Anti - Imperialism and Ireland
an anarchist perspective

A collection of Irish anarchist texts written from the early 1980's to the mid 1990's on the conflict in northern Ireland and the respective roles of British imperialism, Irish republicanism and loyalism.

The working class are bitterly divided along sectarian lines, can anarchism offer a strategy for workers unity and removing the British state?

These are mostly pre cease fire texts, for texts since see The Irish 'Peace Process'

Ireland and British Imperialism
A pamphlet outlining many of the key issues and giving background historical details

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The IRA cease-fire and republican politics

The 'Irish peace process' is now well into its second year. It has brought respectability for Sinn Féin but little of consequence for the Irish working class - North or South. Gregor Kerr a member of the National Committee of the Irish Anti Extradition Committee in the late 1980s, looks at events leading up to the cease-fire and Sinn Féin's pan-nationalist strategy. 

The Irish 'Famine': Why 1,000,000 died

The Irish Famine was not just a result of British Government incompetence or the greed of a few landlords. But of what happens when you have a system that puts profits for the few above all else.

1916: What are you celebrating?

THIS YEAR marks the 75th anniversary of the Easter Rising. There will be all sorts of commemorations throughout the country, organised by forces ranging from Fianna Fáil to Sinn Féin. We will hear a lot of talk about the "spirit of 1916", what does it mean today?

When the Red Flag flew in Munster

FARM LABOURERS STRIKES, occupations of creameries, red flags flying and 'soviets' being declared. Not usually the sort of thing associated with the years 1919-1923, the years of the War of Independence and the Civil War. This article covers the events of these years they 'forgot' to tell you about in school.

When the Falls & the Shankill fought together

This year is the 60th anniversary of the Outdoor Relief strike in Belfast, which saw unemployed Catholics and Protestants fighting alongside each other.

Republican Congress

When British army chiefs refused to obey orders

The Ulster Workers Council (UWC) strike of May 1974 was just one of the incidents that showed, far from being "impartial", the RUC and the British army did their best to prop up loyalism.

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A complete chronological list of articles on the IRA cease-fire and the 'Peace Process'

The IRA and its armed struggle : A Bloody Long War (1992)

Gerry Adams is no longer an MP. The politicians and media pundits are over the moon with joy. In the immediate aftermath we were subjected to a barrage of questions and comments. Will there be an escalation of the armed struggle? Will there be a ceasefire?

The Downing street declaration and the republicans (1994)

The peace negotiations represented the culmination of two trends. Firstly there is increasing war weariness and disillusionment among nationalists. On the British side a second factor has come into play. The massive bill for the devastation of several parts of the business heart of London prompted the British government to begin talking

Ireland, Sinn Fein and the peace talks (1994)

The peace talks represent the ditching of Sinn Féin's left gloss and a return to good old nationalist politics, pure and simple.

7/9/94 Statement on the IRA cease-fire 

Whats happening in the six counties? (1995)

Last Autumn the speed at which events in Northern Ireland were moving wrong-footed pundits across the political spectrum. British soldiers shouldered arms and swaped hard hats for natty berets, loyalists attacked police stations, Gerry Adams was "Mandelifeid" (to coin a phrase) into a serious statesman with a cute North Belfast brogue.

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One year on: Evaluating the Ceasefire

The IRA ceasefire is approaching its first anniversary. That year has been striking for two things, on the one hand the success of the 'peace process' in turning Sinn Féin from demonised pariahs to lauded peace makers. On the other hand, the failure of the process to produce any substantial gains for the nationalist community.

It's still an Orange state (1996)

Again this year loyalist parades were forced through nationalist areas destroying any illusions that the British state is neutral in the 6 counties.

26/2/96 Statement on the end of the IRA cease-fire

Bombs are no solution (1996)

After the end of the IRA cease-fire what sort of politics are needed to bring permanent peace

Gerry Adams..A man you can do business with (1997)

The latest meeting between the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Sinn Féin leadership took place on March 25th. Whatever the Sinn Féin leadership and the CBI are constructing together it's not part of a path which leads to a united socialist Ireland.

Look Who's Talking Now (Jan. 1998)

The result of the talks will almost certainly be to make sectarianism official and institutionalise it. We will see Unionist and Nationalist politicians going into competition for investment from the multinationals and the E.U. for "their" areas

Peace deal offers sectarian war or sectarian peace [Summer 1998]

The huge vote, North and South, in favour of the 'Good Friday Agreement' shows that the vast majority do not want a return to pre-ceasefire violence. Can this agreement get to the root of the sectarian problem and deal with the hatreds, fears and suspicions that have bedevilled our country?

Statement on the May 22nd Irish referenda ('Peace agreement') (May 1998)

Hobson's choice : The "Good Friday Agreement" & the Irish Left (October 1988)

The "Good Friday Agreement" was passed by an overwhelming majority of voters North and South. The agreement presented something of a Hobson's Choice for the Irish working-class - which route to an entrenchment of sectarianism do you want to take? Here Gregor Kerr looks at the reactions to the agreement of the Irish left.

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No More Omaghs (Autumn 1998)

For almost three decades we have seen too many "tragic mistakes" like Bloody Friday, Birmingham, the La Mon Hotel, Enniskillen, the Abercorn restaurant, Claudy, the Shankill Road, etc. etc. Planting bombs in town centres means treating the risk of casualties as "acceptable"

The more things change, the more they stay the same (Autumn 1999)

George Mitchell has flown in to Belfast and begun a round of meetings with political parties in the North in a supposed "review" of the Good Friday Agreement.

Red and Black Ireland

News of Anarchism in Ireland

The Ainriail mailing list carries the latest news from the WSM and the struggles anarchists are involved in. There are never more then 10 posts a week (and normally only 2-4).

More details!


The bigots won't keep us apart

1991 was a year of little change up North. Just as the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1986 led to a rampage by Loyalist gangs, in the wake of the Brooke talks 36 Catholic civilians were killed in random attacks. Six taxi drivers were killed, singled out as easy targets.

Workers Action is the answer

The killing of the seven building workers in January marks the most bloody episode in an IRA campaign against those who work for the 'security forces', a campaign which has been going on since 1985. There has been a massive wave of condemnation from bishops, politicians and media figures.

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Troops out : Prisoners out

We welcome the cease-fire. The "peace process", however, has little to recommend it. It represents little more than arguments over who exactly will administer capitalism in Ireland.

Dump the politicians off your backs

The problem for the unionist politicians is that, unlike the period of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, when over a hundred thousand could be mobilised in demonstrations, now they are unable to organise any significant opposition.

Neither Orange nor Green

Sinn Féin's politics offer little more to Northern workers, as a class, than the politics of the fringe loyalist groups. Both aspire to getting a better deal for the poor and oppressed in their communities but neither are capable of delivering, as they are limited to rhetorical appeals to the workers of the other side to "see sense"

A new loyalist party?

David Ervine of the UVF linked Progressive Unionist Party, Gusty Spence and Gary McMichael of the UDA's Ulster Democratic Party are all talking about is a new working class loyalist political party. There is much talk of how the ordinary working class Protestant has gained nothing from the old loyalism, of poor housing and the lack of respect shown to them by the "fur coat brigade".

..Time to stop beating the Orange drum

Orange sectarianism is not without a material base, and it is not some sort of frightened reaction to militant republicanism. Unless we understand the basis for sectarianism we will not be able to uproot it. When Protestant workers accept loyalist values they are joining an alliance with their bosses.

Marching to nowhere :Stirring Up Sectarian Hatred (Summer)

It is a great tragedy that once again this July the working class population of Belfast's Lower Ormeau will be mobilising to try and stop the Orange Order from marching down their road. A tragedy because the Order should never get that far.

The Orange Order: An enemy of all workers (Summer)

The reality of the Orange Order is that it is a counter-revolutionary institution set up and maintained to target not just Catholics but also 'disloyal' Protestants.

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It was always time to go..Troops out now!

25 years ago, on Thursday, August the 15th, 1969, 400 soldiers from the Prince of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment took up positions around Derry city.

After Warrington: A new Peace Movement?

Peace 1993 has started with the analysis we are offered again and again by our rulers and the media. Paramilitaries, especially republican ones, are portrayed as gangsters and psychopaths used and manipulated by cynical "godfather's of crime".

The real difference is not between
Catholic & Protestant but between rich and poor

Some republicans seem to be genuinely surprised that the 'peace process' collapsed. How can anything be expected from the British state which was responsible for Bloody Sunday, for smashing the miners strike, for running down the NHS

Nationalism...No Thanks

Anarchists are for the defeat of British imperialism. But we want more, we stand for the creation of a new society in the interests of the working class and against the bosses, both orange and green.

Irish nationalism is not for us

Anarchists are for the defeat of British imperialism. But we want more, we stand for the creation of a new society in the interests of the working class. This is very different from the politics of nationalism, of Sinn Fein

Look Who's Talking Now [Spring 1998]

The result of the talks will almost certainly be to make sectarianism official and institutionalise it. We will see Unionist and Nationalist politicians going into competition for investment from the multinationals and the E.U. for "their" areas

Articles 2 & 3: What would you do with them?

In an upcoming referendum anarchists will oppose the deletion of Article 2. We do so, not because we support the 26 county state over the 6 county one, but because we are opposed to the partition of Ireland.

What's another (Irish) life?

British army officers let the cat out of the bag.

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Northern workers paid less

Workers in northern Ireland are paid less then workers in Britain or the rest of Ireland.

Northern Ireland tops list of scrooge bosses

Unionist MP supports anti-Catholic threats

The Irish Nazi, the Unionist MPs and the British Tories

An Irish fascist has turned up as editor of Right Now!, an ultra-right magazine within the British Conservative Party. Among the MPs who have spoken at its meetings are Deputy DUP leader Peter Robinson and Orange Grand Master Martin Smyth

Bigots and ballot boxes

Two short illustrations of the sectarian nature of the state in northern Ireland

Position Papers

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Sectarianism in the north and the fight against it

This talk is about sectarianism in the North. Sectarianism is something that has existed to a greater or lesser extent in Ireland since the plantations and must be overcome if socialism can be introduced

Loyalist myths: King Billy revisited

The Orange Parades on and around the twelfth of July have long been a bone of serious contention and indeed a source of sectarian conflict in the Six Counties. Members of the Orange Order demand their unalienable right to march the Queen's highway, in commemoration of the victory of King William of Orange at the battle of the Boyne - a victory (as the Orangemen see it) for religious and civil liberty.

Republicanism and anarchism

While the prospect of an end to political violence would doubtless be welcomed by the vast majority of people living on this island and especially by the population of the 6-Counties, it is important for all of us to realise where the so-called "peace process" is leading

The Limerick soviet of 1919

The first problem facing the strikers was how to feed Limericks 38,000 inhabitants. The committee sat in secession all of monday organising food distrubution. The committee was sivided into two sections, one to recieve food and one to deliver it. Hundreds of special permits were issued allowing shops to open

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Related articles

Church power in the south...

The Catholic church in Ireland has always been massively supported by the State and allowed a huge say in the running of the country. This article will attempt to cover the facts of church power in Ireland and the long history of State support beginning hundreds of years be fore the establishment of the 26 county state