Some French Posters against The World Cup in Argentina 1978 April 15, 2013Posted by irishelectionliterature in Human Rights, International Politics.
Some French Posters against The World Cup in Argentina 1978. The first one translates ‘roughly’ as “…..when you applaud the French team , cheers cover the sounds of people being tortured…”
I was 8 going on 9 at the time and wasn’t that aware of the Human Rights issues in Argentina back then. Looking now at the squads of the various teams its striking to see how few players played their trade abroad compared to nowadays.
Strangely I loved that Argentina team that won it, especially Mario Kempes (my sons middle name is ‘Kempes’).
Anyway powerful posters
Back in the DPRK… April 8, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in International Politics.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned ally North Korea against war yesterday and described the current tensions on the Korean peninsula as one of the “gravest risks” for nuclear holocaust since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
Saying he spoke as a friend, Mr Castro (86) wrote in Cuban state media that North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un (30), had shown the world its technical prowess and now it was time to remember its duties to others.
Good for him.
For some measure of the sheer strangeness of the DPRK it’s worth turning to an interesting piece in Prospect on the relationship between China and the DPRK (which perhaps is a bit less close after this). Granted this is Prospect, and that entails all necessary caveats, but the piece itself comes down sharply on the side of that relationship being in essence a marriage of convenience with the PRC utilising the DPRK as a strategic pivot in terms of the regional balance of power, and indeed that makes some sense – albeit it’s a bit of a cynical calculus.
But some eye-raising stuff in amongst the information – and remember, the DPRK by its actions as deeply strange (not least in for a period kidnapping Japanese nationals from that latter nation’s beaches – and admitting to same).
What’s fascinating is how openly this is discussed by those from China interviewed in the Prospect piece. There’s no punches pulled, as the following example demonstrates.
North Korean officials routinely tear up investment contracts and walk away with Chinese money. Their soldiers regularly shoot Chinese traders across the Yalu River and treat Chinese fisherman to a style of hospitality that China sometimes shows to the Vietnamese.
“They abused the Chinese crew, smashed the boat and desecrated the Chinese national flag,” says a leading Korea expert, Zhang Liangui, referring to the “kidnapping” of 28 Chinese fishermen on 8th May last year. “North Korea has always been an untrustworthy nation, China has given it so much aid, it really is a weird state,” says Zhang, who is a professor of international strategic research at the Communist Party School, from which Xi recently retired as president.
If that is how their nominal friends view them…
Mandela and the SACP December 19, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in International Politics, The Left.
Many thanks to Garibaldy for pointing to the following from the Telegraph, a report on supposed proof that Nelson Mandela joined the South African Communist Party at some point. It’s all a bit vague and the framing of the story is particularly notable with the headline which very cautiously is structured as follows ‘Nelson Mandela ‘proven’ to be a member of the Communist Party after decades of denial’.
…research by a British historian, Professor Stephen Ellis, has unearthed fresh evidence that during his early years as an activist, Mr Mandela did hold senior rank in the South African Communist Party, or SACP. He says Mr Mandela joined the SACP to enlist the help of the Communist superpowers for the ANC’s campaign of armed resistance to white rule.
The evidence consists of minutes from SACP meetings where Mandela appears to be a member. To be honest I wonder is this much of a surprise to anyone if accurate. The toleration, and more, of the apartheid regime by the West in the post-war period – and the history of sanctions and the resistance to same by the US and UK is telling – deeply constraining the terrain on which the ANC could operate and that the SACP played a far from ignoble role in the resistance to apartheid.
The very, some would say remarkably, close working and political relationship between the SCAP and the ANC which continues to this day (and is – by the way – not beyond criticism in many regards) would naturally generate a context within which it might make sense for Mandela to join, if only in name. And as he famously said “There will always be those who say that the Communists were using us. But who is to say that we were not using them?”.
And there’s links both to Ireland and the Eastern bloc.
His book also provides fresh detail on how the ANC’s military wing had bomb-making lessons from the IRA, and intelligence training from the East German Stasi, which it used to carry out brutal interrogations of suspected “spies” at secret prison camps.
And there’s more on the IRA connection.
In his book, Professor Ellis, who also authored a publication on the Liberian civil war, elaborates on other murky aspects of the ANC’s past. One is that bomb-making experts from the IRA trained the ANC at a secret base in Angola in the late 1970s, a link disclosed last year in the posthumous memoirs of Kader Asmal, a South African politician of Indian extraction who was exiled in Ireland. He was a member of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, which, Prof Mr Ellis says, in turn had close links to the British and South African Communist parties.
The IRA tutoring, which was allegedly brokered partly through Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, led to the ANC fighters improving their bombing skills considerably, thanks to the expertise of what Mr Ellis describes as “the world’s most sophisticated urban guerrilla force”.
All very interesting I think many will agree. That said for an insight into a very particular world view check out the comments under the Telegraph piece. Depressing.
Gramsci: Everything that Concerns People July 24, 2012Posted by irishelectionliterature in Communism, International Politics, The Left.
Thought this might be of interest, a documentary on Antonio Gramsci that I came across on Twitter.
“Gramsci: Everything that Concerns People” (1987), made for Channel4 (Scotland) by Mike Alexander and Douglas Eadie, with Tom Nairn as script consultant.
“The Bolivia of Evo Morales and the MAS: achievements and challenges” – LASC, Bolivia Information Forum UK and Venezuela Ireland Network: Fri 4th November October 31, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, International Politics, The Left.
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LASC, Bolivia Information Forum UK and Venezuela Ireland Network
Present a talk by : Dr John Crabtree, Oxford University Latin America Centre.
“The Bolivia of Evo Morales and the MAS: achievements and challenges”
The election of Evo Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party in Bolivia is leading to a transformation of the country. The constitution has been re-written and Bolivia re-founded as a “Plurinational State”; the government has taken control of natural resources, including gas and oil, and is spending increased income on social programmes to benefit Bolivia’s poorest groups. Indigenous people are now participating at the highest levels of office and women are playing a key role in public administration.
Morales was re-elected in 2009 with an increased majority and a mandate to push forward with reforms. However, his government is now facing a number of key questions and conflicting demands: how to develop economically while protecting the environment and indigenous ways of life? How to meet the demands of powerful social movements as they defend the interests of their members? How to diversify the Bolivian economy beyond reliance on a handful of raw materials?
Dr John Crabtree is Research Associate in Latin American politics St Antony’s College specialising in the Andean region. His recent publications include “Unresolved Tensions: Bolivia Past and Present” (2008, edited with Laurence Whitehead) and “Patterns of Protest: Politics and Social Movements in Bolivia” (2005).
Followed by Questions and Answers
with: Alex Tilley MA, Coordinator Bolivia Information Forum UK
at: The Ireland Institute, The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
when: Fri 4th November
Posters of Protest …. May 17, 2011Posted by irishelectionliterature in International Politics.
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The Guardian recently had an article on ‘The Poster Workshop’ with a gallery of their posters of Protest…
In the turbulent late 1960s, a printmaking collective called the Poster Workshop formed in a basement in Camden, London, and set about turning activists’ slogans into art statements
Position paper from éirígí on socialism… April 19, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Economy, International Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.
As promised at the weekend here’s a document issued by éirígí on their thoughts for the future.
World Peace Council Public Meeting March 12, 2011Posted by Garibaldy in Communist Party of Ireland, International Politics, Irish Neutrality.
As can be seen from the poster above, Iraklis Tsavdaridis, executive secretary of the World Peace Council will address a public meeting to be held in Dublin on Thursday 24th January at 7.30pm in the Ireland Institute. The theme is The Peace Movement versus the EU and NATO.
Thoughtless comparisons October 22, 2010Posted by Tomboktu in Africa, Gender Issues, Inequality.
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I was at a conference the Equality Authority and Equality Tribunal held yesterday to mark their tenth anniversaries. (Mathematics clearly wouldn’t be their strong point: both organisations were established in 1999, a year after the Employment Equality Act of 1998 came into force. But, as eleventh anniversary conferences go, it was grand.)
Two of the speakers (independently of each other) made a specific point about gender equality. For the most part, their arguments were fine. There was, however, one aspect of how they made their cases that I was unhappy with. So, what I have to say is unrepresentative, both of the overall thrust of what those two speakers said and of the tenor of the conference as a whole.
The point of gender equality that they were concerned with is the number of women in the Oireachtas. Ireland doesn’t have a good record on that: in a poster, the UN reports just under 14% of the members of the Dáil are women. (The data is a bit out of date, as it gives the current membership of the Dáil as 165. But when you have over 180 countries to report on annually, that’s not a major defect.)
Both speakers reported where Ireland stands in the rankings (88th). And both of them then compared that ranking with the ranking of an African country — one mentioned Cameroon which is also ranked 88th, and the other referred to Sudan, which is in the 60s in the rankings.
It strikes me as a form of racism that when they two speakers wanted to show how poor we are, they compared us with African countries and only African countries, as if lower standings in wealth and industrial development in Africa should automatically translate into lower standards in other areas.
They could, for example, have said we are worse than Slovakia but better than Hungray.
The Ireland connection: Espionage and the Irish Passport… October 12, 2010Posted by WorldbyStorm in International Politics.