June 2011

Sectarian violence on the streets of East Belfast


PSNI armored jeep from Ted Drake flickrThe cracks beneath the surface in the peace process were once again exposed on the streets of East Belfast last night in the second night of serious sectarian rioting. A UVF led mob numbering in the 100's has been engaged in attacks on catholic homes at the edge of the Short Strand.  This is the reality of a peace dividend which has failed to deliver to working-class communities and stands in stark contrast to suburbia only 5 miles away which produced golf champion Rory McElroy.

Preface to the 1st edition (1983) by Daniel Guerin


George Fontenis' study seems useful to me, indeed I would go so far as to say it is valuable, not only as it teaches a better understanding of the Spanish Revolution of 1936-7 but it also provides a more extensive interpretation of the notion of libertarian communism itself.

Introduction to the writings of the Friends of Durruti - George Fontenis


Barcelona, May 1937. The first issue of 'The People's Friend', the organ of the Friends of Durruti, appeared. The police repression of the Republican state had just crashed against the fighters of the barricades who had responded to the stalinist provocations by retaking the road of revolution. But while the combattants of the revolution were taking the fight to the forces of repression of the Catalan Generalitat and of the central state, the anarchist 'leaders' of the CNT-FAI, having become ministers of the bourgeois government, asked the victors of the barricades to lay down their arms, to have faith in their 'leaders' to settle the conflict and to reunite the anti-Franco forces.

The anti-fascist camp in the Spanish revolution


It is absolutely necessary - the Friends of Durruti tried to point out - to find a path which allows revolutionaries, without compromising and without falling into an unprincipled anti-fascist front, to have a practical strategy of struggle which unifies the proletarian forces against the violent blows of the reaction, militarism and fascism. One understands why the Friends of Durruti, should have given such importance to the so-called choice 'war or revolution'

But, before addressing the events and their analysis, we must lay out, as briefly as possible, the composition of the forces present on the "antifascist" side, in order to assist the journey of the non expert reader across what one author has called the "Spanish Labyrinth". The bibliography which we give will allow one to find fuller information.

The bourgeois republic and the revolutionaries



The 'Friends of Durruti' and the 'People's friend' - part 1



We saw, in part one, that opposition began to show itself against the lawyers who were, to a greater or lesser extent, accustomed to ministerial collaboration. Notably the Catalan Libertarian youth had declared their refusal to "become accomplices by staying silent" and they had even added "we are ready to return to illegal existence if necessary..."

The 'Friends of Durruti' and the 'People's friend' part 2



In the first issue, there is an article on page 4 with the very title "war and revolution". Here are the main passages.

Friends of Durruti - a balance sheet



To the activist who strives to contribute to the birth of an authentic memory of the anti-authoritarian current of the workers' movement, the question is posed thus: what is the contribution of the historic episode that was the acts and ideas of the Friends of Durruti? Therefore to complete this study, we must draw up a balance-sheet, to assess in some way their achievements and failures.

Greek police join demonstrations


The population of Greece are in revolt again the IMF /ECB austerity plan that is being imposed on them.  WSM member Con who is a migrant to Ireland from Greece tells us what it is like to follow the struggle by home from Ireland and especially the extraordinary events yesterday when many police, who for months have been attacking demonstrators, instead joined the demonstrations.  Presumably they will soon be bought off and return to business as usual but all the same perhaps such an usual event is close to a miracle.

What Recession? – World’s Wealthiest Individuals increase their Wealth


The “World Wealth Report 2011”, published by finance conglomerates Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, has shown that the amount of wealth held by the world’s wealthiest elite increased by almost 10% in 2010.  The number of ‘High Net Worth Individuals’ (i.e. those with investable assets of over $1million) also rose last year – to 10.9 million.

Greek Default: A game of Euro-Chicken?


Grekk riot police covered in red paint - photo By endiaferon on flckrThe big bad ECB wolf is a-huffing and a-puffing but the first of the three little pigs is showing no signs of surrendering just yet. And behind the spectacle of the Greek populace standing up against its government and the core EU powers, lurks a recent historical shadow - a spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Yugoslavia.

Today Greece is the target of pressure and brinkmanship by the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund who are holding back the next installment in the so-called "bailout" agreed last year. The payment of €12 billion was originally scheduled for this month and without it Greece will default on repaying its existing bonds due for redemption on Jul 15.

Democracy and Oligarchy - politics & definitions from Greece to Ireland


A good few words in the world originate from my mother tongue Greek. Nearly all words in Greek mean something. That helps me understand things better  when i interact with people in English plus it creates a sense of pride. In my opinion, specially in the last 100 years, the political systems, we all live in, have tried very hard to manipulate words and language. They constantly change the meaning of the words we are using, to either mean something completely diffrent to what their original real meaning was, or to make them soft, light and insignificant without power.

PSNI terrorise children in stop and search operation directed at RNU


The reality behind the new beginning to policing was once again revealed on the streets of the North yesterday when children returning from a bus trip to Dublin where terrorised by heavily armed PSNI members for up two hours. The bus trip organised by the Republican Network for Unity contained 13 children and 6 adults were returning from a trip to Kilmainham Gaol was stopped and searched allegedly for explosives just outside Banbridge by up to 60-70 PSNI officers with a forensic lab and helicopters.

Rich and poor must share the pain says Gilmore


Labour's Gilmore says we must all share the pain. A water charge of 200 euros a year, wage cuts for the low paid courtesy of Minister Bruton, house reposessions by the bailed-out banks, emigration for school leavers, overcrowding for prisoners, fee hikes for students, cuts in hospitals... none of this really affects the life style of the wealthy, whose very wealth insulates them against the worst effects of the recession.  Not many bankers, newspaper editors, company CEOs or government ministers are suffering in any real sense.

Thousands take part in Pride in Dublin


Saturday June 25th saw another massive Pride in Dublin with the Garda estimating that as many as 26,000 took part in the parade and another 100,000 spectated.  While Pride has very much become more of a social and commercial event since its early years in Dublin it also remains a strong political expression of the ongoing struggles against Queer oppression.

Dub: Underground organisation & mass movements in the Irish Land War


In a time with a marked absence of mass politics this Rethinking Revolution talk looks at one of the largest mass-movement in Irish history. This movement was incredibly broad involving groups as diverse as the catholic church and the fenians leading to tensions over issues we can identify with today - the role of women in society, the issue of violence in politics and the issue of reform vs revolution.

7pm in Seomra Spraoi, Wednesday 29th of July

Survey shows 66% of young in north neither unionist nor nationalist


The latest survey from Northern Ireland Life and Times highlights that just over half of those questioned are dissatisfied with the devolved government with most respondents believing more should be done to tackle unemployment and poverty.  Social issues appear to be of more concern to those 1205 adults questioned across all walks of life in the North than 'the national question', and 45% of those polled do not consider themselves nationalist or unionist.  This deviation from expectations is very strong with the young, 66% of those aged 18-24 considered themselves neither nationalist nor unionist.

Palestine solidarity rallies support Flotilla to Gaza and demand Riverdance don't play Israel


Over 200 people took part in co-ordinated rallies and marches in Dublin last night to express solidarity with Palestine through support for the 2nd 'Stay Human' Freedom Flotilla to Gaza and protesting outside the launch night of Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.  Riverdance are intending to break the boycott of Israel by playing 9 dates there in September.  The march then went to the Israeli embassy where there was a live hook up with the MV Saoirse, the Irish ship in the Flotilla to Gaza.