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Left Archive: Ballymun News – Issue 1, April 1973 June 12, 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. AP 1970

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

Thanks to the person who forwarded this to the Archive

This is an interesting publication which appears to be linked in some respect to Official Sinn Féin. It’s broad thrust is that of a community/residents/tenants newspaper and it has a lot of material in it ranging from news about the area to cartoons and ballads. Subjects addressed include school meals and attacks on the government.

The editorial board thanks ‘The Galway News’ ‘for their invaluable assistance’. There’s also a brief note on Joe McCann noting that ‘on the 13th of April, one year ago, the British paras shot Joe McCann dead in his native markets area of Belfast… one of the finest of our latter day revolutionaries’.

Any further information about it or those involved would be very very welcome.

Left Archive: Dublin West Independent Labour News, Independent Labour/Militant Summer 1992 June 5, 2017

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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 newspaper from Independent Labour, the formation that had formerly been Militant Labour and would later become the Socialist Party, is a well produced four page large format publication.

On the front cover it notes ‘Councillor Joe Higgins says: “if you want to fight for change, join Independent Labour in Dublin West…we are campaigning hard on the issues affecting working-class people, fighting for jobs and facilities and for a democratic, socialist society run for the good of the majority rather than for the privileged few. Get in touch now. Join our campaigns’.

The focus of the newspaper is strongly on the local. The cover story is headlined ‘West Dublin Cries Out For Facilities’. Inside there is a piece on high unemployment in Blanchardstown and Clondalkin. However there are also pieces on other topics including one on Gaza and a recent visit there from Joe Higgins.

A very comprehensive Council Report outlines Joe Higgins work on that body since his election the previous June. There is also a piece on how Higgins is ‘to stand in the general election’. The piece details his previous membership of the Labour Party.

Also in the newspaper is an article by Ruth Coppinger and another that outlines what Independent Labour stands for under the heading “Genuine Socialism can solve Crisis”. This notes that:

ILP in Dublin West stands in the tradition of great socialists like James Connolly and Jim Larkin and believe in a genuine socialist society where the working-class majority govern.

This has nothing in common with the Stalinist dictatorships which ruled in the USSR and Eastern Europe from the late 1920s until recently when they were heroically overthrown by revolutions of workers and youth.

Left Archive: Rebel, Revolutionary Struggle, no. 52, May 1982 May 29, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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To download the above please click on the following link. REVSTRUGGLE

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document joins other Revolutionary Struggle publications in the Archive. As noted previously…

Revolutionary Struggle was an activist group in Dublin, from 1975 until the mid 1980s. It was involved in the production of the Ripening of Time publication and Rebel. Drawing on New Left influences it was avowedly Marxist-Leninist in orientation.

This edition has a broad range of topics covered in its 12 pages. Articles included engage with the Nicky Kelly imprisonment, British plans for the Six Counties, Workers Struggles and Anti-Toxic Opposition. There’s a somewhat slapdash style to the publication, not least the cover image depicting a hammer smashing Capital and State. Of particular interest is that this was published during the period of the Falklands War. This argues that:

…the Argentinian fascists and the Tory right-wingers are trying to outdo each other in posturing and threatening noises. Ideally, two right wing set-ups butchering each other could be quite positive for the revolution. If it weren’t for the fact that the world is a powder keg right now…and that Armies lose wards whilst he working class loses its sons.

The piece on the Six Counties has a critique of then plans by the British government for Northern Ireland articulated in the ‘Framework for Devolution’. It notes that:

This time around power sharing has been dropped as a concept and objective. Instead we have this absurd 70% which is supposed to be the ruse to con both sides… and convince the British that a position is acceptable to both sides [if a decision had 70% agreement in the Assembly that would be sent to Westminster].

Another piece looks at the French Socialist government under Francois Mitterand and the impact of the anti-nuclear struggle there. Some interesting points about how trade unions and parts of the left broke over the issue.

There is an editorial on the last page which notes that:

Most comrades who had put a lot of hopes in the H-Block/Armagh mobilisation of last year have now come to recognise – and admit – that in 1982, the revolutionary anti-imperialist movement suffered a defeat… a set-back. The reality of that defeat and its political consequences have not been played out yet. But we can see some of the effects in the large-scale mass confusion in the 6 counties as well as the widespread rise of social-democratic and reformist politics in the 26 Counties.

For us, in Rebel and Revolutionary Struggle, both aspects of this 1982 Irish reality are not only interlinked and dialectically connected, but demonstrate how, in practice, the NATIONAL and SOCIAL struggles are the two poles of the very same equation; THE STRUGGLE OF THE PEOPLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM AND ITS LOCAL ALLIES.

It concludes:

Plan, work, organise, study and debate, build your infrastructure and contacts, increase your discipline and watchfulness, defend your comrades… until victory.

REVSTRUGGLE

Left Archive: Miriam Daly Poster from An Camchéachta/The Starry Plough, IRSP, Iúil/July 1980 May 22, 2017

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Left Archive: Pages from History: On Irish-Soviet Relations, Michael O’Riordain, New Books Publications, 1977 May 15, 2017

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To download the above please click on the following link. Irish-Sov History

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This is a fascinating document, over 70 pages long, a pamphlet on Irish Soviet relations from the October Revolution onwards. The Foreword notes how a ten-strong delegation from the Dublin Trades Union and Labour Council visited the USSR and published a report on their visit. It argues that:

…in the Introduction to their Report, giving as it does a précis of the developments just before and after the most important event in world history, is as fitting a foreword to this outline of Irish-Soveit relations, written for the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, as it was when that group of Irish trade unionists covered the long distance – as it was the – from Ireland to Moscow to honour the 12th anniversary of the great achievement of the workers, soldiers and peasants of Russia.

The Contents are arranged under a range of headings, ‘Diplomatic Relations’, ‘Lenin’s Links with Ireland’, ‘Lenin and the Irish Revolt of 1916’, ‘A Tale of Two Treaties’ and so forth. But it also contains O’Riordain’s personal observations, as with the following:

[For me]… there was the rich experience of seeing the concrete example of Lenin’s policies on the national question as I witnessed date multi-national character of five thousand delegates at the 25th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unoin, February, 1976. It was a vivid, colourful and inspiring gathering of so many different nationalities of one state.

Perhaps unsurprisingly it does not mention much in the way of contacts in the latter part of the twentieth century between Marxist or Marxist influenced groups in Ireland and the Soviets, preferring to focus on the relationship between the CPI, or IWP as was, and the USSR.

The Northern Conflict & British Power – Jack Bennett, The Irish Sovereignty Movement, c. 1973 May 8, 2017

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

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

This document from the early 1970s is the first addition to the Archive from the Irish Sovereignty Movement. This body was established by Anthony Coughlan and campaigned on issues relating to EEC membership, neutrality and Northern Ireland. It was succeeded by the National Platform.

The frontispiece notes that:

Jack Bennett is a Belfast journalist who is a regular commentator under various pen-names on northern affairs. He was a foundation member of the Belfast Wolfe Tone Society and of the NICRA.

This pamphlet is based on a lecture he gave to a conference of the Dublin Wolfe Tone Socoiety in Carrickmaacross on November 4, 1972.

The Introduction by Micheál S Ó Loingsigh notes that:

The ISM has pleasure in publishing Jack Bennett’s thought-provoking pamphlet. Only an Ulsterman with a Protestant background could write of British power in Ireland so clearly and so unambiguously.

There is a grave responsibility on all of us on this island, especially the Irish Government and the leaders of both communities in the north, to come to gather and discuss ways of developing a climate in which institutions can be built so as to provide peace with justice in the future.

And he concludes ‘the British government must change its policies and attitude to Ireland’.

It must declare its support for Irish unity and must take steps to cease its interference in Irish affairs. This action of itself will not bring immediate amity or unity, but it will provide the one and only foundation on which the Irish people, however difficult it may be, can build a future in which political violence will be but an unhappy memory.

The pamphlet is divided into various sections, ‘The Actuality of British Power’, ‘British Power and Irish Democracy’, ‘Sectarianism and the Conflict about British Power’, ‘The ‘Two-nations’ alibi for British Power’, ‘The Two Communities and British Power’. And in the text Bennett takes various approaches to the conflict to task, not least the following critique of Conor Cruise O’Brien:

Of all the dangerous doctrines being propounded in Ireland today, there are few more dangerous than that propounded by Conor Cruise O’Brien which holds that nothing must be said or done to make things better, lest in doing so we might only make things worse.

The last page of the document outlines the Officers, Objects and Methods of the Irish Sovereignty Movement.

Left Archive: Workers Hammer, Spartacist League, 1992 April 3, 2017

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To download the above please click on the following link. Workers Hammer

Please click here to go the Left Archive.

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

Another document from the Spartacist League, this edition of Workers’ Hammer from 1992 clearly outlines the concerns of that formation during that period. So the front page in a piece on the Maastricht Treaty which takes that latter to task as ‘anti-working class’ has a subheading ‘Free abortion on demand!’. The rest if the page is taken up by a report on attacks by security forces in South Africa against anti-apartheid protestors.

Inside there’s part of an exchange between the Spartacist League and the Revolutionary International League (Britisih section of the International Trotskyist Committee). A full page is devoted to a critique of Lutte Ouvriere, the French organisation, depicting it as ‘anti-gay, anti-Trotskyist’ and exclusionary. Other pieces address the bombing of Dresden in World War Two and labour disputes in Germany. The last page is devoted to Scotland and nationalism.

As ever with the Spartacist League the style of language is idiosyncratic. The thought strikes that this document was essentially an international one with some small sections devoted to Irish conditions.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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