Clandestines: The Pirate Journals of an Irish Exile – Ramor Ryan

  • Mayday
    • Mayday is a ritual that has been, throughout history accompanied by bonfires. As the flames engulf the abandoned riot van, the people dance around like a band of festive Celts of old. Here we are, history dancing with us, the heathens of the ages resisting the suppression of our day of leisure, our day of carnival, our merry-making.
    • So Mayday — the symbol of spring, rebirth, joy and festivity for a rural peasantry — became transformed through repression as a symbol of class struggle and revolutionary aspirations for the oppressed proletariat. Despite the change of perspective, Mayday still — wether rural or industrial, celebratory or subversive was rooted in the same notions — namely, a refusal to work, rebellion, disobedience, and the spirit of anarchy.
  • One thing is sure — if the local community is hostile to the people in the streets, then it’s unsustainable.
  • Rainbow gathering: Here is a space without electricity; without cars, computers, and television; without technology or machines. The void left by the absence of these devices is filled with interaction between people, by simple creativity and leisure. I am reminded of John Zerzan’s notion of future primitives and a society premised in leisure, intimacy with nature, sensual wisdom, sexual equality, and health. It’s all here.
  • IRA funeral
    • We move slowly up Andersonston Road and I notice that from every lamppost hangs a black flag; the occupants of almost every house are on the door-step solemnly paying respects as the coffins pass, and each and every man, woman, and child is wearing a black armband. There is a forbidding strength here, one you can feel in the air and see written on the faces of the people — an entrenched spirit of resistance and determination. The few stifled tears fall beyond the people’s harts into their clenched fists.
    • My disgust becomes anger, my anger becomes rage, that rage became honed and directed, and the British occupies have created another Irish rebel. A rebel who will, instead of looking away, stare them back in the face and say with a clenched fist, Tiocfaidh ar la!
  • Sandinistas
    • The opposition UNO, a ten-party coalition made up of most everyone who is not Sandinista — conservatives, liberals, and even the communist party — are officially receiving $100,000 from US backers, and there’s much more under the table. What UNO is offering the electorate is an end to the Contra war and the crippling economic sanctions imposed on the country by a US embargo. Or to put it another way, if the UNO loses the war then the economic embargo will continue. Blackmail? Better to say the electorate is confronted with a deaththreat.
    • As the NGO Oxfam has pointed out, what the Sandinistas offered the region was the “threat of a good example,” and in order to protect US interests, this had to be eradicated.
    • There was a palpable feeling of hope, and as commentators pointed out, it was not so much the Sandinistas’ communist tendencies as it was the threat of a good example that upset the US and its capitalism interests. The US launched the Contra War and finally deposed the Sandinistas in the 1990 elections, in which the population voted under the threat of continued war, sanctions, adnd the ire of the world’s sole superpower. The fall of the Sandinistas and the rolling back of the revolutions’ gains represented a terrible setback for the worldwide progressive left.
  • “The Sem Terra, just went out and took land. Direct action gets the goods. They saw a piece of unused land, joined together, and occupied it en mass. Solidarity is strength. And they did it in the hundred of thousands.”