Friday, 30 October 2009

Who is their Enemy?


Below you will find the full text of the speech made in Ardoyne by Davy Glennon. In his speech he points out how history is repeating itself and how former comrades use smear tactics and innuendo to try and belittle Republicans. For many Republicans Davy hit the nail on the head.

"I would like to thank the RNU for inviting me here to speak at the 100th Anniversary of na Fianna Éireann and to commemorate four brave young fianna volunteers who died in the struggle for Irish Freedom.

Volunteer David McAuley died from an accidental discharge, Volunteers Josh Campbell, Josie McComiskey and Bernard Fox all died in 3 seperate gun battles with the British army.

The bravery of these four volunteers epitomised what na Fianna Éireann were all about and it is a credit to the people of Ardoyne that so many young Ardoyne men filled its ranks and later went on to fight the British in the ranks of the IRA.

While we gather here to remember the ranks of Na Fianna and its dead volunteers with a sense of pride and sadness, I'm sure many are also feeling a deep sense of sadness at where the Republican struggle is at today and how so many former comrades are now involved in smear and innuendo tactics at the very people who helped organise todays commemoration and against the very people who stand here united in pride and sadness.

I think that we only have to look back at the British treaty of 1922 to see how the British used the age old tactic of divide and conquer, when they successfully managed to turn Republican against Republican.

It seems unbelievable that the British could have convinced Republicans to torture and slaughter their former comrades because of their opposition to the British treaty, yet they did!

The fear for all Republican people today is the British will succeed again and we must ensure that this never happens.

To the people that accept todays treaty, i would say that your beliefs are your beliefs, but remember your history. And don't let the British turn you against the Republican people, do not listen to the lies and the smears and the innuendo, in fact i would go further and ask you the question of those spreading the smearing of Republicans and ask are these people acting like true Republicans or are they acting like agents of the British?

If i could leave here today with a message, it would be for all Republicans to remember that the enemy is not Republicans but rather the British Government and all its apparatus of oppression.

It should also be noticed by all in attendance here that the ranks of this crowd are filled with Republican comrades from various groups and they stand in unity with us in opposition to todays treaty with the British Government, and i would like to thank each and every one of you who are here today.

Finally i would like to say a personal thank you to the people of Ardoyne, for all their contributions over the years in struggle against the British and i know that in the years to come Republicanism in Ardoyne will continue to shine out like a beacon to the rest of Ireland.

God Bless you all."

Former comrades label Republicans as "no-hopers", "Micro-groups", "Dissidents", "criminals", and even "traitors". Those on the receiving end of these verbal attacks are Republicans that have stayed true to their beliefs, those dishing out the slander are those who chose a different path and left us.

I might disagree with them but I personally wouldn't label the Provisional Movement as sell outs or traitors. They chose to go down a different road, let them get on with it.

Thankfully the majority of attacks on Republicans have been harmless verbal slander, but things took a worrying twist a few weeks ago in Belfast. Lifelong Republican, community activist and former POW Tony Catney was delivering leaflets in West Belfast. The leaflets were about community issues such as the annual residents group AGM and a future Xmas party for the kids. Tony had the sad misfortune to post one of these community leaflets, complete with a picture of Santa, through the door of a member of the PSF executive. It was when approaching the home that he initially came under verbal abuse. After being told not to be “Trying to put any of that s*** through my letter box” and “take yourself off to f**k from my path” the Community activist tried telling his abuser that the leaflet was concerning a matter of interest to the residents in his street. No sooner had he said this than the unprovoked physical attack began. He was repeatedly punched, had his shirt pulled up over his head and in the process of the assault sustained cuts and bruising to his face and body

Is this a sign of things to come? Will former comrades who disagree with us resort to physically attacking us?

I would say to our former comrades that instead of verbally and physically attacking Republicans, maybe they should sit down and ask themselves a few important questions

Our former comrades need to ask themselves who their enemy is

Is it those who are opposing British Rule?

or is it those enforcing British Rule?

Royal Mail Striking in the Public Interest

When the workers in Royal Mail in the Six Counties and Britain walked off the job last week as part of a two-day strike, they were subject to the usual slander and vilification from the ignorant and those deliberately trying to misinform.

There were ominous comparisons with the ill-fated miners’ strike of the mid-1980s and allegations that the striking workers were driving the last nail into the coffin of the postal service that provides for both Britain and occupied Ireland.

What those journalists, establishment media outlets and politicians didn’t mention was that it is actually the British government that has been trying to make a corpse of its own postal service ever since the rise of ‘New Labour’ to power in 1997. Since their entry into Downing Street and Whitehall, Blair, Brown & Co have been following the course carefully plotted by Margaret Thatcher of attempting to destroy every state institution that provides a service to working people. As the mining industry was to Thatcher, the Royal Mail is new Labour’s industrial cause célèbre.

That is the real comparison between the miners’ strike of 1984 and today’s action by postal staff; that of hard-pressed workers fighting to protect what is a perfectly viable industry from the chop by neo-liberal politicians.

In the last financial year, Royal Mail made profits of £321 million (€349 million), which is double that of the year before. This fact has been obscured by Peter Mandelson, Gordon Brown’s chief henchman and arch neo-liberal, who was defeated in his recent attempts to openly privatise the Royal Mail and now talks of ‘modernisation’ in the hope that postal staff can be portrayed as backward, resistant to change and, ultimately, selfish.

What the striking postal workers in Belfast, Derry and elsewhere are really fighting for is the right to be consulted about changes to their working lives, the maintenance of pay and conditions and the protection of a public service that is both cheaper and more efficient than its private competitors. The privatisation of the postal service in the Six Counties and Britain, on which working class people rely for an infinite amount of everyday needs, would mark the further cementing of the corporate state, where those who get a quality service are those who can afford to pay for it.

Compare the modest demands and public-spirited attitude of postal workers with the attitude of the bankers and business people responsible for the economic crisis we are currently living through.

It has been revealed over the last number of weeks that bankers are get to bonuses worth billions of pounds this year.

For example, Goldman Sachs is to pay its 5,500 staff in Britain an average bonus of £500,000 (€544,000) before the end of the year, the highest rewards in the firm’s 140-year history. JP Morgan employees, meanwhile, are looking forward to a pay and bonus bonanza of £300,000 (€326,000).

Responding to the inevitable fury over the bonus revelations, ‘Lord Griffiths’, the vice chair of Goldman Sachs and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, remarked that people should “tolerate inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity for all”.

The wrong headedness and sheer arrogance of such a statement was matched by that of Angela Knight, the chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, who, writing in an opinion piece, demanded that working people “move on” from the issue of bankers’ pay and behaviour.
As always, it is one rule for the rich, who can grovel for a few months and then pick up their bloated pay packets as normal, and another for the poor, who face vilification for taking action to defend a public service.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Republican Unity in Ardoyne

last Sunday several hundred Republicans gathered in Ardoyne to remember the sacrifice made by four members of Na Fianna Éireann, Davy McAuley, Josh Campbell, Josie McComiskey and Bernard Fox, who gave their lives for Ireland in 1972.

The commemoration started off at the Garden of Remembrance in Ardoyne and was lead by a Colour Party provided by members of the RNU, 2 flute bands were also in attendance, the CarrickHill RFB from Belfast and the Vol. Dan Darragh RFB from Ballycastle. As expected the British Militia were there in armoured landrovers and they hovered overhead in a helicopter, the sound of the bands drowned out the miserable drone of the chopper. The rain lashed down but the Republicans marched proudly and defiantly with their heads held high. The parade then reached it's destination and everyone stood to attention as the Vol. Dan Darragh RFB played the National Anthem. Ardoyne Republican Mairtin Óg Meehan chaired the proceedings and a magnificent plaque was unveiled, by former P.O.W, Henry McErlean, to the four lads. The main speech was delivered by ex-Fianna Activist, Davy Glennon. In his speech Davy pointed out that "the four Fianna boys' did not die for Partition and a Unionist Veto on Irish sovereignty to continue, in fact, they joined Na Fianna Eireann to end them'!"

One thing that stuck out was that this was a great example of Republican Unity. Republicans from various groups and backgrounds stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, and paid their respects to the four young Fians who were killed in action. In the crowd i saw former POWs, former IRA Volunteers, lifelong Republican Activists, people who have dedicated their entire lives for the cause and continue to dedicate their lives and fight for Irish Freedom.

Our opponents and former comrades have in the past used the term "Micro-Groups" to try and belittle Anti-Treaty Republicans, in fact Davy also mentioned the smears and villification being used against the organisers of this tribute. I am of the opinion that Constitutional Nationalists will now be eating their words. In fact maybe they should look a bit closer to home. At a recent PSF commemoration in the Derrybeg area of Newry no more than 100 people attended, there were roughly 10 residents in the PSF parade in an area with 1500 residents. Though i won't dwell on numbers nor will i dwell on what Constitutional Nationalists do as it is irrelevant to Republicans, they must however realise that Republicans are not their enemy. They also say that we should put it to the people, i can positively say that will happen and we look forward to it.

Several hundred Republicans marching with 2 flute bands and a full colour party is definitely not a "Micro-Group". I have no doubt that other areas will in future be organising similar commemorations.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

John Brady - Free At Last

I was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Strabane Republican John Brady on Saturday. John died in dubious circumstances whilst in custody of the British police (RUC/PSNI) in Strand Road barracks.

John was just 40 years of age and spent 18 of those years imprisoned for his Republican beliefs, he was no stranger to harassment from the Crown Forces.

John Brady was released on licence in 1998 after spending eight-and-a-half years in Long Kesh on charges relating to the Provisional IRA assassination of a member of the Crown Forces

He was detained in June 2004 with no charges pending against him other than on the orders of the (then) secretary of state Paul Murphy. His legal team expected him to be released at the beginning of September 2005 after a successful application was made to the sentence review board, and supported by Fr. Denis Faul. He was rearrested in November 2003 and charged with possession of weapons, allegations that John has strenuously denied since his incarceration. The charges against John and his co accused were dropped, but John was returned to prison in 2004.

He was out on weekend parole but was rearrested after an alleged assault. His solicitor was speaking to him at 3pm and he was in good spirits, his solicitor told him there were 4 witnesses to the alleged assault and that they were willing to stand up in court and confirm John's story. This left John in good form. less than an hour later John was found dead.

John, like the lark your Free at last, and they can't torture you anymore.

Rest in Peace

"A soldier true goodbye to you until we meet again"