Tuesday, 30 December 2014

éirígí Remember Volunteers Grant & Quinn in Newry

Residents of Newry's Derrybeg estate, along with former Republican Prisoners and community leaders joined with éirígí on Christmas eve to mark the 41st anniversary of IRA volunteers Eddie Grant and Brendan Quinn.
The annual wreath laying commemoration has been held every year since éirígí became active in the Newry area.
Both men were tragically killed in Monaghan Street on Christmas Eve 1973 when a bomb they were carrying exploded prematurely. Sadly a civilian was also killed in the explosion.
The crowd gathered at the Republican monument in Derrybeg to remember and pay tribute to those who lost their lives. During the ceremony a wreath was laid by long standing community worker Anthony Coyle in memory of both men.
Speaking at the event éirígí’s Newry spokesperson Stephen Murney said “Eddie Grant came from Derrybeg while his comrade Brendan Quinn lived just out the road in Cloughreagh. Both were Republicans and both men were volunteers in the Irish Republican Army. Tragically both young men were taken before their time along with a civilian.

“Volunteers Grant and Quinn both actively participated in the struggle for national and social liberation, and, like many other hundreds of men and women, both gave their lives. The objectives for which those men and women fought and died for remain unfulfilled”
Murney concluded “We aren't here to try to speak for the dead, nobody can do that. However we can safely say without fear of contradiction that the goal that these men set out to achieve remains to be achieved. They fought and died for a socialist republic and that fight continues to this day”

Saturday, 13 December 2014

éirígí Commemorate Egyptian Arch Ambush in Newry

éirígí Commemorate Egyptian Arch Ambush in Newry

Friday [December 12] marked the 94th anniversary of the historic Egyptian Arch ambush which took place on the Camlough Rd in Newry in 1920. The socialist republican party éirígí commemorated the anniversary by holding a wreath laying ceremony at the site of the battle on Friday morning.

The audacious operation resulted in the loss of three heroic IRA volunteers, William Canning, Peter Shields and John Francis O’Hare.

The operation began when IRA volunteers attacked the RIC barracks in Camlough. Reinforcements consisting of British soldiers and RIC personnel left Newry to reinforce the Camlough garrison. When they reached the roadblock under the Egyptian Arch the IRA volunteers on top, who had taken up their positions earlier, dropped grenades onto them– two or three found their target but were thrown out before they could explode. Others exploded on the road. Volunteer William Canning was hit in the throat and head and died instantly. It was later admitted by the RIC that his body was thrown from the top of the Arch as “it was the quickest way to get it down”. Volunteer John Francis O’Hare  was badly wounded and captured. He was taken to a British military hospital and kept there until July 15 1921. He died from his wounds on October 5 1921.

Also badly wounded in the ambush was volunteer Peter Shields, but his comrades managed to help him to safety. Shields died from his wounds on Christmas Day 1920 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Omeath.

Speaking after the event éirígí's Newry representative Stephen Murney paid tribute to the IRA volunteers “We started commemorating this historic event back in 2010 by unveiling a plaque to mark the 90th anniversary of the Egyptian Arch ambush which saw three IRA volunteers paying the supreme sacrifice for Irish liberation. For far too long this historic event was largely forgotten about and we felt it would be fitting to pay tribute to the fallen volunteers. Even though it’s six years until the 100th anniversary we are already planning events to mark the centenary.

“The volunteers involved in the ambush were soldiers of the Irish Republican Army who took part in a meticulously planned and daring operation involving over 200 volunteers. We are proud to be here every year to pay our respects to these courageous volunteers and the sacrifice made on that cold December night 94 years ago”

Murney concluded  “These men were soldiers of an army, an army that was to the fore in resisting British occupation. Despite the odds being stacked against them they nonetheless faced the foe with outstanding courage and bravery. The principles by which the organisation stood and for which many of its members paid the ultimate sacrifice remain relevant almost a century later.”

Monday, 1 December 2014

The resistance continues, and the flames of intifada burn: PFLP message to éirígí and Irish struggle

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine sent the following message to éirígí on the occasion of  its Ard Fheis, or National Conference on November 29, 2014:

On the occasion of your national conference, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends to you our comradely and revolutionary greetings. The Palestinian people and the Irish people have a long history of joint struggle, confronting and challenging colonialism, political imprisonment and military occupation. The British colonialism that you today struggle to end in Ireland, and to unify your country, is the same British colonialism that brought the Balfour Declaration and welcomed the Zionist movement to colonize and occupy Palestine. We salute your struggle for a fully liberated, democratic, socialist Ireland!

Today, in Palestine, the Palestinian people are facing an escalating onslaught from the Zionist settler colonial racist state. In Jerusalem, there is an ongoing, constant drive to erase the Palestinian character of the city and to push the Palestinian people from Jerusalem. Home demolitions, land confiscation, settler invasions and settler attacks, official threats to Muslim and Christian holy sites, the stripping of Jerusalem IDs and residency rights – all of these are part of a systematic campaign by the Zionist state. The ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem and the escalation of the rapid colonization and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem are part and parcel of the ongoing Nakba that has been taking place in Palestine for over 66 years.

In the West Bank, colonial settlement construction is increasing – Palestinians are daily faced with land confiscation, violence and attacks by occupation soldiers and colonial settlers. Mass arrests continue in the West Bank and Jerusalem and over 6,200 Palestinians are held as political prisoners inside occupation jails. On a daily basis, homes are raided late at night, belongings ransacked and Palestinians kidnapped for interrogation, torture and arrest. Palestinian children and youth are targeted for arrest, interrogation and harassment by the occupation forces.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority and its “security forces” continue to arrest and detain strugglers of the Palestinian resistance, while soldiers and settlers attack Palestinians and their villages and cities – burning olive trees and other crops, running down children, invading mosques, attacking women and men – on a daily basis, while the PA “security” do nothing to protect the Palestinian people.

In Gaza, thousands of people remain without secure housing or homes following Israel’s genocidal “Operation Protective Edge” in July-August 2014. We saw the massive upsurge of the people around the world protesting the occupation aggression on Gaza, and in support of the Palestinian resistance. The siege continues against the Palestinian people, and the United Nations’ so-called reconstruction plan threatens to continue to impoverish Palestinians, while providing profits to occupation capitalists. It collaborates with the occupier’s “security” agencies to surveil Palestinians while attempting to disarm the resistance, something to which our people will never concede or agree. It is imperative to keep up the international support for Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem and throughout Palestine and make it clear that the solidarity on the streets of the world this summer continues.

In occupied Palestine ’48, our people face an increasing racist onslaught. From the so-called “Jewish nation-state” proposed bill, to demands for workplaces “free of Arabs,” to repeated and institutionalized threats at the highest levels of the state to transfer and strip Palestinians in ’48 of citizenship, to the over 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinians in ’48, there is a racist attack and continuing Nakba that has never ended against Palestinians, no matter what citizenship they are forced to carry.

Palestinian refugees inside and outside Palestine continue to struggle for their right of return. The Palestinian people are in a state of siege everywhere – inside occupied Palestine on the entirety of our land – and inside the refugee camps of Lebanon and Syria. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face massive poverty and are denied basic rights, while Palestinian refugees in Syria struggle to survive amid war. And all of these Palestinian refugees face the struggle they have continued since their expulsion from Palestine – to implement their right to return to their homes, lands and villages from which they were expelled by the occupation and its armies of terror. The right of return is the central issue in Palestine, the key to the liberation of our land and our people as a whole.

Palestinian political prisoners are under attack and under siege – as mass arrests continue on a daily basis, prisoners are denied family visits, and regularly face armed raids by occupation “special forces.” There are now over 500 Palestinian political prisoners held in administrative detention without charge or trial. The cadres of the PFLP throughout the West Bank are facing mass arrests and ongoing targeting attempting to disrupt and demoralize the work of the Front. Just today, 27 November, Comrade Abdel-Alim Da’na, a long-time leader of the Front in al-Khalil, who spent over 17 years in occupation prison, was once again kidnapped by occupation military forces who raided his home at dawn. The political leadership of the Palestinian people – including Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat, General Secretary of the PFLP – is held in the prisons of the occupation in a desperate attempt to suppress the growing popular movement that is escalating on a daily basis toward a new intifada. Éirígí has been a consistent voice and presence, raising the images and the voices of Palestinian political prisoners and standing with Comrade Sa’adat. The distinguished experience of Irish political prisoners is one that also inspires and informs the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners; the connections between our prisoners of freedom stretch back decades and continue to the present day.

The Palestinian resistance is indeed strong and growing. At all levels, from demonstrations, to sit-ins, to armed resistance as a central core of the struggle for liberation, the Palestinian people are resisting the occupier and dedicated to breaking its racist siege everywhere in Palestine. The resistance in Gaza prevented Israel from achieving any of its goals in its brutal aggression over the summer; today, the resistance in Jerusalem is burning and growing, confronting the settlers and their army and demanding freedom and liberation. After the murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, the occupation state attempted by all means to suppress the growing resistance in Jerusalem and the West Bank – from the mass arrests of thousands of Palestinians, to the demolition of the homes and stripping of IDs of resistance fighters in Jerusalem, to the shooting and killing of young demonstrators, to escalating their aggression and murdering thousands of civilians in Gaza – yet the resistance continues, and the flames of intifada continue to burn.

International solidarity is critical at this time. The Palestinian people are under siege – and are struggling for justice and liberation. The work that éirígí has done in this regard is a critical part of a growing international movement that stands with the Palestinian people and supports the Palestinian resistance in all its forms. It is clear on the streets, from Ireland, to Europe, to North America, to Asia, to Africa, to Latin America, to the Arab world – that the people stand with Palestine, with the struggling Palestinian people, and against the occupier and his illegitimate, racist, settler colonial project on Palestinian land. The growing international boycott at all levels of the occupation state – including economic, academic, cultural, political and all other forms of boycott – reflects a growing movement for international isolation of the Zionist project in Palestine. Your revolutionary solidarity and steadfastness gives strength to the Palestinian national liberation movement and our people as we struggle for a democratic, liberated Palestinian on the entire land of Palestine. U.S. imperialism and the European Union are doing all they can to support their strategic ally, the Zionist state. The Palestinian struggle is not only a confrontation with the Zionist project, but with global imperialism. And just as the imperial powers stand with the occupier, the people of the world stand with Palestine.

On this occasion, we bring to you the greetings of Comrade Ahmad Sa’adat from behind the bars of the occupation, General Secretary of the PFLP; Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP; the Central Committee and all of the cadres and members of the Front. We also extend our solidarity to you – in your struggle for freedom and liberation from colonization; against exploitation and injustice; and for a truly socialist and liberated Ireland. Every victory that you achieve in your struggle is also a victory for the Palestinian people and for our collective struggle for a world that is free of racism, colonialism, imperialism, oppression and capitalist exploitation.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine