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Starry Plough, No. 9 1972 – Official Sinn Féin March 27, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Uncategorized.
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To download the above please click on the following link. STARRY PLOUGH 9 1972

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This edition of the Starry Plough adds to the collection of Official Sinn Féin material from the early 1970s. There is a varied content, from Rachmanism, through to calls to harass the British army in the editorial.

This argues that:

We appeal to the people, not to lie down under this pressure [from the British Army] but to retaliate in the most effective way they know, by mass peaceful protest. This tactic has proved successful in the past. The British Army are not trained to control thousands of protesting people who can only show passive resistance. The British government can ill-afford another Bloody Sunday.

There is also the transcript of a speech by Des O’Hagan on ‘What is Republicanism’. There’s an overview of 1972, which was, of course, the year that the Official IRA called a ceasefire. There’s a long piece on Irish Women’s Liberation and the last page engages with The Industrial Scene and argues that ‘Derry Docks-Sold Down the River’.

Apologies for the slightly low resolution of the document.

Left Archive: Education Widens the Gap Between the Sexes – Irish Women United, c.1975/6 March 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. irish-women-united.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a fascinating document issued by the Education Department of Irish Women United, a feminist organisation established in 1975 (for another document in the Archive produced by IWU see here). A short précis like this cannot possibly do justice to what is a closely argued 28 page publication, however the Introduction gives a sense of the contents.

Since most of these inequalities [between women and men] are perpetuated by men and women conditioned into stereotyped sex-roles it is argued that they will only be eliminated by a younger generation unsullied by such conditioning or sex-roles behaviours patterns. But how is such a generation to arise in homes where parents re-enforce sex appropriate behaviour and display sexual inequality as the norm?

And:

One of the major influences in forming the values and ideas of young people is that of education. In this paper we illustrate that education, far from being an influential factor in helping to create a new consciousness of equal status for women and men or girls and boys, is in fact a major influence in maintaining and re-enforcing existing sexual inequalities. Through our research and discussion, we in the education workshop of Irish Women United have reached the conclusion that our education system is in no way our agent of change in the roles and opportunities it makes available to girls and boys. We have come to the realisation that education widens the gap between the sexes and discriminates severely against girls both in the actual availability or subjects and course, and in the oppressive attitudes it portrays concerning women and the role of women and girls in society.

A lot is applicable to today. The point is made that pre-school education is treated as a charitable institution by the government. There are many thought-provoking facts throughout the text, not least that at the time written 1.7% of girls and 4.8% of boys left school at the group certificate, while 12.3% of girls and 9.4% of boys left at the Intermediate Certificate. Another fact mentioned is that in 1975 of 2,189 designated apprentices there were only 5 women amongst them. The gender tilt in Leaving Certificate Honours examinations in 1974 by girls and boys is stark.

The pamphlet is broken down into sections: The facts of sexual inequality; Attitudes on the inferiority of women transmitted through education and The framework of course criticism.

The conclusion argues that:

…while it is important for women involved in education to work together to fight for the establishment of women’s studies programs in all courses and faculties and to work out critics of their own particular field of study, we in the Education Workshop of Irishwomen United feel that it is also important for such women to involved themselves in the mainstream of the women’s movement.

And it notes that ‘our day to day work and research is carried out by workshops on topics such as contraception, social welfare, employment, etc’.

Left Archive: Loyalism (Part Two) – Republican Lecture Series No. 10, Sinn Féin c.1980s March 6, 2017

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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replectureloyal

replectursf-loyal
To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document, one of two parts (the Archive would be very grateful if anyone has the first part and are willing to donate it to us) on the topic of the history of Loyalist. As it notes:

In Part One of this education lecture on ‘Loyalism’ we dealt with Loyalism, the British identity and Protestantism, the Plantation, the Williamite Wars, the Orange Order and the Act of Union. Part two begins with the industrialisation of Belfast and the North-East of Ireland.

In the course of 11 pages it discusses different topics, including ‘Connolly and Larkin in Belfast’, ‘The Home Rule Crisis of 1912’, ‘The Defeat of Home Rule’, ‘Opposition in Ulster to Home Rule’, ‘Working Class Opposition’, ‘Carson’, ‘The Pogroms of 1912’, ‘The Ulster Covenant’, ‘Creation of the Orange State’ and ‘Loyalism Today’. Notably the period of Stormont government between 1920 and the poroguement of that parliament is not dealt with in any detail.

Instead it goes on to ‘Loyalism Today’.

It argues that:

It would be quite wrong… to conclude from this that modern loyalism has somehow developed an independence from ultimate British control and direction. This notion is at the root of ‘blood-bath’ or ‘civil war after withdrawal’ theories put forward by British apologists and pro-imperialist ‘socialists’ like the Workers’ Party.

And:

Britain’s differences with the loyalist, though serious, are tactical ones within the framework of broad political and military cooperation.

The conclusion is interesting:

…thus the correctness of republican strategy, directed through the war of national liberation at forcing a British withdrawal which will undermine its loyalist junior partner and, by opening the door to a united Ireland, allow North-eastern Protestants for the first time to take their place as free and equal citizens of an all-Ireland republic, can be seen.

And:

Loyalism is an ideology and politics that can in no way be compromised with short of the achievement of a united Ireland.

Left Archive: RSYM Position on Recent Developments (IRSP) – c.2009 February 20, 2017

Posted by leftarchivist in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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rsym

To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document is five pages long and represents a response by the Republican Socialist Youth Movement to developments in the Irish Republican Socialist Movement, namely the conclusion in a statement from the IRSM issued in October 2009 that “the armed struggle is over and the objective of a 32 County Socialist Republic will be best achieved through exclusively peaceful political struggle.”

The RYSM is deeply critical of this conclusion and argues that it ‘goes against the very principals of Republican Socialism’.

Notable are those it references as embodying the those principles:

Not only can a 32 County Socialist Republic not be ‘best achieved through exclusively peaceful political struggle’, as the lessons of history have shown, the possibility of a peaceful revolution is not very likely at all. Accordingly, it is essential from an ideological perspective that an armed element is maintained in the IRSM so as to be ready for all possible eventualities. It has been a cornerstone of our ideology since the foundation of the movement that there is no parliamentary road to socialism and this can never change. To suggest as much is to abandon the politics of Costello, Connolly and Ta Power. It is reformist to the core.

In some respects the arguments outlined in the document are ones that were contentious from the establishment of the IRSP and are central to its relationship with the INLA. It is perhaps notable that the RYSM was founded in 2005.

Under the heading ‘The Use of the Armed Wing’ it argues that:

A lot of this debate has focused on whether the armed wing is productive at this point to the overall political goals of the movement. The consensus among the leadership has been that it is not, that it actually hinders our political aspirations. This is not a Marxist analysis. Yes we in the RSYM agree that the conditions for armed struggle in the North against imperialism do not exist.
But the INLA is a republican SOCIALIST army, just because it may not have a role in relation to the British occupation at this point does not mean it won’t have tomorrow, as we don’t know what conditions will develop. And it certainly doesn’t mean that the armed wing has no role in the class war, in any of the 32 counties.

And it continues:

The reputation of the INLA and its association with drugs and feuding of course does hinder the movement somewhat. But this can be tackled, it is not something to stand down over. Under no circumstances should a Republican Socialist army, the army of the workers, bow to popularism and bourgeois media slander. The INLA and its reputation is an issue of concern, but it is much more a case of the way it manifests itself and acts than its existence. Its existence is ideologically
sound.

One of the most striking aspects of the document is how open it is in regard to these issues.

It concludes by noting:

There has been so much confusion, ideologically especially, that if the IRSP was actually to progress and get elected representatives at some point we in the RSYM would be very doubtful the movement would be ideologically strong enough to prevent us moving towards reform. Removing the INLA will not
change this one iota, it is an issue but it is not the most immediate problem. Educate the membership, set in place concrete and accountable structures and root out the apoliticals and we will have come a long way through relatively straight forward measures.

Left Archive: SLP’s Confusion, leaflet from Socialists Against Nationalism, c.1979 February 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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san

To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Thanks to Jim Monaghan for forwarding this short document from Socialists Against Nationanlism, a group formed by British & Irish Communist Organisation, the Limerick Socialists and the Socialist Party of Ireland, (see here in the Archive) which takes the Socialist Labour Party to task for its approach on British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. It looks at comments from Dr. Noel Browne, which appear to have been made in 1979, and compares and contrasts them with the SLP’s platform.

Irish Left Archive: Bloody Sunday Poster, Revolutionary Marxist Group, c.1972? January 30, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Revolutionary Marxist Group.
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revmarkbloodysunday

From the RMG.

Many thanks to Alan of Irish Election Literature for forwarding this to the Archive.

Left Archive: Ireland – The Workers’ Party, Spring 1983 January 16, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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wp-ireland-1983

To download the above please click on the following link. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This is another publication of the Workers’ Party, clearly positioned for an international audience. It includes an analysis of the then recent General Election painting it in positive terms for the party despite the loss of two seats. An Editorial stresses that:

The objective of the WP is to win state power for the Irish working class. our Party will never be content with a society in which the privileged, the wealthy, the landlord, the industrialists, tell us how we are to live our lives, determine the future of our children, and dictate the narrow boundaries within which hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are to exist.

There are a large number of articles, including one calling on Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald to reaffirm the commitment to neutrality, a message of condolence to the people of South Africa on the murder by the apartheid regime of Ruth First, an address by Kevin Smyth of NICRA, greetings to Yugoslavian Youth, a letter to Yuri Andropov and the CPSU extolling the ‘peaceful aims, policies and actions of the the Soviet Union’ and another appealing to Ronald Reagan, then US President, calling on world disarmament.

Irish Workers Group, FightBack No 2, February 1993 January 9, 2017

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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fb2

To download the above please click on the following link. fght-back-no-2

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This edition of FightBack joins other IWG documentation in the Archive. Many thanks to the person who forwarded it. From 1993 it is particularly interesting detailing as it does the Fianna Fáil/Labour Coalition.

It is scathing about that administration:

Labour’s reformism is now being shown in its full ‘glory’ in the coalition with FF. Labour’s election manifesto had been based around such platitudes as creating ‘a more caring society’ and putting ‘justice into economics and trust into politics’. Can Labour, the so-called working class party, expect us to believe that capitalist economics can be just and that a capitalist political system can be trusted?

Other articles are of note, including one on the United Nations which dubs that organisation ‘imperialist police’. There’s also information on a student occupation at TCD.

Another piece worth considering is a sharp critique of the Socialist Workers Movement over the issue of abortion where Fightback accuses the former of blocking demands at RTC for free and legal abortion along with more conservative students ‘on the grounds that this demand was too extreme and that the students weren’t ready for it’.

There’s also a long piece on ‘a wave of Nazi killings and violence sweeping through Germany’.

Left Archive: An Phoblacht, Iml 4, Uimh 12, Marta 22, 1974, Provisional Sinn Féin. January 2, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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ap1973

To download the above please click on the following link. an-phoblacht

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This edition of An Phoblacht has a broad range of issues discussed. The front page argues that the events of 1974 were like a farcical replay of the Treaty of 1921. It notes that the Council of Ireland was being pushed aside. The editorial looks at the escape of the Littlejohn brothers from Mountjoy Jail and suggests this was with the collaboration of Special Branch and British intelligence.

It also carries a piece condemning the murder of Senator Billy Fox (even today some raises questions over the provenance of those responsible). There’s articles on Conor Cruise O’Brien (and apologies for the faded text on the first one – that is on the original). There’s also a series on Famous Guerrilla Leaders.

2016 in the Irish Left Archive December 30, 2016

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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iwp1916.png

Following IEL’s post earlier, I thought I’d compile a similar list of popular documents from this year in the Irish Left Archive.

The archive passed 500 documents earlier in the year, and hopefully continues to build into a useful resource for anyone interested in the history of the Left in Ireland.  As always, thanks to those who contributed documents, took part in discussions, and posted corrections.

Here are some of the most popular new documents (according to the questionable statistics of the archive’s visitor metrics):

An edition of Congress ’86, a journal produced in the late 1980s by the League of Communist Republicans.

congress-86-5-cover

From the Irish Workers’ Party in 1966 we have 1916-1966 – a collection of articles marking the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.

(Further materials relating to the centenary were posted earlier in the year, and all are listed in the  1916 Rising collection).

The first edition of Teoiric (“Theoretical Journal of the Republican Movement”), from Official Sinn Féin in 1971.

teoiric-am-1971.jpg

The second edition of Sinn Féin’s An Phoblacht, from 1970, which deals with the then recent Sinn Féin split in an open letter from Ruairí O Brádaigh headlined “Where Sinn Féin Stands”.

Finally, from the Irish National Liberation Solidarity Front in the UK (established by the Communist Workers League of Britain (Marxist–Leninist)), an edition of Irish Liberation Press.

 

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