Twenty five years ago British imperialism demonstrated its cold, calculating cruelty in the face of Irish Republican prisoners who felt they had no alternative but to make the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle for political rights, embarking on a hunger strike that would tragically end with their deaths. Gerry Ruddy of the Irish Republican Socialist Party has sent us an excellent and intimate analysis of those events, highlighting the need to build a revolutionary movement based on Marxism and rooted in the working class across all boundaries. Read the article on the Socialist Appeal website.

This latest of Ken Loach’s films is well crafted and well thought. It has been thoroughly researched and really gets under the surface of the processes and the events that helped shape the current situation on the island of Ireland.

“We urge all republicans to turn towards the working class movements, get active in the unions, and raise issues that while relevant to the immediate interests of working also form a bridge towards more radical and revolutionary demands.” We reproduce the editorial from the latest e-mail newsletter The Plough (Volume 3, Number 25, 14 June 2006) of the IRSP. We have their kind permission to reproduce it.

It is impossible to understand the Easter Rising without understanding the ideas of its leader, James Connolly, who considered himself a Marxist and based himself on the ideas of Internationalism and the class struggle. (Written by Ted Grant in 1966 on the 50th anniversary of the uprising.)

This Easter marks the 85th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin (Ireland) against British imperialist rule. The outstanding leader of that movement was James Connolly. There have been many attempts to portray him simply as an Irish nationalist. But Connolly was, first and foremost, a militant workers' leader and a Marxist. He alone in the annals of the British and Irish Labour Movement succeeded in developing the ideas of Marxism.

The devolved assembly at Stormont was suspended for the fourth time six months ago in October 2002. Now Blair, Ahern, Adams and Trimble are attempting to raise it from its coffin once more. Democracy, or what passes for it in Belfast, can be switched on and off like a tap it seems. The Stormont assembly represents not an attempt to solve the problems facing ordinary working people, but a scheme to share power between representatives of the main sectarian parties.

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