By Thomas Leary
International Women’s Day in the centenary year of the 1916 Irish Rebellion is an opportune time to recall the life and struggles of Constance Markievicz, one of the leaders of the rebellion and lifelong advocate of women’s liberation, Irish national independence and revolutionary politics.
By Michael Burke
The governing coalition of Fine Gael and Labour suffered a humiliating rejection at the hands of Irish voters in the General Election and the anti-austerity forces advanced. This continued the pattern evident in both the Portuguese and Spanish elections in 2015. It may also set the stage for renewed elections to the Dáil in Dublin later this year as no party looks able to form a stable government.
By Frances Davis and Ian Richardson
The much-anticipated General Election in the southern Irish state, called for 26 February, has brought into sharp focus two clear political alternatives – a continuation of right wing austerity politics or a break with it, in favour of a left wing alternative. The fact that the election is taking place in the centenary year of the 1916 Rising also gives an added significance – and one which is not just based on an historic poignancy. Most of the fundamental tasks of 1916 are yet to be accomplished.
The outcome of the Spanish general election is unclear as no major party has an overall majority or even an obvious political partner(s) with which it could form one. The poll overall represents a shift to the left, but a shift insufficient to place the anti-austerity forces in government.
British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Teresa Villiers used a recent report to lay a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Sinn Féin. The purpose of the report was to act as a smokescreen providing cover for a Unionist walk-out from the Assembly. But the report itself was actually written by MI5, one of the many arms of the British state that were parties to the military conflict. In one case alone MI5 is itself under official investigation for its involvement in up to 40 murders.
In the article below Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams places the latest report and the most recent allegations in the context of Britain’s long and bloody interference in Ireland. It is republished from Léargas.
The following article by Gavin Rae, on the elections to Poland's parliament, was originally published by transform!
The recent parliamentary elections in Poland were historic, although unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1989 a political party in Poland has won an overall majority in parliament, with the conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) winning over 37 per cent of the vote. Also for the first time in history, the left will have no representatives in parliament, meaning that Poland is presently the only country inside the European Union where there are no left MPs.
`Defending the Agreement – equality not austerity’
7pm Tuesday 3 NovemberGrimond Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, SW1A OAA
With Paul Maskey MP and Mickey Brady MP
The following article, by Declan Kearney Sinn Féin’s National Chairperson, originally was published by An Phoblacht. It explains the negative intervention Britain’s Conservative government are making into the current Stormont talks, including seeking to renege on Britain’s obligation to disclose its role in the conflict as part of the agreed process of dealing with the past. Sinn Féin’s efforts to defend the Good Friday Agreement and block the imposition of austerity should be supported.
The following speech, by Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, was made to the 2015 National Hunger Strike march and rally in Dundalk.
The election in 1981 of Irish republicans on hunger strike, to the British parliament and Irish Dáil, proved to the world, beyond doubt, that the political prisoners had immense popular support.
Prime Minister Thatcher's criminalisation policy, supported by the Irish government, was discredited by election victories that transformed the struggle for a united Ireland.
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