Archive for the ‘history’ category

That US hate-preacher is not the first person ever banned from Ireland – others have been too.

May 16, 2019

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The story about Steven L. Anderson, the exterminationist, homophobic, antisemitic and Islamophobic US preacher being banned from Ireland has gained a lot traction over the past couple of days. Most reports say he is “first-ever person to be banned from Ireland“, or some variation thereof.

But this isn’t strictly true. While he is seemingly the first visiting speaker to have been banned under the 1999 Immigration Act, there have been others before him – and they were mostly all leftwing activists.

Ernst Tollman

9004-004-7A75141EThe first public speaker that I’m aware of being denied entry to the independent south of Ireland (or, the ‘Irish Free State’, as it was called between 1922 and 1937) was German Jewish dramatist Ernst Toller. Aside from being a well known playwright, Toller was revolutionary leftist and anti-fascist, who had briefly served as the President of the heroic and short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919.

In 1935, when he was invited to speak in Dublin by the Irish Labour League Against Fascism, he was a refugee in his second year of exile from Nazi Germany. He was refused entry by the De Valera government, at the behest of the Nazi Embassy in Dublin:

“Toller’s activities were regularly monitored by the German Embassy, being no doubt a source of some embarrassment; in January 1935 he began a series of lectures which finally provoked the Embassy into direct intervention. On January 10 a diplomat called zu Putlitz requested a meeting at the Foreign Office at which, according to the official memorandum, he raised the ‘question of German refugees – he was thinking particularly of Ernst Toller – who travelled the country giving speeches against the German government’. He asked that the government should insist that refugees should refrain from anti- German activities during their stay in Britain, and that if they failed to do so, they should be deported. The Foreign Office politely refused, but other efforts to silence Toller were more successful. In the same month, he was invited to address a rally of the Irish Labour League against Fascism on ‘National Socialist Germany’, but was refused permission to enter Ireland following representations by the German Embassy in Dublin.” (‘The British Connection: Aspects of The Biography of Ernst Toller‘, Richard Dove, German Life and Letters 40, 4 July 1987)

 

However, it seems it was actually a bit less clear cut than that, as Joachim Fischer expands on this in a an essay about Toller in the edited book German Writers and Politics 1918–39. He notes that Toller was invited to come to Ireland to speak at the event by Dorothy Woodman of the London-based Victims Relief Committee. Toller met with John Dulanty, the Irish High Commissioner in London to discuss the visit, and according to the minutes of tha meeting, he was ‘well advised’ not to go as there would be talk of ‘communism’ at the meeting:

“While the Irish Labour League Against Fascism saw the meeting as part of its campaign to free the German Communist leader Ernst Thalmann, Toller made it clear that he intended to speak also about the conditions in which priests and pastors found themselves in Germany … We can assume that this choice of topic was determined to some extent by the expected Irish audience. It seems however that Toller was not fully informed about the meeting’s organisers, who he thought were associated with the Labour Party. When the High Commissioner explained to him that avowed Communists were among the organisers of the meeting (which was true) and that a discussion about Communism would be almost unavoidable, Toller appeared very hesitant to go. Toller must have been aware that too close an association with the Communists would jeopardise his campaign [to have imprisoned German socialist and pacifist Carl von Ossietzky awarded the Nobel Peace Prize] during which he also approached people from the upper classes and the church hierarchy.

“In the minutes Toller appears very cautious indeed. ‘He was anxious not to do anything contrary to the wishes of the authorities here or in Dublin’, ‘he was anxious to avoid any press publicity’, we read there. Both sides try very hard to leave the final decision (and the responsibility for it) to the other. The High Commissioner also takes steps to protect himself: ‘The High Commissioner made it clear that there was no suggestion of a prohibition or a ban but as Mr. Toller himself was keen on avoiding any public discussion on Communism he would be well advised not to give the proposed lecture. Mr. Toller agreed’, the minutes state. They finally agree on a press statement which says no more than that Toller ‘is advised by a responsible quarter’ not to go to Dublin.” (‘Ernst Toller and Ireland’, Joachim Fischer, German Writers and Politics 1918–39, 1992).

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Yet as Fischer notes, “In Dublin, however, it looked very much like a ban”, as “the German Legation in Dublin had made representations to the Irish government”, and that “informed circles” knew that Toller’s potential appearance “threatened to endanger the success of ongoing trade talks between the Free State and the Reich”.

In any case the meeting went ahead without Toller, with speakers that included ‘avowed communists’ Peadar O’Donnell, Roddy Connolly (son of James), and Séan Murray. It seems the government were unsure whether or not Toller would take their “advisement” on board as “police were present at the Hall in significant numbers” and “were there to prevent Toller from speaking and even deportation was mentioned”.

Tragically, fascism would continue to haunt Toller throughout the rest of his relatively short life. After learning his brother and sister had been sent to concentration camps, suffering depression and financial woes, and seemingly reeling from the ultimate defeat of the Spanish Republic by Franco’s fascists the previous month, on 22nd May 1939, aged only 45, he hanged himself in a New York hotel room. As Jean-Michel Palmier notes in his book Weimar in Exile:

A moral, political and psychological crisis for many emigres, the Spanish defeat appeared as a collapse of their last hope of victory over Hitler. It was not by mere chance that before his suicide, Ernst Toller laid out on his desk in the Mayflower Hotel in New York photos of Spanish children who had been killed by fascist bombs.”  (Weimar in Exile: The Antifascist Emigration in Europe and America, Jean-Michel Palmier, 2006)

Ralph Schoenmann

schoenmanrThe first public speaker I’m aware of being refused entry to the ‘Republic of Ireland’ was Trostkyist anti-war activist and associate of Bertrand Russell, and wearer of one of the worst beards in human history, Ralph Schoenman. Schoenman, who these days is a leftist conspiracy theorist, was detained at Dublin airport, moved to Mountjoy Prison, and promptly deported to Belgium in May 1968, whereupon he went to France and ended up in the midst of the Paris uprising.

There is a wonderfully colourful Senead debate between Senator Owen Sheehy-Skeffington – who in a twist of history had aslo been involved in the Toller affair as a member of the aforementioned Irish Labour League Against Fascism – and Fianna Fáil Minister of Justice Michael Moran.

Amid accusations that Schoemean was seen “at the demonstration in Paris with the black flag of anarchy”, was an “international Communist agitator” and “a potential tourist” (yes, a tourist, the horror!) comes this wonderful soliloquy from the Minister:

“I exercised my judgment in stopping this potential tourist landing on our shores for my own good reasons. I do not have to give the reasons why that was done. Let me say that I was not alone in my view that this gentleman would not add anything to the future of our country and I could give you a litany here of very many others who took a similar view to mine about this same gentleman. He was pitched out of Holland; he was pitched out of France; he was pitched out of Bolivia; he was pitched out of Denmark; he was pitched out of Sweden; he was pitched out of West Germany; he was pitched out of Finland; he was pitched out of Austria; and he was pitched out of other countries. In fact, his own Government, I am sure, would love to have some place to stick this particular agitator, but under American law a citizen has a right to a passport and he is still an American citizen. That is why he was roaming around the world  […]

“This international Communist agitator has been pitched out of all the countries I have read out in this House. In addition to that, he prostituted the procedures in our Irish courts by using them with his friends when asked by his friends to this country for his own particular purpose. He had his way, allegedly undertaking to the courts to go back to Rome from where he came to this country, and he disappeared from the plane at Brussels. We have the picture Senator Ó Maoláin internat8ionalistshas referred to appearing at the barricades at Paris the following day. This is the gentleman the Senator and his friends are so concerned about. […] there is no responsible Minister for Justice who would let a type like this into this country for his own fell purposes. There may be some misguided people in this country who would take the view of the Senator in this motion but the vast majority of the Irish people have no hesitation in saying that they do not want this type of international tourist agitator in this country […] if there are some of his type who want to come here as aliens and I know they are coming I will ensure that they will lay their agitators’ eggs elsewhere and I make no apology to the Senator or his friends in this regard.” (‘Adjournment Debate – Visit of Ralph Schoenman‘, Seanad Éireann, 29 May 1968).

Incidentally, during the debate Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Mullins claims
that he was coming to Ireland to “support the Chinese Communists in Trinity“. I think the TCD Internationalists would have given the Trotskyist Schoenman short shrift. In fact, they’d probably have denounced him even more vociferously than the Irish government did!

James Gralton

Of course, before either of these two, the was the case of Leitrim man James Gralton – now famous as the subject of the Ken Loach/Paul Laverty film Jimmy’s Hall. Gralton was a communist activist, who:

“joined the Revolutionary Workers’ Group (forerunner of the Communist Party of Ireland) and reopened the Pearse-Connolly Hall [in Leitrim], which became the venue for meetings as well as dances; but a combined anti-communist and puritanical witch hunt, in which the parish priest called for the closing of the hall as a ‘den of iniquity,’ resulted in shots being fired into the hall and an unsuccessful attempt at blowing it up (allegedly by local members of the IRA), and on Christmas Eve, 1932, it was again burnt to the ground.” (‘Some famous Irish communists – Jim Gralton (1886-1945)‘, Communist Party of Ireland)

graltonjGralton was such a ‘danger’ to the state that in February 1933, under pressure from the Catholic Church, the De Valera government of the Irish Free State issued a deportation order for him as an “undesirable alien” – despite being born in Leitrim, Gralton held dual Irish and US citizenship. Despite refusing to abide by the order and going underground, he was eventually caught and deported to the US in August of that year, having the dubious honour of being the only Irishman ever deported and exiled from Ireland by an Irish government.

He continued his leftwing activism in the US up until his death in 1945. Only in 2016 was an official state apology delivered, with President Michael D. Higgins stating that:

“Today, I come to acknowledge a too long hidden or suppressed story – the wrongful intimidation and ultimate deportation by an abuse of the law, of Jimmy Gralton, to whose memory, and whose family, an apology is due […] We can recall him with sadness, but also with righteous anger, because he was, for authoritarian political purposes, mixed with clerical pressure, illegally deported from his own country for his political beliefs. What happened was an affront to basic civil rights and freedoms, including freedom of speech; freedom to organise and the freedom to hold meetings.” (‘Speech at the unveiling of a monument to Jimmy Gralton‘, President Michael D. Higgins, 3 September 2016)

Leila Khaled

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More recently, the was the 2013 case of the refusal to grant an entry visa to Palestinian revolutionary and exile Leila Khaled to speak at a conference organised by the socialist republican political party éirígí. Its worth noting that Khlaed was previously granted a visa to enter Ireland to speak at a series of meetings in 2005. According to a press release from the party:

“Leila Khaled is a senior member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and an iconic figure in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. Failure by the Dublin government to grant her an entry visa in time has prevented her travelling to Ireland for the éirígí conference and several other events. Ms Khaled had submitted her visa application several weeks ago at the same time as Mr Al-Khatib who works closely with Ms Khaled in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

“The general secretary of éirígí, Breandán Mac Cionnaith, said, “Of course, we are extremely disappointed at the level of prevarication shown by the Dublin government over the issue of Ms Khaled’s visa. Having been in very regular contact with Ms Khaled over the past number of months, it is quite clear that she is particularly disappointed and frustrated at not being given clearance to travel. She again expressed those sentiments to me no later than this morning (Friday).’

“It appears that the Dublin government is pandering to the wishes of the US, British and Israeli governments in relation to her visa application. That is clearly evidenced by the fact that, although both were to travel together and both visa applications were submitted at the same time, Mr Al-Khatib’s visa was granted without hesitation.

These are likely only some of the cases of people refused entry or banned from the country – and they do not take into consideration the thousands of people who are not public speakers, activists or agitators (whether from the left or the right) who are refused entry to Ireland due to our racist immigration laws. Between 2016 and 2017 some 8,000 people were denied entry to the state.

As a final note, I would like to note that these people stand in start contrast to some of the vile characters have been allowed entry to Ireland down the years – whether to speak or to reside. I’m talking about fascist swine like mass murderer Andrija Artukovic of the Ustaše, Waffen SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny, Breton Nazi-collaborator and local Waffen SS commander Celestine Laine, Oswald Mosely of the British Union of Fascists, and Nazi Holocaust denier David Irving.

UPDATE 17 MAY 2019: Since publishing this I have come across the story of a further banned individual, one Pieter Menten, a millionaire Dutch Nazi war criminal. A former Officer in the SS in Poland, Menten was responsible for the deaths of many Jews (and being an art collector, allegedly the theft of many artworks). Although tried and convicted of being an SS translator in post war Netherlands, the other allegations were not proven. In 1964 he moved to Ireland and bought Comeragh House in Co. Waterford, where he lived until 1976 when he was arrested by Dutch court, re-tried and brought to some semblance of justice.

When he was released from prison in 1985, he had planned to return to Ireland to live out his days. However, the Irish government of Garret Fitzgerald had designated him “an undesirable alien and banned him from entering Ireland”. Ir seems likely than rather than any moral objection, the overriding concern was that any “decision to admit Menten may provoke a certain amount of international controversy” in the words of a secret document from the department of the Taoiseach. There was also the worry that either Poland or the Soviet Union could attempt to extradite Menten, thus embroiling ‘neutral’ Ireland in the Cold War, and likely annoying the US Cold Warriors. In the end, Menten died two years later in Holland.

 

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Listen: Irish Radical Women’s History – Two Lectures from the Street Stories Festival

December 12, 2017

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Below is the audio of two public lectures from the Street Stories Festival 2017 organised by the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People’s History Project. The meetings took place in the Cobblestone on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

The theme this year was ‘They Didn’t Go Away: Irish Women after the 1916 Rising’, and a publication (pictured above) was produced – and is available for purchase in the Cobblestone Pub or via the Project’s Facebook page (linked above). Unfortunately due to technical difficulties, I was only able to capture these two talks.

The lectures are as follows:

Gerard Shannon – Muriel MacDonagh – The Tragic Death of a 1916 Widow
LISTEN: Download the MP3 here (hosted by Archive.org)

Mary McAuliffe – The Colmcille Branch of Cumann na mBan and the Revolutionary Stoneybatter Women, 1914-1924
LISTEN: Download the MP3 here (hosted by Archive.org)

The Derry Civil Rights Song – 7″ Single from 1968

January 11, 2015

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Once upon a time this blog was about vinyl records. That was a long time ago, but occasionally I still post the odd… oddity. I came across this the other day while digging in the crates. A topical song by a group called The Moonlighters (presumably a reference to Captain Moonlight, rather than working two jobs) concerning an incident in the north of Ireland on 5th October 1968 which saw a violent attack by British state police on a civil rights march in Derry. If you’re interested in the historical background to the song, check out the CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) page here.

Regarding the song itself, I can’t find much – ‘The Moonlighters’ throws up only one reference on Discogs.com, and that’s to this same release. Billboard magaizne from 7th December 1968 says the following “Gerry Devin’s Monaghan-based Shamrock label released “The Derry Civil Rights Song,” promoted [sic] by the incidents of Oct. 5 when marchers and police clashed on the streets of Derry. It is by a folk group, the Moonlighters. . .”

monnlite1It would appear they were an ad hoc folk group formed for the specific purpose of releasing this single, which was released at some stage in November 1968, within in two months of the attack on the marchers. According to Discogs.com, Shamrock Records only released four other singles in its lifespan, though the IrishRock.org says of it that it was “active from the 60s onwards. Many colour vinyl releases. Similar to Glenside Records in content.” Of Glenside Records, IrishRock.org says it produced “a high incidence of very old fashioned renditions of folk ballads, with a high kitsch and sentimentality factor, and is probably of little interest to most collectors.”

The B-Side is a jaunty selection of Irish reels (instrumental songs for folk dancing to); The Sally Gardens, The Bag O’ Spuds and The Copperplate.

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I couldn’t find an upload (either video or audio) anywhere, so I’ve stuck it up on YouTube and TinyUpload (in MP3 format).  So here’s the song and its B-side. The lyrics (as best as I can make out) are posted below.


Download MP3


Download MP3

The Derry Civil Rights Song
(1968, Written by J. Doherty – Performed by The Moonlighters)

It was the fifth day of October and the sun was beaming down
And the people had assembled to march in Derry town
The police were there in hundreds and on mercy they did frown
As they freely used their batons that day in Derry town.

They’d assembled at the station as all free people might
And they peacefully marched up Duke Street as was their civil right
The police had formed a barricade and they told them turn around
Then they batoned men and women on the streets of Derry town

Oh come on ye Ulster policemen for its you that are to blame
Oh come on ye Ulster policemen you should hang your heads in shame
The shame that will go with you though you told the wide world round
How you freely used your batons on teh streets of Derry town.

Take heart you Derry people all the world knows of your plight
And that government in Stormont that denies you civil rights
The day is fast approaching when these men they must stand down
On that day we’ll march triumphant through the streets of Derry town

Audio: Vijay Prashad on People’s Struggles in the Global South

June 1, 2014

Vijay Prashad gave a a talk on ‘People’s Struggles in the Global South’ in the Nasawiya Café in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday 14th May 2014.

Download the MP3 here (audio courtesy of Angela G, and hosted by Archive.org)

Vijayprashad

The struggles of the peoples of the Global South did not end with independence and emancipation from colonialism and occupation. The post-colonial era has witnessed a continuous and growing refusal from the decolonized world to the imposed global economic and political systems. The movements in the Global South attempted to create an alternative economic project reflecting people’s aspiration. The recent global financial crisis that exploded in 2008, rejuvenated the peoples’ movements in the different parts in the Global South, and culminated into the Arab uprisings and other social movements challenging the neo-liberal order and forging the basis of what could be alternative peoples’ projects based on participatory democracies and economies. This has manifesting itself in increased trade labour action as well as actions on the consumption level refusing price hikes of basic needs.

This talk will further examine these growing movements, their context, significance and development. It will also have a special focus on the Lebanese context, seeing it through the lens of the Global South, and trying to answer how the ongoing movements in Lebanon can be placed and interlinked with peoples’ actions and struggles in the Global South

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Dr. Vijay Prashad, is an Indian historian, journalist commentator, and Marxist. In his most recent book The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, Prashad writes an alternative history of the contemporary world from the standpoint of the Global South. Prashad is currently a visiting faculty member at American University of Beirut’s CASAR and is the Edward Said Chair Professor of International Studies at Trinity College (Hartford, CT., USA). He is the author of 16 books, writes for Jadaliyya, Frontline, CounterPunch online magazine, and The Hindu. He is also an advisory board member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Why is Ynet News using an image from just before the Breivik massacre to illustrate an anti-EU piece?

July 10, 2012

Well now, this is kind of interesting. The rightwing Israeli English-language news service Ynet News has just published a rant against the EU, headlined ‘Europe united against Israel‘. Reading it, one wishes that some of what it said was true in relation to the EU’s relationship with Israel. Alas, it’s the stuff of (wilful?) paranoid fantasy on behalf of the author and not really worth commenting on. Israel has a major friend and facilitator in the EU, second only to the US.

This aspect does need to be picked up on however. The author, Eldad Beck, says that “at a time where the Middle East is burning because of endless violations of human rights, condemnations are constantly being issued against Israel”. What he fails to mention is that the EU is currently supporting sanctions against both Iran and Syria, but refuses to even look at imposing any kind of sanctions against Israel for consistent violations of international law. Beck, wilfully, I would suggest, ignores the EU’s actual record in an effort to maintain the Zionist hyperbole regarding Europe’s scandalous relationships with Israel.

But what is most interesting about this piece is that accompanying it is a photograph of members of the Norwegian Labor Youth holding a banner saying ‘Boikott Israel’. The picture comes from just 48 hours before neo-fascist, racist and Islamophobic supporter of Israel Anders Behring Breivik massacred 69 people on the island of Utøya on July 22nd 2011 in a terrorist attack. Utøya is where this picture was taken, during a visit by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere (on the left) to the Labor Youth summer camp taking place there.

Both men pictured in the image foreground – Minister Stoere, and Eskil Pedersen (the Labor Youth leader), along with former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland – were on a kill-list that Breivik had drawn up. According to the Daily Telegraph, Breivik’s “initial plan was to take one of [these] leading Labor Party officials hostage at Utoya and read a death sentence before carrying out an execution”. Stoere and Brundtland had already left the island by the time Breivik arrived in his fake police uniform to carry out his politically motivated murder spree.

Breivik’s rationale for the attack was that the Labor Party in Norway, which was the ruling party at the time of the attack, were “traitors” to white Europeans. Thus, not only the political leadership of the party, but the entire island-full of young social democrats became legitimate targets in his “war on Islam”. Prior to the island attack, Breivik set off a bomb near government buildings in Oslo that killed 8 people and injured hundreds.

I’m not suggesting that Ynet’s editors believe that this is an appropriate way to deal with European government or citizens that are critical of Israel, but one has to ask, given both the context of the article and the similarities in some of the logic between the author Eldad Beck and Breivik, how the editors could think it was in good taste to include a picture from just before the Breivik massacre with this article. It is hard to believe it’s merely a simple mistake, as it was Ynet that originally reported the story about the pro-Palestine Labour Youth members being on the island, using the very same picture. It really is, simply, incredible.

With regard to the similarities in logic mentioned above, a couple of issues are worth noting. Firstly, Beck claims – preposterously – that the EU is “working with great determination to decide for Israel how it should behave”, and “that the Europeans have been taken captive by the Arab magic formula, whereby the conflict with Israel is at the heart of the region’s problems and only its resolution – that is, making Israel capitulate to Arab demands – will bring peace and stability”.

In his manifesto, entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik repeatedly makes a similar point, saying for example that “Western European governments, giving in to pressure from Arab terrorists and oil-producing states, abandoned their traditional pro-Israeli position and gradually aligned themselves with the Arab-Islamic world”.

A second point made by Beck, where he accuses “EU emissaries – mostly with the help of Israeli collaborators who enjoy generous funding – [of monitoring] anything that could be perceived to undermine the rights of Palestinians or Israel’s Arab citizens”. Aside from the implicit suggestion that violations of Palestinians’ rights should not be monitored, the use of the term “Israeli collaborators” provides an insight into how Beck views Jewish people. The only good Jew is a Zionist Jew who says “I stand with Israel, right or wrong – not that Israel ever does anything wrong”.

Breivik’s manifesto says, “Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists”. Breivik views Jewish people in almost exactly the same manner as Beck.

Incidentally, Breivik’s manifesto contains repeated favourable mentions of Israel, whom he views as a natural ally in the fight against ‘Islamic Jihadism’ and ‘Euarabia’ (a rightwing buzzword indicating paranoia about the mere presence of Muslims in so-called ‘Judeo-Christian’ Europe). For example, he encourages his neo-fascist co-thinkers to “end the stupid support for the Palestinians that the Eurabians have encouraged, and start supporting our cultural cousin, Israel”. It is his view that “if Israel loses in the Middle East, Europe will succumb to Islam next”, that ” Israelis defend themselves so that their daughters do not have to suffer rape at the hands of Muslim Jihadists”, and as with other apologists for Israeli apartheid, he believe there is ‘no such thing as Palestinians, referring to “Israeli attacks on the Syrians [called] Palestinians by the mass media”.  In one section he even advises buying paramilitary equipment from Israel, as in some cases, it’s easier than buying it in Europe.

Here are some other choice quotes from Breivik, showing us his view of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims. Leftists and Israel:

“[A]ll Western journalists support the EU’s Eurabia project, their enemy (based on coverage) is the Israeli and also often the Russian government. Western European journalists, editors and publishers are guilty of facilitating Muslim crime (Jihad) by underreporting it.”

“I believe Europe should strive for: A cultural conservative approach where monoculturalism, moral, the nuclear family, a free market, support for Israel and our Christian cousins of the east, law and order and Christendom itself must be central aspects (unlike now). Islam must be re-classified as a political ideology and the Quran and the Hadith banned as the genocidal political tools they are.”

“Christians need to understand that there can be no peace or understanding with the Islamic world. They want to subdue us, pure and simple. Church leaders of all denominations, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, must stop stabbing Israel in the back”

“Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists. Conservative Jews were loyal to Europe and should have been rewarded. Instead, [Hitler] just targeted them all… So, are the current Jews in Europe and US disloyal? The multiculturalist (nation-wrecking) Jews ARE while the conservative Jews ARE NOT. Aprox. 75% of European/US Jews support multiculturalism while aprox. 50% of Israeli Jews does the same. This shows very clearly that we must embrace the remaining loyal Jews as brothers rather than repeating the mistake of the NSDAP [German Nazi Party].”

Audio: 21st Century Republicanism (McKearney, Leeson, Ó Broin & Redmond)

April 16, 2012

L-R: Tommy McKearney, Eoin Ó Broin, Mary Cullen, Brian Leeson & Tom Redmond

On Saturday 14th April 2012, a very interesting meeting took place upstairs in Connolly Books, Dublin. The meeting, entitled ’21st Century Republicanism’, brought together some important thinkers and activists from the Irish republican and socialist left. A standing room only crowd packed in to see former IRA prisoner Tommy McKearney (author of The Provisional IRA: From Insurrection to Parliament), Eoin Ó Broin of Sinn Féin (author of Sinn Féin and the Politics of Left Republicanism), éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson and Tom Redmond of the Communist Party of Ireland. The meeting was chaired by Mary Cullen of the Ireland Institute and editor of The Citizen magazine. Following the contributions of each of the speakers, there was a very interesting Q&A session. I think the Communist Party should be thanked for hosting this much needed discussion, which will hopefully be the merely the first in a series teasing out the issues involved in left republicanism.

For those who were unable to make it along, you can listen to a recording of the talk that I made. Download it by clicking here (right click and ‘save target/link as’ – mp3, 2hrs35mins). The CPI also made a video of it, but I’m not sure when that will be online.

Here’s the poster for the event, which, incidentally, was designed by a certain Citizen of this blog.


This is the first in a short series of meeting being hosted by the Communist Party over the next couple of months. The next, on the topic of ‘Culture & Class’, will take place on Saturday 28 April at 2pm, again upstairs in Connolly Books.

Audio: Haiti’s history and present day occupation – a talk by Elsie Hass

March 1, 2012

Elsie Haas speaking in Dublin

Elsie Haas, a Haitian journalist and former editor of the Haiti Tribune, spoke in Dublin’s Pearse Centre on Tuesday 28th February 2012 at an event commemorating the 8th Anniversary of the US-backed coup d’etat that ousted popular social democratic Lavalas President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since then Haitians have seen their standards of living plummet, particularly after the 2010 earthquake. Since the earthquake Haiti has been a victim of ‘disaster capitalism‘, and now suffers under a UN occupation, headed by Brazil.

Elsie Haas and Sean Edwards of Haiti Solidarity Ireland

Elise gives an account of Haitian history, the situation today, hopes for the future and what we can do in solidarity with the Haitian people who have struggled against slavery and imperialism for over 200 years, and never been forgiven for being the the first ‘black slave republic’.

The talk, which was Chaired by Sean Edwards of Haiti Solidarity Ireland, is in two parts.

The first part is from the meeting, and can be downloaded by clicking here (mp3, 90mins).

The second part comes from after the meeting. I asked Elsie to clarify what “official” rationale was used to prevent Aristide’s Lavalas party gaining permission to run in the last election in the country. The short segment can be downloaded by clicking here (mp3, 3mins).

Some of the Dublin audience

The talk was organised by Haiti Solidarity Ireland and the Latin America Solidarity Centre as part of a week-long series of events to mark the 8th Anniversary of the US coup against President Aristide.