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The R-rrrevolutionary Vanguard and the Wombles

category dublin | summit mobilisations | opinion/analysis author Tuesday May 11, 2004 16:07author by Dermot - WSM (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

The SWP on the frontlines (when it comes to running away).

When there are empowering marches and actions against the state, history can be re-written quickly, especially by the Trotskyists to reflect that nothing would've been possible without their 'Leadership'. Fortunately, due to the March on Farmleigh being organised by the Dublin Grassroots and getting little or no support from the SWP, it is going to prove a little more difficult for them to claim any part in it. In fact less than 48 hours later the Party had issued a leflet condemning us, telling us to Get Organised, and calling us 'Maggie Thatcher's Children acting like capitalist consumers'. Oooh that hurts. It has all the hallmarks of Herr Kieran Allen in one of his parental lectures to the children of the revolution. In any case, this article describes the real involvement of the SWP in the Mayday events and will hopefully pre-empt any more of their attempts to re-write history which have already begun.
The disappeared leaflet
The disappeared leaflet

Let's deal with the limited involvment of 'Another Front is Ineviatable' sorry, another Europe is possible with the Dublin Grassroots.

The first contact we had was when Rory Ahearn showed up at an organising meeting off Grassroots activsts in the Teachers Club 18th asking for co-operation and co-ordination with their planned demo for that Saturday. We askd him then if it would be possible to have a speaker from their platform advertising our march to Farmleigh. He said he would ask at a meeting of the AEIP on Wednesday and get back to us. It's worth keeping in mind that a few Dublin Grassroots people had attended meetings of AEIP and found a dozen or so people present. At this meeting in the Teachers club we had over 60 people present.

It's almost needless to say that we never received any contact back about the speaker on their March despite the fact that the Carnival at Heuston train station was going on for four hours. Rory beggs to differ I'm sure. They decided in the end to announce our march from the platform, but no-one besides Caoimhe Butterly (who has worked with Grassroots previously) actually did, and this was in a personal capacity.

In the last few days in the run up to Mayday we were interested to see an "open letter to the movement organising for Mayday" from Rory Ahearn asking activists to make sure there was no violence on the day itself. ". The big lesson (from Genoa) learned was that we cannot defeat the state through tactics that are based on small number elitely padded-up protestors confronting the police." and he goes on to write "But if there is violence from our side on May Day, the state will have the excuse it so desperately needs to smash our movement, ban protests when George Bush comes,..." It went on to say that "we must unite in our calls for peaceful demonstrations on May Day as we have done. But we must go further. The Another Europe is Possible Coalition will be having over 50 clearly identified and co-ordinating stewards on the AEIP carnival and march focussed on ensuring all attendees abide by the principles of peaceful action and non-confrontation....We call on all groups organising to do the same and ensure that we can unite in creating a day that will lay the foundation for creating the days of protest."

At the time when the letter was written, Rory and the SWP knew well that the Grassroots march had published guidelines that did not include stewards. They also knew well that there was going to be a block on the Grassroots march that intended to seperate from the main march and confront the police. Since, they knew that their standing among grassroots and wombles activists was very very low indeed and they were very unlikely to be listened to, their "call on all groups" was widely interpreted as a way of preparing the ground for a condemnation of the 'uncontrollables' in the event that things went wrong..

This letter, although he later claimed it was intended intenally for the movement, was published on Indymedia on the Wednesday before Mayday. Effectively he was saying, come on our peaceful toothless protest, do not get involved in anything that might be illegal. Someone with even the most limited understanding of poltics should understand the the violence does not come from people in bicylce helmets and padding, it comes from the Uniformed Robocops with their sticks, shields, boots, batons, and their newly accquired water canon. This open letter was just another method for Rory to demonstrate that AEIP is the acceptable option for demonstrating. It gave the established traitors in the Labour Party, Green Party the ability to 'pose' about being against Europe without actually taking up the gauntlet and protesting in the faces of the heads of state. Rory was being Pontious Pilot and washing his hands of the dirty protesters who were not going on his legal march but instead choosing to take their protest to the leaders in Farmleigh.

The State decided to effectively ban the march on Thursday 29th May. They didn't say that. They just used Primetime on RTE (Pravda for our little republic) to illustrate how the riot police would be deployed in Park Gate street, and anyone marching down to assemble there would be charged and driven down various streets leading from the quays. If that isn't a banned march then I don't know what is. The message was simple. If you don't co-operate with the cops, as AEIP had done, then you don't get to march. If you dared go on the other march, the Grassroots one, you were going to be met with force. That's what the State said.

The Grassroots thought it was appropiate to switch the assembly point to the GPO. This was communicated in a press-conference the next day at the indymedia centre, Friday. Rory was present and knew that the assembly point had been switched. Yet, talking to some members of the SWP that night outside Liberty hall there was a rumour going around that the march was cancelled. This rumour was no-doubt helped and given legs by some of the Trot leadership.

The day itself. In the 6 hours of the AEIP event, there was apparently no room for a grassroots speaker, instead the old merrygoround of election candidates was trotted out. At the carnival which took place after the march from the bank (Central) to the Train Station (Heuston) the Grassroots march was only announced by Caoimhe during her speech. She stated quiet clearly that she requested off members in the SWP that it was announced again but it wasn't. Not whilst she was present.

We gathered outside the GPO and marched to Farmleigh.

The Grassroots Banner and march stopped 300 meters short of police lines. At the end of that road the full might of the state and it's violence was waiting to be unleashed on people. We knew that we had promised people a peaceful march and that was why we had to stop there. Individuals could choose to go on or not and many did. In Libertarian politics we respect the decisions of individuals.

A Black Bloc marched up to police lines shouting solidarity and the police, who'd been itching to try out their new toys (and no doubt get a few belts in) hit them and others.

The SWP, or at least 12 people carrying SWP flags, marched past the Grassroots banner, up about twenty meters stopped for a while, and then rapidly retreated another 10 and stayed their out on their own. This was pretty bizzare behaviour and the only explanation that we could think of was that they were paving the way for the "we went further than the grassroots historical revisionism. Then, when the water cannon was used Richard Boyd Barrett went up and started shouting through a megaphone telling people that we were leaving now. Grassroots organisers told him to "f**k off". As the police attack continued, organisers approached the lines to tell people to fall back to the banner, and to keep together as our only hope was to stick together and march back into the city to diperse. We were worried about the march being split by Riot Police who formed on the side roads. We walked the banner back a bit and continually stopped it in order to ensure that people had a place to fall back too, a secure position.

On the other hand, the SWP didn't stick around for the long march back home and didn't seem too concerened about the comrades who might get left behind. They MEGAPHONED the message to leave. Then, after about twenty minutes of being ignored, they marched back into town and they just kept going. They did not stick around for the rest of the protesters. The vanguard led the retreat! Meanwhile the Grassroots organisers struggled to keep the crowd together all the way back to O Connell st so that the police wouldn't be able to pick off isolated protestors to fill their arrest quota.

I presume someone had to get back quickly to write the leaflets condemning the Grassroots orgainsers for not being organised or having a leadership, or for not being in the SWP effectively.

Rory Ahearn had nothing to do the Monday afternoon street party, Reclaim the Streets. But that didn't prevent him being the media whore that he is and presuming to speak on behalf of the organisers as he did from his quote in the Irish Independent. That was annoying. But what really got the blood boiling was the leaflet that the SWP handed out at the RTS.

The leaflet (which is attached) was handed out by the SWP. I'd like to draw your attention to the paragraph that states "we are not Maggie Thatcher's children acting like capitalist consumrers who each make individual choice - while the riot police pick off our comrades."

Two days later Rory claimed that he had never seen the leaflet and there is a rumour this leaflet has been 'disappeared' as the Party once again got the popular mood wrong. Condemning the actions of the organisers of a march of over 3000 people, who defied the state and the law by going on a banned march wasn't so smart after all.

The next line in the leaflet is particularly rich. "Faced with this level of thuggery, we either move forward togherher - or we hold the line together." Apparently their concept of 'holding the line together' is ordering everybody to leave through a megaphone and then pissing off at a trot while "Thatcher's children" wait around to give protection to their comrades on the long march back in. They obviously had to get back into the office and type up some sort of condemnation of a march that had nothing to do with them.

On the RTS on Monday, numerous people complained to me that the SWP had a bookstall and showed me the leaflet that they had handed out. I pointed to the crowd dancing in front of the sound system and then pointed to the forlorn sight of Kevin Wingfield standing behind a collection of Lenin's finest works. Above the sound of the music I screamed "don't worry about it, the real revolutionaries are the ones dancing."

Finally, the Leninist virus is as irrelevant today as it should have been the moment the first sledge-hammer hit that wall in Berlin.

*********************
The text of the dissappeared leaflet in full:

RIOT COPS RAMPAGE ON MAYDAY
There was no riot by demonstrators on Mayday. There was an attack by riot police who were itching for a fight. They had been hyped up by McDowell and the corporate media.

Within minutes of minor skirmishes on Saturday the uniformed police pulled back to allow top cop Noel Conroy, to personally deploy his riot police and his new water cannon.

The aim of the whole operation was to intimidate people off the streets for the Bush protest. Just read the Irish Independent this morning!

This lying rag - which is a propaganda sheet for the securocrats- claimed that 'international agitators' are _ planning a 'Round Two' during the Bush visit.

The state strategy is to stop a repeat of February 15th when over 100,000 came out on the streets.


GET ORGANISED
Last Saturday night the state was organised. We paid for it with the arrests of 23 comrades who are bunged up in jail over the weekend.

Next time we have to be highly organised - ready to defeat them with people power.

On Saturday night, the organisers of the march stopped 200 metres before police lines - and they said it was a matter of individual choice whether people confront the police or not.

But in the fight against state power we have to be collective. We are not Maggie Thatcher's children acting like capitalist consumers who each make individual choice - while the riot police pick off our comrades.

Faced with this level of thuggery, we either move forward together - or we hold the line together.

FROM CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE TO SOCIAL DISOBEDIENCE
There is one other pressure point where we can beat the state. They can deploy their riot police to block Ashtown gate, but they-cannot-force us-into-work, into college or into school.

The movement against the Bush visit will be more successful if it can call on the power of tens of thousands of workers.

But for that to happen, the anti-capitalist movement needs to genuinely link in with workers struggles. That starts by actually supporting workers in struggle, being active in the unions, fighting to overturn the terrible leadership of SIPTU and the ICTU who deserted the movement on Mayday.

To do that you need socialist politics which bases itself on the class struggle at the heart of society. The police are only the boot boys for the rich fats cats who run our world. As well as taking on the puppets, we need to challenge the power of their masters.

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/wsm.html
author by Ali la Pointe - Proper Tea is Theft!publication date Tue May 11, 2004 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Only a few, though, most of them are crap.

author by Just another hackpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 16:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I can't believe that Dermot could get so wound up by people referring to the decision to stop the march and say "do your own thing" as individualist rather than collectivist. The SWP regularly get called things quite a lot worse than "Thatchers children" by anarchists, you know.

The decision of the DGN to halt the march 200 yards away from the cops and then say "whatever you want to do now is up to you" was an abdication of responsibility. It was a very foolish thing to do and was certainly missing the point about collective action.

It was lucky for the DGN that for the most part what people chose to do was to either stand back or go home or push peacefully against the police. If a significant number had exercised their right to do as they like and throw shit or get in a brawl then the the irresponsible call could have led to disaster.

author by Raypublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"If a significant number had exercised their right to do as they like and throw shit or get in a brawl then the the irresponsible call could have led to disaster."

Protesters are all irresponsible children, who'll only hurt themselves or get into trouble if you give them a chance. That's why we have to corrall them behind stewards every time they get anywhere near the gardai. Poor proles. Ah well, maybe if we make speeches at them often enough, and flog enough copies of our paper, some of them will eventually manage to carry a placard, or make their X in the right part of a ballot paper. And who knows - if they're _really_ lucky, we'll get to take over society, and then they'll have us to look after them _all the time_.

author by Joepublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An interesting but wrong version of events.

The DGN march had been called on the basis of guidelines that included 'no attempt to push through police lines'. See the DGN website where these guidelines are still up

We became aware that an organised attempt would be made to push through.

So rather than conscript people by marching right to police lines we stopped 80m short and asked people to step aside so that the black bloc could come through for their attempt. Which is what happened. Lots of people than choose to follow the bloc which was also fine.

So not so much individual action as two forms of collective action respecting each other and 'diversity of tactics'. Not something the SWP would understand of course.

We then waited for the attempt to be repulsed, reformed the march as one bloc and marched back into town. The SWP had fled long ago, their only collective action was to issue a press release and the leaflet above on arrival.

author by mickpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I only read this up to the bit about Herr Kieran Allen . Doesn't Indymedia have guidlines about deleting racist postings?

author by Just another hackpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ray, your posturing is hilarious. It is a FACT that there has been violence on a number of anti-capitalist marches. That violence has been overwhelmingly started by cops but not always. Even on Mayday a small number of people exercised their right to choose what the hell to do by throwing a few cans and flags. So given (a) the small amount of stuff that was actually thrown (b) the experience of other anti-capitalist demos and (c) the fact that a significant number of people on the march had been drinking all day, what I am saying has nothing to do with distrusting ordinary people and everything to do with learning from experience.

I see that the mock outrage at the implications that your tactics were those of "Thatchers Children" seems to have been dropped. I suppose it looked a bit silly given that today alone the SWP has already been called "red fascists" and a dozen other things by anarchists on this site. One of the funny things about anarchos, you are always ready to dish out abuse but whine dreadfully if anyone criticises you.

author by your Dadpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Protesters are all irresponsible children, who'll only hurt themselves or get into trouble if you give them a chance'

FYI there were kids there - from the neighborhood who were just into the scene and curious.

No one from DGN or other groups did anything to keep them away from what was about to happen - but i suppose that would require having appointed Stewards.

author by Just another hackpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The distinction you try to draw between different contingents on the DGN march is so much sophistry. If the DGN were serious about their guidelines, they would have put them to the march and if they were accepted they would have told anyone to wants to break the guidelines to have their own march with their own tactics. By allowing people who had no intention of behaving in line with your guidelines to use your march and then facilitating them at the end you were in fact revealing your guidelines to be so much talk.

author by Zidanepublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a great site with real debate. I'm serious about this but many of the terms (SWP, Trot etc) are only known those "involved". is there any source for a person interested in history of left wing politics and explaining the differenced between the different factions.

Im not trying to stir the sh*t, this is a genuine request

author by Raypublication date Tue May 11, 2004 17:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It is a FACT that there has been violence on a number of anti-capitalist marches."

Yeah, no shit. So what do we do? Stop going on marches? Only go on the marches that the gardai want us to (since they are the violent ones)? That seems to be the attitude of the SWP. Their response to the possibility of police violence is to keep everyone away from the police. But they are revolutionaries, really they are, its not just a posture...

"Even on Mayday a small number of people exercised their right to choose what the hell to do by throwing a few cans and flags. "

A very small number. The overwhelming majority of protesters behave with restraint and intelligence. And they did this without any need for 'revolutionaries' to sign up for auxillary garda duty. But still, you argue that the fact that the Mayday march went well, that police provocation and media hype didn't lead to a riot shows that... we need stewards to prevent marches from turning into riots.

"I see that the mock outrage at the implications that your tactics were those of "Thatchers Children" seems to have been dropped."

Mock outrage? I think you have to be surprised to be outraged, and the SWP don't surprise me any more. 'Thatcher's children' is an amusingly desperate phrase for them to use, but I'm not going to whine about it. I'm just going to point and laugh at the toytown revolutionaries, marching at double-speed from the police and the rest of the protest, and complaining that nobody does what they tell them to do.

"If the DGN were serious about their guidelines, they would have put them to the march and if they were accepted they would have told anyone to wants to break the guidelines to have their own march with their own tactics. "

Oh don't be silly. The DGN guidelines were published well in advance, and everyone there was perfectly capable of reading them for themselves. There were far too many people there to have a proper discussion, so 'putting them to the march' would have been pointless tokenism. (copyright AEIP)

"By allowing people who had no intention of behaving in line with your guidelines to use your march and then facilitating them at the end you were in fact revealing your guidelines to be so much talk."

Bollocks. Everyone on the march obeyed the guidelines. If people chose to leave the march at the end and do other things, that was up to them.

author by Just another hackpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See what I mean about so much sophistry? You call a halt to the march and hang around, while washing your hands of any responsibility. Now our guidelines apply... now they don't. Just like magic.

In fact you knew that at the end of the march something was going to happen in breach of your guidelines. That didn't stop you from reacting with outrage if anyone questioned if your guidelines would be effective. How dare you suggest etc etc.

In fact you in effect divided a march into two, with some people confronting the cops and the rest acting as observers... all the while pretending that it had nothing to do with you. The march has been declared to be at an end. What happens now? Not our problem. Our guidelines have expired!

author by Joepublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes it ended with those who had marched to Farmleigh dividing into two (three of you count the dozen SWPers). So what. The 'movement' you like to talk about has used this tactics in Quebec and Prague and elsewhere to great effect.

The SWP don't get it do they. Your 'one size fits all' approach always leads to you tailing whatever the Greens or Labour will accept (nothing).

author by Raypublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The DGN had organised and advertised a peaceful march. It had a responsibility to the people invited to make sure that the march stayed peaceful. Some of the people who wanted to go on the march also wanted to try to push through police lines - a tactic I don't have any problem with, but would not be understood as 'peaceful' by some of the people who cam on the march. So, the DGN had two alternatives.

1. Take the peaceful march as far as it could go, explain to the people present that if they went closer to the police lines it would be risky, and let those present make up their own minds what to do.

2. Form a line of unpaid gardai, stopping anybody from even going near the police.

The DGN chose the first alternative, It marked out a space where protest would be peaceful, as advertised. It treated the protesters as equals, and as adults, and told them that they were free to do whatever else they liked, but if they went outside the bounds of the march they were acting on their own responsibility.

The SWP prefers to treat everyone as children. They decide what tactics to follow (marching in circles, listening to speeches) in closed meetings, and present them as a fait accompli when its too late for anyone to suggest changes. Anyone who disagrees with their tactics is labelled an extremist. Stewards are appointed to prevent people from doing anything other than marching in circles. These stewards are also expected to prevent people from LEAVING the march, in case they might do something bold.

I'd rather work with people who treat me as an adult, let me make my own decisions, and don't do the state's work for free.

author by Chekovpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You misunderstand entirely. The DGN guidelines were issued to inform people that a peaceful protest was planned and not the riot that the media was hyping. In the event it lived up to our word. DGN did not lead people into a confrontation. However, DGN did not stop people from separating from the march and choosing to confront the state. So a group of people who wanted to confront the police did so, a group who did not, did not. People make their own choices you see, they're not all sheep.

"What happens now? Not our problem. Our guidelines have expired!"

Not true. People who wanted to stick to the guidelines did not advance, they stayed with the DGN march where the guidelines still applied. People who wanted to separate out and go a tiny bit further (by, oooh. pushing police lines) showed the respect to the guidelines by clearly separating themselves before doing so.

I suppose that you think DGN should have run away with the vanguard? The idea of giving solidarity and support to a bunch of people who are such criminals that they will actually push police lines is scandalous to a r-r-revolutionary, I suppose? Some people think that we should still show solidarity to our comrades who do not have exactly the same tactics as us.

The slogan on the SWP leaflet should really have read "leave together or hold the line together, or if nobody follows our orders, we should just run away on our own."

author by Raypublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"They decide what tactics to follow (marching in circles, listening to speeches"

That was a little unfair, I suppose. The SWP are also in favour of
- pointless ten-minute sit-downs in the middle of demonstrations
- mock charges (as long as these charges are NOWHERE NEAR the gardai, just in case anyone gets the wrong idea)
- selling papers
- collecting fake petitions, that are never handed in anywhere, just scoured for the addresses of soon-to-be unfortunates

Which is a broader range of tactics than I had suggested. Sorry!

author by dictionarypublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

SWP is the Socialist Workers Party.

SP is the socialist party

WSM is the workers solidarity Movement, an anarchist platform based in dublin.

DGN is the Dublin Grassroots Network, Part of the Grassroots Network consisting of concerned individuals who object to the way our society operates. Organised through Libertarian principles.

Libertarian (in the European sense) is the belief that individuals have the right and responsible to represent themselves, Everybody has an equal say in decisions that affect them.

Trots are short for Trotskyists, students and followers of Leon Trotsky, a central figure of USSR politics. They are very similar to marxists, and Leninists, differing mainly on emphasis.

CWI is the international socialist network, committee for a workers international.

author by arise and put on your clothespublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

tous les jours
a la liberté!

author by GGerpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.... by the miraculously recovered GR.
(which the SP are no longer part of).

Will we see a cent, somehow I doubt it.

author by Just another hackpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah yes, Ray.

Much better to call and advertise a march as taking place under certain guidelines. Then point indignantly to those guidelines in your defence if anyone suggests that something other than what you originally plan might happen.

All the while knowing that when the march encountered a road block that the guidelines would not in fact apply to a sizeable section of the march, who would do their own thing.

Why not call and advertise the march as it was really going to be, rather than lying about how the event would go? Why not say in advance:

"This will be a peaceful protest. When the cops try to stop us we will divide in two. Some of us will stand back and observe, others will try and push through their lines in a peaceful manner."

That in fact is what you knew the real plan was. So why build your march under the false pretence that there would be no attempt to push through cop lines?

author by BakuninWatch - Heat Deathpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 18:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But you boyos do have a responsibility if you advertise a violence free march. Who elected who to negotiate with the Wombles? The attendees were not told that an unaccountable Special Forces group were in disagrement with the march aims. The aforesaid SPG unknown to the crowd were given permission to use the crowd as cover for Their aims.

Would the Wombles have trekked to the Park on their own, I think not and you lot know not. You did not have be unpaid Guards all you needed to do was let the Wombles know they were not welcome and could have their own march if they wished. Funny how you never let the marchers vote on this.

author by Facts not fictionpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was there at the demo and I saw Andrew Flood argue to another protester it was premature to move back towards town as the cops advanced. Yet as he said this right behind him the crowd was beginning to move quite fast. What a spot on analysis. This guy Dermot can hardly slag off the SWP when his crew marched people under the understanding of peaceful demonsration to line of riot police and then stand aside make a meek call for those who wanted to confront polcie to go ahead and the rest to stand aside. showing responsibility?? Not a bit! This isn't about who's the hardest as many of Dermots calibre usually spout about- "who's man enough to confront the cops?" Its about calling an open meeting at the GPO- not having an "open" democratic debate about tactics before hand- (which is what happened at the AEIP- when a vote was taken on stewards, btw.) and then marhcing up and including loads of youjng working class kids up to police lines and standing back and making a half arsed call on what shoudl happen. Nice one lads- set a load of young kids up for a beating...well done!

author by Ois - WSM-Workers' Solidarity Movementpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

SWP=Socialist Workers Party
SP=Socialist Party

Both are trotskyist parties. This means that their politics are based on the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. They believe in a one party dictatorship. And base most political activity around building the 'mass party'.

Anarchists opposse party dictatorships. We argue that different groups and initiatives should work together and co-operate on a federal or networked basis.

Trotskyists in general agree with anarchists about how socialist society should be organised. But they argue that you need a revolutionary party to set up a one party dictatorship which will usher in socialism.

Anarchists argue that if we're struggling for democracy. We should be democratic in our struggles. We believe that instead of having a revolution that'd set up a one party dictatorship to usher in socialism we should campaign to for better life where ordinary people are more impowered and where society is more democratic. In other words we try to 'build the new world within the shell of the old one'.

We call ourselves anarchists, because we oppose hierarchy today, tomorrow and in struggles for a better tomorrow. We want everyone to have an equal share of power, where no one is in a position of power over anyone else. We want an - archy.

They're the main two strands in radical politics. Groups that are anarchist often call themselves libertarian socialist as opposed to anarchist, because, amongst other reasons, they don't like the word. anarchist.

author by why?publication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:16author email dillonr84 at hotmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

stop bitching. greed is the enemy.

author by ?!publication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

but here in catalanland we know the real enemy is the basque. If we don't stop them now they'll do away with our culture of foot binding, opium sowing and arranged marriage in high babies.
it's not greed.
greed is human nature.
greed is good.
ask your local FF rep.

author by Jonno - SP (personal capacity)publication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ois is giving an extremely slanted view of the left, I'm afraid. For instance, while I can't speak for the SWP, I do know that the Socialist Party is in favour of a multi-party democracy during and after the socialist transformation of society.

It is best when dealing with these kind of questions to as much as possible let each grouping speak for itself:

The Socialist Party has a good introduction to what it believes in on its webpage.
www.socialistparty.net
www.socialistparty.net/faq.htm

You can find out about the SP and the Committee for a Workers International more generally on the websites of the CWI and the huge site of the English and Welsh Socialist Party.
www.socialistworld.net
www.marxist.net
www.socialistparty.org.uk

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has its website here, and I believe it also has some kind of introductory blurb.
www.swp.ie

Anarchism in general can be read about at the anarchist faq site, which is an excellent resource.
www.anarchistfaq.org

The Workers Solidarty Movement has its own website, which is well worth looking at as their particular version of anarchism is a bit unusual.
www.struggle.ws/wsm.

Literally thousands of left wing organisations can be found at the huge leftist parties of the world website. There must be nearly 20 different Irish organisations listed.
www.broadleft.org

Historically the biggest section of the radical left in Ireland and around the world has been Communism (or Stalinism as everyone else refers to it). In Ireland, the Workers Party was once a very substantial force. Now it, and its old rival the Communist Party have shrunk to small remnants of their former glories.

The biggest organised strand of the radical left now are the Trotskyist groups, chiefly the Socialist Party and the SWP. There are also two Anarchist organisations, the above mentioned WSM and the recently formed Organise!.

Now back to your squabbling...

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 19:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Below is a link to "Monopolise Resistance - A Critique of the SWP's attempt to take over the Anti-Globalisation movement
http://www.schnews.org.uk/mr.htm

I found it well worth reading, as i had been on the J18 (or was it J19) pre-Seattle thang in London (1999 from memory). We took over the financial district, great scene. There was a total absence of the authoritarian left, not a newspaper seller in sight. So it was interesting watching them chase the movement to lead it after Seattle proved so media sexy.

I't's also an interesting pamphlet as it contains some good self-crticisms by the anarchists who wrote it.

In the wake of this year's May Daze, GR have announced a Benefit for those arrested on the Saturday night...hope the money gets handed over.

In the wake of the Dame St. Garda Masacreeee two years ago SWP opportunistically called a rally (3,000 folks showed up in response to media image of the RTS kids being bashed by the Garda.....yet the hat was not passed for those arrested or hospitalised). We got trapped in a
pre-election rally outside of Pearse St. where we were the captive audience of various SWP sanctioned candidates facing the polls in the following weeks.

I had been in the country a week and was getting increasingly desperate to announce a passing of the hat (3000 bucks in 10 minutes would have been minimal). I failed to get the proposal on the platform, borrowed someones hat and rapped and raised 250 euro...which wasn't bad for someone no one new etc.

It's interesting that SWP in Ireland are so anti-direct action. There sister organisation in Australia, International Socialists seem to be the opposite recruiting on a more militant-than-thou and are forever getting busted. It may be that there leader there Ian Rentoul has either been unemployed or a fulltime worker for the party, where here Kieran Allen is an academic with a job he feels he can't risk. And of course they can't risk the dynamic appearing more militant than the glorious leader and that's why there are so tame in Ireland (organising a number of retreats form direct action during the anti-war movement of last year). Just a hunch.

Allen's line on the Ploughshares is "that they exhibit no more courage than a high school student take a day of school to protest the war". This (delivered with some hysteria) was in response to Nuria, an Iraqi woman, requesting support for us from the stage at the 2003 IAWM AGM. Nuria was the only one of the 4 main speakers to utter the word "Shannon" in her presentation - that's how muched they feared the anti-war movement going down the path of nvda.

Allen's analogy can only come from someone who never wagged (took a day off from) school in his life or done any serious resistance to attract the bad vibe of the state. From someone who has done both - wagging school (even under the Christian Brothers in the '70's) really wasn't that traumatic

That the DGN has yet to set a date for a benefit for those arrested & a retrospective on the May Daze in Dublin is one of the weakness pointed out by the anarchists who wrote
Monopolise Resistance.I highly recommend the pamphlet.

Related Link: http://www.schnews.org.uk/mr.htm
author by Chekovpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 20:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"That the DGN has yet to set a date for a benefit for those arrested & a retrospective on the May Daze in Dublin is one of the weakness pointed out by the anarchists who wrote Monopolise Resistance.I highly recommend the pamphlet."

We have done all of the above. I assume that the time, date and location will be pubicly announced after our wrap-up meeting tonight. We won't let ourselves be monopolised!

author by chapitalistpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 20:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The next time I hear some commissar twat barking at me to "get behind the fucking banner" he's going to get his megaphone shoved up his arse. No sticks no stones no megafuckingphones.

author by leftupdaterpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 21:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are well out of date on the ISO (Australian SWP) Ciaron. They went a bit mental as a result of trying to follow the latest line from London and ran themselves into the ground. They did things like launch a weekly paper when they couldn't support a fortnightly one and so on. They also went into the Australian Socialist Alliance, where the Democratic Socialist Party proceeded to eat them alive.

Their expelled former members, Socialist Alternative, stayed outside the Socialist Alliance and proceeded to grow while the ISO shrank. Then what was left of the ISO split, with Ian Rintoul leading away his own new group called Solidarity.

Now there are three groups like the SWP in Australia. Rintoul's one only has a couple of dozen people. The ISO (the official group) has about sixty. Socialist Alternative has maybe 150.

author by Ciaronpublication date Tue May 11, 2004 22:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bless their hearts. I met Ian in the back of a police wagon, while I was at high school in '77. Ian was a former anarchist with the Self Management Group...there for the Grace of Gaia.....

I've really been away too long. Saw them a the S11 2000 blockade of the WEF at the Crown Casino in Melbourne...that was like lving through a condensed version of the Spanish revolution in terms of left dynamics!

*Great work over the May Daze DGN, thanx for y'all hospitality.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by anarchopublication date Tue May 11, 2004 22:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Trotskyists in general agree with anarchists about how socialist society should be organised. But they argue that you need a revolutionary party to set up a one party dictatorship which will usher in socialism."

Not quite right. Trotskyists and anarchists do
disagree about how a socialist society will be
organised. The former favour centralised, top-down system, the latter decentralised, bottom-up. The former concentrate on property, arguing its state ownership which matters most. Anarchists argue that it is the social relationship which matter and so stress workers' self-management.

As for the one party dictatorship. Well, if we look at Trotsky's ideas that was Trotskyist orthodoxy from 1918 to 1940. Most modern day Trotskyists don't know this and say they are against party dictatorship. However, they do support party government. Anarchists argue that this combined with the assumptions of vanguardism will lead to one party dictatorship.

If you look at the excuses used by the Trotskyists to explain the Bolshevik one party dictatorship (and Bolshevik orthodoxy) they really don't make much sense and are rarely
factually correct. Indeed, they usually imply that faced with the same problems (such as civil war) they would do exactly the same.

for evidence of all this visit "An Anarchist FAQ", particularly section H:

http://www.anarchistfaq.org

Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org
author by :)publication date Tue May 11, 2004 22:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

better than what the anarchists did in the event of civil war in spain, dont you think?

author by Badmanpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 02:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"not having an "open" democratic debate about tactics before hand- (which is what happened at the AEIP- when a vote was taken on stewards, btw.)"

So Rory is talking to himself again, is he. What was the vote, 1 - 0?

Claiming that another front is more democratic than the grassroots (where every word of the leaflet was picked over by a hundred pairs of eyes and every press release was edited by a dozen) is the funniest thing I've heard in a while.

author by Philip dee - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 02:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"SPANISH CIVIL WAR"....ah yes that was a glorious success for anarchism was nt it?
Before this rubbish goes any furthur people might like to check out Lenins "State and revolution", which considering that most of you think he is some kind of monster, (something you share with most pro capitalist commentators) actually comes across as very libertarian in spirit.
I do not believe that most trots or non stalinist marxist want a one party dictatorship. They want a socilist society with maximum liberty for all individuals. They do not believe that you can get that without a revolution and they do not believe you can have a successful revolution without a party organised in the working class.
Agree or not with that idea,it is simply a lie to pretend that they are big bad authoritarians who want to set up a evil dictatorhip and shoot the poor freedom loving libertarians.

As for the may day debate, I find the tone and content of this site disturbing. A couple of writters are making open threats to members of swp if they try to sell their papers in future.Their leaflet , which I read( and what is this paronid bullshit about it disappearing all about?) struck me as a fairly hard hitting but legitimate contribution to the debate about tactics in the anti capitalist movement.
It seems to me that Dermot is acting the "macho man " in his telling of the events at Ashtown.
Personally I would agree that DGN got it right , but feel we where lucky to some extent and that their attitude to the wombles left a lot to be desired.
Finally, Ciaron let me say that durning the Iraq war I attended a number of IAWM meetings, one in Tullamore, while you where in prison (some cousin of yours was there?) At this and others I heard SWP members DEFEND you and your actions aginst hostile criticisms. How does this fit in with your view of them?
A lot of this seems to be a lifestyle choice for some protestors,you strike me as legend in your own mind.!!

author by colmpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 02:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its started - ye fucked up, now the question is whos to blame - the public see you for what you really are - thugs

you really want to be out of your head on drugs to really convince yourself the police started the trouble - you were not able to control your grassroots and shrubroots and wombles (wabbles as far as I could see). Never mind you will always be found in the same place at the same time every week - you people are so predictable - the old social welfare has got to be collected - the state is your mother and father at the end of the day - no one relies on it as much as ye - a bit ironic don't you think

please don't fight among yourselfs

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 03:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My family comes from Clara 6 miles from Tullamore. My cousin who attended the meeting was surprised/shocked by the lack of support the IAWM speaker gave those (2 whose families are based in Offaly) in jail. This was the SWP Feb15 - line to bury us, while in jail!

3 weeks after our action 3 U.S. companies transporting US troops through Shannon pulled out of Ireland citing security reasons. The SWP dominated IAWM pulled out of Shannon as well.

As I have pointed out only Nuria of the 3 key note speakers at the 2003 IAWM AGM uttered the word "Shannon" (whether it be in terms of Ireland's main contribution to the U.S. war effort or the most significan resistance with the most significant results that came out of the anti-war movement (lower casing) in Ireland). I pointed this fact out immediatly from the floor at the AGM when the key note speakers concluded. Appreciation of our action was then attacked by Allen.

The "legend in your own mind" taunt is one of confusion between mediocrity and democracy springing from a colonised housebroken mind rather than any sense of Irishness. It camouflages the SWP fear of alternative leadership in the peace movement and (direct) action. The peace bureaucrats did a good job of screwing, abandoning and censoring peace prisoners/anti-war resisters. A war and peace movement they see as primarily a marketting oportunity for the brand their selling.

Phil Dee, I'm willing to debate you at Speakers Corner on these issues. Set a time dude.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by Raypublication date Wed May 12, 2004 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Its about calling an open meeting at the GPO- not having an "open" democratic debate about tactics before hand- (which is what happened at the AEIP- when a vote was taken on stewards, btw.) "

The DGN has been having open meetings for the last few months, at which people were welcome to come along and discuss tactics. As a result of those discussions, they were able to publish protest guidelines, which everyone going was aware of, and which the march adhered to.

Open discussions + sticking by democratic decisions = real democracy

The central committee of AEIP decided their guidelines in closed meetings, and appointed a bunch of the usual suspects as stewards. They then asked if people had a problem with that right before their march started, when it would be impossible for that many people to raise objections, suggest changes, object to some of the stewards or have any real discussion.

Closed discussions + impossibility of real debate = pointless tokenism

author by Swiftpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 10:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That the SWP would rush out a leaflet after May Day tells us plenty about its concerns, and these have nothing to do with how the march was organised. No, what concerns the SWP is that the anarchist-led demo was way bigger than the SWP-led carnival, direct action is now firmly on the agenda and anarchism is increasing in influence. May Day was a watershed (good pun, eh?) – an anarchist action outstripped an SWP/Trot action for the first time in Irish political history. The SWP will not take this lying down. The Political Committee of the SWP (the one that tells the membership what to think) would have met in emergency session and devised a plan for rolling back this influence: Step 1, the leaflet; Step 2, defend the line on Indymedia – good work Kevin (just another hack) and Rory; Step 3, a centre spread in the next issue of Socialist Worker (is it out yet?) on May Day and why anarchism fails; Steps 4 – 99 to be revealed, but watch out anarchists – hell have no fury like Kieran Allen belittled.

PS I was in Hillsborough when Bush came a calling. The march organisers set up a speakers platform half a mile short of the cops. The SWP (without consulting with anyone else) “charged” past the platform up to the police lines to allow Boyd Barrett make his speech (he wasn’t invited onto the official platform). When a handful (about 15) of the 200 or so present at the police barricade attempted to circumvent the cops by moving into a field with the intention of passing through bushes and called on other protestors to join in, Boyd Barrett pulled out the stops to ensure their call went unheeded. So, at that point, we had three groups on a single march. So much for “we have to be collective” (quote from SWP leaflet). On this and every other occasion, the SWP promotes its own interests over and above the interests of the collective or anyone else.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is the usual level of stupid dishonesty in the claim that what was likely to happen was not publicised by the DGN. In fact the guidelines for the march, published 10 days in advance of it, read as follows

"We intend to get as close to Farmleigh as possible so that those inside can hear our chorus as they eat their expensive fine meals. ... The Dublin Grassroots Network march will be lead off by a banner and white flags. If you want to stay with the march, follow the flags.

As it is a relatively long march towards the baron's banquet in Farmleigh House, we will be stopping along the way for food and drink breaks so people can relax and take in the atmosphere of the march. These brief rest points will also act as a brief space to gather information, and to take stock of each situation as it arises.

...

We respect diversity of methods of protest against Fortress Europe. Dublin is a big city and the Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed city park in Europe. There is room for us all to demonstrate in the way that we choose. If any group or individual wishes to take part in any other activity beyond the guidelines stated here that apply to the Dublin Grassroots Network march, we ask them to split off and separate themselves from the march.

We desire no physical confrontation with the Garda, the Army, or anybody on Mayday - and we never have. ... We do not intend to use any form of offensive physical confrontation on our march."
from http://struggle.ws/eufortress/timetable.htm

This is pretty much exactly what happened.

Also worth pointing out that this diversity of tactics approach was also used on March 1st in Shannon when GG organised a white flag bloc (to carry out the direct action) and a pink flag block (to observes and show solidarity). Arguably the IAWM represented a 3rd bloc (but not in solidarity with the first two.)

This is what 'the movement' looks like. This is what it does. We are no longer using the tactics of the World War one period. Get used to it!

author by Homerpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 11:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They'll protest the arrival of the US Secretary of Health in Cork. There's a massive protest planned for when the US president arrives.

But where were the anti-globalisation and pro-democracy protestors yesterday when the Chinese Premier was in Dublin Castle? Multinational companies already use Chinese Sweatshop labour to manufacture their goods and every day more and more are investing in this practice to supply goods cheaply to the West. The wages and conditions of these factories are even worse than those in Latin America and Indonesia.

There is no political dissent tolerated in China and anyone who questions the governrnent is routinely locked up wthout trial. Then there's the oppressive occupation of Tibet.

But where were the protestors? I went along to show some solidarity with the Falun Gong protestors (who were dwarfed by the pro-Government UCD Chinese Students Association) but I saw practically no Irish there. Where was Evil Dave and his cronies? The issue of the oppressive Chinese Government surely is more important that a bloody squat on Leeson Street.

But then, China isn't a sexy cause and the Left Wing Revolutionaries would be forced to analyse their own ideology should they go protesting against the human rights abuses meted out by a Communist country.

In fact, if you look at the indymedia website, you'll notice that there is no Chinese Indymedia office [see bottom of page] and no reporting of yesterday's protest.

Hypocrites!

author by Joepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last time the Chinese premier was here the left did organise protests. See http://struggle.ws/wsm/news/2001/china_sep3.html

You seem a bit confused on the issue of the left and China. Most of us don't see China as anything more than a form of state capitalism. Only the Sparts and SP see it as having any progressive element and ever there the SP demonstrated last time, you can see their banner in one of the pictures.

author by John Kearnspublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First things first, I have no time for Rory's utterances and said as much before the march on Saturday. The Thatcher reference is beyond the pale.

That said there are two things I am not clear of.
1. Does Grassroots reject stewards on a march as a matter of ideology. I don't have any time for stewards who think they are the police (i.e. the SWP) but I do see them as being necessary some of the time. It would be nice if everybody could act as a steward but to be honest I think that is just a bit utopian. Lets face it the stewards don't have to wear bibs they could go fancy dress to add a bit of colour/humour.
2. I, no matter how much I try, just don't get the black block. For the record I think GN should have marched their banner up to the line but as they didn't I don't see the point in giving cover for a group of people whom to me only seem to be there to have a go at the cops. They appear to me as a vanguard in fancy dress and what's more it strikes me that they have something in common with the SWP i.e. no relationship with the working class.

What am I missing?

BTW well done to all in DGN, your protests were well organised and a breath of fresh air compared to the boring one formuala fits all protests of the so called organised far left.

author by nopepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

therefore I really liked the expulsion of the Socialist Workers when the wanted to join the prisoner solidarity march advancing to the RTS party. - Instead of taking the streets, the Socialist Workers needed then to take the footpath.

Did not know they wanted to join the "radical block" the last few metres to the street party when it apparantly was the same day this leaflet was distributed against some of the very same people..
The Socialist Workers flag carriers and the SWP are belonging to the same group, aren't they?

Anyway it was very enjoyable to take part in protest and demonstrations where the SWP and frontgroups actually weren't in the majority and it was good they weren't influential on the organisation and representation of the actions.
Well done on dealing with the SWP. :-)

author by your Dadpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'Protesters are all irresponsible children, who'll only hurt themselves or get into trouble if you give them a chance'

FYI there were kids there - from the neighborhood who were just into the scene and curious.

No one from DGN or other groups did anything to keep them away from what was about to happen - but i suppose that would require having appointed Stewards.

author by Big Daddypublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

those kids should have been at home watching tv or playing on their playstations,
those kids have no right to see state repression with their own eyes!

author by Joepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You do have a point there but it wasn't something that should have needed stewards. You don't need a yellow bib to suggest to a few kids that they should move out of harms way.

I think in some situations there are grounds for having stewards. That is where you expect a demonstration to come under attack. I've taken part in organising stewards at such events.

The problem is the left here seems to have gone for a model where stewards exist first and foremost to police the crowd. All you see them doing is ordering people around and forming lines facing the crowd in front of the cops. For obvious reasons this has put many people off the idea of having stewards at all.

DGN doesn't have a an ideological line on this (or most other things). Over the weekend we were making the point that people could look after themselves and those around them. This worked and it also left space for those who wanted to carry out their own initatives.

I suspect over time a new practice of looking after demonstrations will develop that will look more like what the DGN did then what the SWP does. Depending on the demonstration we might even develop people whose role it is to keep kids back and discourage drunks throwing cans from the back. But our first reaction is not to say we have to don a yellow bib in order to do so.

author by Philip Dee - nonepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 13:35author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Ciaron, try calmimg down and speaking plain english, I have nt a clue what your saying!!
You want to debate fine, but I was also in Tullamore with two others from Portlaoise and we all agreed that the swp DID defend the actions of you and Mary Kelly. Their paper even had a artical saying "Congratulation Mary Kelly"
Prehaps the confusion arises because they did not ADVOCATE your type of actions. They did neverthless defend them in public.At a time when the media (kenny , Finnucan etc) where hammering you.
Fine, attack them for what the say and do , but this interpretation of their deeds is misleading. Or do you believe that YOU have a monopoly on resistance and only your way is the one true way.
Incidentially Ciaron, I do admire your actions, I have defended your group. and I have contributed to your defence financially, but once again I would say that I find the demonising of the swp disturbing.

author by Realistpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 13:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Grassroots Network organised a great weekend of events. They involved big numbers of people, most of whom (as far as I know) had never previously taken part in radical activities.

They had an open structure which allowed anyone interested to take part in making the decisions, and they did what they said they would do.

The SWP are upset that some anarchists have become fairly hostile to them (though only verbally - so it's not exactly a big deal). Or maybe they are really upset because something relatively big happened and they had no influence on it?

Maybe years of conning people into SWP front groups like the ANL and GR, where important decisions seem to be taken by SWP members outside the formal meetings has something to do with it. Maybe the endless appeals for 'left unity' which co-exist with crap like the attempt to monopolise dissent (remember the carry on in SIPTU when Des Derwin ran for office) also has something to do with it. Or the creation of phantom anti-bin tax groups in the north east of the city just to make it look like the SWP was a lot more involved than it was, etc, etc.

The SWP, in particular, seem to annoy other radicals because we get the impression that the most important thing for them is to get that extra one or two members - and that is a bigger priority for them than actually convincing wider numbers to start thinking about socialism and getting active.

"Building the party" seems to be so important that it justifies all sorts of trickery and dishonesty. No doubt it starts off being well intentioned but it then becomes a habit. After a while it starts to alter one's whole political outlook. As the Christians say, "what ye sow - so shall ye reap".

However I think that most people who join groups like the SWP, SP, WSM, WP and so on do so because they want to make the world a better place.

A lot of SWP members are decent and idealistic people. A bit more dialogue rather than invective might encourage them to think about whether the way the SWP behaves actually achieves anything in terms of the socialist vision that brought them into politics in the first place.

author by Mark Thomaspublication date Wed May 12, 2004 14:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The leaflet is very bad, even by SWP standards. They are desperate. They treid to jump on the anti-capitalist bandwagon, but failed miserably. Remember Globalise Resistance? And by the way, where were they when we were building the movement they tried to monopolise?
What activists need to realise is that the SWP is not trying to "influence" the movement, it's trying to "police" it. Shannon, Mayday, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. Why they work so hard at fucking over other activists? The answer to that is the answer to the question: who is behind the SWP?

author by swp sympathiserpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

this has been draw to my attention by indymedia uk.

i did not go on the demo but heard alot via indymedia. it sounded great.

in britain their is also bitching by anarchist and hostility towards the marxists. however since the stop the war demos we have worked toward and have produced some excellent results.

when Bush came to town we made sure he could not venture outside of buckingham palace. we had the biggest day time protest in british history.

the lesson is that marxists & anarchist can work toward when building against imperialism and capitalism.

butcher BUSH is coming to your town soon, whether you like it or not you will need to mobilsise the masses .

put your energy in building against bush.

p.s

i would like to say that the SWP in britain has been instrumental in building the anti war movement. we try to act in the interest of the whole class and not in secterian fashion.

author by ;publication date Wed May 12, 2004 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The endless attacks on the swp are pointless. Face up to it, the Irish left folds every time the SWP starts their next front. Time after time the left, including anarchists, follow the swp lead and accept their rules, Remember GR, remember anti war movement.

Why does it happen? THE SWP ARE THE BIGGEST LEFT ORGANISATION IN IRELAND, thats democracy.

No point in crying about it when it is all over.

author by Sashweedpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 17:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"when Bush came to town we made sure he could not venture outside of buckingham palace. we had the biggest day time protest in british history."

Doh!!
That's all well and good but the Shrub isn't coming to Dublin. He is staying in the west. Could somebody bring to Joe Higgin's attention, that this is a case of real 'virtual warriors', protesting in Dublin when the evildoer is hundreds of miles away.

author by Joepublication date Wed May 12, 2004 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Was the guy who slept for years without realising it. Cause it looks like ; went into a coma sometime around Genoa and just came around now! The uk.indymedia one has to be a parody.

author by Raypublication date Wed May 12, 2004 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"butcher BUSH is coming to your town soon, whether you like it or not you will need to mobilsise the masses "

Guess what. Butcher Bush is NOT coming to Dublin. He's coming to Shannon. That's where the masses need to be mobilised.

author by the peace makerpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ok lets settle our differences now!!!!!
anarchists marxists lets get together as equals! no more crap!

lets get together down in shannon and resist bush!!!!

as for the stewards problem......if you want to have stewards then fair enough but steward the people who want to be stewarded or dont mind having stewards!

the last time in shannon there was two protests one with stewards one without this worked really well to stretch the police!!

All out!!!!

Shannon J26

author by Ciaron - Dublin Catholic Workerpublication date Wed May 12, 2004 19:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Phil Dee, I haven't got a fuckin' clue who you are.

Your hunch is I'm a "legend in my own mind", my hunch is you are basically gutless. So I'm suggesting if you want to take cheap shots, have the balls to do it to my face in a public forum. (I don't know where this expectation comes from maybe it's being part of the Australian diaspora where we're not as use to so much twofaced, doublespeak, begrudgery etc. as you are in Portlaise. Maybe it's having spent 2 years in jail you know you can't afford to allow such cowardly snide shit by)

...but there you have it.
I'm calm and I'm waiting to publicly debate with you - if you show!

My cousin was at the Tullamore meeting. Our imprisonment was not raised by the SWP speaker until my cuss raised in the question time. The SWP speaker had to defend themselves against the wrath of my cousin on the total lack of visible solidarity with imprisoned anti-war resisters (true to form with the SWP censorship of us on Feb 15). This censorship has run through the SWP dominated IAWM. We would be more comfortable if the SWP bureaucrats steer clear of our trial...I don't think we could afford their defense. hopefully they won't see the trial as another marketting opportunity for the brand they're selling.

Actually I'd love to debate you in Tullamore. I spoke there in 1996 and drew a good crowd.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland.org
author by Anarchopublication date Wed May 12, 2004 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

> "SPANISH CIVIL WAR"....ah yes that was a glorious success for anarchism was nt it?

as opposed to the Russian Civil War? Party dictatorship, secret police torturing people,
suppressing strikes, one-man management armed with dictatorial powers, imprisoning and
shooting other socialists and anarchists (often just for their ideas), betraying allies
when they were no longer needed, laying the grounds for Stalinism...

yes, what a glorious success for Marxism that was!

"Before this rubbish goes any furthur people might like to check out Lenins 'State and
revolution', which considering that most of you think he is some kind of monster,
(something you share with most pro capitalist commentators) actually comes across as
very libertarian in spirit."

yes, when in doubt ignore what Lenin actually did in power and talk about his
election manifesto! Now, what was it that Marx said? Judge people by what they
do, not what they say. Now, how long did Lenin's "State and Revolution" actually
last once he was in power? Not one night! The first act of the Bolshevik revolution
was create an executive body separate from the legislative (the Bolshevik government
above the soviets). After six months not a single promise was left. Then the civil
war started...

And as for "rubbish" are you denying that party dictatorship was Bolshevik orthodoxy
from 1918 to 1940? If so, I would suggest you read some more Bolshevik books!

"I do not believe that most trots or non stalinist marxist want a one party dictatorship.
They want a socilist society with maximum liberty for all individuals. They do not believe
that you can get that without a revolution and they do not believe you can have a successful
revolution without a party organised in the working class. Agree or not with that idea, it
is simply a lie to pretend that they are big bad authoritarians who want to set up a evil
dictatorhip and shoot the poor freedom loving libertarians."

Look at what I said. I said that most modern day Trotskyists do not want party dictatorship.
That does not mean Trotsky did not advocate and implement party dictatorship. Now, the fact
that Lenin and Trotsky both implemented and advocated party dictatorship does not seem to be
a problem with most Trotskyists, which suggests we should be concerned about their ideology.

And for the record, Trotskyists argue that the party must seize power on behalf of the
working class. To remain in power, it will be authoritarian against the working class,
as Lenin and Trotsky admitted (when in power).

But let's not bother about all this. No, let's not bother looking at what Lenin did
when in power. Let's just read "State and Revolution"... I'm sure Blair would urge us
all to ignore the invasion of Iraq, after all it was not in his election manifesto!

I would suggest looking at "An Anarchist FAQ" section H, particularly the section on
"Haven't you read Lenin's 'State and Revolution" in section H.1. Assuming you are
interested in learning from history rather than repeating it!

Related Link: http://www.anarchistfaq.org
author by Philip Dee - nonepublication date Thu May 13, 2004 01:29author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Congratulations Ciaron, if you wanted to scare me, you have!!. Your postings here are strange. let me apologise if my "Legend" comment hurt, it was meant as a joke.
You do know me, at least you have met me , althought the next time I wont be offering to buy you a drink!
I am a bit older than you, and dont take kindly to been called gutless. (Maybe thats my ego problem, you seem to have your own!)
Last time around,; for I have no intention of continuing this as its hardly the main issue, but I do feel your extremely hostile reaction to it is telling.
I was in Tullamore. I was aware of the attacks on you and interested in the IAWM/swp reaction to it.
The IAWM speaker, a young woman was asked by two people in the audience to condemn you and Mary Kelly. She refused and while she did say that she would not take the same action , defended you and pointed out that the real violence was this war.
The two people as I remember attacked her answer and urged the meeting to openly condemn your actions. One was american gentleman who had been active in the anti vietnam war movement and stated that these actions would alienate the middle ground. The other was a local busines woman who had helped organise the meeting and also said she felt your actions would damage the anti war cause.
The one swp member in the audience(yes he was swp, he sold their paper and I spoke to him after for 20 minutes) very clearly defended you . Cant remember his xact words, but he clearly congratulated Mary Kelly
and said that all those opposed to the war owed those in jail a huge debt for highlighting the use of Shannon.
I f your cousin remembers otherwise, or was shocked by this lack of support he said nothing that night and as I recall seemed happy with the iawm speakers comment.
There was hostility to you, but not from the swp/Iawm people.
To say otherwise is at best misleading. and worst dishonest.
Maybe they said other things elsewhere, I dont know, but that night they defended you and yours.
Whilst I may be older than you , I do not yet have a problem with my memory and I have no intention of debating my recollections with you or anyone else.
Finally, we will meet again, maybe Shannon, but I would urge you to conduct any debate on tactics with more openess and less bile towards the swp/sp.
I may not have been in prison as often as you but I have as much experience of this system as any and am at least as outraged by it as you.
Yours
GUTLESS OLD MAN.

author by Ciaronpublication date Thu May 13, 2004 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It won't be at Shannon dude, we are banned from a 5 mile radius...downsized from a County Clare ban (2 weeks ago).

This medium/the internet seems to lend itself to passive-agressives....and I have taken hits on my weight, smell, spirituality and of course the old golden-colonised Irish chestnut - ego. I see such hits from anonymity as cowardly/gutless & don't see the humour in your comment. Maybe you could try self-depreciating humour, it works for me.

The tall poppy syndrome comes out of your colonisation (rooted in survival ethic keep your ass and head down don't move from protest to resistance etc etc). It's worth deconstructing the role this syndrome plays in Ireland and plays in the isoaltion of resisters facing the courts by the moderate peace movement bureaucrats.

Give me aggressive-aggressive over passive-aggressive anytime. In fact give me a conservative over a liberal any time. A conservative will stab you in the front, a liberal always in the back.

We got more support from the Garda Press Officer, who by 12 noon of the day of our arrest rejected (in a press release) two government ministers lies that we "had assaulted and hospitalised a Gardain the hanger". This lie was repeated by the spokesperson from the NGO Peace Aliance (we have the tapes!). He has had opportunities over the past year to retract the slander and has not retracted. The ministers have not retracted either.

My cousin was surprised that our then imprisonment, and our resistance action, was not a subject of the main body of the talk (given that as it is argued by some the most disruptive nonviolent act the Western peace movement mustered to the U.S. war machine).

My cousin knows little of the machinations of left sects who use wars & the peace movement response primarily as marketting opportunities and recruitment drives. As has been posted earlier - May Day was hopefully a watershed in Ireland, a breakout by a mass movement from being controlled by authoritarians leading it up the predictable deadends

If the security forces had any agenda it was to keep the peace movement away from Shannon. The SWP agenda dovetailed into this priortiy. The jury is still out on whether that is through security infiltration at the highest levels (if this seems paranoid ask Tariq Ali about his '60's experiences and Campaign Against the Arms Trade about their recent experiences) or whether it is because the SWP priority is control and they obviously lose it when the movement goes beyond the pale.

Related Link: http://www.ploughsharesireland
author by "Sectarian" "Squaddist"publication date Thu May 13, 2004 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The grasping antics of the SWP have more in common with FF than a progressive left wing movement. They never fail to be an embarrassment anytime these wastes of space turn up at demos. They turned out maybe 30 people for the march on Farmleigh and every time I was in their vicinity I was aware of their presence by their idiotic chanting and paper selling harassment. Best of all though, was seeing Richie Boyd Barprat calling for the protest to turn around and follow him instead of symbolically confronting the forces of the State. The sight of the prat shouting at the backs of hundreds of people paying absolutely zero attention to him was funny but infuriating.

Infuriating, because of the colossal nerve of him to feel that they had any relevance to the thousand or so individuals who made a “Thatcherite” decision to show this FF/PD Junta that they were not to be intimidated by all their lies, threats and thuggery. For a long time the SWP have played a parasitical role in Irish left-wing politics and I fear the damage they have caused the left by alienating potential sympathisers with their idiotic posturing. The SWP, via the IAWM, actually believe that all credit for the 100,000+ anti-war demo last year belongs to them.

The SWP appear to be pissed off that people made the choice to confront the State as best they saw fit and that because there were no dickheads with bibs and megaphones that they were Thatcherites. I tend to sympathise with the comment of “chapitalist” above, in relation, to the SWP anyway

author by Ois - WSMpublication date Thu May 13, 2004 21:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd be happy to work with anyone who will work with anarchists in a respectful and comradely manner. LY and SP normally can and do act in this manner, but the SWP does not never ever ever ever and after almost 3 year of activism and back stabbing I'm tired of it.

So I am not happy to work with thew SWP (nor do I think many anarchists are). Ideally I'd like to work with libertarians exclusively but I am happy to work with authoritarians like those in Labour, the Greens and the Sp when co-operation is needed.

I think most (but not all) anarchists feel the same way as I do.

author by Aoife Ni Fhearghail - personalpublication date Tue May 18, 2004 14:53author email aoifenf at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address D6Wauthor phone 087 7955013Report this post to the editors

being the "young woman" who spoke in Tullamore, someone emailed this thread on to me as they thought i might not have read it.

Like many others I generally don't have the energy for ridiculous bickering on the internet between forces which are supposedly on the same side - i.e. against the war - but since the implication/accusation by Ciaron above is that the IAWM did not defend the actions of the Catholic Workers & Mary Kelly at Tullamore at Shannon I will respond to this.

At the Tullamore meeting, the main subject of the talk was not the actions at Shannon. I was invited to speak by the Offaly Anti War Movement and was asked to talk about Afghanistan, the run-up to war in Iraq and the use of Shannon. This was part of a series of public meetings by local anti war groups in the run -up to the February 15th demo last year.

At some point, a local businessman who had been involved in the anti-Vietnam movement in the States and another local businesswoman suggested that the broader peace movement should condemn the actions of Ciaron, Mary & others at Shannon as they believed that these actions were "violent", that you can't use "violence" to achieve peace and that property damage would alienate the "ordinary Irish punter".

On more than one occasion I refused to condemn the actions at Shannon along with an swp member who drove down from Dublin with me and as far as I can remember, also a member of the Tullamore group. We pointed out that damaging a plane which would be used in the war was not violent, that the violence we should be condemning was the violence of the war and sanctions on Iraq. However, I also pointed out that I don't believe that tactics of that nature would defeat the drive to war and that what we needed was a broad mass movement. The IAWM has never condemned the actions of those arrested at Shannon, and has promoted solidarity actions and fundraisers when we know of them.

At no point did Ciaron's cousin ask about this during the meeting but he did come up to me afterwards and said "fair play" for defending his aussie cousin.

I would like to think that Ciaron has just got the wrong end of the stick. Having been a brief member of a Catholic group myself in the past, I remember that truth and forgiveness were pretty important things for Catholics.

So, if you're reading this Ciaron perhaps an acknowledgement of your error is in order, to the IAWM for your misinterpretation of what happened in Tullamore, to GR for you implication that they are stealing money from May Day defendants and to Kieran Allen who came in for a rather nasty character assasination from you above, who as it happens has had more than a small amount of hassle from conservative employers (the Catholic Church) in the past for actions taken at work.

Many of the students mentioned, who walked out of school on Day X were subsequently suspended by conservative school authorities, some of them also got a serious amount of grief from their parents. This may seem trivial to a 45-year old man (sorry, guessing at your age), but was no doubt serious enough for them at the time. No one on the left doubts the sincerity of the actions that you have taken but seriously Ciaron, the Messiah complex is unbecoming.

If you want to talk about any of this please ring me as I don't have internet access at home or work and am unlikely to read anything posted at the end of this thread.

Fraternally,

Aoife
087 7955013

author by Brianpublication date Wed May 19, 2004 10:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

ridiculous bickering -- translation -- debate

author by Ms Luxpublication date Mon May 31, 2004 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Left is doomed dahlings if the majority of postings on this thread are to be considered rational constructive debate,one starts out grinning in amused titillation only to arrive a small thesis of delusional drivel later slumped in a quagmire of sighing malaise....Ah how the mighty red flag flutters and shimmers in the noon day sun....The earnest young men of the revolution with their two blade cuts and their mexican knits need to take a collective deep breath and formulate a structure within which calm debate and a rational exchange of ideas is deemed of primary importance...fire and passion are all very well, bilious ranting sours the soul and leaves a nasty aftertaste

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