Republicanism

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an analysis of Irish Republicanism from an anarchist perspective. These range from analysis of the issues of the day to detailed re-examination of the history of the republican rebellions and movements.

Review: The Wind That Shakes The Barley

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I'm just after returning from watching Ken Loach's Palm D'or reaping drama 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley' and like most feel slightly compelled to add one or two words to the flurry of type and hype that has accompanied the movies release on these shores. The Wind That Shakes The Barley is a typical Loach movie portraying many of the core techniques of his previous outtings. Again he relies on plunging a shallowly crafted personal relationship, this time between two brothers, into a set of tragic circumstances. These circumstances provide an emotional cover for his overly didactic political approach to popularising alternative historical mythologies that challenge the authors of a victors' history. This time the contested historicity is the rabid nationalism of the Irish text book, that sweeps aside socialist and labour based movements in the process of consolidation of the free state.

The Easter Proclamation

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Easter Proclamation, read by Pádraig Pearse outside the GPO, Dublin at the start of the Easter Rising, April 24 1916.

Constitution of the Irish Citizen Army

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As agreed at a public meeting, held Liberty Hall 22 March 1914 from a draft prepared by Sean O’Casey.

1916 – what are they celebrating?

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There is something very odd with the official commemoration of 1916. The same government which is celebrating an insurrection against imperialism 90 years ago is today – against the wishes of the majority of the Irish people – allowing Irish airports to be used in support of an imperialist war. And whereas the 1916 proclamation referred to “the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland” successive southern governments have shown themselves to be on the side of international corporations. Most recently this has shown itself in the manner in which the Corrib gas fields of Co’ Mayo were handed over to the Shell corporation.

The Love Ulster Riot In Dublin

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A small band of fringe nationalists decided to stop the Love Ulster parade. There is no question but that crowd of loyalists are sectarian bigots. During a protest against the release of republican prisoners as part of the Good Friday agreement, their leader, Willie Frazer, was asked about loyalist murder gang prisoners “They should never have been locked up in the first place,” he replied.

1916: 90 Years on - Gombeen Nation

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This Easter marks the ninetieth anniversary of the 1916 rising. There is an unedifying scrabble by every politician in the state to wrap the green flag around themselves and stake their claim to be the inheritors of the tradition.

The Only Hope of Ireland

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Writing shortly after the execution of James Connolly for his part in the 1916 rising the Russian/US anarchist Alexander Berkman published 'The only hope of Ireland' in his paper 'The Blast'. He argues that British policy towards the leaders of the rising was typical of British policy elsewhere and in particular in India. He also attacks the timidity of Irish American who only organised protest meetings against the executions suggesting that instead "A British Consul ornamenting a lamppost in San Francisco or New York would quickly secure the respectful attention of the British lion".

The Proclamation of Independence 1803

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This is the text of the proclamation issued at the start of the second United Irishmen rebellion of 1803. led by Robert Emmet. Its noteworthy that the first act was to declare "church lands are the property of the nation." and point 13 declares "the people elect their officers up to the colonels" even if the introduction reassures "we do not make war on property"

After Nationalism...Leaving Sinn Féin for anarchism

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I joined Sinn Féin in the mid eighties with many others on the back of what we saw as a radical shift to the left and a commitment to build a 32 county Democratic Socialist Republic. I find myself outside that movement now, thoroughly disillusioned with it and its shift to a left nationalist and social democratic electoralist future.

Robert Emmet and the rising of 1803

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The 1803 rebellion came to be associated with one man, Robert Emmet because that suited both the government of that time and later day nationalists in search of a romantic nationalist interpretation of the rebellion. As with the great rebellion of 1798, the process of burying the radical ideas of the rebellion was bound up in creating mystical notions of blood sacrifice and individual heroism.

The bi-centennary of the 1798 rebellion saw the radical ideas that lay at the roots of it being recovered. Instead of a romantic nationalist rising for the four green fields and the faith of our fathers it was put in the context of the wave of European / Atlantic radicalism that demanded equality for all. The United Irishmen were revealed not as narrow nationalists but as part of an international democratic upsurge against monarchy and colonialism that transformed the world we live in.

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