Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s the people’s oil, not the corporations’


It’s the people’s oil, not the corporations’

The announcement of a significant oil find in the Barryroe field off the Cork coast, along with the many other discoveries of oil, gas, and precious metals, emphasises once again the case for these and all natural resources to be under democratic people’s control and developed in a sustainable way.   They should be nationalised.

This is the wealth of the Irish people, not of corporate interests, whether Irish or global monopolies. These resources can form the bedrock for an alternative path of economic and social development, one that is people-centred, planned, sustainable, and environmentally respectful. Recent progressive political developments in Latin America have shown what is possible when these resources are used to benefit the majority and not to enrich the few.

This oil find also explodes the myth, carefully scripted, that we have no resources, that we are poor and therefore have to rely upon the begging-bowl from the EU and others.

Saving the Planet ot Saving Capitalism?

New Pamphlet out from the Communist Party: Saving the Planet ot Saving Capitalism?

Kerry Fleck, Saving the Planet or Saving Capitalism? · €1.50 (£1.20)

From Connolly Books, 43 East Essex Street, Dublin 2. (Postage free within Ireland.)

Drugs: A working class response Public Meeting

Who's writing the script?

On Sunday 13 May—Connolly Sunday—two commemorations took place in Arbour Hill to honour James Connolly and the other leaders of the 1916 Rising. The afternoon event, organised by the Communist Party of Ireland and the Connolly Youth Movement, was addressed by Rob Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, and Eddie Glackin, member of the National Executive Committee of the CPI. The morning event, organised by the Labour Party, was addressed by Jack O’Connor, general president of SIPTU.
     All three speakers took as their theme the relevance of James Connolly to the present crisis; but there, I’m afraid, the commonality ceased between the a.m. and the p.m. events.
     Jack O’Connor is generally well respected—if not always agreed with—by the serious left in this country as a thoughtful, honest trade unionist with strong working-class roots and values. In fact he stands apart from many of our contemporary trade union “leaders” for those reasons.
     It is therefore more than disappointing, actually shameful, to see him trundled out at Arbour Hill, this sacred place, to give credibility to and provide excuses for the Labour Party’s dreadful role in government. And this was not done as an individual member of the Labour Party but as general president of the largest union in Ireland.
     Jack has never been flavour of the month with the leadership of the Labour Party, or indeed with many in the ICTU, yet over the past month or two he is being quoted approvingly by those elements and put forward as a spokesperson—for two reasons: to justify the role of the Labour party in the coalition government, and to provide some cover within the labour movement for the Yes campaign in the last referendum.
     Both these roles came together at Arbour Hill.
     James Connolly, as O’Connor acknowledges, “was arguably the greatest intellect of his generation.” Born in extreme poverty in Edinburgh, he was a boy soldier in the British army, a labourer, cobbler, journalist, trade union organiser and leader, committed socialist and patriot, self-taught intellectual, writer, historian, and military tactician. He has left the Irish working class an enormous legacy in his writings and in his political practice, his anti-sectarianism, and his determination to build alliances with other progressive forces. He has left an indelible mark on the labour movement not just in Ireland but also in Scotland and in the United States. He is honoured internationally as an important Marxist writer on the relationship between the struggles for independence and for socialism.
     Central to Connolly’s political life was precisely his belief in the role of the working class as “the incorruptible inheritors of the fight for freedom in Ireland.” In fairness, this was acknowledged by O’Connor early in his address. Having first of all put in the health warning that “we cannot blindly accept all that Connolly wrote as gospel” (where have we heard that before?), he then said: “We would be well advised to stick with the principles he gave us. One of those is an unwavering belief that the working class was the one class that never betrayed Ireland, for the simple reason that it would be betraying itself.”
     It is tempting at this point to lash in a few quotations. But the point about Connolly (only Oscar Wilde is quoted and misquoted more frequently than him—often for equally dubious reasons) is not just to engage in the type of “battle of quotations” beloved by the ultra-left but to read and study him.
     Central to Connolly’s politics was that it was based on a class analysis. Connolly was a revolutionary Marxist and, notwithstanding his role in the foundation of what became the Irish Labour Party, could not be remotely construed as a social democrat in the modern sense. He had earlier been involved in the founding of Ireland’s first Marxist party, the Irish Socialist Republican Party, and subsequently the Socialist Party of Ireland, forerunner of the CPI. Of course he was also an outstanding leader of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and founder of the Irish Citizen Army.
     For many years Connolly’s principal writings were publicly available to ordinary workers only because they were published in pamphlet form by the Irish Workers’ Party and subsequently the CPI. Generations of left activists in this country were politically weaned on Labour in Irish History, Labour, Nationality and Religion, The Reconquest of Ireland, etc., which they got from the party’s bookshop in Dublin or Belfast. The Labour Party, the “party of Connolly,” did not consider the making of Connolly’s writings available to workers a task worthy or important enough for them. The truth of Connolly’s legacy to the workers of Ireland was deliberately hidden from the people for decades, and the Labour Party did nothing to change that situation.
     Connolly attached a huge importance to political education and the study of Marxist theory. It was this that led him to an understanding of imperialism and its role in Ireland and in the world. In this he was far ahead of all his contemporaries in Ireland and also of many in the international socialist movement of the time. This was starkly shown with the outbreak of war in 1914, when most of the European socialist parties, despite being pledged to oppose the coming war and refuse to lead workers to slaughter each other for the benefit of their masters, supported “their” governments in the ensuing imperial slaughter. Connolly—like Lenin in Russia—was with the minority who determined to turn the imperialist war against imperialism, in Ireland’s case by striking a blow for independence.
     In his address Jack O’Connor referred to this time in rather strange terms, which can be construed only as an attempt to undermine or minimise the role of the revolutionary left (which subsequently became the communist movement after the split in the Socialist International) in opposing the war or, conversely, to boost the anti-imperial, anti-war credentials of the reformist majority. He said: “We tend to think of opposition to that war today purely in terms of the stance taken by the Bolsheviks. But the Socialist International in 1914 was much broader than the Bolsheviks. Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Luxemburg in Germany, Jean Jaurès in France and George Lansbury in England were also among those who took a principled stand against the blood lust of Europe’s competing imperialisms. Indeed Jaurès, Liebknecht and Luxemburg would pay with their lives for their principles.”
     As the next couple of years are going to see a veritable orgy of historical revisionism—for example, the First World War was actually a noble endeavour, because Irish Protestants and Catholics were equally slaughtering and being slaughtered by workers of other countries, and sure didn’t they all do it for the best of reasons—this rather selective and inaccurate reference needs to be corrected.
     It is true that some individuals and groupings within the Socialist International, to their credit, took principled positions against the war hysteria; but the vast majority supported “their” governments, and this was the main reason for the split between the reformist and revolutionary wings in the International.
     Lansbury did oppose the war; but what did the British Labour Party do? Jaurès was assassinated at the outbreak of the war by a French supporter of war against Germany; but what did the French Socialist Party do? And how can Luxemburg and Liebknecht—who left the Socialist International to become founders of the German Communist Party and were subsequently murdered by agents of the post-war German government, which included the Social Democrats—be held up as exemplars of the Socialist International?
     The lesson for social democrats, socialists and communists of all hues to learn from the First World War is about the nature and role of imperialism. According to the latter-day ideologues of social democracy—devotees of a better, fairer capitalism—imperialism seems to have disappeared unnoticed somewhere along the road in the second half of the twentieth century. Understanding imperialism was never a strong point of the Labour Party, right from the early days of the Free State, which imposed the imperialist settlement on Ireland. Labour saw it as a squabble between contending groups of nationalists, not understanding either the class forces involved or the role of the imperial puppet-masters.
     And so it remains today. The Labour Party, eschewing the type of class analysis that inspired Connolly and underpinned all his policies and actions, cannot see how modern imperialism—state monopoly capitalism—functions as a system. Because they don’t see armies marauding backwards and forwards across Europe, obviously there is no more imperialism (unless you’re in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, or Syria; but of course that’s “humanitarian,” isn’t it?).
     The socialist and social-democratic parties throughout Europe, when in office, have shown themselves to be staunch defenders of the status quo. The British Labour Party has never needed lessons from the Tories on how to be arch-imperialists. When in opposition they tut-tut at some excesses of the Right but never present a fundamental challenge to the rotten system of capitalism and imperialism, preferring instead to wait their turn at the trough. Who formed the British government that joined Bush’s invasion of Iraq?
     The chosen instrument of contemporary capitalism is the European Union. This is not some benign social-democratic Eurodisney theme park where we are all partners together. The myth that the Common Market, EEC, European Community or now EU exists to promote the greater well-being of the people of Europe is precisely that: a myth. There is a narrative, echoed in Jack O’Connor’s speech at Arbour Hill, that everything was grand back in the days of those great socialists Mitterand and Delors until the nasty neo-liberals came along and spoiled it with deregulation etc. What about the free movement of capital? Has that nothing to do with the present mess? Or the free movement of labour, which is designed to shunt cheap labour around Europe to the area of greatest need (for the employers)?
     This wholly uncritical view of the EU by the Labour Party has been a disaster for the movement in this country. When there is a need for a party of the working class to stand up and shout “Enough!” to organise the working people to fight back, the Labour Party is not to be found. Its leaders sit snugly in the corridors of power, repeating the economically illiterate banalities of the “pundits” who have been so spectacularly wrong on every major economic question over the last half-century. They have become active builders of the internal Troika (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Labour Party), which sees its task as being gatekeepers for the external Troika (EU, ECB, IMF) of international capital, especially the major German and French banks, to whom they are in thrall and to whom this country and its children unborn are in hock.
     Jack O’Connor lauds the Labour Party’s “courageous decision to go into Government in the very worst of times, when staying out would have been much easier.” This is turning reality on its head. Of course Labour got thrown a few crumbs for its role in government; don’t they always? The question is, how does this contribute to building the type of movement that can break the power of the monopolies, defeat capitalism, and build the type of society Connolly fought and died for? Does Labour’s role as handmaiden to Fine Gael not actively postpone the day when such a movement can be built?
     We have to build a movement that can see in the day-to-day struggles the necessity for a vision of the future. Short-termism, and misguided short-termism at that, will never build that movement.
     A final point. Alone among the labour movements of Europe, the ICTU did not call for opposition to the noxious “Fiscal Stability” Treaty. Even the ETUC, arch-defenders of all things “European,” opposed it; but it was a bridge too far for the ICTU and, shockingly, for SIPTU, Connolly’s union. Thankfully, some unions—TEEU, Mandate, CPSU, and Unite—maintained the honour of our movement by actively campaigning for a No vote.
     One can only conclude that the SIPTU-ICTU position was to avoid embarrassing the lamentable Labour Party. It was a wrong call. The present (and previous) leadership of the Labour Party set out a couple of years ago, à la “New Labour” in Britain, to sever its organic links with the trade union movement, the movement that actually established the party in Clonmel a hundred years ago (a recent centenary that couldn’t be celebrated, for “security reasons”!). The idea was that this would make Labour more attractive to the chattering classes and Dublin 4 brigade and therefore “more electable.”
     That is exactly the level of principle and type of reciprocal “loyalty” the trade union movement can expect from the Labour Party as it stands. And it is exactly the type of political approach that is rapidly making the Labour Party and mainstream social democracy in this country nothing but a “Fine Gael Lite,” as is consistently demonstrated by the plummeting levels of support for Labour in working-class constituencies.
     Imperialism doesn’t send gunboats up the Liffey any more, because it doesn’t need to. The finance houses of “Europe” control us just as surely as the British Empire did in James Connolly’s time.
     As Connolly might have said, “Whoop it up for liberty!”

Friday, July 20, 2012

Heroic Steelworkers of Greece

The intimidation will not succeed- Solidarity with the heroic strike of the steelworkers

A large throng of workers, trade unions, mass organizations flocked to the side of the striking workers at the Steelworks, in response to the call of the trade union and PAME for everyone to come to the Steelworks and to strengthen their solidarity, which they have been expressing for the 9 months of the ongoing steelworkers’s strike.

This is the response of the working class to the attack of the riot police and the use of teargas against the strikers, which took place in the early hours the 20th of July.

The workers of this company have been on strike for 263 days, struggling for work with decent wages, the rehiring of the dismissed workers and against the humiliating salaries proposed by the employer.

The government under orders from the employer Manessis, and while previously the strike had been characterised as “illegal” by the courts, carried out a major operation aimed at suppressing the strike, with the detention of 9 strikers who were at the factory gates, guarding their heroic strike, in the police station. There are now 6 coaches with many riot squads at the factory gates.

This how the government responds to the just demands of the workers to ensure their labour rights and a decent life for themselves and their families. The government which serves the interests of the big employers.

At the same time in a telephone intervention to the Minister of Public Order, Nikos Dendias, was carried out by Spyros Chalvatzis, member of the CC and MP of the KKE, demanding the removal of the riot police and that all those who have been detained be released.

As the statement of the Press Office of the CC of the KKE notes amongst other things: “The Parliamentary Group of the KKE will continue inside and outside of the Parliament to support and show solidarity with the just and heroic struggle of the steelworkers and all the workers who are being impoverished and ruined by the political line of the three-party government ND-PASOK-Democratic Left and the political line of the EU and the monopolies.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Government attempts to ‘silence’ a local Irish language activist

19 July 2012

Government attempts to ‘silence’ a local Irish language activist – by threatening his job – were condemned last night by independent political activist Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig. 

Mac Giolla Easbuig’s comments came after it emerged that Dónal Ó Cnaimhsí, a spokesperson for Irish language group Guth na Gaeltachta, received a threatening letter from his employers at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht this week. The letter suggested that Ó Cnaimhsí’s future with Glenveagh National Park was in question because of his public position on the new Gaeltacht Bill. 

‘While the bill itself is of great concern for the future of the gaeltachts, there is a wider issue here,’ Mac Giolla Easbuig said. 
‘What concerns me most about this is the fact that someone considers it acceptable to threaten this man’s job because he happens to have an opinion.' 

Mac Giolla Easbuig said that the issue was causing concern for others 'who work for the state but happen to also be involved in community and voluntary work'.

'Local people are shocked and outraged. This is about a basic civil liberty – the right to free speech. It’s nothing more than Blueshirt tactics from Dinny McGinley’s department.’ 

Ó Cnaimhsí, who works as a gardener, was told on Tuesday that he could be dismissed for having criticised the controversial new Gaeltacht Bill. The Department’s letter claimed that his public stance could be viewed as a breach of his employment contract, a view that Mac Giolla Easbuig termed ‘dishonest and misleading at best – at worst, it’s blackmail’.

‘Surely it is ridiculous that a gardener – who has no role in policy development – should be told that because he is an employee of the state he has to surrender his right to have an opinion. 

'If that was the case, for example, former teachers like Dinny McGinley would have no place in political life. This is nothing more than an attempt to shut up someone who only wants to contribute to the cultural life of his community.’

Mac Giolla Easbuig called on Minister McGinley and his department to issue separate apologies regarding the incident. 
‘Also, this man should also be reassured of his right to free speech and that any future comments he makes in regard to the Irish language do not cause trouble of any kind for him in his place of work.

‘The government should be encouraging people to get involved in democratic decision making - not sending them threatening letters. It’s sad in this day and age that people involved in community work and trying to make life better for their fellow citizens are victimised for doing so.’ 

Líomhaintí faoi “Thaicticí Léinte Gorma” i gcás Bhille na Gaeltachta

March in NYC in support of locked out workers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No alternative but repudiate as an alternative

If you turn on your television and watch the news or read a newspaper there appears to be a constant series of “summits” about the continuing economic crisis. We have summits of EU leaders, or G7 and G20, or bilateral meetings between Germany and France or Germany and some other country—all giving the impression that something is being done, that a solution has been found or some new policy developed to overcome the crisis, that millions of jobs will suddenly appear, or that this summit will be a turning-point, more important than the previous ones.
     But all that’s really happening is that the same individuals (mainly men) in well-manicured suits, with a battery of advisers, luxury limos, and first-class flights on a plethora of airlines—all at our expense—gather in expensive hotels that most of us wouldn’t be allowed to enter or get within a mile of.
     The only job creation strategy they have is to keep low-paid workers working in the same expensive hotels and luxury restaurants.
     We constantly hear the refrain that this EU summit or that EU meeting may come forward with some answers to the mounting, crippling debt burden now imposed on working people in the peripheral countries of the EU, including our own little piece of rock in the North Atlantic.
     Yet we continue to carry the burden, and that burden will only get heavier and heavier. By the end of June the Government will have put €67.8 billion (your money) into bank recapitalisation, just to keep their doors open.
     We have squandered the national pension fund.
National pension fund
2012:€5.8 billion

2008:6.3 per cent
2012:14.5 per cent
—a jump of 8.2 points

40,500per year
3,330per month
111per day
5people per hour
     In one year alone the Irish state paid more than €10 billion to bondholders. In the last week of June the present Government paid €1.1 billion to four unsecured and unguaranteed bondholders, two from Irish Nationwide and two from Anglo-Irish.
     Our own internal Troika of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil have been telling us that we must pay this debt, and that it can be paid by a combination of massive cuts in public spending and then through the economy growing—that the economy would grow by such and such a percentage per year (3 to 4 per cent in 2013).
     They haven’t got a hope in hell of doing that. So if the economy is not growing, the only other option is to cut deeper and deeper into public spending and to hand more of our money over to foreign bankers.
     The people of Iceland are still refusing to pay the private bank debt.
     There is simply no other solution than repudiating this debt. But to do that we need a progressive Government that would protect the people and their interests, putting the people first:
• looking for alternative sources of money (capital) internationally, such as “sovereign wealth funds” (what these are will be explained in the next issue),
• taking control of our rich natural resources,
• adopting an economic plan to use these resources in a sustainable way,
• increasing taxes on the rich,
• introducing greater democracy for working people, from the shop floor to the Government table.
     The pain now being inflicted on the people is to ensure that those on top remain on top. If sacrifices are to be made, let it be for a better Ireland: a different, more just and equal Ireland.
     But then, that’s not what the Irish elite would ever allow. We need to take what they will not give.
     Keep your hands on your wages and your eye on the prize of a better way forward and a better future.

Update on New York Lockout


It’s Day 13 of the Con Ed lockout of 8,500 UWU Local 1-2 workers. As of July 3, Con Ed cut off workers’ health insurance, and effective this week workers are filing for unemployment with the NYS Unemployment Trust Fund. Many members with families have been forced to file for public assistance in the form of food stamps, Medicaid and Childcare+, a state-run health insurance program for minors. It’s unconscionable that Con Ed, a public utility, is passing along the costs of its illegal and dangerous lockout to other state businesses and the taxpaying public. The labor movement is standing strongly alongside Local 1-2, with a series of events planned in coming days.

Massive rally planned for July 17: please share widely and encourage your members to turn out. The NYC CLC and Local 1-2 are organizing a show of  union strength and solidarity for Tuesday, July 17. Please assemble at the Local 1-2 picket line at 4 Irving Place at 4:30pm, and then march to Union Square for a 5:30pm rally. We need your help to send Con Ed a unified and amplified message: Fair Contract Now!

For more information check out the website below 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

World Peace Council Assembly

What is a free nation?

By James Connolly, February 1916

What is a free nation? A free nation is one which possesses absolute control over all its own internal resources and powers, and which has no restrictions upon its intercourse with all other nations similarly circumstanced except the restrictions placed upon it by nature.

A free nation must have complete control over its own harbours, to open them or close them at will, or shut our any commodity, or allow it to enter in, just as it seemed best to suit the well-being of its own people, and in obedience to their wishes, and entirely free of the interference of any other nation, and in complete disregard for the wishes of any other nation. Short of that power no nation possesses the first essentials of freedom.

A free nation must have full power to nurse industries to health, either by government encouragement or by government prohibition of the sale of goods of foreign rivals. It may be foolish to do either, but a nation is not free unless it has that power…

A free nation must have full power to alter, amend, or modify the laws under which the property of its citizens is held in obedience to the demand of its own citizens…

The most perfect world is that in which the separate existence of nations is held most sacred.

Workers’ Republic, 12 February, 1916

Will The Real Communist Party Please Stand Up?

Written by James Thompson        

As the CPUSA slides off into ideological, philosophical and political obscurity and isolation, we in Houston have been privileged to witness the party in action, no pun intended. CPUSA leadership has received sharp criticism from Houston as well as around the country and across the globe.
There has been no detectable response from leadership to the sharp criticism. However, there has been a recent flurry of self-destructive activity rather than any kind of logical, reasonable advocacy of their untenable positions or any attempts to engage in fair and open dialogue and debate.

The CPUSA, under the leadership of Sam Webb, has embarked upon tactics to deal with their local clubs which might be characterized as similar to the mindless game shows that people watch on TV. The script goes like this: anointed party leaders arrive unannounced in cities where there are clubs which challenge the political line of the leadership.

At this point, they start the game show which might be called “Will the real Communist Party please stand up?” They typically meet with the most troubled and troublesome members of the club they are trying to dissolve. They also contact people who have contacted the party website recently. They meet with these people individually, not as a group. The attempt is to isolate the members of the original club and split off the weaker and newer members.

As they meet with these individuals, the fun starts. They denounce the original club as not being recognized as a legitimate club of the CPUSA. They announce the formation of a new club which is fully recognized and anointed by CPUSA leadership. They attempt to peel off the members of the original club and fold them into the new club. They also seek to swallow the club’s resources with one gulp and attempt to slander the original club’s leadership.

The end of the game show is always disappointing because only the most craven sycophants of the party leadership win the kiss of death from the CPUSA leadership. And kiss of death they do get. Once the fun is over, the new club is left to fend for itself without any support from leadership. Typically, these new clubs fade out quickly and cease to function.

In Houston, the story follows the rigid script as discussed in an earlier article by A. Shaw posted on this website [<>].

This script has been played out in many cities and is currently playing in Houston and the Northeast and the West. It is probably playing in other areas of the country as well.

In Houston, I am the elected chair of the Houston Communist Party. Leadership arrived in Houston on June 29, 2012 and started meeting individually with club members. They did not respond to an invitation issued by me on June 13, 2012 to plan and organize a meeting with all the members of the club.

Instead, they contacted me by phone and e-mail on June 30, 2012 and proposed to meet with me individually and immediately. At the time they contacted me, I was in San Antonio on vacation with my wife. I responded that I was not available and that they should show me courtesy and respect when they request a meeting with me. I told them I would be happy to organize a meeting of the entire club to hold a reasonable and respectful dialogue with them, but needed advance notice in order to plan such a meeting. They persisted in only requesting an individual meeting with me. They made no mention of any charges against me in this contact.
On July 10, 2012, one of the party leaders sent me an e-mail informing me that I had been “dropped” from membership in the CPUSA. In doing so, they clearly violated Article VII of the party constitution which reads:

ARTICLE VII – Disciplinary Procedures and Appeals

SECTION 1. Subject to the provisions of this Article, any member or officer of the Party may be reprimanded, put on probation, suspended for a specified period, removed from office, dropped or expelled from the Party for actions detrimental to the interests of the Party and the working class, for factionalism, for making false statements in an application for membership, for financial irregularities, or for advocacy or practice of racial, national or religious discrimination, or discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

No action, including dropping, may be taken against a member without notifying him or her of the action and the reason for it. Assistance should be given to help comrades to overcome weaknesses and shortcomings, when possible.

SECTION 2. Subject to the provisions of this Article, any member shall be expelled from the Party who is a strikebreaker, a provocateur, engaged in espionage, an informer, or who advocates force and violence or terrorism, or who participates in the activities of any group which acts to undermine or overthrow any democratic institutions through which the majority of the American people can express their right to determine their destiny.

SECTION 3. Charges against individual members or committees may be made by any member or Party committee to the club of which the accused is a member or to the appropriate higher committee having jurisdiction.

All such charges shall be handled expeditiously by an elected trial committee of the club or appropriate higher body. The trial committee shall hear charges, make recommendations and then disband.

SECTION 4. All accused persons concerned in disciplinary cases, except publicly self-admitted informers and provocateurs, must be notified of the charges against them, shall have the right to appear, to bring witnesses, including non-members if agreed to by the trial committee, and to testify. The burden of proof shall be on the accusers.

SECTION 5. After hearing the report of the trial committee, the club or leading committee having jurisdiction shall have the right to decide by a two-thirds vote upon any disciplinary measure, including expulsion. Disciplinary measures taken by leading committees shall be reported to the club of each accused member. Higher bodies must be informed of all disciplinary actions above a reprimand. There shall be an automatic review of all expulsions by the next higher body.

SECTION 6. Any member or committee that has been subject to disciplinary action has the right to appeal to the next higher body up to the National Convention, whose decision shall be final. The National, State (or District) or other leading committee shall set a hearing within 60 days from the date of receipt of the appeal and notify the appellant of the hearing date. When, however, the appeal is to a State, District or National Convention, the appeal shall be acted upon by the Convention following the filing of the appeal, provided that such appeal is made at least 30 days prior to the convention.

So, in Houston, the game show evolved into a new twist. The new twist is “Will the real Communist please stand up?” It should be noted that the leader of the new, officially recognized club of the CPUSA, according to reports from party members in other parts of the country, is a former member of the Spartacist league in California. He has a history of campaigning against the United Farmworkers and called for workers to break the strike of the farmworkers because Cesar Chavez was a “bourgeois sellout.” This individual has not written a single article for the party press. I, on the other hand, have a history of writing hundreds of articles for the party press to include the People’s Weekly World and People’s World. Many of these articles were reproduced on the Texas Communist Party website. More recently, I have published articles in the Morning Star, People’s Voice and Unity, the paper of the Irish Communist Party.

The leader of the newly christened club in Houston has attacked me for not following “Democratic Centralism.” It should be remembered that Democratic Centralism refers to “diversity of opinion and unity of action.” Currently, the CPUSA viciously quashes any diversity of opinion and proposes no action which might unify the party. Indeed, leadership turned up its nose at an effort to overturn anti-Communist laws in Texas proposed by this writer. Instead of supporting this effort, they dropped me from membership in the party. Which side are they on?

One of the prominent members of the newly christened club contributed to the article posted on the Houston website entitled “Sam Webb: which side are you on?” Indeed, all club members fully supported the article at the time it was posted including the new leader of the split off sycophantic club. The treachery and hypocrisy of this new club created in the image of CPUSA leadership is obvious.

People in Houston are perplexed by the heavy-handed party process. They are having a hard time believing that national leadership can blow into town unannounced and collude with the sneakiest and most negative elements of the club to split and divide a functioning and growing club. They are not used to being robbed of their basic democratic rights and being subjected to the dictates of an Imperial CPUSA.

Although the party leadership has proposed the abandonment of basic party concepts such as the vanguard role of the party, class struggle, Leninism, democratic centralism and seeks to censor any discussion of party policy, a few individuals can always be enlisted in an attempt to undermine a truly working class organization. Indeed, people like me who disagree with the policy of supporting uncritically the imperialist Obama administration are quickly dropped from party membership without regard to the constitutional process.

This says nothing about the destruction of the party press and publications and the failure to fight against anti-Communist laws across the country. This says nothing about the delivery of important party documents and artifacts to a bourgeois university for safekeeping. This says nothing about the failure of the party to run candidates for public office since the 1980s. This says nothing about the proposal of party leadership to drop the words “Communist” and “party.” This says nothing about the four international Communist Parties (Greece, Mexico, Canada and Germany) who have sharply, publicly and openly criticized the political line of the CPUSA.

The Houston Communist Party has been attacked from the left by anarchists and Trotskyites who have sought to demoralize us. We have been attacked by CPUSA national leadership. We have been attacked by right wing ideologues such as Glenn Beck.

We view these attacks as confirmation that we are headed in the right direction.

We are here to stay. We are growing. We will not back down. We will continue to stand up for the working class because we are of, by and for the working class. It is clear which side our attackers and detractors are on. It is clear which side we are on. Our interests and the interests of the CPUSA leadership are irreconcilable.

July 11, 2012

IBCC Guernica Event Belfast Friday 3rd August

Next CP Public Meeting - Drugs from crop to community: A working class response

Drugs from crop to community: A working class response

New issue of Shopfloor out

New issue of Shopfloor from Mandate Trade Union

A great political union magazine 

July SV

July Issue of Socialist Voice

Check it out

Solidarity with Sudan

Communist Party of Sudan

Appeal for solidarity

On Wednesday evening the 4th of July 2012 the major opposition political parties, which include the Umma Party and the SCP, signed the political document entitled the “Democratic Alternative.” The signing took place on the twentieth day of the continuous mass demonstrations against the rule of the Albashir regime. These peaceful demonstrations, which engulfed the main cities and towns of the country, are being met with the most cruel repressive measures, widespread detention, the terrible torture of those detained, the denial of medical treatment, and beatings. Despite all this the demonstrators continue to defy the security repression and fill the streets. Yesterday Khartoum University students took to the streets for the umpteenth time.
Journalists, members of the Journalists’ Democratic Network, demonstrated in their hundreds in front of the UN human rights building, demanding an end to security harassment and intervention and respect for freedom of expression and for the release of detained journalists. It is worth mentioning that the security forces have released two female Egyptian journalists and deported them back to Egypt.
Lawyers, in their hundreds, have picketed the Ministry of Justice demanding respect for the constitution, fair trials for the demonstrators, better and more humane conditions for those arrested, including the right to see doctors and defence lawyers, and the release of all political prisoners and detainees.
It is clear that the demonstrations, which began as protests against rising prices and the austerity measures, are gradually taking a different shape, with new forces joining the protest movement and more political demands coming to the fore. The slogan demanding the overthrow of the regime is the main demand of the people.
In response to the continuing demonstrations and the growing struggles of the Sudanese people, the document on the “Democratic Alternative” was signed. The document calls for a transitional period during which the country is ruled under a special Constitutional Declaration, beginning with the establishment of a national unity government and finishing with the organisation of fair, free and honest elections.
Furthermore, the document called for the separation of religion from the state, and prohibiting the exploitation of religion for political purposes and its use in the political struggle so as to foster stability and social peace. The document defined the tactics for overthrowing the regime through strikes, peaceful demonstrations, occupation, civil disobedience, and people’s revolution.
The different political forces have agreed to continue the struggle till final victory, stressing that there is no way for talks with the regime.
The main challenge now is to transform the document into a people’s manifesto that can help to bring all opposition forces together in the final push against the regime. The Sudanese Communist Party, which has signed the document, wishes to stress that adherence to the document by those who have signed, and support by other forces who are waging fierce struggle in Darfur, Southern Kordufan, and the Blue Nile, as well as international solidarity, will all pave the way for an end to the present regime and the sufferings of our people and the establishment of a democratic Sudan.
Long live international solidarity! Victory for the Sudanese people!

Friday, July 13, 2012

thousands of workers locked out in NYC

News from New York where 8,500 workers have been locked out from their jobs at Con Ed gas company, the cities largest gas and electric company. The struggle in the US is intensifying with both private employers and states attacking workers right to be a trade union member and attacking their basic terms and conditions of employment.

Support the rally below.


Assemble at the Con Ed HQ Picket Line At 4 Irving Place at 4:30 pm


This is not a walkout:


Justice still being denied

We have just learned that the US prison authorities have once again intervened in the case of the Miami Five to deprive the Cuban heroes of their right to due legal process.
This time it is to ensure that Gerardo Hernández is prevented from meeting with his legal advisor and his consular advisors in the lead up to his final appeal. Those of you who have campaigned against the unjust incarceration of the Five for over a decade will recognise the pattern: the US "justice" system reverts to type each time there is any possibility of the Five advancing along the road to justice and denies them their internationally guaranteed rights to fair legal procedures.
This is an intolerable situation and one that demands immediate action at diplomatic level to achieve redress.
We are fortunate to have, as Minister of Foreign Affaris a Labour TD, Eamon Gilmore, who has been a signatory to the various appeals made in the case of the Miami Five over the past 12 years. It is now time for him to call in the US ambassador to Ireland and seek explanations for the latest denial of access to legal and consular representation.
Cuba Support Group Ireland call on all friends and supporters to contact the Minister, requesting that he take immediate action to hold the USA to account for the violation of the few legal rights remaining to Gerardo Hernández. Please be courteous, Mr Gilmore is a friend of the Miami Five and can be counted on to act in their interests - he just needs to be reminded that this matter is of sufficient importance to his electorate to warrant his direct involvement. Mr Gilmore can be contacted at or by phone to the Tánaiste's office at: 01 618 3566.
Full details of the latest abuse are included in the statement issued by the Cuban Foreigh Ministry which can be quoted from in any correspondence. Please cc any emails to together with any notification of correspondence reference numbers advised (a request for an official response should always be included in any correspondence to ensure that it correctly logged and tracked).
Please make contact with the Minister today as Gerardo only has a few days left in which to prepare his case.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
One of the five antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, has been subject of a new arbitrariness by the authorities of that country, aiming at hindering his legal process.
Last Saturday, July 7th, the Cuban officers who had been already authorized by the State Department to carry out a consular visit to Gerardo, were not able to fulfill it, under the supposed argument that the memorandum of the Chief of the penitentiary center Victorville, in California, authorizing their entrance to the prison, was not available at the reception desk. This fact powerfully calls the attention when, in addition to the procedures followed by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington with the State Department to get the authorization for this visit, Gerardo himself had reconfirmed with the prison´s authorities that everything was in order.
Additionally, last July 9th, lawyer Martin Garbus, member of Gerardo´s defense team, who had scheduled a legal visit to review, together with Gerardo, the documentation related to the current collateral process of appeal, was not able to do it with the same pretext that the memorandum of authorization of the chief of prison was not at the reception desk. Garbus could finally visit Gerardo, thanks to the fact that his name was on the visitor´s list; however, and given the conditions imposed to the type of visit he was authorized to, without a legal character, he could not bring in the documentation our Hero should read and sign, and neither met with him under the appropriate conditions.
This is not the first time events like this one occur. They have taken place systematically during every key moment of Gerardo´s legal process. Just to mention a few examples: in 2010, during the preparations of the collateral appeal, known as Habeas Corpus, the penitentiary authorities denied Gerardo the possibility to be visited by his lawyer Leonard Weinglass in two occasions, and deliberately delayed the delivery of his legal mail, which prevented his participation in the reviewing. In 2003, Gerardo was isolated in a punishment cell prior to the presentations of his direct appeal.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs denounces this new maneuver by US authorities, aiming at hindering Gerardo´s process of appeal, depriving him from one of the few rights he has as a prisoner in the United States.
Gerardo has been sent to solitary confinement several times without justification; he´s had repeated difficulties with his personal and legal mail; his wife, Adriana, has not been granted visa to visit him and they have not been able to conceive a child. During his long and unjust imprisonment, on charges for crimes he did not commit and have never been proved, his rights have been violated repeatedly.
Cuba will not stop denouncing to the world these violations and will not cease the efforts to achieve the return to the Homeland of Gerardo and his other four brothers unjustly imprisoned and retained in the United States for almost 14 years.
Havana July 12th, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Solidarity with ULA

The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its solidarity with TDs who operate under the banner of the United Left Alliance and with all members and supporters of the ULA at this time. We understand full well the nature of the attacks being carried out by the anti-working-class, anti-union Independent News and Media, by other sections of the mass media, and by sections of the political establishment. Our party has been on the receiving end of such attacks for more than ninety years.

     These attacks and attempts to undermine left forces should serve to remind everyone that there is no such thing as “free” or “independent” national media, nor are Dáil Éireann and its truncated structures immune from or above class struggle. The attacks now under way against sections of the ULA must be seen as attacks on all the left, just as anti-communism and its use as a political weapon by either the left or the right is an attack on all the left.

     The attacks on the ULA are just part of the continuous offensive against working people and should serve as a salutary reminder, if that is needed, and a warming that every misdemeanour will be used in corralling all expressions of opposition into the narrow rut that the establishment has constructed in relation to what is democratic and to what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Upcoming CP meeting