WW archive > Issue 409 - 22 November 2001


Victory over homophobia; To sign or not; Web design

Our history CPGB supports Irish liberation

As the Communist Party of Great Britain emerged at its founding congress in August 1920, the British state was engaged in a ruthless war against the Irish. The republic pro?claimed by the 1916 Easter Rising had been drowned in blood by the British army, and in subsequent elections the Irish people produced land?slide victories for Sinn F?in, which called for Irish independence. In 1919 Sinn F?in MPs set up D?il Eireann, the Irish parliament, in Dublin and once again declared an Irish Republic. Within months the British branded the D?il an illegal assembly and issued warrants to arrest its members. The liberation force prepared for a guerrilla war. The Irish Republican Army was formed from the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizens Army, Ireland?s ?Red Army?. It seized weapons bound for the British army and got them from sympathisers in the USA. Britain poured thousands of troops into Ireland, including the notorious terror force known as the Black and Tans. When the IRA mounted an ambush, the British retaliated by burning villages, farms and factories. In Belfast the unionists called for a ?holy war? against catholics - this resulted in 5,000 workers being driven out of their jobs in the shipyards, and tens of thousands were forced to abandon their homes in nationalist areas. Irish working class militancy grew. Plants were taken over by the workers and run under soviet type control. Dockers refused to unload munitions for British troops, and railworkers refused to start trains if they were boarded by the Black and Tans. A general strike lasting three days secured the release of political prisoners who had been on hunger strike. The absence of any support from the British working class weakened the Irish struggle; with it the British state might have faced total defeat in Ireland and a workers? republic on its doorstep. Needless to say, this would have advanced the cause of British workers too. The following statement from the CPGB?s executive committee outlined the Party?s position on the war in Ireland.

Coalition of Socialist Alliance Minority Organisations

Socialism and Esperanto

The socialist movement has always had its utopians and schememongers who believe in some universal panacea: pacifism, productionism, god-building, militant atheism, language reform, etc. These are put in the driving seat of history in place of the class struggle. Half becalmed in the present, half reaching for the future, these comrades are capable of valuable insights into the contradictions and irrationalities of contemporary society. We therefore consider a critical dialogue with them to be altogether positive. Alberto Fern?ndez, socialist and writer on the workers? Esperanto movement, gave this presentation at a recent symposium in Belgium. According to the comrade, the negative attitude of leading socialist theorists towards an international language can be traced back to Karl Marx. His lecture is translated from Esperanto and edited by Stan Keable of the International Communist Esperantist Collective (www.ikek.de)

Trade union left

United fightback needed

Afghan Workers Solidarity Campaign launched

After Kabul?s fall

Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan, discusses the situation in Afghanistan after the collapse of the Taliban. This is an edited version of his article

SA executive committee

Pre-conference tension


Reluctant speaker


Stagecoach robbery

The break-up of Britain?

Last Sunday the Republican Communist Network (Scotland) met and voted to separate from the RCN (Britain). I wrote the following article last week prior to the split. I have not changed it. It records the general view of the Revolutionary Democratic Group, and provides the reader with a background to Sarah McDonald?s report of the meeting. Dave Craig (RDG)

Where now for the anti-war movement?

Nationalists stage Edinburgh walk out

Socialist labour party

Celebrating September 11

Socialist Alliance must take lead

50,000-plus take to the streets of London

Socialist labour party

Celebrating September 11

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