Six Counties


A Play dedicated to all the men and woman who took part in the Hunger Strikes, the Blanket and No wash protests.
Starring – Brian Milligan
Directed by – Alison McCrudden
Music by Joe Kelly, Noël Barr and Tomas Taylor.
Technicians – Pat Gregory, Francis McCarton and Peter Hughes.
Producers – Paddy A and Gerard Fleming.

 

 

Yes it’s that time of year again when poppygate rears its ugly head and poppygate fascists like poppyscotland attempt to impose upon us British war propaganda and the recruitment machine culminates in what once was remembrance Sunday.

Lets get something clear. The poppy and remembrance Sunday is nothing to do with remembering the dead of all wars and all sides. It is to do with glorifying British dead soldiers. At the time remembrance Sunday began, the remembrance they were meaning was remembering the dead of enemies of Ireland, as Ireland was at a state of war with Britain.  I have no problem with British remembering their war dead but I do have a problem with them inflicting it on the rest of us who for whatever reason may not want to take part in their ceremonies and morbid celebration of war. There is no day for remembering what they call collateral damage – innocent civilians – who have been affected by a war not of their doing and haven’t sought to play a part in it. Poppy Scotland is a registered charity that raises money for the soldiers of war and their families. They do not give any thought or even recognition that the main victims of war are not soldiers but innocent civilians. Who is speaking for them?

Another problem is that the national question has not yet been resolved in Ireland and until it has been then we should have nothing to do with remembrance days for Black and Tans or any other British soldier that has served in the last 800 years. I don’t care if they supported Celtic or if they supported Hibs, Hearts or Motherwell. Who they supported or even played for does not come into it. Personally, I remember my British relatives and all who died, from whatever nation, in the Great Wars my own  way and I will not have some pipsqueak Poppy Fascist telling me how to do it. I also remember my relatives and fellow Irish and Scots/Irish who died and sacrificed so much to win Ireland’s freedom which is still a Work in Progress. Although I support peaceful political means to meet that end, I can’t rule out supporting the killing of more British Soldiers if they ever again make war on my ethnic family again.  Ireland’s 26 county republic is not what our dead died for so I can’t support the spilling of more blood for that. Even if it was a 32 county Republic, it’s still far from what they envisaged if the 26 County one we have now is any example to go by. It is only a 32 county Democratic Socialist Republic that I would support even working towards never mind spilling blood for.

Another two things that have not been reconciled and remain an obstacle to Scots/Irish from taking part in any ritual to honour dead British Soldiers is;

1. The Ballymurphy Massacre, when the same British para regiment that committed the bloody Sunday atrocity, go unpunished or at the very least, the atrocity goes unrecognised by the British Government. Until put to bed in the form of recognition and an apology. Irishmen or Scots/Irish should NOT be forced to take part in any ritual honouring these murderers. Even if or when they do recognise the Ballymurphy Massacre, no Irishman woman or Scots/Irish man or woman can be forced to take part in the honouring of British soldiers. I don’t see Israel having a remembrance day for German Soldiers killed in the war and I wouldn’t expect them to. Same rules apply. It would be nice to see and it would be nice for us to mourn but not honour Britain’s war dead – relatives or not. I have relatives that have died in the British Army but I don’t feel compelled to honour them while the Ballymurphy Massacre sits there, unrecognised, like a stinking pile of steaming warm shite that I just can’t see past. Get it sorted out.

2. An Gorta Mór or the Great Hunger. Better known as the Irish Potato Famine. If one didn’t know better, one would think that Irishmen and woman are a different species from humans and can only live on potatoes alone. Well as an oft quoted man in history who was supposed to have lived around 2000 or so years ago was supposed to have said “Man can not live on bread alone” Well the same goes for potatoes. Irish people starved while the best quality foodstuffs left the ports of Ireland bound for Britain’s western ports and Europe’s more accessible ports. There was a potato blight in Scotland too. But it was not to have such a destructive force upon the highland Scots as it was to have on the Irish. 1 million people died during An Drochshaol and around the same emigrated. It’s actually hard to say for those assumed to have emigrated may well have died without reaching their destination on the coffin ships that resembled the slave ships. This was in the years from 1845-52. A very clever form of ethnic cleansing that even highland Scots were a victim of. Unless they took the soup. The phrase “Took the Soup” comes from the An Gorta Mór days when protestant churches offered plates of rare nourishment in the form of soup if those that took it would sit through the Sunday Service with the Protestant church. More evidence of ethnic cleansing on the fly. I’m proud to say that not many “took the soup” and to this day the phrase means to compromise your beliefs and self-respect to make life easier for yourself. That’s why it pains me when I see Scots/Irish and Irish taking part in anything to do with the poppy. To me they are “taking the Soup”

Today I read in the Metro that there was a FIFA ban on poppies being on the national football strips at international matches. I also read that the SFA said that they thought it would be far more fitting to simply wear it on the track suit as the national anthems were being played by the bands or over the tannoy. For once, Sepp Blatter was spot on. It’s shameful that even he can see the logic while our own bigots effect deep offence at the thought of ignoring outside influences and getting on with the game. He said that “Football must keep it’s neutrality”. If the SFA could compromise then why didn’t the SPL last season? Were they bullied by the Poppy Scotland Fascists into the ridiculous step to sew on poppies to ALL their clubs jerseys? Did they take the soup and sell the jerseys or did Celtic make it easier for them and offer up the jerseys for nowt? With the war criminal gone, (John Reid) will he have taken his politics with him (picking it up at the door where he said he would leave it) and will Celtic have any backbone that Reid, love or hate like I hate him, gave Celtic in their dealings with the SPL and the SFA . You see that’s how I know Reid was behind the poppygate scandal, the bastard sat back like Pontius Pilate and washed his hands of it by saying it was nothing to do with him, it was an SPL thing. So anyway, we avoid poppygate this year courtesy of the Scottish International with Cyprus.

So what if the Internationals weren’t on to save everyone the embarrassment of Poppygate? What should Celtic supporters do to express their opposition to the Poppy Fascists. I don’t presume to speak for Celtic supporters. In fact, shame on them, I am in the minority, I suspect. If only they would open their eyes a little. It’s the middle class prawn sandwich mob of the Celtic support I am addressing. Lets take it as a given that they are not blind and have grown the sense to be on board with me about Poppygate. I am also speaking to the working class and the middle class supporters that are already in agreement with me. I say their protest should be silent and dignified. In three weeks time, it will be near St Andrew’s Day. The Green Brigade and the Talfanzine have been at the forefront of anti-racism along with Celts Against Fascism. These are the kind of supporters who are a credit to the club. It’s these supporters who are the main if not the only reason I am a Celtic fan today. Together, and there is/was a lot of cross membership, they represented what I thought was good about the club. I did not choose to be a Celtic fan, Celtic ‘s fan base that was made up mostly of these types of people made me a natural Celtic supporter. How could I not support a club that had men like these among their ranks. Also the wider Celtic family chose me. They didn’t know it and they probably wish they hadn’t. They are truly the best supporters in the world and it is they who drew me to the club. Anyway, back to the question. What should we best do as Celtic supporters in the face of another Poppygate like the seasons that have gone before, after Mr Reid arrived with his politics left at the door. Celtic supporters should have a Saltire day on St Andrews day with, an anti Racism theme, when everyone brings in their Saltire and wave it instead of the usual flags. This will emphasise that we are a Scottish Club with Irish roots.

We should wait and see what Celtic PLC do for that year’s British recruitment drive but anticipate possible scenarios and have in place the proper response. If they take part in the British Army recruitment drive, then we should protest by leaving the stadium if they adorn the strip with the poppy and if we have foreknowledge of their intentions and they are as we fear, then we should simply not go in. Protest outside and then a few weeks later have a Saltire Anti-Racism Day to coincide with St Andrew’s day so that no one can throw the plastic paddy usual bullshit at us.

That would drive home the message that we are against wars of adventurism such as the 1st World war “to end all wars” supposedly, and for the “rights of small nations to be free”. What about that wee nation just to the west of you Britain you hypocritical bastards? Or Afghanistan for that matter? Wars such as the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan are all wars of imperialist adventurism and served no purpose other than to lead to slaughter, like lambs, working class Scottish youth. Did you know that Britain or America has been in a state of war with someone in every decade since the war to end wars. In fact they go further back. Ask yourself – can you find a decade in which the Americans or the British have NOT been in a state of war or “conflict” in say the last 1 no 2 no try 3 hundred years. Also these wars of imperialism are about greed, whether it’s the military industrial complex, or simply oil. But Afghanistan hasn’t got any oil I hear you say. No but it has the means to deliver oil to the west. Also it has a multi million pound narcotics industry that needs protecting. Why else are American and British troops protecting the poppy fields instead of burning them. Why are they not encouraging farmers to grow pomegranates which thrive in a climate such as Afghanistan. What the fuck is he on about Pomegranates for now, what are they gonna do for the Afghan economy? Well they are a lot cheaper to grow and harvest and stick on the supermarket shelf. You can stick in big letters on the minimal wrapping “Most definitely not grown in Zionist Israel so it’s OK to buy them!” Of course they are only an example of what can be grown. Fruit and Veg to rival the quality of Turkey’s and Persia’s can be grown there and they can demand high prices for them, for the fruit grown in Afghanistan will be of equal quality because of the climate. They have been protecting the drugs industry and the United Fruit Company interests in South America for decades. Now they are doing the same with heroin and Oil in Afghanistan.  The Nazi Germans in the war had to fall back on heroin substitute, methadone, in the 2nd world war. The Americans and British are making sure they do not need the substitute now that they have 90% of the world’s narcotics in their sphere of influence.  Ask yourself this – If they have control of 90% of the narcotics in the world, why then has the supply not dropped, but it has increased and cut down in potency and purity to make more profits? Who is profiting? Why are they allowed to profit if the British and Americans have control over it. They only answer is that junkies in America and Britain are paying for the war so the oil barons don’t have to. It’s the only conceivable answer. This whole thing keeps working class youths in America and Britain dependent on the Governments for their fix. They become apathetic and never question the motives of their respective governments. This is not some conspiraloon shite, the numbers don’t lie. If I’m wrong then I must be brought before the courts for libel. But they won’t do that because they wont stand up to scrutiny.

That’s what these wars are all about. Oil and drugs, the most expensive minerals outside silver and gold which they have bought up anyway to inflate the prices.

Did you know the South African Government during apartheid, I don’t know about now, held back the diamond stock simply to impress the rarity and so could inflate the prices of Diamonds. Other gemstones are far more rare than diamonds. Diamonds were only given the appearance of rarity to  increase their prices. OPEC does it with oil and the Americans don’t like it one bit because they had no control over it. Now they have control over more than 45% of the world’s oil. They are trying to get, with this pipeline through Afghanistan, control over the supply of 75% of the world’s oil. They do that by offering working class kids in America and Britain a way out of the drugs cycle. Join the Army, be cool, see the world and shag loads of woman, or men or camels, whatever takes your fancy. You can even rape them if you want. We’ll just turn a Nelson’s. Just go out there and shoot loads of people. It’s the American way and Winston would want it that way.

What they don’t tell them is that they will stand a good chance of losing some limbs due to IED ambushes, for Afghanistan is great country for ambushing invading troops. Just ask the Russians. But every year a few months after armed forces day when the British soldier is held up as a super hero who chose to defend his country against the invading hordes of Islam. The Glorification of that shite is given a further nudge by Armistice Day and in between, our television sets are covered with Armed Forces promotional adverts that, clearly hide the truth from the simple 16-17 year old working class kids. Fight for your country and be a hero. It’s no better than the Islamist videos exhorting young Muslims to become martyrs for Allah. They will be repaid in paradise. I’d like to see their faces when there is no paradise but only death for one who takes an innocent life in any name. Same goes for British soldiers, I’ve looked down the business end of the British Rifle being held by a British soldier many times from the age of 8. I can not and will not support any movement that encourages that kind of behaviour from British soldiers. I don’t care if most of them are all right, and my mates sister is getting married to one. I can only wish them a horrible day until they come home and get their heads fixed. I’d be grateful if they didn’t beat their wives went they got drunk or pished on their bed sit fellow ‘s shoes in the middle of the night because they are incontinent. Oh and leave out the war stories ‘cos they bore the tights off me. “I lost friends in Crossmaglen”, ” Well that was fucking careless”.

I’m sorry, I’m making light of a very serious problem that doesn’t get spoke about in the armed Forces Day to Armistice Day recruitment drive by the armed forces.  Post – Traumatic – Stress – Syndrome. They don’t tell you about this in their glossy magazines in the recruitment office waiting room. They don’t mention it in the adverts. They don’t really have anyone telling them they might become bed-wetters by the time the Army’s finished with them. And that’s ones’ that haven’t seen any combat yet! Don’t be fooled either by the myth that soldiers aren’t taken care of by the Government. They get a nice pension, excellent job prospects on Civvy street for what employer is not going to give an ex squaddie a chance. Problem is though that they will invariably fuck it up and leave the misguided employer with egg on his face for employing a man who has been broken down and turned into a human being, bordering on sociopathic. He or she may not be as far gone as that but serious mental health issues are almost definitely a by-product of what the British army has done to the person. It just not possible for someone to go into the Army and come out as a normal rational human being. Most cases are walking time bombs. This not from some anecdotal evidence or some uni research. This is just my own personal experience of dealing with and interacting with ex-squaddies. They are just not right in the head. Simple.

It is not for us to clean up the MOD’s mess. Nor should it be left for a war-chest masquerading as a charity. The poppy fascists should not be foisting upon anyone to give in to this farce. The MOD should get the money from the drugs and Oil barons it’s fighting it’s dirty wars of adventurism for to contribute to trying to fix their mistakes they have made with our fellow working class citizens. Another thing… Working class recruits almost never enter the army at officer level but the upper class almost always do. I often wondered why a Scottish Regiment was nearly always led by an English accented officer. That’s the reason. Class, Class, Class. The noblest class, the working class will get shat upon from a great height in the armed forces and never seem to know it. In fact they seem happy to be shat on. It beggars belief. In a normal society this would not be put up with by anyone, never mind someone who is risking his very life to appease the Army Hierarchy.

Not in my fucking name. Simple as that. If you want to go on a National Lampoons Holiday don’t insult my intelligence by pretending you are doing it to protect me in any way. You are only upholding and reinforcing the Status Quo which is not what I want and I’ll have no part in it. The Status Quo being the class system in Britain that hasn’t gone away. Yes the lines between working class and middle class have become blurred. But they are still there and they are discernible. You are middle class when you work as a civil servant such as a police officer, soldier or anyone in the criminal justice system. You are middle class when you work for most employment department jobs in the DWP and the Job Centre. You can still hold a position in that field and be working class if you apply your efforts to helping the client get back to work or not hinder their return to work by issuing sanctions for silly mistakes that only serve to keep a person’s morale down and thus hinder their return to work. You are middle class if you are a boss of someone whether it be middle management or even a lowly foreman. Basically if you hold the power to withhold someone’s income and if you do the business owners’ bidding and not represent the worker’s interests. You are middle class if you own a business and employ someone. You are working class if you depend upon someone for your income, if your liberty or livelihood is at the whim of another. I hope that clears that up for you. Whether you own your own home has no bearing on your class as it once did. Maggie Thatcher tried to give people the illusion of being middle class by selling off the council house stock and giving working class people affordable housing to own. She just gave them a mortgage and then put them on the dole to have their homes taken away from them. Well done Maggie. We’re still picking up after you ya fucking cow.

So anyway, to summarise.  If you are a soldier, you are no longer working class Jim from Wishaw. You are an upholder of the British class system and deserve everything you get. We’ll pick you up again once they have finished with you and try and fix you. But I hear soldiers bragging about where they’ve been and sunbathing on beaches around the world. Don’t tell me you need me to support you more by supporting the Poppy Fascists. I’ll remember all our dead, combatant or not on November the 1st all souls day. I’ll remember our republican dead at Easter. I’ll remember all soldiers, including Brits, on a non-British day foisted upon us by PoppyScotland Fascists. I’ll remember them on May 5th when a man gave up his life for his fellow-man, no greater love has this, than to give up your life for your fellow-man.

I found this video of a BBC Documentary when I was putting the video of the Ballymurphy Time for Truth march together. As my viddler account  got deleted, probably due to lack of attention from myself, all the links I had put up to the video had become obsolete. I have since found out, after opening another free account with viddler, that they only hold videos on their servers for 30 days. Now I don’t know if it means they are completely deleted or whether they stay on until some other files that users saved on the server are then written over your video files. Much like your hard drive doesn’t completely delete a file until it’s written over again unless you use software that completely wipes the files from your hard drive. Whatever the case it means I’ll have to keep going back and uploading the videos each month until I can find a more permanent solution. Youtube is out because you have to chop the video into 10 minute clips.

In fact, it very well may have been a youtube up-loader that I have to thank for this video because there are parts of the video that seem to lose a bit of sound and have distorted vision for a second, suggesting that I may have put the video together again after it had been chopped. Now I don’t remember where I got it for sure. I forgot I had it until this week. I thought all my videos lost when I had to re-install windows. I’ve only got the entire avi file so if I downloaded it from youtube there would be flv files of it lying around but there isn’t. Wherever I got it from, sincere apologies for forgetting about you, and if you know who you are then thanks.

There are many points in history where you can point to and say that is where this all started from. Then you can debate it till the cows come home but in the end, there are mostly more than one defining moment that leads us all to where we are. It’s almost always impossible to pinpoint an actual event in history that has been solely responsible for the following forty years of history. To me it is a mixture of actual events and the spirit of the time that pushes and pulls us all to the state of affairs that follow. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself too on account of the human race being slow learners. Genocide continues to occur, whether it’s called ethnic cleansing, or a war on terror, despite the warnings that fascism gave us in the early part of this century or the inquisitions of the early part of the 2nd millennium. This video re-affirms for me the belief I have always felt that the main cause in starting what became known as the “troubles” was fear and ignorance. All of the protagonists had a fear of the other due to ignorance. That allowed for things to develop the way they did. But ultimately, the unionist fears were that they would lose their status and that Catholics were just ready to reap bloody revenge from them at the first opportunity. The catholic and indigenous community feared that the unionist community was going to finish them off. The rhetoric from Ian Paisley and his Ulster Constitution Defence Committee was inflammatory and they had open links with Gusty Spence’s newly re-created UVF. They were set up three years before. Any observer would be forgiven for thinking the catholic and indigenous community were on the verge of being driven out of the orange statelet by any and all means necessary. For them, the fear was very, very real and tangible. For the unionist community the fears had already been shown up as based on false information and so now were irrational.

They initially had the unionist working class protestants believe that the IRA were planning an uprising in the run up to the 50th Anniversary of the Easter 1916 rising. They even had some conservative Catholics fearful of it. The fact that the IRA were nothing much more than a recreational club who studied politics and were heavily influenced by Marxism and who were positively against any kind of sectarianism or racism whatsoever, was lost on them. That fact only served to worry the already duped conservative Catholics more so. They had no arms to speak of and those that were hidden after the border campaign (1956-62), couldn’t be found because those that hid them had ether died since or had simply forgotten where they had stashed them. Any that could be found were in such a state of disrepair due to corrosion and neglect that they were useless. In total, they could only muster 3 hand guns and a Lee Enfield rifle. Besides, they didn’t want to get involved with a sectarian conflict so much that, they were reluctant to even involve themselves in defending catholic areas and communities during and after with the rioting that blew up all over the six counties in support of the bogsiders. This in turn led to graffiti appearing in catholic areas that read “IRA = I RAN AWAY”. In Belfast, loyalists burned out Bombay Street and 7 people were killed in rioting that had erupted there, to take the pressure off the bogsiders by dragging the RUC and the B-specials’ full attention away to stretch their resources.

This was all in response to a year of violence perpetrated by loyalists against the Civil Rights movement. It’s stressed that the Civil Rights Movement were campaigning for civil rights for all the six county citizens and not just  the Catholics. Evidenced by the presence in the movement of moderate protestants, such as Ivan Cooper the SDLP MP for Derry, as well as Catholics and non Christians. For the whole of 1968, the movement had been subject to harassment by the authorities, violent attacks from loyalists backed up by the B-specials and regular RUC, culminating in the attack at Burntollet Bridge (see google video), near the end of a civil rights march from Belfast to Derry that set out from Belfast on the 1st January 1969. If the catholic community or any independent observer were in any doubt about the legitimacy of the civil rights movement and the nefarious intentions of the Unionist community’s leaders and loyalists, then those doubts evaporated then.

So here’s the video of the Battle of the Bogside…

If the embedded video is missing, please contact me either through the comments or other means and, I will be able to fix it. Thanks.

It was a miserable morning when I got up and dragged myself out of bed as usual to let the carer in for my mum to get washed and dressed. With it being a Saturday, the carer comes in a little later to allow my mum a wee bit of an extra lie in. Not much mind you, but enough to worry me that I might be rushed to get to the march assembly point for 11:30 assembly and 12:00 march beginning. But she came about 10:30 and I was already waiting and had tea and breakfast organised along with my mum’s medication. This gave me enough time to leave at 10:45 to meet up with friends and comrades at Bellshill cross around 11:10, allowing us just enough time to make it to Coatbridge for assembly. The rain was lashing down one minute and then the next the sun would be splitting the trees, only to start lashing it down again. We didn’t even get the solacement of a rainbow.

When we got near the assembly point on Coats Street, you would hardly think there was a march going to take place at all, much less an Irish Republican one, and arguably now, the main Cairde na hÉireann march on the Scots/Irish Republican Calendar. With the truth having come out now about Bloody Sunday, our focus of attention has shifted to the Ballymurphy Massacre and that has manifested itself in the attendance for this march expected to far outstrip any other. It’s an issue that still, 40 years on, remains unresolved with no closure for the families. The very same regiment mainly responsible for Bloody Sunday, 1st Parachute Regiment of the British Army, are also indicted by the Republican Movement and all fair-minded independent commentators and correspondents of the “troubles”  and peace process in Ireland over the last 46 years. So it’s particularly relevant from a British and International perspective, that this crime against humanity be recorded as such. So as I said, this march has now become the main Scots/Irish Republican march on the calendar but there was hardly any police presence at all. If we didn’t know better, we would think that the march subject to cancellation without us being told. But we did know better and it turned out that the weather, as you will see, had driven the march followers to stay in shelter from the elements until nearer the start of the march. That didn’t explain the lack of Strathclyde’s finest on every street corner and every 25 yards along the streets approaching the assembly point. It was almost surreal going to a Scots/Irish Republican march without being stopped and searched at least twice during the 5 minutes walk to the assembly point and hardly seeing any police presence there at all. All became clear at the end when informed by Jim Slaven that the police had reduced their numbers for policing the march by half and it was clear that the police were adopting a light touch to policing the marchers and followers. It appeared that we were to have our own stewards be allowed to keep order who, unfairly in my opinion, come in for some stick by some of the march participants. No one likes being pushed around by any form of authority, especially Republicans and those of us of the younger generation, but I’d rather be pushed around by one of our own than one of the filth.

A comrade told me that there was a counter demonstration by Loyalist/Fascists but I honestly never seen or heard them. They cannot be seen or heard on any of the videos or pics I took. My comrade tells me that there were only about a dozen of them there and I’ve no reason to disbelieve his figures. I hope they all got home safely and were not attacked by Republicans on the hunt for stragglers. Just like the loyalists did to two, at least, people I know of at the hungers strike commemorative march in Glasgow this year. Luckily the scumbags had the brains to not have weapons on them on that occasion as they would undoubtedly have been searched by the police so they probably decided it was safer to leave their blades at home. The upshot was that around 8-9 Loyalists were unable to inflict much damage of note to two Republican stragglers who had become separated from the march. Let this be a lesson. If you are going to straggle, be ready and split into two groups, close to each other. When one comes under attack, the old trick of bringing in reinforcements close by, and take the bastards by surprise and kick 7 shades of shite out of them. Or wear good running shoes.

Anyway, the march went off peacefully as usual, but on this occasion, there were no complaints about the policing of the march and there were no negatives to report – apart from the weather – but it cleared up after the march began.

We mustn’t forget the reason for this march, the Ballymurphy Massacre when over the period of 3 days, a concerted effort to shock and stun the civilian population with orders from the top, in line with the new internment laws allowing that innocent people be arrested and detained without charge indefinitely, resulted in the murder of 11 innocent people. These included a Parish Priest and a 45-year-old Mother of 8. 1st Para were let loose and encouraged to do this with impunity. This gave them the green light to go ahead and commit the more widely known atrocity known as Bloody Sunday. Had these animals been brought to account for their actions in Ballymurphy, they very well may not have had the green light to commit the atrocity in Derry 5 months later. That’s why this march is of such importance. After 40 years the families are still awaiting justice for their families. Their were 9 representatives of the victim’s families at the march and their presence is greatly appreciated to raise awareness of this crime against humanity. Included in the delegation was the daughter of Joan Connolly (50) Irene Connolly, and she gave a speech at the end of the march it was very emotional for her and it is quite hard to make her out. I’ve tried to boost the sound so she is heard and understood clearly but she gave an excellent and humble but spirited speech. It’s important that the families’ message gets out, everywhere across the Celtic Isles.

Recently trouble has flared after the met police force shot dead a youth in circumstances as yet not confirmed. The riots that have ensued since that death, on Thursday, although  not entirely due to the death itself but to the poor treatment of working class families, whatever race, by this Government. The disorder has left England in a state of shock since the killing of Mark Duggan (29) in Tottenham. This sort of thing happened in the six counties regularly and it just goes to show how restrained the republican movement has been over the years. We were just expected to put up with it, but they don’t put up  with it in England do they?

Enjoy the Video of the march.

Footnote: I forgot to mention that the two republican stragglers I know who were set upon by a gang of Loyalist/Fascists, were helped by protestant clergy or elders, who gave them money to get a taxi to Buchanan Street bus station safely. That is what Christianity is supposed to be about. So all you ignorant orange bastards take note.  The faith you are supposedly marching for every year to celebrate the right to practice, flies in the face of everything the Orange institution stands for. Thanks to the protestant church members for helping my friend out in their time of need.  Be assured that my two friends do not bear anyone ill will on account of their faith. In fact, they are both of different faiths themselves.

Justice did not prevail and the league title did not find it’s way home to Paradise. As Lennon said though “This is not the end, this is only the beginning”.  Next year I really believe we will add the league to the Scottish Cup. We’ve never been too good at bothering much with the League Cup and I reckon that is anybody’s up for grabs. You never know though, the treble would really get it right round them. That would be good.

Despite the disappointment of being cheated out of the treble this year, I and many other, Celtic fans will be walking around with satisfied looks on our mugs. Finishing the season on a high by winning the Cup returned a bit of pride to Celtic fans. Absolutely no disrespect to Motherwell, they came and had a go and made a good account of themselves. They will have a good season next year but I’d like to know where all the Motherwell fans appeared from? They struggle to get 2000 at fir park and yet managed to get nearly 10 times that at Hampden. Another thing, these new ‘Well fans will have to find their voices if they hope to give their team any encouragement. I only heard them sing three songs the entire match despite that wee short guy they have for a manager dancing around trying to encourage them to get behind the team. I can’t blame them though.  I was talking to one Motherwell fan who was there right up at the back of the Motherwell end and he said he actually felt the stadium bouncing when the Celtic fans where “doing the huddle”… He said even he felt intimidated by the sheer volume and atmosphere coming at them from the Celtic end. It wasn’t a threat of violence or anything remotely like that but simply the atmosphere created by the Celtic supporters. I want to see that next season more and more against all the teams in the SPL. No team in the SPL deserves any less respect. They are all capable of beating us on their day and it is up to us, as Celtic supporters, to make sure that clubs no longer relish the chance to come and have a go at Celtic Park or even at their own grounds. Opposition fans and players alike have to  be overawed when they play Celtic, not just because of the Celtic team, but because of the atmosphere created by Celtic supporters. I remember when it was intimidating and almost always worth at least a goal start. Or the clichéd 12th man.

So next season, let’s get behind the team. If Celtic want to besmirch the team’s top with a pro war political symbol again, let them. Just walk out in protest or if attending an away fixture, simply don’t go in and watch the game on the telly in the pub. Do it quietly and with dignity and then around 2-3 weeks later, near St Andrews day, have a Saltire day, where we bring in our Saltires and wave them around like Nicola Sturgeon on heat. (Sorry Nicola, sexist comment and uncalled for, but we have had to endure Anti-Irish racism from since before the plantations.

You see the Huns are right when they say that immigration from Ireland, especially the North, didn’t start and end with An Gorta Mor or the Great hunger. It started with the Plantations started by James the 6th of Scotland when the two crowns joined under his Kingship. Some Scots King he turned out. Traitorous bastard relinquished his right to the throne as soon as he moved his court to London. He renounced his nationality, his religion and his self-respect. Sorry, I digress.

In Glasgow, around this time there was actually more Anti Catholic organisations than there were Catholics. That’s why in 1745 during the Jacobite rising the Jacobite rebels or rather the rightful Scots Army under the rightful king, got no truck in Glasgow. Prince Charlie was too catholic for their liking. Maybe they were right but replacing the Roman pope with a London pope was no answer but they done it. Except for the Presbyterians who went along with it just for pragmatic reasons. Of Course when taxation of the entire population through church tithes by the London pope or established church, no matter what church you did or did not belong to, this caused a bit of a schism in the church in Scotland and kicked of a revolution in Ireland led by the great protestant United Irishmen in the North of Ireland. They had three main aims, a kind of quickly drawn up manifesto;

  1. That the weight of English influence in the Government of this country is so great as to require a cordial union among all the people of Ireland, to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce
  2. That the sole constitutional mode by which this influence can be opposed is by a complete and radical reform of the people in Parliament
  3. That no reform is just which does not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion.

These three aspirations are as true to Republicanism today as they have always been since the fathers of republicanism at that first meeting, who became known as the United Irishmen, drew them up. The men that were at that first Republican meeting were all protestant, two were Anglican and the rest were Presbyterian. They were Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell, (who were the two Anglicans) William Sinclair, Henry Joy McCracken, Samuel Neilson, Henry Haslett, Gilbert McIlveen, William Simms, Robert Simms, Thomas McCabe and Thomas Pearce. These brave men supported the Catholic Committee and Lobbied for Catholic emancipation and to repeal the Penal laws. But most of all, what really united them with Catholic and Dissenter were the tithe laws. Their Ultimate aim as is the aim of modern republicanism is to secularise the state and replace Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter with the name Irishmen. To separate religion from politics. The Brits saw this and sought to mint a coin of sectarianism to divide Protestant from Catholic and Dissenter from them both. This was in fact a racially motivated ploy. To bring in Scots and give them the best land and in doping so, kick the indigenous catholic and non protestant off the best farmland that were found in the northern Counties.  They had tried with the Elizabethan Pale but they could not go further than Dublin county itself with impunity. Divide and Conquer was the order of the day and has continued without much break ever since. There were valiant attempts  at organising the workers on a class based union but they suffered defeat because of the racist policies of the British government. Scots Protestants were  given control which they freely accepted. Why wouldn’t they? Self interest is a good enough persuader. The Irony was that the protestant movement was an attractive one until it became infected with bigotry. The idea of democracy and freedom of worship as one pleased, directly with God however one pleased was appealing to socialists. The Irony is that if they had not been driven by greed and a lust for power, they may have converted many Catholics freely to their ideas.  But their brutality in land-grabbing from the indigenous Irish and denying their own Celtic heritage put paid to any assimilation and working class unity there might have been.

So there we have it. Ignore the sectarian red herring and see it for what it is. Racism.

With Celtic trailing the Huns by a massive 1 point on the last day of the league. Huns are counting their chickens before they come home to roost. And come to roost I assure you they will. After the abuse, threats, attempted attacks and letter bombs that Neil Lennon has had to endure in the run in to this league, it would only be justice that Celtic lift the title. And the title they will lift, I assure you. However, if in the unlikely event that justice does not prevail and the title doesn’t come to Paradise, then Rangers must be stripped of the title. The silence from the Orange Lodge, the Huns, even the Church of Scotland has been deafening. The mealy-mouthed response from the SFA has been inadequate to say the least.

The pressure that has been foisted on Neil and Celtic as a whole must have had a harmful effect on them, however capable they are at dealing with such abuse. Anti Irish abuse has been a fact of life for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and beyond Irish has not been sectarian. I have written about this before. I’m not called a tattie munching bogwog because I’m a catholic. I’m not catholic. I just happen to be 2nd generation Irish. Neil Lennon is 1st generation Irish and it is because of our genes that we suffer abuse. Not because we’re catholic. It is not sectarianism. It is racism and as simple and disgusting as that. If it was sectarianism then they would abuse most of their own players. Davis is Irish but racially or genetically he is Scottish. Or he has renounced his Irishness in favour of Britishness. That doesn’t make him a traitor as the inbred arseholes accused Aiden McGeady of when he chose to express his identity by playing for Ireland. Oh and let’s be clear, he plays for Ireland. Steven Davis and Neil Lennon played international football for a plastic state that exists only in the minds of morons.

So hear it now and have me on record. We shall overcome. We will win the league today. We deserve it and we will win it. When the Huns have deserved to win the title I have gone on record in this very blog that they deserved it.

I have lost count of the times the great unwashed have given rise to decent footy supporters supporting Celtic players and managers. Now even fellow supporters have become the victim of the great unwashed. Nothing new there right enough. I’ve lost count of the times when people have been attacked and even murdered in this institutionalised and establishment racist land of ours. Namely Alba – Scotland to the great unwashed.

Now they have sent pipe bombs to Neil Lennon, Trish Godman, and Paul McBride. Paul could wipe the floor with Donald Finley and I bet these Neanderthals would do good to enlist the services of Paul when and if they ever get brought before a court. There’s no doubt that they are Scottish and have had instructions on how to make the pipe bombs. They couldn’t even construct them properly as they were described by Strathclyde’s finest as “crude devices”. If the devices were sent from the six counties, although they wouldn’t have done any harm, they were just meant to be frighteners in an attempt to intimidate the recipients, they would not have been described as crude. They were described as “viable” so the instructions on how to assemble them have most likely come from Loyalist Paramilitaries.

Obviously the Celtic fans have shown that they are an exceptional band of family. Special mention must go to the Green Brigade as it is them that organise these shows of support. It’s a pity that the Celtic board don’t appreciate them for what they are. The Press too have to take their share of the blame over this. The Daily Express ran a story with absolutely no evidence to back it up. They told us that the Real IRA were using Celtic games as cover to recruit members in Scotland. Absolute bollox. The IRA of any hue would never undertake such an operation. They simply can’t trust British based members to keep their mouth shut. To be fair, they will recruit members for the 32CSM and the Contos have had a branch for some time in Glasgow. But there is no way they would involve them in military operations. On top of the that the Express put a picture of the Green Brigade banner being held by Celtic fans in a football ground in an obvious attempt to link the Green Brigade with the story. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the Daily Express has evidence for their story then let them show it. It is no coincidence that the pipe bomb attempt came only a matter of just over a week after the Express ran the story. So the Daily Express has colluded with criminals in attempt to harm decent Celtic personnel and prominent fans. They should hang themselves in shame and issue a public apology. We won’t hold our breath. But the rag, editor and reporter have opened themselves up to similar attacks.

Personally, I hope the attack hits its targets.

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