Here I am going to look at four myths, widly accepted by the left and right alike on the October revolution and its aftermath. In 1922 Emma Goldman complained Soviet Russia, had become "the modern socialist Lourdes, to which the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb were flocking for miraculous cures". And like most religious events that claim a historical valadity many of the myths of the October revolution rather then being historical accounts are written instead to create a blind faith in the leadership of the party.
The Orange Parades on and around the twelfth of July have long been a bone of serious contention and indeed a source of sectarian conflict in the Six Counties. Members of the Orange Order demand their unalienable right to march the Queen's highway, in commemoration of the victory of King William of Orange at the battle of the Boyne - a victory (as the Orangemen see it) for religious and civil liberty.
It was originally my intention to give a history lesson on the modern revolutions, with the aim of extracting what they had in common. Actually this is too big of a project, these events can not be dealt with adequately on their own in the space of 20 minutes, lump them together and you would lose everything.
What are these modern revolutions? Well in the 80's it became popular on a large part of the left to proclaim the death of the working class. Not so much from the obviously flawed position of saying nobody worked anymore, or even that modern society was no longer based around the division between wage labour and capital. No rather on the basis that the working class no longer existed as a class, ie a group of people with common interests.
The women who founded Mujeres Libres were all active within the anarchist movement, in the CNT or in the FIJL, however as women they were in a minority and found it difficult to incorporate more women into the activist core, either because of the sexism of the men, or because of the reluctance of the women or a combination of both.
The first problem facing the strikers was how to feed Limericks 38,000 inhabitants. The committee sat in session all of Monday organising food distrubution. The committee was divided into two sections, one to recieve food and one to deliver it. Hundreds of special permits were issued allowing shops to open.
Greece has been a somewhat unstable entity throughout its history and particularly with the coming into being of nation states in the 18th century. Its borders have shifted, expanded and contracted on several occasions over the last 200 years leaving behind a legacy of quite virulent Greek nationalism. Greek armies were also involved in foreign intervention against the Russian revolution in north west Asia minor.
Malatesta was one of the famous anarchists of the 19th century. He lived 79 years. Not as much is known of him as for example Bakunin or Kropotkin for a few reasons. He never kept a diary, he was Italian, and he was very active and continually hopping from one country to another, which meant he never kept a store of his own writings. For these reasons he has not been an attractive person to study and write about, because the work would be too hard.
We can examine the French revolution as a prototype of how revolutions occur and progress. Kropotkin defined it as the "mother of us all ". The ideas and methods of the French Revolution still have relevance to us today
ON THE FIRST day of 1994 a group calling itself the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] launched an uprising in the Chiapas State of Mexico. They are fighting the dictatorship of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and are calling for "free democratic government". The first of January was the date upon which the North American Free Trade Agreement was to come into operation and their is a widespread belief amongst the mainly Indian EZLN that this will only lead to further poverty.
The picture shows some of the Protestant workers from Belfast's Shankill Road who took part in the Wolfe Tone commemoration at Bodenstown in 1934. Linked to the left wing Republican Congress movement, they were attacked by right wing Republicans who were led by Séan McBride.