Why we should support the Liverpool Irish community and this year’s James Larkin March #larkinmarch13


It’s almost a year on since last years James Larkin march in Liverpool. A march organised by the south Liverpool based James Larkin Society and run on an annual basis to remember the  Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist. Larkin is one of Liverpool’s most famous son’s and on a par with Liverpool’s other famous Irish son’s like John Lennon, Paul McCartney and even John Aldridge! It is right that Liverpool and especially it’s Irish community honour the great trade unionist that done so much to organise the working classes of Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin. Larkin’s legacy remains to this day in the form of the UNITE trade union and a body of working class writing and political activism that inspires activists worldwide.

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Last year, this long running annual event that started off on Combermere Steet in South Liverpool and marched to Liverpool city centre, became the target for far-right racists and fascists supported by members of Liverpool’s Orange Order. I’ve detailed last year’s events in previous blogs, but suffice to say that the march came under a sustained attack of racist and sectarian abuse, threats and intimidation. In essence, the Irish community in Liverpool were targeted by groups such as the North West Infidels, Combined -Exforces, English Defence League and Loyalists. Fascists and racists presented the march as an ‘IRA’ march, as they do for almost all Irish community parades in the city to garner support.

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Work has been done on the ground since to ensure that a correct view on the events of that day and the proper context given to explain why the Liverpool Irish had become a target by the far right and loyalists. This has been properly set out in Cairde na hEireann Liverpool’s Under Pressure report.

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This year’s James Larkin March will be held on Saturday 20th July and it is more important than ever that anyone with any sense of a social conscience come out and support the march. It really is time that the racists, fascists and bigots are faced down. It really is time that Liverpool as city joins with one voice and denounces hate, especially the hate espoused by far right extremist groups. Not to actively support the march emboldens racists and fascists. Other communities will be next if racists and fascists manage to drive the Liverpool Irish off the streets. The far right have already targeted trade unionists in Liverpool and continue to make threats against our Black and Asian neighbours and anything they view as being ‘unBritish’.

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The racists and fascists attacking the Liverpool Irish are the same ones who daily espouse their hate through attacks against shop owners,demonise the Irish community by associating it with the IRA and who attempted to hijack for political purposes the recent death of Drummer Lee Rigby. They offer Liverpool no future except Nazi dogma based around Aryan white supremacist ideology  and the deportation of anyone with slightly darkened skin or non-christian beliefs.

We should unite and face down the racists and fascists. The James Larkin March can and should become a rallying point for us all against hate and intolerance. We know that the racists, fascists and loyalists will again attempt to prevent the James Larkin March from reaching Liverpool city centre and its up to ourselves and people of goodwill to face them down, support the Liverpool Irish and ensure that hate and bigotry is thrown into the dustbin of history. We rightly remember and are proud of our fathers and forefathers who fought against fascism in Spain in the 1930’s and then against Hitler’s Germany. Let us face down Liverpool’s fascists once and for all and restore Liverpool’s streets as a shared space for all communities.

Larkin 2013

HOPE not hate blog: The shame of Kevin the Poppy Nazi


http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/blog/article/2353/the-shame-of-kevin-the-poppy-nazi

This Yorkshire-based Nazi has been spotted, along with the NWI, NF, CFX and Liverpool loyalists, harrassing the International Brigades Commemoration held in Liverpool last October. This highlights again the growing reach that the far-right has developed across this country, with Liverpool been the focus in the north of England during 2012 as a result of nazi targetting of Irish community parades/marches in this city.

More to come on this in the near future….

Nazi’s failed Nuremberg-esque protest in Liverpool against the Irish community….


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Last night, I along with other members of the Irish community, antifascists, trade unionists and ordinary members of Liverpool’s public challenged the Nazi fascist group, North West Infidels in their so-called protest against IRA marches in Liverpool and more  bizarrely the Mayor of Liverpool’s (Joe Anderson) support for such marches??. The protest by the  20 or so diehards from the NWI and some local loyalists proved to be a bit of a damp squib. There was no ‘national’ mobilization and from NWI’s facebook page which promised something akin to a candle lit Nuremberg rally, the racists were more than outnumbered 3:1 and their protest lasted 45 mins before  Merseyside Police shepherded them down to the back of Water Street.

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As explained throughout this blog, fascists, racists and Nazi’s from the North West Infidels, Combined Ex-Forces, National Front and Liverpool’s Loyalist/Orange community are determined to drive the Irish community off the streets of Liverpool and this was another attempt at such by cloaking the protest against the ‘IRA’ but the reality being  once they manage to clear the Irish off the streets it wont be long before other communities, trade unionists and progressive organisations are targeted thereafter. That’s why it was so important that the Nazi’s were faced down last night, outnumbered and sent packing with their tails between their legs and will continue to be challenged in this way.

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It also must be noted that last week, two fascists who were arrested in Liverpool during the Cairde Na hEireann International Brigades Commemoration appeared in Liverpool Magistrates Court and were fined £300+ for public order offences. One of them, Mike Mossley is a member of the fascist paramilitary group Combined Ex-Forces and turned up that day in full British military fatigues. But I like to remember Mike in the pictures below, first as Nick Griffin’s best mate and secondly, proudly being the Nazi that he really is…..I know what your thinking, you simply couldn’t make this stuff up….

Irish community parades in Liverpool: Destroying the myth of sectarianism


I enjoyed another day out on Saturday just gone when members of the Irish community honoured the memory of the approx 200 volunteers from the Merseyside area, many of them Liverpool Irish, who joined the International Brigades to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War. A good crowd of up 500 people together with Republican Flute Bands from Liverpool, Scotland and Wales ensured that the event successfully made its way through Liverpool City Centre and  remembered with dignity and pride the sacrifices made by those volunteers so long ago. They inspire us to this day and remind us of the continued need to fight against intolerance and fascists politics.

As what now seems to be customary, the event drew out the combined efforts of both paramilitary fascists (National Front, Combined Ex-Forces and Infidels of Britain) and members of Liverpool’s Orange/Loyalist community. Although smaller in numbers, the fascists/loyalists were happy again to challenge marchers with racist and sectarian abuse, sing sectarian songs and behave like like characters off the Jeremy Kyle Show! They really do have no shame….in fact they are quite shameless and an embarrassment to this great city and its people.

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Liverpool – Saturday 13th October 2012

But more seriously, Saturday’s events highlight the cementing of relationships between fascists nationally and local Liverpool Orange/Loyalists. This year has seen CXF regularly attend loyalist band parades, and Orange and Apprentice Boys parades in the city, with CXF proudly boasting this through social media. This is clearly an attempt by the far Right to broaden its support base and quite naturally, the bigots of English Loyalism and Orangeism with their historical racist hatred of Irish Catholics, Irish nationalism and republicanism is a fertile place to propagate their fascist views and gain support. The fascists have been quite clever in gaining support by classing every Irish community street event in Liverpool this year as being ‘IRA Marches’ and of course Loyalists/Orange Order have taken it hook, line and sinker. Fascists, while acknowledging their limited leadership skills,  have found it easy to pull the strings of local loyalists into swelling their numbers on Liverpool protests against Irish community events in Liverpool. Both the July March Against Fascism and last Saturdays events saw the majority of those opposing the march coming from Liverpool’s loyalist/Orange community. The far right have had precious little to campaign about in Liverpool for several years, failed in local electioneering and the idea of demonising Irish community events as somehow being associated with the now defunct IRA has proved an easy way of making links and networking with potential recruits. In the end these fascists are attacking everything they perceive to be ‘unBritish’ and as the Irish community would largely not describe itself in terms of ‘Britishness’ we are an obvious target, despite the relatively peaceful environment that Irish community parades experienced in Liverpool since the late 1990’s.

CXF member with Loyalist band member July 2012, Derry Club Liverpool

From what I’ve ever experienced of Irish community parades in Liverpool, they have neither been sectarian or racist in nature. In fact, any Irish parades I’ve ever witnessed have either been of a cultural nature (St Patrick’s Day etc) or Commemorative/campaigning. For instance Irish flute bands in Liverpool over the years have the led the Striking Dockers march in Liverpool 1997, annually led the Merseyside May Day March, countless marches supporting Irish Unity, remembering the Irish Hunger Strikers of 1981, or supporting anti racist (Anthony Walker March) and antifascists demonstrations. Of course, Irish flute bands have been to the fore over the last 15 years in ensuring the legacy of James Larkin, Liverpool Irish Trade Unionist, is remembered to this day. So it would seem ironic that given the dedication of members of the Irish community in supporting all progressive events in Liverpool over the years and Irish community street presence being the focus of attempted attacks by racists and fascists, I am now embarrased to say, that sections of the broader Labour/Left  in Liverpool are hinting that the actual victims of racist and fascist abuse are somehow to blame for their own predicament? No you heard it right, the Labour/Left is not expressing concern about a minority community in this city that has been targeted for racist and sectarian abuse by fascists and the loyalist/Orange community, but instead  blaming the presence of peaceful and legal Irish community parades/marches for stoking up sectarianism and the old ‘orange vs green’ battle. I’m flabbergasted to say the least and I’m sure you are too.

But this is not new to us as members of the Irish community in Liverpool. A section of the Liverpool Labour Movement has always had protestant/orange roots that it never really managed to shake off, for example, exemplified  by Liverpool Militant during the 1980’s which would avoid discussing the ‘Irish Question’ for fear of alienating some its supporters and activists and more surprisingly, the actor Ricky Tomlinson often seen as being left wing, is a prime example of one coming from a Protestant/Orange working class  background who always supported Loyalism/Ulster Unionism and remains so to this day. I really do feel embarrassed for having to highlight this whispers and information that I am now hearing and that has been confirmed to me by emails.

In simple terms, those in the labour/left  in Liverpool involved in this way of thinking should really be ashamed of themselves. They really do need to be outed for what they are i.e bedfellows of fascists and racists by default, and by not showing support for members of the Irish community who have been the victims of fascists and loyalists they can neither call themselves anti-racists or antifascists. It is quite clear as I’ve outlined above that the  experience of Irish community parades/marches has been one of  racist attacks by fascists and members of the Loyalist/Orange community and not sectarian. How clear does this need to be stated? Historically, James Connolly, James Larkin and other great leaders of the Irish Labour Movement have been exasperated by the failure of the British Labour Movement to properly support Ireland. Sadly, today it seems that the Irish community in Liverpool can expect the same lack of support and that the British Labour Movement is well and truly integrated with the British State and its institutions.

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