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The Irish Left Archive Podcast August 10, 2020

Posted by Aonrud ⚘ in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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Irish Left Archive Podcast

We’ve started a podcast as part of the Irish Left Archive project.

We’ll be talking to activists, writers, historians, politicians and others involved in the Left about the experience of being involved in building and participating in left groups and campaigns, producing political periodicals and documents, and the history and development of progressive politics in Ireland.

The first two episodes are live now. You can listen to them on the leftarchive.ie website, or find them on Spotify. (It should be on Apple/Itunes soon too – if it doesn’t come up in your podcast app yet, you can always add the podcast feed link directly).

In episode one we discuss the left archive project and how it has developed since it started in 2007.

In episode two, we talk to Laurence Cox about left activism and the publications in the archive that he has been involved in – An Caorthann, Ireland from Below, and Interface.

There will be more in the coming weeks with a range of guests, so please give them a listen, subscribe if you use a podcast app, and feel free to give us feedback!

Laurence Cox: Left Publications, Social Movements and Activism Irish Left Archive Podcast

We talk to activist, writer and academic, Laurence Cox about publications in the archive in which he has been involved, the organisational and political aspects of those projects, and the contexts in Left politics and movements from which they emerged.
  1. Laurence Cox: Left Publications, Social Movements and Activism
  2. The Irish Left Archive Project

Left Archive: Interface – a journal for and about social movements, Issue 1, Volume 1, 2009 August 10, 2020

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. full-pdf-vol-1-issue-1.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

In tandem with the release of the Irish Left Archive podcasts this week, the Archive is adding an online journal for the first time. This being Interface: A journal for and about social movements.

As noted in the ‘About Interface’ on the website:

Interface: a journal for and about social movements is an open-access, peer-reviewed online journal bringing together activists from different movements and different countries, researchers working with movements, and engaged academics from different disciplines. The purpose is to contribute to the production of knowledge that can help us gain insights across movements and issues, across continents and cultures, and across political and disciplinary traditions: learning from each other’s struggles. Each issue is read by perhaps 20,000 movement activists and researchers around the world (as of 2018).

Interface is open-access (free), globally organised in different regional collectives and multi-lingual. We aim to develop analysis and knowledge that allow lessons to be learned from specific movement processes and experiences and translated into a form useful for other movements – hence our name. In doing so, our goal is to include material that can be used in a range of ways by movements – in terms of its content, its language, its purpose and its form. As a “practitioner journal”, the peer-reviewed elements of the journal have one activist and one academic reviewer each. Other pieces are edited so as to speak to as wide a range of movement participants and researchers as possible.

And:

Interface is basically an extended dialogue between people producing knowledge in, for or about social movements, whether in movement or academic settings, or both. We are a participatory journal, so always looking for new participants – movement activists and researchers as well as sympathisers, with any level of skill and any language!

There is an Irish connection:

The Interface website is hosted by the Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

And one of the editors from the start has been Laurence Cox who will be familiar from other documents in the Left Archive (and is the first guest the podcast talks with).

Issue 1 of Interface is a striking publication, with 232 pages. There’s a wide range of articles including Action research: mapping the nexus of research and political action by Mayo Fuster Morell, A river of life: learning and environmental social movements by Budd L Hall, Extensão universitária: compromisso social, resistência e produção de
conhecimentos (Continuing education: social compromise, resistance and the
production of knowledge) by Sandra Maria Gadelha de Carvalho, José Ernandi Mendes, Redes para a (re)territorialização de espaços de conflito: os casos de MST e MTST no Brasil (Networks for the reterritorialisation of spaces of conflict: the
cases of the Brazilian MST and MTST) by Ilse Scherer-Warren and Movimentos sociais existem? (Do social movements exist?) by Antonio Pedro Dores.

There are action/teaching/research notes, reviews and General Material.

But the editorial by Cristina Flesher Fominaya and Laurence Cox in essence embodies a continuing theme that runs through all editions of Interface. Entitled ‘Movement knowledge. What do we know, how do we create knowledge and what do we do with it?’ it asks:

Movements produce knowledge about the social world. More specifically, they
produce knowledge from below, information about society which is inconvenient
to and resisted by those above: the wealthy, the mighty and the learned (or, as we
might say, states, corporations and disciplines). A crucial aspect of movement
practice is making known that which others would prefer to keep from public
view, be that practices of torture and extra-judicial executions, the effects of
individual pollutants and the costs of global warming, levels of rape and sexual
abuse, the facts of poverty and exploitation, caste oppression and racism – the list
is long. On a larger scale, movements highlight new ways of seeing the world: in
terms of class or patriarchy, of colonisation or neo-liberalism, of ecology and
human rights.

We hope to add others, but the current edition is highly recommended as it engages with “Organising amidst COVID-19: sharing stories of struggles”.

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.

Left Archive: Ireland – 32 Counties in Struggle, Revolutionary Struggle August 3, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. rs32-copy.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document, issued by Revolutionary Struggle is an interesting addition to the Archive. 41 pages long it examines across five sections the history and then contemporary situation in Ireland. The introduction notes that it was prepared following a visit to the US ‘organised by our comrades of the Sojourner Truth Organisation.

This is primarily a document of analysis – thus it demands study. It’s not a summary of capitalist horrors … written to arouse sympathy. Neither is it a punchy exhortation to rebellion in arms. We have plenty of both in Ireland but we have no freedom, no equality, no self-determination, no independence. In fact, we have very little. That’s why we believe analysis and study are important for our people and our friends.

Finally, it is simultaneously a balance sheet and a future projection. A sediment of our last 5 years of practice to be used as a catalyst for the next phase. 5 years? Nothing really but still a lot. You can judge that better after reading this document.

There’s a lot of content in the document, and a number of appendices. Appendix II offers a single line sentence categorising Irish political parties:

Provisional Sinn Féin: Reformist-Republican Party -the political expression of Provisional IRA Army Council.

Workers Party: Revisionist-Republican Party.

Labour Party: IInd. International Social-Democratic Party, close to West German and Israeli Labour
Parties.

Interestingly it defines both the SDLP and Alliance as Social Democrat.

Left Archive: The French Revolution and the Irish Struggle, National Graves Association (Longford Branch), 1989 July 27, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. frenchrevirishstrugl.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This short document printed reprints a lecture given by Seán Ó Brádaigh in Dublin on 21st January, 1989, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the first Dáil and explores links between ‘Irish and French Republicans – ‘Partners in Revolution’ 200 Years Ago’.

The conclusion is particularly notable:

As Irish Republicans we are all in the tradition of Tone and the United Irishmen. That tradition was born of an Irish separatism which was given a new direction and new lease of life by the inspiration of the events of 1789 in France. The generous ideas of the First French Republic born in blood 200 years ago, are part of an inheritance which has inspired very generation of Irish people since then and inspires us today.

We are children of Ireland, but we are also, as Irish Republicans ‘infants de la patria’ because the school of Irish Republicanism is a Franco-Irish school and we have all been there. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity are noble ideal which still inspire us and for which we still struggle, both North and South of the British-created border.

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.

Left Archive: Dublin – A City That Works – Irish Labour Party, c1992 July 13, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. dublinlabour.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

This is an unusual document issued by the Irish Labour Party in the early 1990s (and many thanks to Kevin Humphrey’s of the LP for donating it).

A single sheet that folds out into a two sided poster/leaflet it offers a strategy for revitalising Dublin. The key points are:

• Public services which put the public first;
• A living inner city;
• Quality public transport to get Dublin on the move;
• Conservation of the city fabric and the green belt;

• Cleaning up of the planning system;
• Tackling of the housing crisis facing low
income families;
• Making Dublin a safer place to live.

And it argues:

PUTTING THE PUBLIC FIRST
Public services must put the public first.
That means improving the quality of local services, bringing service offices to where people live, and involving the public as consumers in making decisions.
The proposed four councils for Dublin are at the same time too large and too fragmented – too remote from local communities -but fragmenting overall planning for greater Dublin. Natural communities, like Tallaght and Clondalkin, need their own district councils, enjoyed already by areas like Bray and Sligo with only one-third of their population. But Dublin can’t afford four
separate Development plans, or an un­coordinated transport and traffic system.

At this remove it is interesting to read:

PUTTING BACK THE CITY’S HEART
The population between the canals has halved since 1960. With over 160 acres of derelict sites in inner Dublin, and pervasive urban decay, time is running out. The success of Glasgow’s urban renewal, achieved mainly through housing associations, gives Dublin a model.

As well as:

REAL LOCAL DEMOCRACY
Real democracy means that citizens can participate
at every level in the decisions that affect their lives, and that their voices are heard. It goes far wider than electing different tiers of local government. It means giving parents a say in the education of their children, giving tenants a role in the management of their estates, giving patients an input into
the delivery of health services, giving consumers a voice in decisions on public transport.
Local democracy must find a structured way to give citizens a voice in decisions that affect them – a structured consultative role for community councils, devolution of staff to work with community groups in shaping ideas, new ways of working that break down the “them” and “us” between community groups, officials, and elected representatives.
Labour’s vision for Dublin is of the widest possible participation of the community in the day-to-day decisions that affect their lives.
PEOPLE MUST COME FIRST

Election ’87, Education in Crisis: Use Your Vote, Union of Students in Ireland. June 29, 2020

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. usi-1987.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document released as a USI News Election Special in four pages under the headline Education in Crisis outlines USI policy in regard to education, and the 1987 General Election in the Republic and has the following advice:

USI are not proposing that you vote for any particular party.
However, we urge all students to ask politicians who canvass them what they Intend to do on the Issues that affect students. We suggest the following questions:

1. Will their Party fund _new colleges?
2. Will they stop the vicious fee rises of the last six years?
3. Will they provide all youth with full-time
education, a job or proper training scheme?
4. Will they increase student grants to provide a realistic standard of living for students?

And it argues that:

VOTE FOR EDUCATION
Education should be a growth area for any country trying to break out of a recession – the future depends on the availability of a highly trained young population.
Young people have a right to know specifically what each party will do. If a politician does not give the answers that you want to hear, tell him or her that they will not be getting your vote.

Inside it outlines the questions asked by USI of the various political parties and the answers received.

And it argues that:

The officer Board of USI meeting on Friday February 6th, called for further action in Dublin on the 12th, of February to coincide with the next court appearance of the USI Education Officer. USI President, Ms. Patricia Hegarty called on all students to get involved in the action. “With the General Election we must show politicians that we are serious in our actions on education issues. USI hopes that students will come to Dublin and show their solidarity with Peter. We call on all politicians to meet our demands for a fees freeze, and immediate rise in student grants and the provisions of adequate places and facilities in the colleges.

Left Archive: Wolfe Tone Today 1963. Northern Directory of the Wolfe Tone Bi-Centenary June 22, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. wolfe-tone-1963.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Appropriate given this weekend is the anniversary of Wolfe Tone’s birth to post this document which was issued by the Northern Directory of the Wolfe Tone Bi-Centenary and edited by Jack Bennett. The text notes that it was:

Issued to mark the 1963 Bi-Centenary of the birth of the father of Irish republic­anism, to reassert his principles and to relate his teachings to the position in Ireland today.

It has a wide range of articles concerning Tone. The editorial notes under the heading One People:

You will not find one word of dead history in the pages of this publication. Rather will you find presented here the living story of an uncompleted and undying cause-the cause of uniting all Irishmen, irrespective of creed, in a common bond of brother­hood to assert-and to achieve- the unity and independence of their country.

The paper examines the uprising in 1798 and contains songs and verse relating to those events. And it makes explicit linkages between 1798 and the 1960s. Under the heading ‘The Connection Now – How it harms us’ there is this:

If ever a prophecy concerning a country’s future came un­happily to be fulfilled, it was the prophecy uttered by Wolfe Tone at his court-martial in Dublin in November, 1798.
No spirit of rancour or pre­judice caused Tone to declare that the connection with Britain was “the curse of the Irish nation” and that so long as It lasted “this country could never be free or happy.”
Tone was merely stating a matter of fact, As be put it elsewhere, the connection was “the bane of our happiness and prosperity.”
One hundred and sixty-five years have passed since bis prophecy was made. And if ever proof was required of the wisdom of Tone’s foresight, the history of those years and the position of Ireland today pro­vides it in plenty.

Another piece points to the links between the Rising and 1963 – under the heading ‘The Cause of labour. And an article asserts:

For the vast majority of the Irish people, north and south, foreign control has had disastrous economic effects – poverty, unemployment and emigration.

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.

Left Archive: Working Class Resistance, No. 12, March 2008, Organise! June 15, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. organise-working-class-resistance.pdf0

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Thanks to SM for this document.

As noted previously in the Archive (and here are a selection of other documents from the organisation)

Organise! is an anarchist group based in Belfast and a local of the UK Solidarity Federation. It took its current form in 2003 as a merger between the Anarchist Federation in Ireland, the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation and other small groups and individuals.

The Organise! bulletin had been published by the Ballymena and Antrim Anarchist Group since 1986 and in 1992, they created the Organise! group. When this was dissolved in 1999, the Syndicalist Solidarity Network was formed, which later became Organise! Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation.

Organise! currently issues a local bulletin called The Leveller.

The Solidarity Federation is affiliated with the International Workers’ Association.

This eight page newsletter covers a lot of ground from direct action pickets on behalf of young migrant workers, to activism against David Irving in Dublin. It also engages with the issue of Classroom Assistants and calls for the establishment of an Education Workers Network to support them politically. There are sections on international solidarity and contacts for both Organise! and a range of campaigning organisations on the anarchist and libertarian left.

Left Archive: Militant Issue 242, 1996 June 8, 2020

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To download the above please click on the following link. militant.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a fascinating edition of the Militant, the paper of then Militant Labour, later the Socialist Party. Coming in advance of the 1996 Dublin Mid-West election for obvious reasons the candidacy of Joe Higgins is heavily covered. That said there are many other pieces including a front page article on ‘Politicians for Sale’. Here it outlines various fund raisers and benefits and lunches where lobbyists could meet with members of the then government.

There are articles by Clare Daly amongst others. There’s also pieces on demonstrations in Northern Ireland in favour of renewing the IRA ceasefire. Other issues foreshadow continuing campaigns such as water charges and other service charges. And there’s a piece on the Scottish Socialist Alliance and an interview with Alan McCoombes of that organisation.

At twelve pages a comprehensive and well produced document.

Left Archive: Red Patriot, 1983, Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) May 18, 2020

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 To download the above please click on the following link. red-patriot-cpi-ml-may-1st-1983-lr.pdf

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

As is now customary, an edition of Red Patriot from the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) to celebrate May. This edition from 1983 notes:

Comrade Workers,

Throughout the world in the spirit of proletarian inter­nationalism. 

This is the centenary year of the death of Karl Marx. So May Day this year is a celebration of Marx’s tremendous revolution­ary contribution. Together with his great life-long friend and collaborator, Frederik Engels, Marx for the first time put the movement of the working class on a scientific and fully class 

conscious basis. Marx demonstrat­ed the inevitability of the  coming triumph of the working class over capitalism and the  bourgeoisie. Marx showed how the inexorable laws of historical development had fitted the work­ers to carry through the histor­ic destiny of their class –the liberation of humanity as a whole from class exploitation, from national enmities ,the scourge of war and from all other kinds of reaction ( racism, the oppress­ion of women and the prevalence of ignorance, superstition etc. ). For the workers could only achieve their own emancipation by abolish­ing the exploitation of man by man itself, and thus with this the basis for all these other evils of thousands of years of the history of class society. 

Lenin and the Bolsheviks app­lied the theory of Marxism and organised the first successful party of the working class, able to mobilise the workers and around the workers the masses of the oppressed in Russia in the great October Socialist Revolut­ion of 1917. Stalin upheld and defended the great achievement of socialism in the Soviet Union for thirty years…

It concludes:

It is bad enough for the work­ers of capitalist countries which ore self-governing. They have to fight the deceptive and oppressive system of bourg­eois “democracy” and sham “socialism” ( in the capitalist west and eastern revisionist countries) — i.e. against the real dictatorship of the bourgeois ruling class. But here in Ireland a foreign aggress-or — British imperialism -stands in the way of us workers settling accounts with the capit­alist system and the exploiting bourgeoisie. Just as it is the destiny of the working class throughout the world to unite the people and oppressed nations for the over­throw of world imperialism, in Ireland it is the destiny of the workers to unite and lead the entire Irish people in the just democratic struggle for national liberation. This is the only way to open up the path to socialism in Ireland. 

Comrade Workers! 

Let us restore the original revolutionary character of May Day by rededicating ourselves to the class struggle and the revolution. Let us make our contribution to the liberation of world humanity, in this the general stage of proletarian socialist revolution in the world, by overthrowing imper­ialism in Ireland, by overthrow­ing British imperialism. 

MAKE THE RICH PAY FOR THE CRISIS! 

UNITY AND FREEDOM TO THE IRISH PEOPLE! 

WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE ! 

Other pieces examine how ‘Students persist in struggle against the cuts’, ’the Lessons of the Tax Campaign’ noting ‘The Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) has actively participated in this struggle since it first emerged as a major mass movement around 1978/79’.  There’s a report on the first Spirit of Freedom campaign first public meeting and a report on how ‘prices of 137 kinds of medicine reduced in socialist Albania’. Another report notes the 6th International Anti-fascist and Anti-imperialist Youth Camp to be held later that year.

 

Please note: <em>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.</em>

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