Diarmuid Breatnach Political Agitator Part 1

Diarmuid a long time political agitator was active in London from 1967, in interview part one, he talks about his involvement with Marxism-Leninism-Anarchism. His involvement in the Vietnam and Rhodesia solidarity campaigns, Anti-fascist mobilisation, solidarity Ireland, family squatting. In addition the campaign against the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the 1969 Peoples Democracy march from Belfast-Dublin.


7 responses to “Diarmuid Breatnach Political Agitator Part 1

  1. Pingback: Diarmuid Breatnach Political Agitator. Part 1 | The Cedar Lounge Revolution·

  2. Feasgar mhath Diarmuid. Interesting stuff mo fear. We would have set up Troops Out In Dundee about 1975. Can mind the big march in Leeds the day of the Charles and Diana wedding. A comrade that we have just lost, Carol Brickley, who produced Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! for decades… told us once that the angriest march she had ever seen was a spontaneous one by Irish folks after Bloody Sunday in London. She said they were ready to take on the cops. Carol actually set up Red Lion Setters wi’ Norma Kitson whose husband was held in South Africa for twenty years. I was there in Dublin outside Connolly Books when they were showing Cuban films all day. I stepped out and was selling FRFI and Dr.Maire O’ Shea’s family recognised the paper! Our political standpoint was predicated on your point about the left being lukewarm and evasive about Irish Solidarity. I note the name Bob Purdie on the page. Was he not in the British Communist Party. We debated wi’ Chris Myant of the CP on Ireland. I’ll scan in the article. Adh Mor!

  3. Go raibh maith agat.

    I was only briefly in TOM in South London, at a time when the SWP dominated it but I had other poles of attraction and commitment. I was often involved in joint activities with them. It has to be said I think that the original purpose of setting up the TOM was a just and important one, i.e to influence British public opinion in solidarity with the struggle for self-determination of the Irish people and, naturally, doing so from a left-wing perspective. However, when the State repression came down on the Irish community and potentially on the solidarity movement, TOM mostly abandoned that perspective and concentrated its activities on the Irish community, where in effect it completed with the IBRG, Sinn Féin (in whatever form that took) and the Connolly Association.

    Later the TOM leadership took its line from SF and lost its independence. SF had earlier closed its British branches and later wound down first Saoirse and then Fuascailt, both of which it had helped create, because they could not sufficiently control them.

    The big march in Leeds was huge (and long!) and Red Action and AFA went in against the fascists in front of the march, I think. From where the IBRG contingent was I could just see scuffling and the cops went for the antifascists. I didn’t realise it was on the day of that wedding!

    I remember seeing a small group of an IBRG branch on the sideline and disapproving that they were not on the march and seemed to have been drinking. One turned out to be an agent and I think pissed off to Australia at the time he got exposed.

    I’m reasonably sure I knew Carol Brickley but cannot form a mental picture of her. Also a Pat (female) something comrade who wrote a lot of the Irish stuff in FRFI.

    I am not sure that I knew Bob Purdie though the name is familiar. I knew another Purdie through the anarchist and family squatter networks, on the fringes of the Angry Brigade.

    When you say “British Communist Party” you need to be more precise, since there was the CPGB (mainly following the USSR line) and CPB (m-l) mainly following a People’s Republic of China line) and also the CPE (m-L), following a China line before they broke with it after the death of Mao etc. Of those three parties, the two most influential were the first and third, in my opinion, the CPGB because of its history, numbers and penetration into the trade union movement and the CPE (m-l) because of its energy, commitment and development of theory and practice.

  4. Pingback: Actions Archived — Memories and Musings – rebelbreeze·

  5. Reblogged this on rebelbreeze and commented:
    Mick Healy interviewed me about a number of my experiences in revolutionary work over the years and this is Part 1 (Part 2 will shortly be published), nearly all about some of my three decades in London. It contains a number of errors by me, for example the apartheid rugby team was South Africa’s one which were not called the “All Blacks”, that being New Zealand’s. Also I believe the giant Hunger Strikers solidarity march in London was to Michael Foot’s home, not Tony Benn’s. Still, here it is for what it’s worth with many thanks to Mick.

  6. Pingback: Save Moore Street Campaign- Diarmuid Breatnach Political Agitator Part 2 | The Cedar Lounge Revolution·

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