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Recent articles by Andrew
Recent Articles about Ireland / Britain Imperialism / War
British Queen's Dublin Castle banquet protested by a few hundred as Garda harass activists
About 250 people took part in the éirígí organised march on the banquet for the British Queen staged in Dublin castle Wedensday night. WSM members joined the demonstration but Garda had intercepted the person transporting our flags and banner to the protest leaving us somewhat invisible. This was part of a pattern of suppression of visible protest that occurred throughout the visit of the British Queen despite Garda claims that they would "facilitate protest" in advance of the visit [Italiano]
It turns out the unnamed Garda source quoted by the Irish Examiner in advanced of the city who claimed "reasonable protest will be allowed - a peaceful protest - but up to a point" had about as much value as unnamed Garda sources making vague statements ever do. This despite éirígí making major efforts to ensure their protests remained peaceful. At least two of the speakers, including Breandán Mac Cionnaith and Louise Minihan, from the platform before the march said that anyone not willing to be peaceful should leave the demonstration. Stewards removed a couple of people they judged to have become too rowdy. But far from facilitating such peaceful protest the reality has been that Garda have been tearing down posters, removing stickers, confiscating banners, flags and leaflets at every opportunity. Yesterday as well as the WSM losing a banner and four flags, éirígí lost two banners and a stack of posters in the ongoing campaign of Garda intimidation. One of the confiscated eirigi banners which the Garda deemed offensive actually read "fund communities not royal visits." Some of the posters were ripped down by Garda on Marrowbone despite the activists putting them up not only producing the DCC permission but actually getting a council official to come down from the nearby office and tell the Garda they were permitted.
Last night demonstrators were out numbered by two or three to one by visible Garda who formed solid lines a few ranks thick blocking the route to the castle. A Shell to Sea campaigners who happened to be on Fishamble street told us there were 20 van loads of riot police waiting there and that "some of them are chomping at the bit." Our photographer was ordered not to take pictures by the leader of a bus load of helmet equipped Garda descending on the side of the demonstration (pictured above). Earlier in the week Garda had been videoed violently knocking local women to the ground in Summerhill before arresting them, apparently simply for verbally protesting the level of force they were using in arresting protesters they had chased into the area. Garda told a women who hung a protest banner from her flat in Dublin South West that they would kick her door in if she did not remove it.
The Dublin castle banquet was where the Irish and British elites were meeting up to symbolically bury the hatchet in the interests of a common program of screwing the working class of both islands. Much of the visit has been built around 'moving on' from the colonial relationship that has dominated history between the islands. The WSM banner emphasized that aspect of the visit proclaiming "Old Ruler, New Rulers: Class War Continues.." Unfortunately as has been the case since the crisis began the Class War is coming almost completely from their side, the tiny size of the protests during the visit underlining this fact.Image:The Old Ruler, New Rulers Class War Continues..
banner being prepared the evening before the protest
The visit itself has proved a huge PR coup for the 'normalization of relations' between the ruling elites with an ever obedient media very successfully establishing the idea that anyone protesting must be a backward looking 'terrorist' neanderthal. Virtually no civil rights voices have dared protest the repressive policing operation and last nights operation included, we think for the first time, the importation of the 'controversial 'Kettling' tactic from the London police. This is where a section of a crowd is surrounded in a square of police and people are not allowed leave that square for hours. A second smaller demonstration organised by the 32 Country Sovereignty Movement in the same area was kettled for several hours after some fireworks were let off. Media reports which claimed that elements of that group of protesters threw "bottles, firewords and rubbish" indicated that Garda also drew batons and there were at least eight arrests. However the eight were released this morning without being charged despite being held overnight.
In most countries you would expect the liberal end of the legal establishment to not only protest such abuse of police powers but to actively send legal observers to demonstrations where such abuse is likely. In Ireland this almost never happens, allowing Garda to operate with considerable impunity. The confidence shown by the Garda in abusing their powers over the last few days suggests they have been assured by their superiors that they need not fear repercussions providing they don't go 'too far.' This continues the pattern now long established in the policing of the Shell's Corrib project in Rossport where there has been repeated violence from the Garda towards protesters.
The Garda repression is of course part of that story for the low numbers protesting but it is not a complete explanation, there was probably more overt repression in the run up to the Mayday 2004 EU Summit protests. But that resulted in greater numbers turning out with as many as 5,000 taking part in the main banned demonstration organised by the libertarian Dublin Grassroots Network. Counting both demonstrations there were no more than 400 on the streets last night and perhaps as few as 300. The aftermath of the royal visit should be a time for some frank discussion as to why no one outside of fringe republican circles and a handful from the equally fringe far left took part in the protests.
WORDS & IMAGES: Andrew Flood
Tue 31 Mar, 14:41
Hundreds protest war-criminal Tony Blair in Dublin 21:09 Mon 06 Sep 0 comments
At 9:30 Saturday morning, people gathered on O'Connell Street In Dublin to protest against the presence of war criminal and ex British prime-minister Tony Blair. Blair arrived at Easons at around 10am for the book-signing of his recent autobiography, escorted and protected by a sizable gardai presence. Despite the heavy rain, hundreds of protestors took part. At least one protester managed to get past the heavy security to try to make a citizens arrest of Blair for his war crimes. It is reported that Blair is now considering cancelling his London appearance.
Lisbon treaty and Democracy - Do We Really Have a Say? 18:21 Fri 04 Sep 0 comments
It’s the time of year where we plebs get a chance to rectify our impertinence in rejecting the Lisbon Treaty. In itself, rerunning the referendum is hardly an affront to democracy. After all, people are simply being asked to confirm the decision made.
No to Lisbon - A Treaty for the Rich 17:41 Thu 03 Sep 2 comments
The WSM is calling for a No vote in the 2nd Lisbon referendum on the grounds that people in Ireland can do a lot better than a choice between the clowns in the Dáil or those in Brussels. We oppose the EU's policies of privatisation, militarisation and attacks on workers' conditions but don’t insult people’s intelligence by saying that our current society in Ireland with its severe recession, diabolical public services and corruption is anything better. The major lack of democracy in our lives is not between us and the EU but between the Irish government and us.
WSM Vote No campaign on Munster's streets - 17th May to 7th June 18:45 Thu 12 Jun 1 comments
A photo-review of WSM activities in Munster cities during the Lisbon referendum campaign. The Cork WSM branch, with the help of other comrades from Limerick and Dublin, did 4 info stalls on the streets of Cork, Limerick and Waterford as part of our campaign activities. Each was blessed with good sunny weather and a public mood in some sympathy with our anarchist vote No message. We gave out thousands of leaflets, and made new contacts across the cities. It was also good to see what other campaigns were active on the ground across Munster.
Sinn Fein Vote To Back PSNI 20:16 Mon 29 Jan 3 comments
On Sunday Sinn Fein voted to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland at their extraordinary ard fheis which was attended by approximately 1,000 delegates.
Anarchist Block on anti-war demonstration in Britain 17:55 Fri 29 Sep 0 comments
The anti-war demonstration in Manchester on September 23rd (taking place the weekend before the Labour party annual conference) was supported by a colourful and vocal 'anarchist block' with attendance from anarchist organisations and non-aligned anarchists from Manchester and across the country, at least 40 bodies in all. The block was called by the Anarchist Federation and Solidarity Federation, two of the class struggle anarchist organisations in Britain with international links (read the jointly produced leaflet 'Why We Haven't Stopped the War Yet'). The day started with an IWW picket of Starbucks in support of union workers in the USA, followed by the anti-war march.
Not Guilty - Shannon Five war resisters acquitted on all charges 22:25 Thu 17 Aug 0 comments
Just before the start of the war against Iraq in 2003 five Plougshares activists gained access to Shannon airport where US war planes were being refuelled. Using hammers and axes they damaged one of these planes. Loyal to George Bush the Irish government has been dragging these activists through the courts but late last month a jury ruled that the actions of the defendents were justifiable as they acted to preserve life in Iraq. These are reports and statements from the WSM on the trial.
Dublin: Thousands March against War in the Lebanon 22:15 Thu 17 Aug 2 comments
The Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM) and the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), called for a national demonstration against Israeli war crimes. This is a brief report of the march.
Derry- FEIC monthly vigil at Raytheon harrassed by PSNI riot squad, 20:25 Wed 16 Aug 0 comments
The peaceful and carnival atmosphere at yesterday evenings (Saturday 12 August) FEIC's monthly vigil in front of Raytheon was shattered when 2 landrovers full of riot gear clad PSNI de-bussed and began filming and corralling protesters.
Report on Dublin protest against visiting British warship HMS Ocean 18:16 Mon 03 Jul 0 comments
ust over 150 people marched down to HMS Ocean to protest the presence of this British warship which was involved in the invasion of Iraq in Dublin port, Thursday June 29. Although some will be disappointed with this turnout in reality it was a significant number for a wet mid week demonstration. Also on the positive side there was a real effort to overcome some of the divisions that have characterised the anti-war movement in Ireland.more >>
Into the Shadows - Britain’s dirty war in Ireland Dec 28 0 comments
The recent BBC documentary 'Panorama: Britain's Secret Terror Force' may have once again put a spotlight on the extent of British state-sponsored terrorism in the North and the activities of its various shadowy forces; but the level of orchestration, impunity, collusion and cover up is yet to be truly uncovered.
Internment, parading and the politics of class Aug 28 0 comments
The eruption of conflict and intense rioting in Belfast over the last couple of months is a clear illustration that, no matter what lengths Stormont and the media circus go to to disguise the ugly reality of the ‘peace process’, the scars of the past and frequent eruption of sectarian conflict refuse to go away as political parties play the sectarian card to get one over on their rivals.
Nuclear weapons and Scottish independence May 21 0 comments
The Scottish National Party has insisted that an independent Scotland would be free of nuclear weapons, says Eric Chester. This position reflects the fact that Scottish popular opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to the stationing of the Trident submarine system at Faslane. These subs, a leftover from the Cold War days, are nuclear powered and carry ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons. The SNP campaign to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons has provided one of the few salient arguments for independence. [Italiano]
Working Class Unity, Not Sectarian Diversions Dec 24 0 comments
Once again violence has flared across Belfast and other parts of the north as protests continue around the flags issue. The latest disturbances come as Stormont Assembly leaders, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness meet to discuss another wave of street protests, and their concerns about the damaging effect it is having on the economy leading up to the busiest shopping period of the calendar. But as each issued a separate statement calling for protests to come to an end, loyalist gangs flexed their muscles, blocking off streets and hijacking cars.
Pat Finucane murder - British state sweeps the dirt under the carpet Dec 19 0 comments
The publishing of the De Silva’s report into the murder of Pat Finucane may have exposed a bit of dirt from under the carpet of the British states secret war in Ireland but the scars and flames of the past have not gone away - they continue to shape policing in the 21st century. As Geraldine Finucane articulated, ’’The dirt has been swept under the carpet without any serious attempt to lift the lid on what really happened to Pat and so many others.’’more >>
Why we don't welcome the visit of the British Queen May 20 Cork Branch 0 comments
The British Queen - An enemy of the working class, an enemy of the poor, head of the imperialist British state, symbol of privilege, inequality and oppression.
Public meetings to be held in Cork and Dublin this week will pose the question of how the legacy of U.S. imperialism has impacted on the catastrophe visited on Haiti in the recent earthquake.
WSM Supports Direct Action Against RAYTHEON in Derry Aug 16 WSM 0 comments
The Workers Solidarity Movement supports the actions of the anti-war protestors who occupied and sabotaged American arms manufacturer Raytheon's Derry offices
Anti-War Action-Baldonnel Sunday,April 16th Apr 04 4 comments
On April 16th the Irish state is conducting a military style parade of its forces through Dublin city centre in commemoration of the 1916 insurrection and those who lost their lives in it.
Southern African anarchists condemn apparent Terrorist blasts in London Jul 08 ZACF 0 comments
We, the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (ZACF) of southern Africa, stand foursquare with the working and poor people who were apparently the targets of the craven July 7th bus and train bombings in London.more >>