Category Archives: internationalism

SY Waterford Meeting:

The revolutionary ideas of Che Guevara

Student Forum

6pm Thurs 11th February

Room RHA 203

Organised by Socialist Party & Socialist Youth in Waterford IT

For more info – 086 1225374

Come to the Socialist Youth Summer Festival

SY Summer Festival Brochure

SY Summer Festival Brochure

Friday 22nd August – Sunday 24th August

Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow

All Welcome

Cost: €65/£50 (Cost includes accomodation, food and travel)

To download the brochure please click here.

If you would like to book your place please send your name, address, phone, e-mail and any special food requirements you may need to:

Socialist Youth Dublin
P.O. Box 3434, Dublin 8

Socialist Youth Belfast
13 Lombard St
Belfast
BT1 1RB

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Successful protests against Bush visit

By Daniel Waldron, Belfast Socialist Youth

On 16 June, the slogan ‘No Bush’ was displayed on Divis Mountain, overlooking Belfast. While George Bush was greeted with smiles and handshakes by the politicians, this piece of artwork by local activists summed up the attitude of ordinary people towards the visit of the warmonger. Radio shows were flooded with calls about the massive disruption being caused to people by the huge police operations in place to protect this unwelcome visitor.

Bush’s visit was met with vibrant protest, much bigger than recent anti-war mobilisations. At a lunchtime rally at City Hall organised by the Belfast Anti-War Movement, 500 protestors gathered, many from nearby workplaces. The crowd was very youthful, with many saying they had never been to a protest before. Clearly, revulsion at Bush’s invitation and everything he represents had inspired a new layer of young people to get active.

Ogra Shinn Fein and SDLP Youth had members at the rally, protesting Bush’s reception while their leaders posed for the cameras by his side and smiled as he tried to bask in the reflected glow of the ‘peace process’. Rightly, this hypocrisy was denounced from the platform.

Unfortunately, the idea of building a political alternative to challenge the sectarian parties and the neo-liberal agenda that they share with Bush was not raised. Those, like Socialist Youth, who raise socialist ideas have been consciously excluded from BAWM platforms. The Socialist Workers Party, which undemocratically controls the BAWM, doesn’t want to risk ‘scaring off’ right-wing trade union bureaucrats.

Despite the intimidatory police presence, 200 made their way to the gates of Stormont, to bring the protest right to the local politicians’ front door. There were noisy chants and speaker after speaker denounced both Bush and the local politicians.

These protests were important and ensured that Bush was not able to freely portray himself as a ‘man of peace’. They also gave an indication that, by consistently connecting the crisis in the Middle East to the attacks on workers’ conditions here, it is possible to rebuild a mass anti-war movement.

SY Belfast Event: 1968 – A year of revolt

Come to this special Socialist Youth event to discuss the revolutionary events of 1968.

Sessions on: Revolution sweeps France, Civil Rights Movement, lessons for socialists today

Saturday 21st June – Socialist Party Offices, 13 Lombard St

ADMISSION FREE, For more info contact 07876146473

Torch protests, child labour and the multinationals!

Laura Fitzgerald

In countries the length and breadth of the globe, such as Britain, France and the US, the state has intervened against protesters, in an attempt to protect the farce of the carrying of the Olympic torch.

The Olympic Games are dressed up as a spectacular event that unites the people of the world in a spirit of fairness and fraternity. Around the world, as the Olympic torch is hurtled around in as swift a manner as possible, the ruling class internationally would rather not have the inconvenience of the politicisation of such a wonderfully neutral and benevolent event, so useful in generating a “feel-good factor” to detract from the realities of capitalism.

Young people around the world are right to protest during the carrying of the Olympic torch for myriad reasons. There is nothing neutral or benevolent about those who have control over the Olympic Games. Why? You only have to watch the Games via the television screen for a few minutes in order to figure out the answer – the Olympic Games have massive vested corporate interests. The real winners are the likes of Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola etc. that receive invaluable opportunities to bombard us with advertisements, promoting their products to an ever-growing audience, making super-profits in the process.

Everything becomes an opportunity for profit-making under capitalism meaning that the positive aspects of sport are grossly cut-across. Athletes, so desperate for the lucrative sponsorship from Nike, Adidas and the likes, are pushed in the direction of performance-enhancing drugs in order to win. It detracts from the spectacular athleticism on display to realise that the drive to win, a drive that is bringing so many athletes to the lows of cheating, is linked to pressure from the multi-nationals sponsoring them! The captain of the Indian national football team, who has refused to carry the Olympic torch because of the Chinese repression of youth, workers and poor demonstrating in Tibet, is a welcome exception to the rule.

The real nature of the Games is displayed most succinctly by the fact that the International Olympics Committee has been forced to investigate claims that the official merchandise for Beijing 2008 is being produced by workers who are being paid as little as 26 cent an hour, some of whom are as young as 12.

The reality is that the Olympic torch’s extravagant and ostentatious globe-trotting is made possible off the back of child labour! Young people should get active to expose and oppose this disgrace, as well as to demand that ownership of sport be taken back into the hands of ordinary people. The parasitic profiteers need to be told to push off with a big giant Nike Tick shoved up their….!

Belfast: End the occupation of Iraq – Young people show their anger

On the 15 March nearly 300 people protested in Belfast city centre on a wet and miserable day to show their anger at the war and occupation of Iraq.

Billions of pounds are being wasted annually by the British government while local hospital units and schools are getting closed across Northern Ireland.

Socialist Youth had a loud and very visible contingent on the demonstration arguing for a socialist solution to the crisis in the Middle East. We got an excellent response with a number of people joining on the day and more interested in finding out more.

Iraq five years on: End the Occupation – Fight for a socialist solution

By Paddy Meehan, Socialist Youth Regional Organiser

In 2003 Bush’s top commanders met to discuss the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They concluded then it would take four years to “normalise” the country. Yet from this March, US and British troops will have been in Iraq for five years with no end in sight to the conflict.

Bush’s intention is to dump the mess of Iraq onto his successor. It is estimated that the war and occupation of Iraq has claimed the lives of  over one million Iraqis and 4,000 US troops. No US presidential candidate has committed themselves to a complete withdrawal from Iraq. Both Republicans and Democrats represent the interests of companies like Haliburton and Blackwater who have made billions of dollars from the suffering and destruction in Iraq.

The US mission to ‘stabilise’ Iraq has failed miserably as 70% of Iraqi’s are without access to adequate water supplies and in total 4.6 million people have been forced to leave their homes. Living standards in Iraq are getting worse despite contracts of over $20 billion being paid to companies to rebuild Iraq. The US Congressional hearings in February 2007 stated that $10 billion was either “wasted or mismanaged” in Iraq. Along with this hardship, Iraq is descending into sectarian war. US forces lean on different ethnic and religious groups attempting to keep their control of the country. The Sunni Awakening Councils are being recruited extensively into the police and army. This is an attempt to challenge the control of Shia militias such as the Mehdi army by backing sections of the Sunni forces. But the real outcome is a fracturing of the police and army along religious lines, which can increase the likelihood of civil war.

US imperialism’s divide and rule strategy is directly contributing to the increasing sectarian divisions. Imperialism has no progressive role to play in the future of Iraq, and the longer the occupying armies remain the greater the chances of civil war and a break up of the country.   Socialist Youth and the Socialist Party believe that a united movement of working class Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds could drive out the occupying armies. A struggle by such a movement of the working class against imperialism and for a socialist solution is the only way to guarantee freedom, democracy and a decent life for all.

On 15 March thousands will protest around the world against the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the north Socialist Youth is aimimg to collect 5,000 signatures before the anniversary to show the opposition to the war. If you can help collect signatures or can build support for the protest please contact Socialist Youth at socialist.youth@btconnect.com or 02890232962.

In the south Socialist Youth will be participating in protests and also organising a series of “Resistance” meetings around the country at which young people can discuss political issues like the occupation of Iraq, climate change and socialism. You can find out more about Socialist Youth’s “Resistance” and anti-war activities by visiting socialistyouth.wordpress.com or phone us at 01 6772592.

Dublin: Join Socialist Youth on the anti-war demo on Saturday 15th March, 1pm Parnell Square, Dublin. more info – www.bebo.com/Socialist-Youth.

Belfast: Join the Socialist Youth contingent on the protest, Sat 15th March, 2pm Arts College, York St. (beside St Ann’s Cathedral)