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You may have missed this earlier: From the selection in the Left Archive…Ireland: Rising in the North, 1981 from Big Flame July 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.

…a document that went up in the past.

As part of getting people acquainted and used to the extended Left Archive we’re going to link every week to previous documents that have been posted there that may be of interest. This week,Ireland: Rising in the North 1981 from Big Flame.


When researching the document, which was donated by a reader – for which many thanks, I discovered that it was already scanned and online, albeit in three parts, at this Big Flame site, along with what appears to be the near totality of their documentation. But given that I did scan it, and information is free, it seems like an appropriate addition to the Archive regardless – wbs.

This is a fascinating document issued by Big Flame, the initially Maoist group originally based in Liverpool and founded in 1970. Big Flame was in intent closest to the Italian Lotta Continua group, and during an eclectic history between 1970 1984 attracted a varied range of support, even to the extent of seeing an anarchist grouping merge with it.
The history of Big Flame can be found here, and John Sullivan gave an overview of the organisation here. But a flavour of their approach is given by the frontispiece:

We are a Marxist organisation; but we are not Maoists, Stalinists or Trotskyists. We see ourselves as inheriting a revolutionary Marxist tradition which includes many revolutionaries, but we see their writings as the collective voice of the particular period of class struggle that they were involved in. It’s a tradition which also includes the revolutionary actions of working class people throughout history. … Big Flame groups exist in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and London. We are active in hospitals, car and other factories; among housewives, tenants and students. We also work in the Troops Out Movement and Chile Solidarity Campaign. Nationally, our work is co-ordinated through Waged Workplace, Education, Women’s and Ireland Commissions, and overall by a National Committee

As the frontispiece also notes:

Big Flame is a revolutionary socialist organisation. We are publishing this pamphlet on Ireland because we hope it is of use to the Irish revolution. The class struggle being fought in Ireland is of absolute importance of the Irish working class, for the English working class and for working class power everywhere. Yet it is hugely misunderstood, even on the left here. We must understand the importance and content of that struggle. The struggle of our brothers and sisters in the Catholic ghettoes of the Six Counties of Ireland occupied by our bosses’ army is our struggle too. We hope that this pamphlet helps understanding of the mass struggle of the Irish working class and helps in building the Troops Out Movement which is currently the focus of Big Flame’s activity around Ireland. The TOM is the main weapon we have. That is why we have worked with it since its foundation. We work in the interests of the Irish struggle. Our struggle is in common.

For the rest please go to the Left Archive here.


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