlins analysis linked to by the author was written almost 5 years ago)

The website is currently being updated

http://www.32csm.org/statements.html

To criticise our strategy it might be helpful to provide a link to it , especially regarding the submission made to the unionist political family

http://www.32csm.org/pow.html

http://www.32csm.org/sovnation.html
( back issues of the sovereign nation in PDF format , more will be online in due course)

If one is going to criticise our UN submission then it might be appropriate to link to it in your analysis .

http://www.32csm.org/unsubmission.html

the same goes for our expressions of solidarity with anti imperialist and progressive struggles internationally

http://www.32csm.org/international.html

It seems that the auuthor f this article is going to need a great deal of help and peer review to bring up to Indymedias often excellent standards of political analysis . A poor effort .

author by gerard cpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:54Report this post to the editors

how can an article claim to review strands of republicanism through its press and not even link to online copies of the newspapers ? A poorly attempted hatchet job that the author doesnt even ahve the balls to defend from criticism . Post and run is a style which carries no merit .

author by Heathpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 13:46Report this post to the editors

Yes, because your opinions are only valid if you have constant access to the internet. If you live in, say, a rural area, or you can't afford to sit in an internet cafe all day waiting for Republican trolls to come out with rubbish about supporting Hamas (yea Barry, I'm really starting to see what a great anti-capitalist you are) then your argument is automatically without merit, eh?

author by Barry - 32CSM ( personal capacity)publication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 18:57Report this post to the editors

Im replying here in a personal capacity , however
As regards Chechnya our intenational department remains in regular contact with Chechen information outlets such as http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/indexr.php?raz=10
..another example of the type of contact and critical analysis alongside the regular contact of our International department would be say a friend of mine currently in the jail in the north who regularly receives letters from an imprisoned " black widow" in Russia . Her martyrdom mission failed and she was captured . In detailing her horrific experiences at the hands of Russian troops as a child and later fighting imperialism herself I can certainly understand how Beslan happened and I dont , along with others in 32csm , believe Islamic fundamentalism had anything remotely to do with it . Rather it was the countless unseen Beslans perpetrated by Russian forces throught chechnya over the last decade which led to a group of desperate , traumatised people becoming so brutalised and beyond despair that they embarked on such an horrific course of action , a course neither myself or 32csm would endorse . This young girls letters for example were read out at our AGM following Beslan and those who heard her story came away better educated and better able to understand the forces at play and the motivations of those resisting imperialism in Chechnya. All we are in a position to do to help those people is publicise whats being done to them , to let them know someone cares about their horrific plight and is telling others . We know its well appreciated in return
. In all our contacts with foreign groups 32csm encourages them to make use of the tool of international law and submisssions to the UN in defence of national sovereignty .. We are well aware of the shortcomings of the UN but at the end of the day the UN is were disputes on national sovereignty are ultimately settled . We feel that democratisation of the UN should be a priority for all those who wish to see an end to imperialism , indeed it should be a demand of the oppressed throughout the world . .
Essentially 32csm see imperialism and colonialism as the ultimate expression of capitalist aggression . While Im sure most if not all of our membership would prefer to see secular left wing groups such as the PFLP to the fore of the resistance to worlwide imperialism as things stand it is the Islamic groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas which are often at the coalface . Whats most important is that imperialism is being resisted , whether the resistance takes the form of a Hezbollah fighter or a Venezuelan peasant demanding the rights to ownership of national resources is secondary to the fact ordinary people arent lying down to be steamrollered and robbed of their dignity .We refuse outright to tie ourselves up in the ideological knots which have plagued many on the left on this issue . We have seen how sections of the lefts obsession with ideological purity has lead to young women with Hijabs being physically removed from anti war marches in London - pathetic and nonsensical !! All those currently resisting imperialism today and fighting for their right to sovereignty , territorial and economic, are deserving of revolutionaries support . Whether that be in Gaza or Venezuela . That is why there is no contradiction for us attending conferences in support of imprisoned and death-fasting Turkish marxists while at the same time assisting in the creation of a prisoners support network for Muslim internees in Britain . We see this as carrying on in the radical tradition of the Fenians , who in the past could be found assisting national struggles against imperialism in South Africa and elsewhere , and won worldwide respect for doing so .

My own view of the global state of play is admittedly influenced by Franz Fanons writings ( as are others in 32csm). Colonialism must be smashed by whatever means are to hand and essentially victims of colonialism have only 2 choices , servitude or sovereignty . If the means of rejecting colonial servitude is Marx for some , Mohammed for others then so be it . Theres more dignity for the human being in both schools of thought than the role laid out for them in the imperialists blueprint

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 19:10Report this post to the editors

I agree with Barry that the resistance in Chechnya is the result of Russian atrocities and oppression. Probably the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (if it's as strong as we're told by the heavily propagandised media which largely draws on Russian material) is due to this Russian oppression. I also agree with supporting national liberation struggles and self-determination.

But, to argue that "anything but imperialism" is logical is obviously wrong.

If the means of rejecting colonial servitude is Marx for some , Mohammed for others then so be it . Theres more dignity for the human being in both schools of thought than the role laid out for them in the imperialists blueprint

Not if you're a woman that doesn't want to wear a hijab, wants to have "adulterous" relationships, wants to control her own sexuality there isn't. Not if you're a gay there isn't.

In order to appear consistent you've veered into supporting fascists.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 19:21Report this post to the editors

"We have seen how sections of the lefts obsession with ideological purity has lead to young women with Hijabs being physically removed from anti war marches in London - pathetic and nonsensical "

it is your assertion which is pathetic and nonsensical. that never happened. how could it? thestop the war coalition is dominated by islamic fundamentalists and the swp. what did happen was that a meeting held under the auspices of the stop the war coalition was segregated on gender lines by islamic clerics.

barry, for f^%ks sake! whats wrong with supporting womens rights?
whats wrong with pointing out that the policy of hamas is to create an islamic state where the sharia will be in operation? you can do that and still oppose israeli imperialism. i have done so whereby i support hamas against israel but criticise their political programme.
when the hamas minister was arrested by the israelis i posted a story about it. it didnt get much attention from republicans or others.

its the same with hezbollah, they won a great victory against the israelis. and they should be supported in ongoing struggles against continued israeli incursions into lebanon.

but the hezbollah also come into conflict with fatah. not regarding fighting the israelis but regarding hezbollahs attempts to dominate and impose the sharia inpalestinian refugee camps in lebanon. when that happens i'm on the side of fatah.

just as in israel if hamas attempt to impose islamic rule i'll be on the side of the PFLP & DFLP.

author by Barrypublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 20:24Report this post to the editors

It was before the stop the war co-alition was formed , so obviously a different incident to the one you describe .And the person who described it happening to me was an extreme left winger ( currently an elected councillor and university lecturer) who gave a presentation on his experiences and the situation in the west Bank which I attended last year .He was actually one of those who removed the women from the march , a position he later turned against. ( I just cant remember his name at the minute , I believe he lectures at Liverpool university) . He is currently active in bringing groups of leftists , trade union activists and muslims over to Gaza and the West Bank as observers of the situation there .

As regards the rest of what your saying you seem to be misunderstanding our position. I thought its pretty clear that we support these people in their fight against imperialism , not their internal policies. As an organisation we dont support the teachings of Mao or Lenin any more than Muhammed yet still support those who most certainly do in their struggles . So why anyone thinks we automatically agree with issues such as sharia and religious conformity because we support some of the islamic resistance groups as well is a bit of a mystery .

Were you to even attempt to tell Marion Price or any other female in 32csm she had to wear a hijab and do everything her husband tells you youd be a likely candidate for the nearest A&E department . Our position is clearly behind a democratic socialist republic for Ireland and in that the support for womens rights shouldnt need questioning . But women also have a right to wear a hijab which should be understood and respected .

author by Phuq Heddpublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 21:03Report this post to the editors

Theres more dignity for the human being in both schools of thought than the role laid out for them in the imperialists blueprint

To say that there's more dignity for gays and women (or indeed consumers of alcoholic drinks or pornography) under Mohammed than under Imperialism leads to vast misunderstandings if it's not what you meant.

author by Barrypublication date Thu Apr 13, 2006 21:17Report this post to the editors

of course those who dont agree with islamic teaching will be oppressed if forced to live under it against their will , as I would. But many of those who follow it , including women , feel it gives their lives dignity . Many young British muslim women feel empowered by their hijab , not oppressed . Many muslim converts would regard the persuits of alcohol , pornography and homosexuality as undignified . And of course theres an equally valid point of view which rejects this .

But my personal belief is that imperialism , not islam , is athreat to the entire world . If its being fought by those who follow islam then fair play to them . Simple as that .

author by seedotpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 04:00author email seedot at indymedia dot ieReport this post to the editors


But I don't think it's as simple as that. There are many anti-imperial struggles that today are heavily influenced by islamism and 30 years ago would have been influenced by marxism. This makes sense. If you were looking for inspiration and support it is a natural home. Islamism has taken on one superpower and won (afghanistan), and is now the major political issue for the other, remaining, superpower. It has a global network of support, teaching and assistance that rivals or outstrips the comintern at its height. It is not a case that people who are fighting imperialism are, incidentally, also islamists - i would propose that its more that islamism is the most attractive and accessible alternative hegemony for many who are moving or being forced into struggle.

I think the use of islam to remove authority from many states has enabled the establishment of alternative structures, much in line with the original sinn fein approach which married european nationalism to liberation struggles. In the same way that this resulted in the counter revolution taking a very nationalistic turn when it came in Ireland and elsewhere, I think there is the danger that these struggles, even if successfull in defeating the obvious opressors, the spaces freed will then be claimed by theocratic systems. So an assessment of how the islamist influence in these struggles is exerted is important. The people of no property in Ireland took up collections at church gates - so they got the priest bound free state. It would be good to hear that the imams will give spiritual but not binding social guidance in chechnya or palestine. And that it is possible to support but criticise these struggles.

I also think that the message of anarchism is important to republicanism. It offers the resistance to the authority of the (imperial?) state without the obvious candidate for alternative authority. It has that 'doing it ourselves' philosophy, even if it refuses to define 'ourselves'. In Ireland at the moment it does seem to be involved in the national examination of republicanism (two big features in indymedia;-). What do you reckon of Terry's criticism of your paper, on indymedia, for carrying an anarchist article.

On the sharia / hijab / whatever issues I will admit to being totally conused. I support the French ban on the wearing of the veil in their secular education system but believe that this type of policy has created an excluded population in France who are denied the opportunity to be part of the French nation. No idea but I would not criticise anybody for talking to people on the basis of this issue. And wouldn't criticise a journal which contained the voice of an islamist revolutionary for carrying the article.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 05:01Report this post to the editors

http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR26001.shtml

re. anarchists republicans islamicists and the whole argument about 1916 - this article is very intersting. this is just a small excerpt

"In Morocco, for instance, where half a million rural emigrants are absorbed into the teeming cities every year, and where half the population is under 25, Islamicist movements like ‘Justice and Welfare’, founded by Sheik Abdessalam Yassin, have become the real governments of the slums: organizing night schools, providing legal aid to victims of state abuse, buying medicine for the sick, subsidizing pilgrimages and paying for funerals. As Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi, the Socialist leader who was once exiled by the monarchy, recently admitted to Ignacio Ramonet, ‘We [the Left] have become embourgeoisified. We have cut ourselves off from the people. We need to reconquer the popular quarters. The Islamicists have seduced our natural electorate. They promise them heaven on earth.’ An Islamicist leader, on the other hand, told Ramonet: ‘confronted with the neglect of the state, and faced with the brutality of daily life, people discover, thanks to us, solidarity, self-help, fraternity. They understand that Islam is humanism.’ [95]

The counterpart of populist Islam in the slums of Latin America and much of sub-Saharan Africa is Pentecostalism. Christianity, of course, is now, in its majority, a non-Western religion (two-thirds of its adherents live outside Europe and North America), and Pentecostalism is its most dynamic missionary in cities of poverty. Indeed the historical specificity of Pentecostalism is that it is the first major world religion to have grown up almost entirely in the soil of the modern urban slum. With roots in early ecstatic Methodism and African-American spirituality, Pentecostalism ‘awoke’ when the Holy Ghost gave the gift of tongues to participants in an interracial prayer marathon in a poor neighbourhood of Los Angeles (Azusa Street) in 1906. Unified around spirit baptism, miracle healing, charismata and a premillennial belief in a coming world war of capital and labour, early American Pentecostalism—as religious historians have repeatedly noted—originated as a ‘prophetic democracy’ whose rural and urban constituencies overlapped, respectively, with those of Populism and the IWW. [96] Indeed, like Wobbly organizers, its early missionaries to Latin America and Africa ‘lived often in extreme poverty, going out with little or no money, seldom knowing where they would spend the night, or how they would get their next meal.’ [97] They also yielded nothing to the IWW in their vehement denunciations of the injustices of industrial capitalism and its inevitable destruction.

Symptomatically, the first Brazilian congregation, in an anarchist working-class district of São Paulo, was founded by an Italian artisan immigrant who had exchanged Malatesta for the Spirit in Chicago........"

Related Link: http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR26001.shtml
author by Just Sayinpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 05:38Report this post to the editors

A German court sentenced a Turkish man to more than nine years in jail yesterday for the "honour killing" of his sister, but found two brothers not guilty of conspiring in the murder.

The murder of Hatun Surucu, 23, who was shot several times at a bus stop in a Berlin suburb last year, shocked Germany and sparked intense debate about the conservative nature of a Muslim immigrant community seemingly at odds with mainstream society.
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Where there is no left opposition the religious fanatics will seize power. Except in Ireland where the left and the religious fanatics appear to overlap significantly, whether its the SWP having a love-in with Islamicists or the 32CSM valorising the oppression of women.

I don't think I've read anything so disgusting in a long time.

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,,1753903,00....html
author by Barrypublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 05:47Report this post to the editors

Its basically the case that for millions across the globe Islam is the new liberation theology of the world . It will characterise much of the anti imperialist struggles throughout the world for the forseeable future. Those who claim to be the enemies of imperialism may as well get used to that fact, and many already have .

As regards anarchist influenced articles in the SN its very simple . 32CSM membership includes activists who have been influenced down the years by various anarchist and socialist schools of thought in Ireland , Britain and Europe . As the movement is not a political party and has no party policies such people are free to contribute their analysis within the movement. As democracy at its maximum expression in Ireland is essentially our goal it must also be our internal strategy . The politics we practice must be that of our objective . Terrys description of 32csm as a " very authoritarian commandist nationalist group" is a total falsehood , not even remotely based on political fact . Its patently obvious he didnt take the time to read our feckin strategy when he embarked on his critical analysis . Our strategy makes it abundantly clear that internal democracy is a key component of our strategy to acheive our objectives . Undemocratic internal structures are the conditions in which dictators like DeValera , Adams and McGuinness flourish . Undemocratic internal structures are the fog in which the Donaldsons and Scappiticis ply their trade free from membership scrutiny and accountability . Undemocratic structures are what lead to Republicans in the Tan War engaging in the protection of capitalist interests at the expense of workers interests contrary to their own wishes as members of the working class moreso than any alliance with bourgeouis elements . Had there been internal democracy they and not the bourgouis elements would have called the shots at all times . Lack of internal democracy and accountability were instrumental in leadership cliques dragging republican separatism down a reformist path as opposed to a revolutionary one . To an accomodation with and ultimately collaboration with foreign imperialists from Churchill to Blair , George Bush and Bill Clinton .

.32csms objective is to acheive Irish sovereignty in its fullest sense and then dissolve itself as a movement . Not to seek to take power and govern the island. If Irish people ultimately seek to adopt anarchist structures after colonial ones have been dismantled and national sovereignty acheived then its up to them . As a body 32csm have no objection , we'll have ceased to exist at that point . Our objective is to remove the barriers which inhibit such a democratic choice being made in the first place , colonialism and the politics practiced throughout the island which upholds it . ( by the way the latest sovereign nation has just been issued in time for easter . Although I have yet to read it Im aware theres an article which examines Chekovs analysis of the Dublin riots comapring it to the hysterical approach of the establishment media . Another piece on Irish resources features an anarchist poster protesting shells theft featured here on Indymedia . Republicans know a good angle when they see it)

Frankly im unimpressed by Terrys entire article as well as his apparent inability to defend it from the many criticisms or to expand it further . Shamil Basayev is recognised throughout the world as an extremely dangerous and influential revolutionary fighter . It would be ludicrous to talk of the Chechen struggle without a reference to him - yet Terry is horrified by this . Horrified by republicans talking to muslims .Just as hes horrified revolutionaries throughout the world tend to be armed - he reckons its merely a gun fetish instead of a basic requirement of an actual revolution.

The anarchist analyses of republicanism that Ive read here are much more detailed and worthy of ones time . However it fails to address current colonialism in any forthright manner in my opinion . Its position on the 26 cos is often excellent . As regards the occupied territory all of a sudden it seems to go weak kneed , fuzzy and watery . It certainly seems to lose the self assuredness of the fiery critiques of the southern establishment , Shell in Mayo and George Bushs use of Shannon . Ive even seen anarchist posters claim the British state would love to pull out of Ireland and other such oddities . Ive also felt theres a tendency because of their ideological dogma , a tendency followed by the other left groups , to attempt to bash the square peg of republican separatism into the round hole their dogma believes is its ideological place . Perhaps this is an oversimplification on my part but its my general perception of much of the critiques theyve engaged in recently on Indymedia . Some very good stuff that tends to fall at the final hurdle .

author by Amonpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 20:09Report this post to the editors

This means Terry is an Indymedia editor.
(see 'Appalacian Mountaintops' link in box of Recent Stories by same Author)

Hmmn?!

As the question of journalistic merit obviously doesn't enter into this ( he is capable of better, but was probably hung-over after a hard night out for this one? ), the probable main reason why this article went Platinum was because somebody ( perhaps not completely unknown to the aforementioned 'Terry' ) recommended it for promotion and none of the ( other ) IMC editors opposed the 'motion' as most are either unwilling to invoke the Grapes of his Wrath ( can he really be so Terry-fying? ) or are just glad to see 'dissident' Republican(ism)s take an ideological bashing in time for this 'special' Easter, when casual reader interest in the subject might be expected to peak.

A kind of pre-emptive strike on all you naughty (potential) 'dissidents' out there.

Yeah, that definitely sounds more like it - and how sweet to smell the highly transparent 'democratic procedures' of story promotion, as practised per Indymedia Ireland nowadays!

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong there, Terry.

If not, could I suggest we dub the horrible phenomenon displayed in this epidsode as pure 'Terry-rism', and let me be the first to say that I'm implacably opposed to Terry-rism, whether it be 'dissident' or the other sort.

Now, would somebody who is clued-in and not biased against Irish Republicanism please produce an INFORMED and READABLE analysis on this?

And while you're at it, a brief on the official SF/PIRA position and the GFA (or links) would be helpful for the clarity/contrast of those whose brain hurts just thinking of this subject.

Cheers.

author by .publication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 20:27Report this post to the editors

for your information, a photo of 3 lads frightening a sheet in the GAA club is NOT = "The Real I.R.A.", as you would have the innocent among us believe.

If there ever is a next time, try not to be so goddamn lazy - or maybe just cook those mushrooms before you actually inhale them, OK?

author by seedotpublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 01:57Report this post to the editors

Lads, the ad hominem attacks don't add to the peer review. If the pic is bad post an other original image or some links. Whether Terry is an editor or not doesn't speak to the validity of his telling of the material. Deal with the article, maybe even from the angle of the specific articles discussed whether or no they are from your journal.

Barry, one of the things about islam that disturbs me is the 'us and them' simplicity it conveys. for your lads, or republicanism today, who is it that is claiming to be sovereign? what are you seperating from?For example, where do you think opinion stood in republican circles on the citizenship referendum and the ideas contained therein about the Irish nation.

In the context of the article, who do 'dissident' republicans think the irish nation is? Have your links moved to commonnalities with others who are domociled in Ireland but suffer from attempts to exclude them from our definition of Irishness?

Personally, I think the demands of unionism along with our experience of migration opens possibilities we could define our republic in a way to include all domiciled on our island. The point of the article and all the examination at the moment is to look at the keepers of the flame and how brightly and what colour it burns today. Surely Tom Hartleys reading in the 70's doesn't contain the totality of your analysis.

Is the mosque on the south circular road a republican institution?

author by Barrypublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 16:16Report this post to the editors

The Irish nation must seperate itself from colonial political structures . It must assert its sovereignty and reject them .

Firstly Im sorry but I dont understand what you mean or where youre coming from about the mosque . The answer is no basically . Irish republican seperatism is a purely secular political ideology . As regards the support for islamic groups , we support chechen independence , Hamas and Hezbollah not because they have an islamic background but despite it . Its wholly irrelevant to us . First and foremost they are anti imperialist , they are fighting for their nations sovereignty . A democratically elected Chechen government which stood on a platform of national sovereignty and independence was overthrown solely by imperialist force . Hezbollah are supported throughout Lebanon for effectively defending their sovereignty against Israel and the USA and continuing to fight for the return of the annexed Shebaa farms territory. Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinian people . Prior to that even their platform was first and foremost the sovereign independence of the palestinian nation . We regard other groups and governments even ( such as Venezeula and Bolivia) as progressive for doing exactly the same thing , defending their sovereignty and resources from imperialism , who are fully left wing and secular . I cant make it any clearer , We dont support these groups because they are islamic . We simply dont withold our support for them because they are . In such a situation it boils down to " yes you are being slaughtered and oppressed but Ive this problem with your politics you see " . Thats simply not a position our membership can endorse . And our support for them is the democratically expressd wish of our movement .

As regards Muslim detainees in Britain its simply a charitable act to assist the muslim community , fellow immigrants in that society , to set up a prioners support network . Our people have long experience of being demonised and imprisoned in that country because of our backgrounds and we have shared our experience to help a community undergoing the same process of imprisonment and demonisation in Britain today cope with it. Remember that muslims in Britian have a history of being largely law abiding and docile , they have little experience of Britains political jail system . As far as our members are concerned it goes a small way to address the fact that Irish territory is being used to slaughter muslims and kidnap them while the Irish nation , a supposed liberal western democracy , does fuck all about it. A very small way to redress our part as a nation in this crime of our age but its our way of saying we abhor it .

As regards who the Irish nation is well all people born here are , whether they consider themselves Irish or not they live on this territory with us . They make up our nation by the simple fact they are part of it. The people of this island are our countrys greatest resource and sovereignty is about resources as much as territory. As regards making links with immigrants etc although Ive discussed politics with a few the reality is a small movement such as ours has basic day to day survival and priorities to consider ( especially prisoners and their dependents), we simply cant do everything . Perhaps in the future the situation of immigrants children could be focussed on more . Theres certainly grounds for our UN challenge to be supported on the basis that a referendum in a partitioned state still under the influence of a former colonial power , that did not take place accross the national territory and that many Irish citizens werent permitted to vote in cannot be construed as the sovereign will of the Irish people as a whole on an issue as crucial as citizenship for children born here . Maybe thats an avenue people could look at .

As regards the rest , well , the author of the article had a very public swipe at 3 seperate organisations . His analysis of them was extremely negative regardless of his lack of research and it seems objectivity . Even the terminology he used was confrontational and negative. Nobody should be surprised when the inaccuracies in a poorly researched and clearly biased article that got a front page feature attracted a raft of criticism from the very people that were being negatively criticised in such a public , forthright and confrontational manner. He hasnt even replied to the criticisms or sought to expand further on his analysis . He claims to have an insight " inside the world of dissident republicanism" ( even that headine belongs in the Sunday World) . Many statements and interviews given by spokespersons for our organisation , such as Marion Price and Francie Macket havent been mentioned never mind analysed . An article in a paper is a members opinion ( and in every edition a platform is given to non members), not necessarily a position endorsed by an entire movemnt . Youd swear Shamil Basayev was our chairperson reading that . A rubbish article Im afraid and the author only has himself to blame for the response , particularly at this time of year .

If a republican was to attempt a critique of the various anarchist and left groups who post here using the very same methods thered be people going ballistic on this board over it quite frankly , and rightly so .

Although Id be one of the regular 32csm contributors here Im not comfortable at all attempting to speak on behalf of an entire movement . The reason I personally would adopt Fanons views is because of the holistic approach he takes to the colonised condition , as a trained psychiatrist and medical doctor as well as a political theorist . And as a colonised native himself . God knows what Tom Hartley was reading in the 70s . He never took much out of it anyway . Franz Fanon warns revolutionaries to avoid the Hartleys and Adams of this world like the plague .

Maybe after Easter there could be a more official response from 32csm laying out its position to address this negative and inadequate article

author by Barrypublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 17:11Report this post to the editors

.

stop the strip searches - political status now !
stop the strip searches - political status now !

Marion Price in Derry
Marion Price in Derry

Real IRA in Belfast
Real IRA in Belfast

author by Barrypublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 17:24Report this post to the editors

.

south Down protests
south Down protests

Ballymurphy
Ballymurphy

glasgow
glasgow

Derry
Derry

standing on that fundamental right......
standing on that fundamental right......

author by tom eilepublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 17:47Report this post to the editors

I couldn't find a link to this Thomas Davis poem anywhere so I hope indymedia eds won't mind me posting it in full . Irish freedom has always been been enhanced by the struggle against imperialism ithroughout the world . In turn the struggle for Irish freedom has inspired liberation movements internationally.We on the left can't bestow freedom on muslim countries any more than George Bush or Tony Blair can.

A BALLAD OF FREEDOM -Thomas Davis

THE Frenchman sailed in Freedom's name to smite the Algerine,
The strife was short, the crescent sunk, and then his guile was seen;
For, nestling in the pirate's hold—a fiercer pirate far—
He bade the tribes yield up their flocks, the towns their gates unbar.
Right on he pressed with freemen's hands to subjugate the free,
The Berber in old Atlas glens, the Moor in Titteri;
And wider had his razzias spread, his cruel conquests broader,
But God sent down, to face his frown, the gallant Abdel-Kader—
The faithful Abdel-Kader! unconquered Abdel-Kader!
Like falling rock, Or fierce siroc—
No savage or marauder—
Son of a slave! First of the brave!
Hurrah for Abdel-Kader!

The Englishman, for long, long years, had ravaged Ganges' side—
A dealer first, intriguer next, he conquered far and wide,
Till, hurried on by avarice, and thirst of endless rule,
His sepoys pierced to Candahar, his flag waved in Cabul;
But still within the conquered land was one unconquered man,
The fierce Pushtani lion, the fiery Akhbar Khan—
He slew the sepoys on the snow, till Scindh's full flood they swam it
Right rapidly, content to flee the son of Dost Mohammed,
The son of Dost Mohammed, and brave old Dost Mohammed—
Oh! long may they Their mountains sway,
Akhbar and Dost Mohammed!
Long live the Dost! Who Britain crost,
Hurrah for Dost Mohammed!

The Russian, lord of million serfs, and nobles serflier still,
Indignant saw Circassia's sons bear up against his will;
With fiery ships he lines their coast, his armies cross their streams—
He builds a hundred fortresses—his conquests done, he deems.
But steady rifles—rushing steeds—a crowd of nameless chiefs—
The plough is o'er his arsenals!—his fleet is on the reefs!
The maidens of Kabyntica are clad in Moscow dresses—
His slavish herd, how dared they beard the mountain bred Cherkesses!
The lightening Cherkesses!—the thundering Cherkesses!
May Elburz top In Azof drop,
Ere Cossacks beat Cherkesses!
The fountain head Whence Europe spread—
Hurrah! for the tall Cherkesses!

But Russia preys on Poland's fields, where Sobieski reigned,
And Austria on Italy—the Roman eagle chained—
Bohemia, Servia, Hungary, within her clutches, gasp;
And Ireland struggles gallantly in England's loosening grasp.
Oh! would all these their strength unite, or battle on alone,
Like Moor, Pushtani, and Cherkess, they soon would have their own.
Hurrah! hurrah! it can't be far, when from the Scindh to Shannon
Shall gleam a line of freemen's flags begirt by freemen's cannon!
The coming day of Freedom—the flashing flags of Freedom!
The victor glaive— The mottoes brave,
May we be there to read them!
That glorious noon, God send it soon—
Hurrah for human Freedom!

author by Cromwellpublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 20:02Report this post to the editors

a few ten-year-olds and a pot-bellied lager-lout do not a movement make. Pathetic

author by south down republicanpublication date Sat Apr 15, 2006 21:27Report this post to the editors

Have just got my copy of the new issue of the Sovereign Nation and i have to say its a good read. I think the paper has a range of topics of interest to a variety of people and i think they try to provoke debate among their readers on various struggles and tactical approaches and strategies. I think berating the content of an interview carried by the paper is a bit silly and i know many readers are interested in the chechyan conflict, thats why it was included. Hopefully on their website they can update the last few issues which appear to be missing and people can make up their own mind. Some readers may support the chechyans or iraqis some may think they are mental but at least they are free to comment.

author by seedotpublication date Sun Apr 16, 2006 02:04Report this post to the editors

As can be seen by the time posted it was during the period when all good Irish lapsed catholics have an obligation to be under the influence of alcohol. I should learn to refrain from posting on Good Friday ;-)

My comment regarding the mosque was in part answered by your definition of the Irish nation as those who live here. Many migrant communities are seeking forms of political expression and I was drunkenly wondering whether irish republican seperatism would have much to offer the mosque that I drive by every day and the hundreds of people who attend there every Friday. I wasn't trying to imply that the 32's had all converted and had assumed you were a secular organisation.

I also wasn't trying to say any organisation or group of activists should do more on any issue - more wondering if I had just missed it or was there a republican analysis of citizenship at the time of the referendum. As an aside, how does your definition of membership of the irish nation being the birthright (and inescapable responsibility?) of those born on the island square with the bloodright claim of many of irish descent born outside the island. I know I'm talking to you here and would assume that your organisation may not have a policy position on every question asked on the internet. I felt that there was an underlying philosophical and political problem with the citizenship referendum that was never addressed in the midst of shouts of welfare tourism and loopholes on one side and racism on the other.

On the article, criticisms of the content are what the peer review function is for. I would propose though that attempts to focus on the author of the article are by their nature repressive and do not lead to democratic media or forms of debate. Your response on Shamil Basayev informed my reading of the original piece. Other criticisms, especially from Amon, were merely an attempt to question the validity of a viewpoint by attacking the writer. Apart from the probable breach of the editorial guidelines (the issue of how it got on the front page should be dicussed on the editorial list) I would see it as the censorship, controlling mentality that many ascribe to various forms of republicanism.

author by Brian Borupublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 04:24author email mango2002 at imagine dot ieReport this post to the editors

"These groups are all much much smaller than the mainstream or ‘Provisional’ Sinn Fein, but given the latter’s acceptance of the Unionist veto aka the principle of consent, that is that changes in the constitutional arrangement for Northern Ireland must be endorsed by its electorate, as well as their downsizing of the military arm, it is the dissidents rather than the Provisionals who carry on the spirit of what Irish republicanism meant for most of the 20th centuary."

Neither of these groups carried on that spirit. It was carried on in the existence of the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Army, and in the hearts of the vast majority of the Irish people. I am a republican and a supporter of the GFA. I have never supported the Provos, Stickies, INLA, RIRA or CIRA. I resent these groups being held up as the true representatives of republicanism. The Irish are a Republican people, and strongly oppose the deliberate slaughter of innocent civilians. So too did the men and women of 1916, who halted their struggle to avoid further slaughter of civilians by the British, whose gunboat, the Helga, was flattening O'Connell St and reponsible for most of the deaths of 1916.

The dissidents and the Provos forgot the Proclamation's explicit repudiation of acts of "inhumanity and rapine". They violated that principle. For them to claim political descent from the men and women of 1916 is thus a sick joke.

author by Jopublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 13:09Report this post to the editors

"Neither of these groups carried on that spirit. It was carried on in the existence of the Republic of Ireland, the Irish Army, and in the hearts of the vast majority of the Irish people. I am a republican and a supporter of the GFA. I have never supported the Provos, Stickies, INLA, RIRA or CIRA. I resent these groups being held up as the true representatives of republicanism. The Irish are a Republican people, and strongly oppose the deliberate slaughter of innocent civilians. So too did the men and women of 1916, who halted their struggle to avoid further slaughter of civilians by the British, whose gunboat, the Helga, was flattening O'Connell St and reponsible for most of the deaths of 1916.

The dissidents and the Provos forgot the Proclamation's explicit repudiation of acts of "inhumanity and rapine". They violated that principle. For them to claim political descent from the men and women of 1916 is thus a sick joke."

The Irish army (as the free state) murdered republicans during the Irish Civil war they forgot about the proclaimations explicit repudiation of acts of "inhumanity and rapine". The final phase of the Civil War degenerated into a series of atrocities that left a lasting legacy of bitterness in Irish politics. The Free State's began executing republican prisoners on November the 17th 1922, when four IRA men were shot by firing squad. They were followed by on the 24th of November by acclaimed author and treaty negotiator Robert Erskine Childers.

In all, the Free State sanctioned 77 official executions of Anti-Treaty prisoners during the civil war. The Anti-Treaty IRA in reprisal assassinated TD (member of Parliament) Sean Hales. On December the 7th 1922, the day after Hales' killing, four prominent Republicans (one from each province), who had been held since the first week of the war - Rory O'Connor, Liam Mellows Richard Barett and Joe McKelvey- were executed in revenge for the killing of Hales. In addition, Free State troops, particularly in County Kerry, where the guerrilla campaign was most bitter, began unofficial killings of captured Anti-Treaty fighters. The most notorious example of this occurred at Ballyseedy, where 9 Republican prisoners were tied to a landmine, which was exploded and the survivors were then machine-gunned.

Brian is awarded this weeks merit badge in selective history

author by Barrypublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 17:06Report this post to the editors

The British bombed Dublin again , as well as Monaghan town . Dozens of ordinary citizens were slaughtered , over 100 injured , many dreadfully .The response of the Irish state was to cover it up , actually collude in the murder of their own citizens . Garda Special branch were running round Dublin drinking and whoring with the very intelligence operatives who ordered and facilitated the mass murder , before and after . And the murders by the very same people continued in the free state . Despite the Irish authorities knowing the very identities of these mass murderers and knowing they were out to commit mass murder again not even a wanted poster went up despite these peoples names and photos being on files .

And today our Taoiseach who campaigned for election on a promise to Dubliners to open the files into this carry on wont . And now he apparently cant because they grew legs and walked two years ago, in their entirety from 2 seperate secure government departments , garda HQ and the Department of justice . And the governemnt dont care because they are unaccountablee . They dont have to explain were the files went to apparently .

This is a scandal that could bring down a governemnt and isgrace the secutiry apparatus of the state . It could expose them once and foer all as the scum they are .

Everyone who calls themselves a radical should think about that . And go do somethinng about it . 1000s outside the department of justice and Leinster house protestibg about state terrorism and Irelands role in terrorising its own citizens would rock the bastards .

author by gerard cpublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 17:19Report this post to the editors

How can any political parties engaging in this disgraceful behaviour claim to be the heirs of 1916 . Demandin justice for Dublin Monaghan is something everyone can get behind , pacifist or militant , anarchist , feminist and republican . A proper angry campaign would blow Bertie , McDowell the Garda and Fine Gael clean out of the water . Their hands are all dirty in this cover up . Its potential political dynamite and theyve got a lot to hide . In fact theyre hiding it and nobodys saying ANYTHING !!.

author by Brian Borupublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 18:19author email mango2002 at imagine dot ieReport this post to the editors

"In all, the Free State sanctioned 77 official executions of Anti-Treaty prisoners during the civil war. The Anti-Treaty IRA in reprisal assassinated TD (member of Parliament) Sean Hales. On December the 7th 1922, the day after Hales' killing, four prominent Republicans (one from each province), who had been held since the first week of the war - Rory O'Connor, Liam Mellows Richard Barett and Joe McKelvey- were executed in revenge for the killing of Hales. In addition, Free State troops, particularly in County Kerry, where the guerrilla campaign was most bitter, began unofficial killings of captured Anti-Treaty fighters. The most notorious example of this occurred at Ballyseedy, where 9 Republican prisoners were tied to a landmine, which was exploded and the survivors were then machine-gunned."

The Anti-Treaty SF/IRA lost the General Election of the Free State. They were rejected by the people and had no right to wage war on the elected govt of the state.

author by Barrypublication date Tue Apr 18, 2006 18:40Report this post to the editors

That British puppet state pledged its loyalty and its constitution to a British monarch , not an Irish republic . The vote was against the backdrop of British threats of immediate and terrible war against the Irish people unless the vote went accoring to British wishes - undemocratic , co-ercion , illegal under international law . The free state ensured that no man under the age of 30 and no woman under the age of 35 was permitted to vote , ensuring the IRA and cumman na mban effectively had no franchise , a dreadful gerrymander and an affront to democracy. The IRA had every right to defend the republic from a British imperialist counter revolution . Theyd fought a war to get the British crown out of Irish politics , not to submit and swear allegiance to it . They had therefore every right to resist free state aggression which was ordered by the British .

The free staters promised a stepping stone , a lie to the people , there was none which has guaranteed conflict in every generation since and will continue to do so. Today the free staters are actively covering up British government atrocities on the streets of Dublin , a question youve neatly sidestepped . Typical free stater self righteousness .

author by John O'Neillpublication date Wed Apr 19, 2006 19:23Report this post to the editors

Sorry Brian but you got all sanctimonious about the CIRA/RIRA/OIRA/INLA/PIRA and how they had forgotten the 'spirit of the participants in the 1916 rising'. The Irish Army that you put on a pedistal were pretty quick to jettison their humanity when it came to dealing with the anti treatyists. You claimed falsey that the Irish Army were the only true inheriters of the men of 1916. Your reply ignores all the historical facts about the Free State and their act of terrorism against republicans during the civil war.

author by saoirsepublication date Thu Apr 20, 2006 09:26Report this post to the editors

.........from extremely horrific battles and deaths for national sovereignity -
to the eeU
and support of hamAS,etc.
good job.
keep up the good work.
ireland was left in good hands.

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:30Report this post to the editors

Kevin Murphy South Armagh 32csm

Quotes - 'Hopefully these links will pad out the dreadfully superficial and inaccurate analysis of 32CSM contained in this poor quality article ( Davy Carlins analysis linked to by the author was written almost 5 years ago)'.

Only came across this as doing catch up on Indymedia. I will say though that I am shortly to do an updated analysis on 'Dissident Republicanism' in the near future, although the same gist and analysis of that previous article will run through the vein of my updated one.

Indeed I am going to be updating several of my earliest writings in the time ahead

I will though Kevin read the links that you have provided and will put the finished article up here on Indymedia so you, your supporters, and comrades and others, can debate and discuss such and its merits or not with oneself - if you so wish.

I must say that I find that many of your organisations supporters are at least willing and indeed quite able to articulate your views, whether or not one agrees with them or not. Additionally the tone, on most occasions, is of respecting each others right to disagree -which again I respect.

So I will put time aside in the time after I write the article and will look forward to that debate here on Indymedia, similar as I have had previous with the Shinners or Anarchists etc on this site.

For oneself many ask as to why I did not join 'whatever' type of 'Republican organisation given the fact that several hundred of my family lived and still live in West Belfast - this for decades, and many were active supporters of various 'Republican organisations. Indeed my ancestry includes an intelligence officer for Michael Collins, members of the IRB - one who was one of the first to get the cat of nine tails in Belfast for such actions, and much more etc.

Such reasoning though I will all bring to the debate and the discussion about Republicanism in general.

On a personal note I am to write more in-depth articles from next month onward which means my Diary will only be updated every six months or so. This for Organise! {doing presently} the Blanket, Indymedia and Street Seen. Apart from that I wish to have more open debates and discussion on many topics, local and International, may the platform be to trade unions, NGO’S or University and College students from a table, or with Republicans and others on Indymedia, I believe such is important.

Indeed I find that through such debate and discussion, while not always agreeing, that many looking on can at least begin to get an understanding of what ‘such and such’ is all about - rather than holding simply a perception.

Such I find can beneficial to all concerned.

So Kevin, I look forward to such a discussion, in that vein. Until then D.

Related Link: http://davycarlin.allotherplaces.org/
author by Davy Carlins early dayspublication date Thu May 04, 2006 15:33Report this post to the editors

A debate on Republicanism & Socialism took place a few years back on Indymedia. Davy Carlin, Killian Forde, Justin Moran and Andrew Flood had a good exchange of views, link provided. This may be useful as the debate took place a month or two before his ‘Dissident Republicanism’ article was written

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/60196
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