Forwarded from John O'Neill

Xxx Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx at
Wed Apr 17 06:10:40 MDT 2002

All of this is totally spot on. In fact, the level of violence exercised by
both the PIRA and the loyalists on the hearts, minds, and bodies of the
people in the estates they come from, is such that they virtually control
the said territories, becoming a virtual police force-judge, jury and
executioner. As I have said before, many disadvataged youths in recent years
have consequently rejected the politics of sectarian division, and in fact,
wage virtual war on paramilitaries. Thus the slogans 'Up the Hoods' appear
and the IRA slogans 'Fuck the Hoods'- see West Belfast for this. Of course,
this is grist for the mill to further strengthening of the police nature of
our paramilitary friends, and the whole thing gets worse. There is no space
for political difference, political debate or cross-community action, since
every working class community here is painted green white and gold, or red
white and blue, with the respective armed masked man adorning every other
wall, creating a climate of fear, hopelessness, and intense division. Police
in Northern Ireland is everything.
all the best,

>Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 08:49:08 -0400
>From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at>
>Subject: Forwarded from John O'Neill
>Finally, I do see a role for a working class party to recruit potential
>gang-members to 'upstanding' activism as opposed to drug dealing or
>burglaries or joy-riding. Some of our best and most dedicated people I know
>would have been on the 'fringe' but were attracted to the image of the
>movement. I guess you won't see too many Palestinian gangs if their
>liberation forces survive through this current struggle. But to try to
>incorporate 'gangs' per se would be tricky and would have significant risks
>I think Domhnall is way off in his simplistic analysis of the PIRA and
>policy towards lumpen proletariat youth. I have seen PIRA "justice" and It
>resembles an ultra right militia style justice rather than any form of
>natural or revolutionary justice. Their are inherent dangers in any group
>appointing themselves judge, jury and executioner and the PIRA is no
>exception. There are historical reasons why the PIRA have developed as a
>policing entity in the North and these are numerous but the primary reason
>would be the understandable distrust of the catholic population in the
>protestant RUC. This situation has enabled the PIRA to strengthen its
>organisation in many catholic working class areas but it has also had a
>cost. Mistakes are made, vendettas are settled under the guise of justice.
>Youngsters are beaten some maimed for stealing cars, petty crime, and
>disrespecting the authority of the PIRA. I can't overestimate the suffering
>some kids are put through as punishment, beaten with baseball bats with six
>inch nails protruding from them or a bullet fired through the back of their
>kneecap that can often lead to permanent disfigurement. I challenge anyone
>to justify this as fair treatment of juvinile deliquents.
>Its also interesting to note that both the UDA/ LVF/UVF (loyalist
>paramilitary groups) also carry out punishment beatings (does that make
>progressive protectors of their communities?) despite the fact that they
>up to their necks in drug dealing and crime. Another point I would make is
>that if you were to draw a map of the North and look at where punishment
>beatings (Both Loyalist and Nationalist) take place you would notice that
>they are exclusive to working class areas and working class people. There
>are no kneecappings on the Malone Road!
>"Red Action" are a small group who have little support but do some good
>through there involvement in "Anti Fascist Action" and have some
>positions like the rejection of vanguardism and other "Sacred Cows" of
>traditional Leninist/Trotskyist interpretations of Marxism that I would
>largely agree with but their infatuation with the Celtic Football Club (all
>Celtic supporters are progressive and all Rangers supporters are Nazi
>loyalists) is quite simply bizarre. I have sat with Red Action members over
>a pint and argued of the limitations of their position particularly to
>drugs. They don't accept any distinction between heroin and hashish to them
>all drugs are bad - All Dealers should be "dealt with" - and addicts
>up by any means necessary. It sounds like a manifesto for a lunatic right
>wing Tory faction. I can also recall in the mid 80's when SF supporters in
>Dublin went around defacing Red Action graffiti by adding = MI5!
>Real socialists/communists/progressives should understand that poverty and
>inequality contribute to drug misuse and drug pedaling. Working class
>youngsters are told they have no future, the education system that enforces
>class and teaches them their place at the bottom of the capitalist system,
>and predetermines at worst a life of unemployment or at best factory fodder
>in a dead end job. They see that our society, through the media
>entertainment etc., reinforces American values, rugged individualism, money
>the new GOD where you are judged by the size of your car and the wedge of
>cash in your pocket. Is it any wonder that the dispossessed turn to "easy
>money". As you say for every dealer the PIRA has killed there are ten more
>willing to take the risks and reap the rewards. I think Sinn Fein are
>coming to this realisation in Belfast are trying to instill alternatives to
>this fundimentalist populism by attempting to promote restorative justice
>whereby petty criminals have to confront their victims and make restoration
>to the community for their actions.
>This at least is a more humane approach to the problem. In the past we have
>seen the results of marxists/revolutionaries loosing sight of the communist
>essence of - putting people first- and it wasn't pretty and marxists trying
>to build progressive groups all over the world are still paying the price
>for crimes committed against the soviet people in their name.
>Much the same in Dublin where the more working class Sinn Fein Activists
>turning from the circa 1980's mass evictions of small time drug dealers
>(many of whom dealt to feed their habit). In the past I had attended some
>rallies organised by Concerned Parents Against Drugs when a drug hysteria
>was foisted on many working class communities by the CPAD preying on the
>lack of awareness and ignorance of people. I have worked with community
>groups supporting addicts/families of addicts to raise awareness of the
>dangers of drug misuse, including alcohol (the biggest killer of Irish
>people by a long shot). I know of many who were in CPAD the 1980's and have
>radically changed their position to acceptance of the reality of drug
>and concentrating on raising awareness, prevention and prescription
>alternatives.  If you look at the way black nationalists in America operate
>in their communities where they attempt to lead by example, to convince
>youth of the dangers of drug misuse and also highlight the way drugs can
>enslave. They appear to do this to win young people to their cause and
>respect from parents in their community. They do not go around shooting
>their own people.
>We were all teens once and maybe you didn't get up to any wrongdoing in the
>past but I did, and I wonder if I had have been born in a different part of
>Ireland and had stolen the wrong persons car would I be limping to work
>Louis Proyect
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