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Left Archive: Dublin Spartacist Group Statement – ‘Socialist Party/Socialist Workers Party: No alternative to class betrayal of Labour/Democratic Left, 1997 April 27, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Dublin Spartacist Group, Irish Left Online Document Archive, Spartacist Group Ireland.
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Spartacist 1997

To download the above please click on the following link. DublinSpartacistGroup1997

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Many thanks to IEL for forwarding this to the Archive.

This document, a short four page A4 publication, joins others in the Archive from the Spartacists. It calls for ‘A revolutionary workers party!’ and ‘For an Irish workers republic, part of a socialist federation of the British Isles!’. It’s main focus is on the upcoming General Election in the Republic and it is scathing of all forces on the political spectrum.

The Workers Solidarity Movement, whilst not calling for votes in the election, offers the same sub-reformist drivel as the SWP and SP, in posters which moan about ‘corruption’ among politicians. For all their pretence of opposition to the capitalist system, the WSM’s politics are restricted to what they think can be obtained with the capitalist system. At the height of the struggles for abortion rights, the WSM was in a prominent position but restricted their demand to legislation of abortion information and steered clear of fighting for free abortion in Ireland. They also gave back handed support to British imperialism, when they whined that the breakdown of the the ‘peace’ process was a ‘tragedy’.

There are various subsections addressing a variety of topics: ‘British troops out of Northern Ireland now!’, ‘No to class collaborations!’, ‘For free abortion on demand! For women’s liberation through socialist revolution!’, ‘Down with the government’s ‘Law and Order campaign’!’ and ‘Forge a Trotskyist party!’

In regard to that latter it argues:

With the bourgeoisie crowing about the ‘death of communism’ the ‘socialism’ proffered by the reformist left consists of pleading for modifications to the capitalist system. We believe that it is possible and necessary to bring an end to exploitation and oppression, through overthrowing the capitalist system. Those who create the wealth – the working class – must rule.

Building that party to provide revolutionary leadership is the task of the Dublin Spartacist Group,part of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist).

Workers’ Party Election Manifesto April 23, 2015

Posted by Garibaldy in The Workers' Party.
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The Workers’ Party, which is running 5 candidates, launched its manifesto today, which can be found here.

From the Manifesto

‘The most damaging cuts here have been engineered by the five Executive parties. Along with the business community, they have campaigned for a reduction in Corporation Tax: something which even the Tories did not propose.

To offset the cost of lowering Corporation Tax for big business, Sinn Fein, the DUP, SDLP, Alliance Party and Ulster Unionists, are taking 20,000 jobs out of the public sector and are significantly reducing public spending on education, public transport, the community and voluntary sector and the arts. They will make up the shortfall by selling off public assets like the Belfast Harbour Estate.

These are not Tory Cuts; they are the price the people of Northern Ireland are paying for lowering Corporation Tax’.

The WP election broadcast is here, starting at about 1 minute in.

Left Archive: Gralton, An Irish Socialist Review, No. 3, Aug/Sept 1982 April 20, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Gralton Magazine (1980s), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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GRALTON3

To download the above please click on the following link. GRALTON3GO

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Many thanks to Jim Lane for donating this and other copies of Gralton to the Left Archive. It is intended to reproduce these every month or so for the next year and a half.

As noted previously Gralton was a very well produced left wing news and current events magazine that ran for some ten issues in the early 1980s.

This edition has a striking cover with a photograph of Traveller children. This references an article inside on the topic of Travellers entitled ‘Bigotry, tokenism and fighting back’ written by ‘a Dublin social worker who has worked with travellers for a number of years’. It provides a very useful and important insight into the changing environment for Travellers during that period as ‘in the last fifteen years, large numbers of travellers have moved to the urban areas especially Dublin, just as the settled population has’. It notes ‘attempt(s) by a group of residents to force the travellers out of Tallaght that has provided the impetus for a new defensive organisation among travellers’ and it notes a growing activism by travellers during this time and support amongst the broader community.

The scope of the articles is considerable including one on Eurocommunism, another on the end of the Socialist Labour Party (referenced here before in the Archive). One argues that ‘socialists should not support university students’ due to it ‘being in effect an enormous subsidy for the middle class’. There’s another on Neutrality and one entitled Gays Fight Back. This is a piece written by Melissa Murray and Charles kerrigan of the then nwely-formed Dublin Gay Collective arguing that ‘gay men and lesbian women need a more militant organisation to promote their cause’.

There’s also a continuing focus on the abortion amendment. A major feature of this issue is a four page pull out section on Women in the Unions. This engages with that issue under a number of headings, ‘Hidden From History’, ‘Some Are More Equal Than Others’, ‘Positive Action at the Top?’, ‘Some Ideas on Organisation’ and so on. A lot of the disparities noted are egregious, for example, ITGWU ‘organises more woman than any other trade union in Ireland. A third of its members are women. Yet in 1979, only 3 out of 125 officials were women, only 15% of branch committee members and only 19% of shop stewards’.

The list of ‘issues to be fighting on’ encompasses a broad range of areas – Meetings, Creches, Discrimination, Right to Work and Equal Pay.

And it notes that inequality operates in many different ways ‘the timing of union meetings is very important for women’s participation in the unions. Sunday mornings, for example, virtually exclude women with ids to mind and dinners to cook. As long as most women still perform the dual role of worker and housewife, then on the job meetings in work are a must. But in the long run it’s that dual role that must be broken – and the unions must play their part’.

Left Archive: Socialist Republic, Vol. 6, No. 2, People’s Democracy, c. 1983 April 13, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, People's Democracy.
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SRCOVER

To download the above please click on the following link. SR

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This eight page newsletter from 1983 is characteristic of the output of People’s Democracy during that period. The cover has a montage saying ‘G’them the sack’ to caricatures of Capital and British imperialism.

Inside it has articles on the economic crisis and a report from the People’s Democracy Conference, the invasion of Nicaragua, ‘Labour and the unions’ and the Anti-Amendment campaign in the Republic of Ireland.

The editorial argues that:

April 13 could be a very significant day in the history of the Irish working class. The half-day stoppage initiated by the ITGWU looks like being a virtual afternoon general strike. More important, the discussion in the unions and the workplaces is already centring not on April 13 itself, but what to do afterwards. There is a determination emerging that unlike the massive PAYE demonstrations this stoppage will not be a half-day wonder.

The severity of the Coalition’s attacks on the living standards of working people is to divide the 26 counties between those who support its pro-rich policies and those who say, ‘Let’s fight back!’ April 13 could well be the opening shot in a massive confrontation between on one side the bosses and their political stooges in FG, FF and yes, even, in the Labour Party, and on the other the overwhelming majority of working people who refuse to pay for the mess that capitalist governments of all hues have made of Irish society.

It continues:

This confrontation could bring down the Coalition. But what would replace it? A FF government or a National Government would still seek to make workers pay for the capitalist crisis – they would be the old jackals in a new suit, driving down our living standards and democratic rights.

It argues that:

Only a government of those who are exploited, a government of workers and small farmers would offer a different remedy. Ti would stop spending tens of millions of pounds protecting Britain’s ‘partition’ border and serve notice to quit to the British administration and occupation army in the 6 counties. IT would tax the profits of the multi-nationals and nationalise the banks finance and insurance companies to ind the creation of jobs and provision of social services; it would confiscate the plant and resources of any capitalist employer threatening redundancies and place them under the control of the workers. It would uphold and extend the rights of women and youth. It would oppose the nuclear arms race and give support to the movements of rational liberation worldwide.

It concludes:

It is just such government that James Connolly fought for in 1916. The Labour and Workers’ Parties have long since abandoned the aims of Connolly. A new party must be built, a party that stands up unconditionally for the interests of working people, that defends all those rights that are under attack.

Overall it is a very polished production.

Left Archive: Socialist Labour Party – Constitution, November 1977. April 6, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Socialist Labour Party (Ireland).
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SLP CONST PM

To download the above please click on the following link. SLP CONST PM

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Many thanks to Peter Mooney for donating this document to the Archive – one of many from his collection that will be reproduced here in coming months.

This eight page A5 leaflet is the constitution of the short-lived Socialist Labour Party. As the Introduction by Dave Neligan notes:

The SLP was founded in November 1977 when a decision was taken at our inaugural conference in Liberty Hall Dublin to form a new political party. Its aim is to create a genuine socialist democracy in the 32 counties of Ireland.

It notes that:

Such a society will depend on the initiatives of many thousands of people and it will require dedication and unselfishness which we believe is readily available. We have set ourselves uncompromising standards in order to achieve our aims.

Ireland is a society that for too long has tolerated acute poverty, emigration and unemployment, with the consequent gross wastage of resources and the affronts to human dignity.

We believe that no other political party in the country will produce the necessary changes to bring about the creation of new wealth and the redistribution of wealth power from the rich to the working class and that, therefore we have a role in socialist education and agitation.

Through our local branches and various associated groups, Young Socialists, Womens Rights, unemployed and trade unionists we believe in a thorough democratic involvement of our membership in decision-making and action and that this is a vital factor in the creation of genuine socialist democracy.

The objectives of the party are outlined clearly:

3. It’s objective shall be the creation in all of Ireland of a Democratic, Secular, Socialist Republic, based on the social economic and political teachings of James Connolly’s Workers Republic.

5. It shall therefore seek the total overthrow of all imperialist, neo-imperialist, capitalist and neo-colonialist interests in Ireland. It therefore commits itself to securing a withdrawal of the British presence in all it’s forms from the 32 counties in Ireland, including the withdrawal of British troops from the 6 north eastern counties of Ireland.

It engages with the Irish language, Arts and Literature, ‘freedom of political thought and activity of all its citizens’ and:

16. It recognises that sexism and discrimination against women in all its forms divides and holds back the struggle of working people for a democratic socialist society. it therefore commits itself to a forceful policy in order to bring about greater awareness that such demands are in the interests of all working people, women and men.

The structure is described in detail. Constituency Branches, AGM’s, Branch Executives, National Executive and so forth. It also notes that:

A party member may also be a member of an organised political tendency within the Party, and of non-party political or quasi-political organisations. However the member shall be required to give his or her public loyalty to the Party and its Programme.

Irish Left Archive: Join the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement Poster, c.1980s? April 2, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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pos00000000.043.053.0460

A very welcome addition to the Archive, a poster from the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement (surprisingly there’s no page for the IAAM on wiki. This page for Kadar Asmal, who was a founder of the IAAM and a founder of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement has some detail on the organisation).

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

Irish Left Archive Focalin, Issue 9, from former supporters of People’s Democracy, c.1970s/1980s March 30, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Focalín magazine from supporters of Peoples Democracy (1970s/1980s), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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FOCALIN9cover

To download the above please click on the following link. FOCALIN9

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

As NollaigO noted here:

Focalín (“A wee word” for the odd reader of CLR who does not understand the First Language) was an Irish political satirical magazine produced in London in the late 1970s /early 1980s. The founders of the magazine were former supporters of the early Peoples Democracy and included an outstanding cartoonist.

As with the other issue this contains cartoons, a cartoon strip, newspaper cuttings and so on. It’s certainly pitched as an in joke but there are many references to broader issues in the news.

Left Archive: Marxist Leninist Weekly, December 19th, 1985, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) – 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Internationalists in Ireland March 23, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist Leninist), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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CPI ML 1985 DEC 19

To download the above please click on the following link. CPI ML 1985 DEC 19
Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a fascinating document from the CPI (M-L), issued on 20th Anniversary of the foundation of the Internationalists in Ireland. This saw an Internationalist Rally of Marxist Leninist Parties to celebrate the anniversary. This combined celebration over that fact with protests against the then recently signed Anglo-Irish Agreement. Both the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and that of Canada were in attendance.

As it notes:

[The Internationalists] was the forerunner organisation which made the immortal contribution in preparing the conditions for the re-establishment of the genuine Marxist-Leninist Communist Party for the working class and people of Ireland – CI (M-L).

The advance of the genuine Marxist-Leninist Communist Party means the advance of the working class itself, whose sole genuine political organisation and whose true class leadership this party represents.

Later in discussing the annual demonstration by ‘Spirit of Freedom’ Committee and the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) ‘have been to expose these fascist deceptions and the total violation of the democratic rights of our single and all-Ireland nation to our unity and independent and to a call on the asses of the people to coin tune the just patriotic struggle (in ongoing resurgence over the last 16 years) and the intensity and accelerate this national liberation movement, which is spear-headed against British colonial occupation of the north, as the central task and the greatest priority of the revolutionary movement of the Irish people as a whole, led by the proletariat.

It argues that:

The call of the Party has been for today’s generation to put the seal of final victory on the self-sacrifice of the countless previous generations of patriotic martyrs by finally achieving the goal they fought for so heroically – UNITY AND FREEDOM TO THE IRSH PEOPLE!

It notes that:

The street meetings and the massive postering campaign for the demonstration attracted the attention of the masses of people and the comrades of CPI (M0L) and SPirit of Freedom engaged hundred inn discussion with a most favourable reception. At one of the meetings, the ‘Free’ State organised their Gardai to launch a vicious attack in an attempt to clear the campaign against the Anglo-Irish Agreement for the streets so as to protect the monopoly of the bourgeoisie and British imperialism on the political questions in the country.

And it suggests that:

By Saturday December 7th, a great deal of public interest had been aroused in the demonstration and the bourgeoisie had decided to temporarily abandon the tactic of open attack to suppress the campaign, and fall back, instead on the ‘wall of silence’ tactic. The ‘Spirit of Freedom’ and CPI (M-L) contingent wheeled round with banners flying to take possession of the street in front of the GPO and a large crowd of several hundred people together to participate in the meeting in the street to denounce the Anglo Irish Treaty of 1921 and the current Anglo-Irish Agreement, whilst the gardai ceded to stand their distance and devote most of their resources, in the form of numerous plain clothes ‘special brand’ detectives to surveillance. Their single fitful attempt to disrupt the meeting by means of a provocation by an ‘ordinary bystander’ (i.e. plainsclothespoliceman) shouting anti-communist slanders met with total opposition from the people gathered at the GPO, and this individual having been exposed, had to absent himself instead.

It continues:

For the next hour and a half, the whole of one side of O’Connnell Street was blocked for traffic, whilst representative of the ‘Spirit of Freedom Committee, the Voice of the Youth Preparatory Committee for the Communist Youth Union of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), Irish Student Movement, the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (our fraternal party who sent a delegation to participate..) and the CPI(M-L) made their speeches to the large and most attentive crowd who stayed throughout the whole rally. Despite the fact that this demonstration must have been witnessed by literally thousands of people in Dublin, as well as the subsequent march to the Garden of Remembrance, back down O’Connell Street to College Green beside Trinity Colelge and the Bank of Ireland, not a single word let alone a photograph, appeared in any of the bourgeois media, in recognition of the fact that such a large political manifestation had actually taken place against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

The Rally itself was held in the Junior Common Room of Trinityc College and comprised of book stalls, a photographic exhibition ‘of the activities of the Marxist-Leninists right from the early days of the Internationalists to Saturday’s demonstration against the Anglo-Irish Agreement’ and banners ‘saluting the Party of Labour of Albania and Socialist Albania, welcoming the delegations of the fraternal Marxist-Leninists parties, hailing CPI (M-L), proletarian internationalism and Marxist-Leninism. About 120 people were in attendance.

Once more the document, like others from CPI (M-L) speaks of the renunciation of “Mao Zedong Thought” ‘which had effected our party like other of the new Marxist-Leninist parties, as well as two attempts to liquidate the Party from within’. Indeed it goes further and notes in reference to ‘important assistance which our party received from the RCPB(M-L)at the time of our most serious liquidationist attack to destroy the CPI (M-L) in the period 1978-81’. Again, the Archive would be very grateful for any documents which mention those events in greater detail, or indeed any reminiscences on that topic.

As always with CPI (M-L) publications there is a clear and identifiable style. Notable is the fact all the faces in photographs have been scratched out, presumably to make identifying them more difficult.

Left Archive: “Crisis in the “Tiger”?”: Building the Socialist Party – Statement on Southern Ireland, October 1999 March 16, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive, Socialist Party.
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SP1999cover

To download the above please click on the following link. SP1999

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is another addition to the collection of Socialist Party documents in the Left Archive. Published for the Socialist Party Conference in 1999 it notes in the Introduction that:

This statement will attempt to deal with the main developments in southern society over the last year. There will also be statements on trade union and youth perspectives and tasks. All should be red in conduction with each other.

It continues that:

The discussion at this year’s conference is one of the most important in the history of the party in the south. It is taking place amid indications on the one hand of a growing offensive movement of workers on pay as well as signs that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the ‘Celtic Tiger’.

These developments will dramatically change the political situation over the next period. Along the way there can be ebbs and flows. For instance the first nurse’s strike in the history of the state is due to place on October 19th. While it seems very unlikely, it couldn’t be ruled out that something could happen at the last minute to suspect the action. However, given the breadth of unrest and the depth of anger that exists, a suspension of the nurse’s action won’t itself cut across the real possibly of a more generalised movement of workers developing over the next year.

It suggests that:

In fact the party should be prepared that dramatic changes can erupt immediately.

And it further suggests that:

Members should not underestimate the significance and impact of the Ansbacher revelations. This is not just another scandal that will go over the heads of a public already weary of tales of corruption. It comes at a terrible time for the government and undermines the establishment’s ability to wage an ideological offensive to dampen down worker’s expectations.

It warns that:

At the same time we are facing into a new period of radicalisation, we need to register that there has been a qualitative change in how our party is seen by a key section of activists and youth. More and more people are concluding that there is a real prospect that a new development on the left is taking shape around the Socialist Party.

It notes that:

The NEC believes that there is not enough understanding in the party of the real potential exits. That is why our conference discussion is so important.

And it concludes:

Doubling, trebling and quadrupling our size and influence over the next two to three years is entirely. The idea that growth will inevitably be slow, in just ones and twos needs to be challenged. In the context of a good discussion on perspectives the party and every member needs to completely review our approach to recruitment and building. The key task of the conference is to help establish better attitudes on these issues, a clear understanding of our priorities, how we propose to achieve them and crucially the role that each member can play.

There are a number of sections including ‘the delay in the international recession’, ‘Prospects for the ‘Celtic Tiger’’, ‘Inequality, political consciousness and the vacuum on the left’, ‘The result of this June’s Elections’, ‘Members underestimate the potential for growth’ and considerable detail in the analysis of all those and others.

Some quotes give a sense of this:

Despite their attempts to portray it as an historic re-alignment of the left, the merger of DL into Labour created no enthusiasm whatsoever. Tensions may have intensified inside Labour as a result but they do not flow from a conflict between more left-wing DL types and the Labour establishment. It is a jockeying for positions and careers.

The Greens held on to their MEP seats in Dublin and Leinster showing there is a basis for small parties to build on gains already achieved. The fact that they suffered reverser in the locals, however, confirms our perspective that this party will not play a significant role in filing the vacuum on the left.

The document concludes under the heading ‘Building a small mass revolutionary party’.

The Socialist Party can become a small mass revolutionary partying in the South over the next years. A party with one thousand activists, with workers and community leaders, a parliamentary fraction in the Dáil and a vibrant young wing would in Irish sterns constitute such a party.

Such a force would be able to influence developments in the workers movements as well as lead semi-mass and mass movements like the water charges campaign but on a national level.

We have positioned ourselves firmly on this road by our work over the last year. Now we need to imbue the whole party with a sense of the historic opportunities that are about to open up.

Left Archive: Sinn Féin Today, c.1987(?), Sinn Féin March 9, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Sinn Féin, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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SF TODAY

To download the above please click on the following link. SF TODAY

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This short three page document is typewritten. It is undated, but given mention of the ‘Hillsborough Deal’ in the text it would appear to date from the late-1980s.

It suggests that:

SF has a leading role in the struggle to establish a 32 Democratic Socialist Republic. Its role is vital to achieve that goal and therefore it is just as important as the role of the volunteers engaged in armed struggle – neither can win without the other. What is this vital role that Sinn Féin has?

And it answers that question by addressing it in the context of ‘The 6 counties’, ‘The 26 counties and ‘The 32 counties’.

Notable is how it presents itself:

By its presence on the ground and in elections SF has challenged the S.D.L.P. voice as the voice representing the wishes of the nationalist people. This is of great importance in the propaganda war – and guerrilla war is really a struggle for the hearts and minds of the people – so it is vital to speak out in sport o the armed struggle.

But it also notes:

On the international level the SF electoral victories have destroyed the British strategy of criminalisation and normalisation. The Hunger Strike made this possible but without SF electoral victories the effects of the Hunger Strikes would be quickly forgotten – think back to the emotional wave that followed Bloody Sunday and how we failed to harness it.

It also suggests that ‘SF spokespersons from the 6 counties are constantly giving interviews on TV and to magazines and papers from all over the world, explaining the situation in Ireland and exposing the lies of British and Dublin propaganda about it being a sectarian conflict.’

It also argues that that ‘a no less important result of a strong SF presence on the ground in that the isolation of the IRA is made impossible’. And it suggests that ‘the presence of SF elected representatives on the Councils in the 6 Counties has effectively ended local government because of the Loyalist reaction to them’. And it further suggests that this presence destablised the British presence and ‘produced the Hillsborough Deal… [which] is an attempt to stabilise a rapidly worsening situation by drawing in the SDLP and Dublin behind the British in looking for an internal political solution… so SF has effectively destabilised the whole thing. Of course it could only have been done in the situation created and maintained by the armed struggle’.

The brief section on the 26 counties includes the following:

The net effect is to produce a more nationalist outlook even in political parties or organisations like trade unions who might have otherwise taken a Workers Party line’.

Some intriguing thoughts too on Sinn Féin in the 32 Counties, albeit truncated due to the short space afforded them.

In some respects it is an unusual document, and it is not clear if it is intended for general distribution or some internal education function. Any assistance on its provenance would be very welcome.

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