On Saturday 26th November IRSP-ALBA held a question & answer session was held with Rab Collins (Ex-Blanketman and OC of the RSM prisoners during the 1981 hunger strike) and Paul Little (Ex-POW and IRSP Ard-Comhairle member).The meeting was well-attended and greatly received by all present. Rab gave an honest and moving account of his experience during the blanket protest and hunger strike. Rab’s account also had a number of more humorous points including an incident where a screw mistook him for a fellow employee inside a prison van! This was an opportunity for the RSM to publicise the experience of their prisoners in Long Kesh to a wider audience. Paul Little gave an excellent presentation on the politics of the IRSP and how this relates to republican socialists in Scotland. The support group were very pleased with the success of this discussion and plans are already underway to organise more of these sessions next year.
On Sunday IRSP-ALBA had a strong contingent on the John MacLean Rally. This was the first outing for our new banner which many on the march complimented us on. At the assembly point of the march, our new edition of the ‘Workers Republic’ was distributed amongst the crowd. The march left from the grave of John MacLean at Eastwood Cemetery and finished at the MacLean memorial cairn in Pollokshaws. Our contingent and comrades from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! carried placards in support of the Maghaberry political prisoners. At the social function afterwards the following short statement was read out:
“The members of IRSP-ALBA would like to extend a message of solidarity to the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement (SRSM) and all those here in attendance at the 2011 commemoration of John MacLean.
John MacLean was a great hero of the working class and deserves to be remembered as such. We pay tribute to MacLean as a defender of the poor and exploited both in Scotland and in Ireland.
Today in Maghaberry, prisoners are subjected to archaic and draconian conditions which are designed to break their spirit. John MacLean also faced similar treatment as a political prisoner in Peterhead prison. This shows the British government have consistently used their jails to suppress the working class. However, just as MacLean was not broken, neither will they break the spirit of the political prisoners in Maghaberry.
Comrades, we must maintain the links between the Scottish and Irish working class in order to promote our shared aspiration of a socialist republic in both our respective nations”.
Scotland out of Britain! Britain out of Ireland!
The IRSP-ALBA support group would like to thank everyone who helped with both our educational discussion and our participation in the John MacLean rally. We have ended the year on a high and we look forward to working with all republicans and socialists in 2012.
Saoirse Go Deo!