Temporary Police State

Guest writer Sean Matthews with a piece on the recent G8 convention in Fermanagh.

At the post G8 press conference, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggot claimed the G8 summit in Enniskillen was the 'most peaceful and stable' in its history. The G8 gangsters may have left dazzled and wined by our local political class but beneath the media spin and smokescreen lies the ugly reality of a new Northern Ireland of one rule for the rich and powerful, while the rest of us must accept our place in the ladder or face the consequences. We only need to look no further than the selective internment of Marian Price and others.

Over the last couple of days we have witnessed a temporary police state in action and a template for managing similar events in the future.  An unprecedented security operation and lockdown with up to 8,000 armed thugs, drones and watchtowers, widespread stop and search, 'fast-tracked' courts - all the trappings of state violence on display to preserve and uphold the interests of wealth and privilege. If anything only confirming why anarchists have no illusion in the state and its primary role in society!

All geared to  supporting a carefully choreographed pageantry locked behind Fort Knox subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of at least 50 million pounds. Money which could have been better spent on alleviating poverty, mass unemployment and invested in our schools and hospitals but this has and will never be the priority of our ruling class. Opening the North up for business, eliminating any dissent and cosying up to the dealers of austerity and state terror will never deliver any long term benefits to the people of Enniskillen or elsewhere;  except more of the same in the form of increasing poverty, declining wages and working conditions and benefit cuts.

As the journalist and writer Larrie Penny noted:

It is also about pomp and show. It’s a pageant of neoliberal capitalism functioning whether local residents like it or not. That sort of pageantry requires the suppression of dissent, especially in a political climate where the elite's only answer to a drop in living standards and a collapse of faith in democracy is to line up an epic number of police with water cannons and tear gas.

As the system and the G8 unravels before us, the rich and bankers have never had it so good while more and more workers become permanently displaced; income and wealth inequality widens and the ecological catastrophe threatens the continued existence of the planet as we know it.  The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we channel this anger and disillusionment towards building an effective mass movement that will shake the foundations of this rotton status-quo, what tools do we use and what change do we really want? How can we make the greatest impact at the coalface in our communities and workplaces’?

US President Barrack Obama sensationalised speech may have dazzled a mainly young audience and media at the Waterfront Hall with a Mexican wave and sound bites but beyond the smoke and mirrors is a speech delivered with drones based on absolute waffle and fiction that would make Joseph Goebells proud.

The reality is that the cracks cannot be easily covered up in the ‘New Northern Ireland.’ With sectarian conflict institutionalised and always ready to explode at any moment along with the decimation of the manufacturing sector, the  highest level of unemployment and poverty in the UK provides a lethal cocktail.  A new confident labour movement must fill this vacuum in a non-sectarian manner which is not afraid to challenge state repression and imperialism.

So Matt Baggot wasn't far wrong that this was the most successful G8 conference ever in terms of the peaceful, tranquil image it promoted to outside investors and vultures but who could have predicted any outcome other than clashes with the police and an 'armed action'. Especially against a weak and divided opposition that posed no real challenge to its smooth running in comparison to previous summits and went out of its way to warn off any 'trouble makers'. The strategic location of the conference and massive security operation supported by a media propaganda offensive and scaremongering may have helped to marginalise any disruption. 

The reality is our local ruling class was easily able to diffuse any confrontation by confining any opposition within official, typically legalistic channels with the compliance of sections of the reformist left who have no intention of rocking the boat or the harmless straightjacket of what the state considers as legitimate or illegitimate protest.

Indeed any attempt to move outside the box was swiftly repressed as in the case of 30 protestors from the republican group RNU who attempted to reach Waterfront Hall on Monday morning during the Obama speech only to be met with overwhelming force beside Belfast City Hall. The  ‘dissident republican threat’ turned out to be an empty gesture highlighting its relative containment with the exception of small protests and sporadic armed attacks which amount to merely armed propaganda rather than in real threat to the status-quo.

There was a brief ‘action’ that strayed from the boring ritual of marching from A- B, or a possible police gesture to justify its overtime and massive show of strength, whenever a tiny section of the security fencing was breached on Monday evening but this was nothing in comparison to the last G8 held in Scotland where a several hundred strong Black Block fought running battles with the police and managed to block the main highway for several hours leading to Gleneagles.

In searching for answers we should not overlook the distinctive weakness and marginalisation of the left and anarchist movement including republicanism; and an inexperienced ‘anti-capitalist’ movement in Ireland, in terms of its lack of infrastructure and social base that can mobilise tens of thousands of working class people. It was thin on the ground and unable to capitalise on growing anger and disillusionment which tends to express itself in a sectarian and reactive fashion such as the flag protests from earlier this year.

This is despite sections of the left and mainstream union movement spending a lot of time, effort and resources into building a mass rally in Belfast city centre last Saturday and promising up to 20,000 people to lobby our leaders and demand action over climate change, poverty and hunger: the attendance was very poor.

Despite another draft of empty promises these demands in the end are met with the usual blind indifference that also allows opportunist politicians and patronising celebrities such as Bono to jump on the bandwagon. It is not just a matter making ‘demands,’ or of this injustice or that unfairness – it is the whole system that is rotten to its core. Poverty, war, racism, sexism and all the rest of the problems we face are not exceptions to the rule or single issues – they are the rule.

Capitalism cannot exist without the state creating poverty, without fighting wars, without oppressing people because of their race or gender and upholding class privilege.  Therefore if we want to win, we need to recognise that being right and moral isn’t enough. Unfortunately, our society is not a debating chamber where everyone is given an equal voice, and the decisions that affect our lives are not taken on moral grounds. If you have not realised already our rulers don’t care about doing right by us. What they care about is power and wealth, and supporting the interests they represent.

To some extent this lack of opposition marks the end of an era of 'summit hopping' and massive militant demonstrations that accompanied previous G8 events. This to some degree can be viewed in a positive light; in terms of the marginalizing path of protest mobilisation, focusing energy preparing for short term actions and moving from demonstration to demonstration instead of a long term vision and strategy. But anarchism can be, and must develop infrastructures and culture of resistance in workplaces and communities fostering a libertarian culture of self organisation, mutual aid and mass direct action.

While the continuing squabbling by rival powers over the conflict in Syria dominated proceedings, these summits are a spectacle where our global and local ruling class sets the agenda; it is important to link day to day struggles against the water charges, public sector cuts etc to the wider neo liberal agenda the G8 symbolises. 

Class oppression maintained by the capitalist system  is not simply a small cabal of the ultra-rich in Wall Street or Washington or small elite group of G8 leaders. It is reproduced in every workplace, every police station, every dole queue, every courtroom, every prison and every territory occupied by Western militaries, and can only be sensibly understood and confronted as such. This system is global capitalism backed by the armed force of the state, a pattern of economic and political exploitation that reaches into every aspect of our lives.

We should be under no illusions. We are at a crossroads and the choice is stark. Either we the working class acts as a class and wrests power from the capitalist class or economic stability will be restored by state repression, dismantling social services, cuts to benefits and slashing wages and conditions.  The current crisis cannot be transcended through half measures and limited reforms or by voting in a new set of politicians no matter how 'revolutionary'. We need to think in bold terms, to view our commitment to building a new society as an immediate strategic priority, not as a goal for some vaguely defined future.

The only solution is in one where we realise our own class power, we can finally take control of our lives, our communities and workplaces’ free from exploitation, alienation and oppression. This future, a libertarian communist one, is truly a future worth fighting for.


  1. Great article Seanito, there's a lot in that. I was at G8 myself and was seriously disappointed at the level of protest. Fair play to those who came out to register opposition to this 'cabal' you refer to but the whole thing demonstrated to me the organisational weakness of opposition, not only to G8, but to the occupation of our country and the society we live in. It told me in no uncertain terms that we have to start over again organisationally.

    This is not a criticism of you Sean but while your analysis may be spot on it's out there with the 'irrelevant left' - nobody gives a shit. I say that as someone who realises that the vast majority don't give two hoots for my analysis either. "You cannot agitate a man on a full stomach" is a famous quote from the time of the Chartist Movement. People are happy enough to continue on with this system despite the many flaws you identify, at the very least they're too consumed by their own private interests to get off their ass and do something. The greatest triumph of Thatcherism can be found in its destruction of society and the obliteration of community solidarity - "there is no such thing as society". People might moan about the state of the economy and society but getting involved in a revolutionary process is the furthest thing from their minds once they shut the door and close the blinds. We are well and truly contained, Britain has done a real number on us this time.

    It's time to rebuild. We can start by securing the legacy of the republican struggle and making sure the next generation know what the Volunteers died for rather than it being misrepresented that it was somehow all about getting to where we are today. I've been debating with some in Sinn Fein the last few days, mostly about engaging with the policing system, and their general argument seems to be "what are you doing about these things?" I'd rather stick to commemorating our dead patriots and sitting at home than administering this system, no matter what position I might rise to achieve within that system. I think the British position in Ireland has never been more secure because to a great extent it's now a 'hidden' occupation which passes itself off successfully with the greater part of the people as benign, being able to do so because former opponents of the state have been brought in to legitimise that very system. They might be under the impression they can bring about change but it will only ever be change that meets the approval of the state and will never have a revolutionary dynamic. This incorporation of violent resistance into the system is a strategic masterstroke by the Brits and makes our task infinitely more difficult. Like the ANC position in South Africa, born out of legitimate resistance to an illegitimate state, the possibilities of making real political and social progress contained in the social movements that were anti-apartheid South African nationalism and Irish republicanism has been squandered for the crumbs from the table. It's a shame but it's reality.

    We need to begin by acknowledging exactly where we are and that we can have all the textbook answers and all the proper criticisms and analysis in place but it won't make a blind bit of difference without a movement to spearhead the efforts to bring about change. We need to be about building that movement and it's going to be a long, long process

  2. Sean:

    Excellent piece , as for a Temporary Police State, The wee 6 has always has been , and still is a "Police State" which is now being assisted by the then so called enemy of said Police , "SF".
    The g8 was a massive flop as protesters go, and that is sad, I think Sean Bres said it all is his great post, Those whose bellies are full will not get of there arse , as far as I'm concerned they are well indoctrinated into the British system complete with blinkers on to keep them on that straight downhill road to hell. Now for another laugh, It was decided in The British Parliament Yesterday , Another kick in the teeth for SF , Its as if they are saying "You signed up to British Rule , and , that's what you will get ,"That MLA's will now be allowed to run until APRIL 2016 then elections will take place" , Its obvious they are well taking the piss and have planned well in advance for the 2016 centenary uprising commemorations. IMO , it is going to take a very long time , and, everything must be started from scratch to rebuild the republican movement according to the 1916 Proclamation.

  3. Sean,

    Great article there. Pretty much covered the "total apathy and slavery by consent" which many working class folk have simply nestled in for today in Ireland.

    I pretty much agree with what Sean Bres has to say on his following blog. I liked the sentence that the British have really done a number on us this time.

    The British cannot be the sole contributor or sponsor for this, other major stakeholders include the American government, Irish government and the Stormount executive.

    I enjoyed Clare Daly assertion the other day, especially when she talked about the Irish slobbering and pimping Ireland out and how embarrassing she found it over the G8. I agree totally. It is pretty shameful stuff.

    I also watched media coverage of Arlene Foster who believes she is the reincarnation of "Margaret Thatcher" or maybe some kind of drone with her ideology and arrogance. I have watched her many times on tv and the reality is that the other opposing politician's are afraid to engage with her, maybe because her status of a barrister frightens them in their own fragile mental hierarchy of psychological needs whereby someone's perceived material wealth and career status is enough for people to bow their head.

    She seems to think so, it certainy doesn't stop her going for the throat. Greatest enjoyment came in the form of Mike Nesbitt accusing Jeffery Donaldson of being the least talented football player n the field, who simply cannot offer nothing to the game other than kicking people.

    To see Jefferys face, worth my tv license for the full year. I tipped my hat to Mike Nesbitt there and then, as these arrogant/ignorant bigots need to be solely heckled, embarrassed, on a daily basis, enough just to cover their £5k pay rise.

    Today the message is simple. The SDLP are more radical than Sin Fein, now imagine that statement.

    Especially when you take into consideration of DUP/SF looking to pass planning law that would mean they call the shots on who, what, where and when gets planning permission. The government is becoming as corrupt as Nigeria.

    The SF/DUP are turning this place into a one party police state.

  4. The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we channel this anger and disillusionment towards building an effective mass movement that will shake the foundations of this rotton status-quo, what tools do we use

    How do you channel the anger? Marty posed the same thought a week or so ago when said something along the lines "Why isn't everyone on the streets?" I've often wondered why various socialist groups/unions or other, simply don't contact each via the internet (best tool to use) and simply hold a mass demo through out Europe/World. It may take several months to synchronize it. The protests on the streets of Brazil..Imagine that on every major city in the world at the same time....Gov's banks who be shitting themselves.

  5. Sean, we were once the most politically astute electorate in Europe according to the numbers that flocks to the polling stations. PSF boast about their percentage of the sectarian headcount in the O6C and how they R making massive gains in the EU controlled 26. But what has it all actually amounted to, Gerry Kelly, hanging onto the front of a Paddywagon??

    That 5 minute of video footage encapsulates 40 years of struggle, i.e. the British colonial machine continues on regardless of what the Fenian hords may do or say! So, when we complain about the turnout at protests @ Belfast & Enniskillen etc then we must look within ourselves for the reasons why and it is very simple.. the initial ideals of the struggle were compromised on every level from the volunteers through to our political representatives. All we have left is post mortem examinations of what went wrong and personal recriminations to justify where we are as a collective and exonerate oursleves from blame!

    The sad irrefutable fact is that 'we the people' have only ourselves to blame. The PSF leadership are a reflection of our political aspirations and because of the partitionist nature of the O6C, when it comes to voting time they R the only viable option if we want political representation.

    As for rebuilding a new movement it must start in a realistic and honest appraisal in what we can achieve. The days of creating Utopian bluster (e.g. Peter's puppet, Marty, that the cutting edge of the IRA would achieve Irish unity) are thankfully long over.

    A concrete framework of achievable goals which the average man on the street can affiliate too is what the people deserve after following a pipe dream for 40 years!!

  6. Frankie, there a multitude of reasons why the majority of people are dissuaded from taking to the streets including disillusionment with the system and the accompanying overwhelming feeling of dis-empowerment; they can't be ar*ed and prefer to adopt the the attitude that clicking 'LIKE' on 'Spookbook' is their valuable contribution to upsetting the status quo.

    However, there is a more important factor which is the blight of virtually every political party and protest organisation, the real & present level of state infiltration. It effectively discredited & destroyed the Occupy movement which in it's infancy posed a viable vehicle to oppose rampant global capitalism.

    We need look no further than PC Mark Kennedy's infiltration of the Green movement to get an inkling of the lengths the State will go to, in order to silence the voice of dissent.

  7. Comrades,

    Of course people are interested in their own private interest, they need to put food on the table and clothes on the backs of their kids, its called life.

    Just as a bad workman blames his tools a bad political activists blames workers for not living up to there expectation.

    Remember people were not gagging to take on the British army in the mid 1960s,it was the sheer arrogance and incompetence of the British and their quislings in Ireland which eventually lit a spark which people responded to.

    Turn on the TV, everywhere things are kicking off, from the Arab awakening, to Spain and Greece, Taksim square, to Brazil, tear gas and revolt are in the air.

    Just as in the 1960s, revolt is contagious, you only have to witness recent events to understand the similarities with the international situation in the 1960s.They are not the same but there are real similarities.

    Every where you go, whenever you talk to people they are seething with anger, sick of the lies. I am not just talking about people like us who are political, but ordinary working and middle class folk who are sick of the increasing inequalities, the lies and deceit.

    There is a seething discontent that is barely kept below the surface and as we have seen in the aforementioned places it bursts out, often in the most unlikely locations

    Look at Turkey and Brazil, countries that few would have predicted the lid was about to blow. Yet a smallish grievance blew it right off, and ruling class complacency and lies were revealed in the most brutal way.

    There may not be a revolution today or the next day and that is not a bad thing, we need to walk before we run, people instinctively understand that. People learn through struggle, there limitations and more importantly what they are capable of.

    We saw what these Neo-liberal elites are capable of when they massacred the South African miners.

    They understand perfectly they cannot maintain their wealth, privileges and ultimately their power by democratic means nor by making viable concessions to the masses.

    More importantly, more and more working and middle class people are coming to understand that. To paraphrase Saddam, a mother of all battles is germinating between good and evil, between a shared world in which equality is the benchmark and a world in which elitism and barbarism reigns.

    How this will play out who knows, there is no road map to bright sunny uplands and no template in a class war, those days are thankfully gone.

    Interesting Times, and I do not feel it is an exaggeration to say everything is still to play for. Every spontaneous revolt, no matter where it occurs make it all that harder for the ruling elites to put this particular genie back in the bottle.

    One day its Taksim Sq, the next its Brazilian cities, the next Ed Snowden's courageous whistle blowing, the next its revelation about the Met smearing the Lawrence family and friends, on and on it goes.

    Just a quick point on the G8, sometimes it pays not take the bait, if there had been protests in Enniskillen the authorities would have contained them and the media would have been all over it. As there was none people saw more clearly how isolated these elites are and how they waste money.

    I am not suggesting we should not protest but we need to pick our battles wisely. Gesi park in Istanbul was a good example of that.

    Comradely regards


  8. I'm not aligned and am against violence until the time is right when there is popular support. But with the influx of British police and army the new IRA had a chance to grab world headlines. Why wasn't there a threat made against the army or police? Or even a warning to civilians to stay far away from security forces for their own safety. They wouldn't have had to act on it but it would have scared the shit out of the brits and it would have been world news.

  9. BKeane,

    By making the threat of violence and making world news by the IRA here would simply buy and promote the whole U.S and British strategy of perpetual never ending war and threat of war. That's why the security level was the way it was, to illustrate to the world that the British and the Americans could be the world police force if they wanted, and why?

    This is where these two countries prop up their military and economic systems by selling the threat and fear associated with a maybe war situation.

    "No profit in peace, we have to fight some more" by the ocean colour scene, hits the nail on the head, bearing in mind all of the countries represented at the G8 are largest exporters of military arms across the globe.

    IRAQ, AFGANISTAN, SYRIA, it will be some unsettled small country in Africa or eastern Europe next, anywhere, just to keep the export of military misery viable to support the self defence systems.

    Lords of War film, by Nicolas Cage is a good show, detailing such actions. I recommend it...The message is pretty clear and very very close to the mark on what is happening across the globe.

    I am surprised it got through the CIA funded Hollywood, or maybe it got through a little like Rambo to let the audience develop a element of war conditioning, something similar to the way that young army recruits are conditioned to "shoot em up games on the xbox" in order to detach themselves from the reality of the actual event.

    The media here lead the story most secure G8 ever. Peace in our time nonsense, how little Northern Ireland has grown with the help of our big USA brother steering us into another neo liberal set up, potential tax haven to be exploited and kicked to the kerb when the stormount executive generates to much heat on corruption issues.

    This is all to come, you know, this is all to come. SF/DUP are without a doubt different sides of the same coin.

    By creating a police state these governments were simply selling their product, FEAR, THREAT, SECURITY, we have the solution. It was simply a marketing campaign.

    Even if their was popular support for a new IRA military response you will simply be buying into the system, by acquiring secondary arms from one of the countries I mentioned previously, therefore returning the monies to the main exporters coffers.

    Today,these countries have the military might, infrastructure, that some romantic notion of taking taking pot shots with a armilite would have the same consequences of throwing a disused coke tin at a tank. It would be symbolic, nothing else.

    I for one would not wish anyone to go down this road, I simply don't. So if there are any typos, quickie via tea break....

  10. "Everything must be started from scratch to rebuild the republican movement according to the 1916 Proclamation". I'd go along with that IJM. Some great comments in there which hopefully can be debated on another day, getting ready for the scratcher here after a long day in Donegal toiling in the cursed Irish rain. Only came on to wish our gallant host a happy birthday if it hasn't been mentioned elsewhere by any of the rest. Not every day you turn 60 Mackers so it shouldn't go unacknowledged on the quill!

  11. Sean Bres,

    even with my penchant for disasters I have not yet managed to rush headlong into being 60!

  12. Fenian,

    People will take to the streets when It suit's their agenda. The loyalist's protesting over flags, teachers, nurses etc when government cuts backs affect their wages or budgets, the protests during the hunger strikes in 1980/81 are a few examples. I agree Joe Public is disillusioned with the system. Maybe even they feel indifferent and simply don't care anymore because the powers that be will get their own way one way or another. Very recently George Osborne cut benefits to the people who need them most, told teachers, nurses etc they wont get pay rises and in the next breath he gives the Queen a 5% increase and increased the budget for the SIS...

    A lot of the times we are our own worst enemies. Everyone knows the majority of MP's,TD's etc don't really give a fcuk about the plight of the people but year on year, we vote them back in to public office???? Maybe, if even for one term people voted in fresh blood or vote in Clare Daly's. At least (sofar) she has broken the mould in the saying 'Absolute power corrupts...' And she isn't afraid to say what alot of people are thinking. And it just might give the powers that be food for thought. They'd (spooks) have to find new mouth pieces and yes men.

    I take on board your point about the 99%'s being infiltrated and getting discredited. Hasn't the SIS been doing the same in Ireland for as long back as I can remember and then some..Didn't they even plot to over throw the Wilson Gov..A simple scratching of the surface of the troubles and you'll find the same spooks using every means available to blacken their foes (even assinate then)....

    Just how back into Irish Republicanism do you think people would have to go? Where would the cut off point be? Events leading upto the Easter Rising...or Tone's 1798 rebellion. And how would you bring the unionist/loyalist population on board?

    I understand what to dissent from something means. What really pisses me off with the words 'dissident republicans' is it's been allowed to be hijacked to basically mean PFR-ism. Take erigi, RNU, 32's...RSF. Dissident republican groups who don't either agree or support the use of violence. Yourself a dissident republican who doesn't support the use of violence, most of the posters & readers here are the same, dissident republicans not violent republicans. Maybe we need a new set of phraseology's..

  13. I'm not a dissident republican, I'm just a republican and that's the only label that applies to any of us. Some who come in for criticism on the quill could more accurately be described as former republicans but who am I to say what anyone else is or isn't. But that's how I'd describe the differences between the Sinn Fein movement and the rest of us, though I still believe there are republicans in Sinn Fein - its just that Sinn Fein itself is no longer a republican organisation but has become a constitutional nationalist party. I don't think we need to go back anywhere but to start moving forward. We need to acknowledge where things have ended up and begin to rebuild. My opinion is that the 1916 Societies represent the template to do this and I'd hope that we will not be sidetracked or 'diverted' as someone said to me only last night. This is a full rebuilding job, we're well and truly down and dazed. And it's not going to happen overnight. The primary concern at the minute as far as I'm concerned is to secure the legacy of the republican dead and make sure they're remembered in the right way instead of their memory being abused to support a position they never held. There should be no political speeches over the graves of dead Volunteers but despite many, many families asking that this be the case a certain political party carries on regardless. That to me is wrong. We can go on to build a great social movement if the right circumstances emerge but for me the starting point is educating people as to what we actually fought for in the first place and see how it goes from there. If the conversation develops I'd love to expand on this but I'm not long in and heading out again to a football match. For me the Societies offer a great way to ensure the survival of republicanism if handled in the right way and knowing those who are behind the process I've every confidence and more that this will be the case. We may be down but we're not out and we're up on one knee as we speak. Before long the shoe will be on the other foot whether it takes a year, 5 years, 15 or whatever. We're in it for the long haul, for the like of my children to take it on. Our job is to show them the way

  14. Frankie,

    It's the system that's the problem. Whilst the PIRA/INLA took the system on full on militarily, PSF adopted the approach of changing the system from within.
    However, the more you to try and change it the more you have to accept elements of it and before you realise it you have become completely emancipated in it.

    There in lies the conundrum, the dual pronged approach of the ballet box in one hand and the armalite in the other wasn't working and when the gun was taken out of the equation we R still no closer to holy grail of Irish unity.

    Sean, The societies have many roles to fulfill given the disarray that the other alternatives seem to be going through. Maintaining both the honour of our Fenian dead and the integrity of their contribution to the last phase of the cause is of paramount importance.

    However, Frankie makes an extremely valid point as in far back to do we need to go. I don't think an attempt to modernise the original ethos of Wolfe Tone would be a bad place to start, back to basics.

    Since 1916 the original ideals have been continuously contorted to suit the various hurdles faced by the Republican movement and we are now at the point where Republicanism in all it's various guises is completely farcical.

    The protestant community must be brought on board and if the work of societies is restricted to heartlands than it will be perceived by Protestants as sectarian.

    This quote from Roger Casement's speech from the dock during his trial in London for treason is still sadly as apt today;

    "Ireland has seen her sons - aye, and her daughters too! - suffer from generation to generation, always for the same cause, meeting the same fate, and always at the hands of the same power. Still, always a fresh generation has passed on to withstand the same opposition . . . the Unionist champions chose a path which they felt would lead to the woolsack, while I went down the road I knew must lead to the dock, and the event proved we were both right".

  15. For me everything we need is in the 1916 Proclamation. I'm also a huge supporter of the Eire Nua and Saol Nua documents, I'd suggest everyone should read them. Go and read them again even if you've studied them before and see just how relevant these documents still remain. As you say Fenian it's the system that's wrong and we must seek to overthrow it. For me that means disassociating from the British occupation of Ireland and returning to the republican position as perhaps best exemplified by the recently deceased Ruairi O'Bradaigh. The day he was sidelined by what turned out to be the most devious, treacherous leadership in all of republican history is the day we need to return to if we're to return to anywhere. There's no need to go all the way back to 1798, there was nothing wrong with our movement or what it stood for 'til Adams and his cabal assumed total control and deviated from the republican constitution. In actual fact they tore it asunder. What emerged after that has become both a strategic and an ideological aberration with devastating consequences for our movement. Near destroyed it. But it can never be destroyed because to quote a famous line from 'Shadow of a Gunman' (I think that was its source though could be wrong) "you cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea... You cannot put it against a barrack wall and riddle it with lead... You cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell your slaves could ever build". Their slaves have helped build one hell of a prison cell to contain that very struggle that catapulted them to prominence, but like everything in our history that idea remains alive. We will guard it and nurture it 'til it becomes once more a roaring flame that screams in tyrants eyes as Bobby Sands once told us. Because the struggle goes on.

    "It lies in the hearts of heroes dead,
    It screams in tyrants' eyes,
    It has reached the peak of mountains high,
    It comes searing 'cross the skies.

    It lights the dark of this prison cell,
    It thunders forth its might,
    It is 'the undauntable thought', my friend,
    That thought that says 'I'm right!"

  16. I think a few posters on this thread has misinterpreted my article. I'm not blaming apathy or the class but actually posing the question about the left and republican movement, and this self pervasive activist mentality.

    For what it's worth, the g8 is a bit of a distraction because the real organising needs to be done in our communities and workplaces. I see this also as a labourer who works on building sites.

  17. but actually posing the question about the left and republican movement

    Sean, that's half the problem. Which republican movemement? My take is there are two RM's, one pro GFA and the other anti GFA.

  18. Sean,

    As far as the Occupied 6, 'Brits Out' took precedence over formulating a leftist political agenda within Republicanism.i.e. PSF. This once dogged stance then became Stormont Rule and with ti the administration of a Tory agenda!

    We need another Costello if he have any hope of resurrecting genuine leftist Republicanism in this country. Not just the á la carte variety with poor direction that is on offer today!

  19. P.S. Frankie,

    you forgot to mention the large porportion of the RM who no longer care either way about the GFA. total and utter sell Out!

  20. I wouldn't describe those who're leading this Society project as a la carte in any way, shape or form - I can certainly say that's far from the case here in Tyrone where this all started. You're talking about what was the backbone of the republican movement, the best of people. I don't need a Costello when I can point to the names of those who're onboard with the 1916 Societies though I won't do so on here needless to say. Brits Out takes precedence for a reason, because until a British withdrawal is achieved then any form of leftist politics will be distorted by the national issue, at least that's how I see it. So we should concentrate on building our community and building our movement. We've discussed this before, the appetite isn't there at the minute for struggle so we need to go back to the drawing board

  21. Sean Bres,
    Said "Brits Out takes precedence for a reason, because until a British withdrawal is achieved then any form of leftist politics will be distorted by the national issue, at least that's how I see it".

    Sean is it the "Brits out" you want out or the british system of governance out, you know the same system of governance in the Irish free state. Surely you cannot have one without the other..

    That is my question to you?

  22. Sean,

    I wasn't inferring that the Societies were á la carte, it was the various forms of leftist Republicanism that exists.

    However, I don't think any strategy of 'Brits Out and then we will sort out out the politics after' will cut it with people anymore.

    PSF are a prime example of adopting this strategy for 40 years and look at them now, opportunistic politicians whose political direction is dictated by Cameron in the O6C and by whatever way the wind blows in the South until they get in to some form of power sharing, then it will be Brussells.

    The proverbial gun is held to people's head's in the O6C with a fear of a return to the 'dark days'. The 'them' & 'us' mentality set the agenda and is fast becoming just 'them', as far as taking any form of political stance goes.

    PSF & DUP may as well become one since they are mere Whitehall's puppets!!

  23. James I've said earlier what I think should become of this country, it is contained in the Eire Nua and Saol Nua documents. I'm for the total overthrow of the entire system but removing partition is central to achieving this. The British system controls all of Ireland through partition - divide and conquer. Partition is maintained through the encouragement of sectarianism internal to the six-counties - divide and conquer. We need reunification and then on to full economic and political independence and sovereignty. Tell me another way that can realistically overcome these artificially imposed divisions? It was and remains Brits Out no matter how dogmatic or politically incorrect that may sound.

    Fenian has often used a quote in dialogue between himself and I from Connolly about removing one flag then replacing it with another - nothing necessarily changes, you are still ruled as before. It's the system that needs removed root and branch. But how do we achieve this? In my opinion we are not disposed to do so at present and thus have to build a movement capable of achieving our aims. I'm on record on this thread as saying the way to do this is to take a step back and admit to exactly where we stand first of all - it's not in any kind of position to write home about and republicanism is in a seriously weakened state with the struggle as far back as the days after the end of the Border Campaign.

    It's time to rebuild, the road ahead is a long one with any notion of an impending victory for the foolhardy. We're talking a generation at the least. So let's not rush into anything only to be misled once again, let's take our time and do the job right. The first point on the clar should be to secure the legacy of the armed struggle and those who fought and died as a result of it. That is the starting point before we get ahead of ourselves and something the Societies in conjunction with the republican families of Tyrone and further afield have been very successful in doing. Not to promote our own ends but because it's the correct thing to do. Slowly but surely is the way, the people aren't ready for anything else at this moment in time anyway. All the theory in the world will not account for this reality and so we must look to ourselves and start from there. Hope you appreciate what I'm saying and don't take it as be trying to argue with you

  24. James ,

    Exactly, the systems of governance in 2013 on the 32 was introduced by the British and has been shaped in it's likeness since plantation times.

    In Sept. 2012 the percentage of the work force in the public sector across the UK was 19.4%. The O6C had the highest percentage of all the regions with 27.7% of those employed (Catholics & Protestants). And that is not counting those employed in affiliated businesses! Add to this the unemployment rate of 7.8% and those receiving state pensions and you have the majority of the population in the 06C are directly dependent upon the crown! And that is the problem when it comes to getting people on the streets to protest against the injustice of Martin Corey, the prisoners in MagHaberry or the plundering of our natural resources through fracking, the people R too indebted to the crown when it comes to putting food on the table! As for the 26 they too are just as badly indebted to Britain and Europe!

    But the colonial influence just doesn't stop with governance, society North & South is modeled upon mother England.

    In Connolly's time the working classes could not avail of a social welfare system. They literally had to work or starve. In strong contrast when we look at the anti G8 protests in Belfast, Enniskillen, those that attended were mainly drawn from the Unions. The traditional working classes are caught in the poverty trap, so even if there were enough jobs going around would they even take them???

    In 2013 the middle classes R in fact the working classes by classical definition not just on the Island(S) of Ireland but globally.

    The protests against austerity in Greece and the recent protests in Brazil against their government's economic mismanagement are predominantly led by those disaffection within the middle classes.

    Connolly said; "We are out for Ireland for the Irish. But who are the Irish? Not the rack-renting, slum owning landlord; not the sweating, profit-grinding capitalist; not the sleek and oily lawyer; not the prostitute pressman - the hired liars of the enemy . . . but the Irish working class . . . The cause of labour is the cause of Ireland. The cause of Ireland is the cause of labour. They cannot be dissevered . . . " In 2013, the term 'working classes' needs to be re-defined!!

  25. For the benefit of those reading this blog of an IRSP persuasion I singled out Seamus Costello because he was the ONLY leader of a political party to be murdered during the Troubles!

    Many more high profile IRSP/INLA members were murdered in the years to follow. In 1980 two of their founding leadersip, Ronnie Bunting & Noel Ltyyle were murdered in the same attack and was Miriam Daly later on in the same years.'Ta' Power along with INLA Chief of Staff John O'Reilly were murdered in 1987.

    Whilst, the media dwells on their militant acts many of their members that were murdered through internal Republican feuding and/or the British state were ALSO radical Republican socialist thinkers! Hence the severity of how they were ultimately 'dealt' with!

    Important historical Republican documents have been mentioned on this thread including Eire Nua and Saol Nua. However, I would also like to add to this two documents in particular; One drafted by Costello for the "Broad Front" talks in 1977, (link: http://irsm.org/history/costello/seamus06.html) and the 'Ta' Power document http://www.irsm.org/history/tapowerdoc.html.

    The reason I have singled these documents out is because they BOTH contain 7 political demands (set out @ the launch of the IRSP in 1974) that would be be the backbone of an Irish anti-imperialist front.
    1. That Britain must renounce all claims to sovereignty over any part of Ireland or its coastal waters.

    2. That Britain must immediately disband and disarm the UDR, RUC, and RUC Reserve and withdraw all troops from Ireland.

    3.That the British and 26 County governments must immediately release all political prisoners and grant a general amnesty for all offenses arising from the current conflict.

    4.That Britain must agree to compensate all who have suffered as a result of imperialist violence and exploitation in Ireland.

    5.Recognizing that no country can be free and independent while it permits imperialist domination of its economic life, the Irish anti-imperialist Front will oppose all forms of imperialist control over our wealth and resources.

    6. That the Irish anti-imperialist Front rejects a federal solution and the continued existence of two separate states in the 6 and 26 counties as a denial of the right of the Irish people to sovereignty and recognizes the only alternative as being the creation of a 32 County Democratic Republic with a secular constitution.

    7. That the Irish anti-imperialist Front demands the convening of an all Ireland Constitutional Conference representative of all shades of political opinion in Ireland for the purpose of discussing a democratic and secular Constitution which would become effective immediately following a total British military and political withdrawal from Ireland.

    Rather than use this thread to vainly promote the IRSP, I am simply pointing out that if we are to find a coherent way forward for Republicanism, as with understanding the '81 Hunger strikes, any meaningful discussion MUST be all include all Republican contributions that were made during the last phase of the Struggle..

    As the old adage goes,

    There can be no show without Punch!

    "Seamus was the greatest follower of my fathers teachings in this generation and I hope that his example shall be followed and that his vision for Ireland will be realised in this generation" -- Nora Connolly O'Brien.

  26. Sean

    I enjoyed reading your response. Fair enough, I am not the man for petty squabbling or wishing any arguments with anyone on the blog. Everyone has a voice and opinion established through their own life experiences, perceptions and personality. I have enjoyed reading your posts, views and opinions. Just because I differ doesn't mean I will not listen.

    As your end result opinion and view on "brits out" I am sure is shared with many the length and breath of the country no matter whatever their political stance to the left or right.

    I am of the view that the Brits alone are not the sole participants or hold total accountability or responsibility
    in for were we are at 2013. The term the "enemy within" always springs to mind.

    However, simply pushing for a "brits out" strategy in my opinion is severely limited no matter how focused and direct. There has to be social and economic focus as well, never mind this labour must wait nonsense, they are still waiting for it in the Irish republic.

    Stormount is stripping the social and economic fabric to the bone. Without going into the whole republican or socialist rhetoric, which at times can be an imprisonment of ideas in itself, ordinary working people need to basically realise things are about to get a whole lot worse.

    I heard the other day that chancellor osbourne stated that austerity would last for another fifteen years. I automatically realised austerity is here for good, pushed through by the stormount executive all in the name of peace, prosperity and process.

    They certainly got the process of austerity right, down to the t. I have old school SF friends that are simply embarrassed by the way the leadership are behaving to the extent, that every week no matter how they put on a brave face and talk about dividing unionism could bring another element of shame.

    When I think Brits out, I automatically think "the long war strategy", the now new spin off "All Ireland Project" and being led by the nose by a leadership, that today is systematically replacing their own grass roots people, the people that gave everything war and peace, no matter if it was right or wrong to be simply replaced with wannabe aspiring middle class graduates.

    I am not in any way saying the 1916societies are about this, or you sean, but the termininology of "brits out" needs in my opinion to be revised. For me, it equates to the provisional movement 1970-80's, if that is what you want to achieve all the best of luck, go for it.


    I get were you are coming from. Costello, I am still a little confused about. I have heard good and bad to be honest. Definitely someone, given the opportunity would invite to my greatest dinner party of guest, dead or alive list. Maybe he was far to soon.

    I can identify more with Fenian

  27. Sean Matthews,
    In light of Sammy Wilson's futile attempts to justify £80 million & counting expenditure last night on the G8 maybe a good title for this article should Permanent Police State!

    Sammy tried to use global media exposure as a justification this needless expense, BUT as finance minister he should know that the financial benefits from media advertising are extremely difficult to quantify where as monies spent on health, education etc can show tangible returns.

    Incidentally, he also mentioned how the PSNI have benefited from the media circus in that they now have 'drone' technology to fight crime, or was also including 'dissident' Republicans in that bracket??