Monday, April 28, 2008

Detroit Forum Held on the History of Irish and African Struggles

Forum on Irish struggle history

Published Apr 25, 2008 8:01 PM

On April 19 the Detroit branch of Workers World Party sponsored the forum, “In the Spirit of the 1916 Irish Rebellion: James Connolly and the 1981 Hunger Strikers.” Ed Childs of UNITE HERE Local 26 in Boston, WWP member and longtime Irish liberation fighter; Abayomi Azikiwe of the Pan African News Wire; Kris Hamel of WWP; and Workers World newspaper Contributing Editor Bryan G. Pfeifer spoke. Debbie Johnson of WWP chaired and, along with Mike Shane of WWP, prepared a traditional Irish meal.

Talks and discussion topics included the roles of revolutionary Irish women, dual power, the Black and the Green struggle, the 1981 hunger strikers, the Irish and Irish-Americans, the legacy of James Connolly, the 1916 rebellion, Bobby Sands and Mairead Farrell, Ireland today, communism, the science of dialectical and historical materialism, transitional demands, the American Axle strike, the moratorium campaign and the fight for socialist revolution in the U.S. and internationally.

The role of Irish internationalism and the relationships between the Irish and Cubans, Indians, Mexicans, the Black and Native nations in the U.S., Palestinians, Puerto Ricans, South Africans and other oppressed peoples sparked deep discussions with regard to self-determination, the national question and nationalism vs. socialism from the packed house.

A screening of a DVD depicting the barbaric U.S.-British colonial activities in the North of Ireland in the 1980s and the relationships between national liberation struggles drew rapt attention, as did a clip from the movie, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley.” Participants from throughout Michigan and Milwaukee attended.

Pictures on lecturn are of Mairead Farrell and Assata Shakur.

—Bryan G. Pfeifer


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