Socialist Worker


Conference backs Irish struggle

(SW, 11 September 1969)


Delegates and visitors to the autumn conference of the International Socialists last weekend: collected 199 16s after: an appeal for aid for civil rights movement in Northern Ireland.

Fraternal delegates from People’s Democracy movement in Northern Ireland – Michael Farrell from Belfast and Joe Quigly from Derry – told the conference in graphic detail of the terror inflicted on Catholic areas by Orange gunmen.

They spoke of the importance of socialist politics in the struggle in Ulster and Mike Farrell was warmly applauded when he said that socialists in PD had never shirked the issue of a United Workers’ Republic being the only real solution to the problems of Ireland, north and south.



A wide-ranging and lively debate on Ireland was the high-spot of the conference and lasted for almost four hours. Criticisms of IS participation in the Irish Civil Rights Solidarity Campaign were countered by factory and building workers who said that the Irish campaign had enabled them to speak to hundreds of: workers with whom they would normally have little contact.

The conference agreed that Socialist Worker and IS branches active in the ICRSC had laid the base for an important mass campaign.

The delegates had earlier agreed that industrial work remained the central and most vital activity of the organisation. The industrial committee s to be strengthened with the aim of producing regular leaflets, and pamphlets on problems facing workers.

The industrial committee will service IS branches with information and advice and will organise schools to improve the training of members concerned with industrial work. Members were also encouraged to create militant left groupings to fight for socialist policies in the unions.

The conference opened with a discussion on international work. It was introduced by Michael Kidron who analysed the growing problems of western capitalism, the effect of these problems on the “underdeveloped” countries and the challenge and possibilities of Increased revolutionary activity in western Europe and America.

The delegates declared themselves in favour of building a united revolutionary socialist international and agreed to both strengthen existing links with revolutionary organisations abroad and to seek further links

Conference was told that, a week before, the Independent Socialist Clubs of America had formed a new organisation also called the International Socialists which also included groups. from the Students for a Democratic Society and the Revolutionary Workers’ Committee. A fraternal delegate from the American IS was present along with representatives of French and German organisations.

The conference endorsed the move to a six-page Socialist Worker which will appear this autumn as soon as sufficient funds are raised to improve facilities at the printshop. Delegates also decided in future to hold one conference a year, not two, in order to allow more time for pre-conference discussion.


Last updated on 20.6.2002