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Left Archive: ‘Organise Against State Repression’, Revolutionary Struggle, National Question Collective, July 1981 July 20, 2020

Posted by leftarchivist in Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. rev-struggle-1-page-a4.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive.

Dating from precisely 39 years ago one page document from Revolutionary Struggle National Question Collective issued during the Hunger Strike campaign argues for attacks on the enemy of the working-class. It argues in particular for the release of those arrested while protesting outside the British Embassy on July 18th 1981. As CAIN notes:

Saturday 18 July 1981
There were serious clashes between Republican demonstrators and Gardaí following a demonstration outside the British embassy in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Over 200 people where hurt during the clashes.

Here’s one perspective on the day’s events in 1981. And here is another.

For more information on Revolutionary Struggle see here in the Archive.

Please note: If files have been posted for or to other online archives previously we would appreciate if we could be informed of that. We always wish to credit same where applicable or simply provide links.

Comments»

1. Joe - July 20, 2020
sonofstan - July 20, 2020

I was in TCD during their ‘heyday’. Semi-mystical powers were attributed to their influence then, spoken of always in hushed tones.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 20, 2020

Did you ever speak to Alan MacSimoin about them?

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sonofstan - July 20, 2020

No…I’m sure everything I thought about then was wrong.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - July 20, 2020

‘about them then’
Though the original is probably true also.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 20, 2020

🙂 Me too, me too!

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2. roddy - July 20, 2020

“Getting the knees done” was such a minor thing in those days that it wouldn’t even have merited a couple of lines in a “Skibereen Eagle” type publication.In our more recent peaceful era ,an affable independent Unionist councillor on my local council confided to the SF grouping that he was having mobility problems due to “bad knees.” He said that the waiting lists were so long that he was going to have to pay a considerable sum and go to a private hospital “to get the knees done”.At this point a SF councillor interjected “for fucks sake Bertie,why didnt you come to us and we could have got them done for nothing!”

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alanmyler - July 21, 2020

Making a joke out of the maiming of someone for life is pretty distasteful stuff.

Liked by 1 person

gypsybhoy69 - July 22, 2020

We’re agreed on the making of jokes being utterly distasteful but hopefully it’s not a cheap point scoring exercise. I spent enough time in party clubs and in the company of then ‘comrades’ to know that making a joke about such things wasn’t unique to one persuasion..

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - July 22, 2020

No it’s not a cheap point scoring exercise. I don’t think I’ve ever replied to a Roddy comment in the past, there’s no history of animosity there between us at all. And I agree that it would be equally distasteful coming from a Stick or a Provo, or anyone else.

Liked by 1 person

3. Alibaba - July 20, 2020

Fascinating links from Joe which brings me back to the time when Frank Connolly was arrested over the 1981 shooting but never convicted. In 2005 the then Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell (a contradiction in terms, I know) used Dáil privilege to accuse Connolly of another crime; also never proven. But he blackened Connolly’s reputation by making it known to his employer CPI that Connolly had a conviction for rioting in 1982. McDowell got away with impunity despite interference with the DPP’s independence. Not so the staff of the Centre for Public Inquiry.

https://magill.ie/archive/centre-public-inquiry-closes-staff-are-let-go

Connolly is now Head of Communications in SIPTU. 

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4. roddy - July 21, 2020

Alan ,did you ever hear of “gallows humour”.Watch or listen to any satirical show in the North and you might see things from a different angle.

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alanmyler - July 21, 2020

Hilarious Roddy. I mean just transpose that to an Israeli sniper making a joke about shooting a Palestinian in the leg in the on-going border violence in Gaza, it loses its “gallows humour” pretty quickly doesn’t it.

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5. roddy - July 21, 2020

I suppose if you lived in an ivory tower when all hell was breaking loose around you ,you would have to never joke about that mayhem.Also numerous jokes were made about the death of many historical and contempory figures but then in certain circles if made by “right on ” comedians nobody would bat an eyelid.

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alanmyler - July 21, 2020

What is it you’re really trying to say here Roddy? “Ivory tower”? “Right on”? Keep digging that hole. Honestly you sound like some embittered Vietnam Vet whose only defence to being called out for cracking jokes about wasting Gooks or whatever is that old cliché “you wouldn’t know man, you weren’t there”. Presumably there’s an online forum somewhere for all the old boys where they can reminisce about some wee lad’s knee disappearing in an explosion of blood and bone and how they occasionally bump into him down Ladbrokes and hold the door open for him on his crutches and and how hilarious it all is because he doesn’t recognise them without the balaclava. But here really isn’t that forum, is it Roddy.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - July 21, 2020

Think you’re actually both right, there is a sort of trench humour that is even shared across the lines but not sure knee-capping jokes are necessarily at this point after the conflict the best way forward.

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gypsybhoy69 - July 22, 2020

Re: my comment above. I hadn’t seen that the replies went to point 4 & 5 here.

Liked by 2 people

Colm B - July 22, 2020

I agree that jokes about violence are distasteful though, like most people, I have to admit that I’ve told and laughed at such jokes.

I think the issue here is that while Alan is obviously sincere in his disgust at jokes about such a brutal act as kneecapping, condemnations of Provo violence coming from a WP member opens the way for a charge of hypocrisy. Yes, the PIRA openly engaged in punishment beatings, kneecappings etc but the WP’s armed wing also engage in routine, if small scale, violence against its real and perceived opponents long after its ceasefire. I’m not referring to the feuds with the Provos or INLA here but to the activities of the OIRA in the 80/90s. It definitely wasn’t on the scale of the PIRAs activities and fortunately did not result in deaths but it was still brutal in the same way as you describe the consequences of Provo kneecappings.

I’m not saying members of the WP, or indeed ex-members like myself, don’t have a right to condemn or disagree with PIRA violence but few would take such opposition seriously unless there’s an acknowledgement of WP engagement in violence in the past.

Liked by 2 people

alanmyler - July 22, 2020

I agree that paramilitary violence from any group is to be condemned. I’m a WP member only for the past decade and would not be impressed in the least by jokes about anything that went on in the past. None of that is in any way a part of my motivation for joining the party. I understand that such things happened in the past, and that they have to be acknowledged, and part of that is that they shouldn’t be joked about. And I’d expect the same of people in SF. I understand that for people who went through the years of brutality in the Troubles that perhaps it seems a bit precious for someone like myself to be calling out the joke when the reality of the event behind the joke was far more terrible, but the events are behind us and so should the casual normalisation of them through humour. I also get it that soldiers use humour to try to keep some sense of humanity in awful circumstances, but as I said above the CLR doesn’t really strike me as the right place for that if it still needs to be done at all.

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Fergal - July 22, 2020

Isn’t all humour offensive? The piano falling on top of somebody ain’t nice!
Isn’t it Ricky Gervais who said just cos you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right?
Taken to another level being offended means gunmen blowing the heads off journalists for working for a publication that drew their god… or the Danish embassy being torched in Beirut or Danish goods being boycotted (exactly how racism works… take one person from a group, in this case the Danish cartoonist) and then blame all the group for his/her wrongdoing…
I can see Alan’s point and Roddy’s…

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alanmyler - July 22, 2020

Fergal, I think there’s a qualitative difference between generic type jokes about pianos falling on Wilie Coyote’s head or whatever and jokes about pianos falling on people’s heads as expressed by someone who was involved in an organisation that actually did that to people in real life. No?

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WorldbyStorm - July 22, 2020

Again, I think both of you have a point and it’s more than okay to air the issue. That said at this stage isn’t it going around in circles a little.

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