By Lou Drendel
Squadron sign booklet In motion A-10 Warthog plane #49 #1049 U3
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Extra resources for A-10 Warthog in Action No 49
Within the People’s Democracy I became radicalised quite a bit because it was a left-wing organisation. It was a mixture of all sorts of different kinds of Marxists, anarchists and just republicans. But it always had a left-wing attitude. Different from the left-wing attitude of say the republican movement at that time, which was left-wing but Stalinist. So it was that critique of the republican movement from the left within People’s Democracy, which was a primarily student movement. And it just went on from there.
We never did any of that. We just launched absolutely into a rebirth of the 1916/1918-style IRA campaign without any thought where it was going, just with a blind belief that in the bludgeoning forward of this armed struggle fruits would come for a united Ireland. But so far we’ve only had fruits for Sinn Féin political party and only when it gave up violence. 57 Violence in Northern Ireland reignited in the late 1960s, a time of global unrest and protest movements throughout the world which became an important influence for this particular generation of republicans.
66 ‘A reaction to the brutality of the forces of the state’ One of the reasons many republicans give for joining the IRA was the need to defend a section of the nationalist community against the attacks that it suffered between the late 1960s and the early 1970s. On 14 July 1969, Francis McCloskey was found dead at a spot where the police had charged a group of people who had been throwing stones. Some sources consider that the police were responsible for his death, although others deny this. Two days later, Samuel Devenney died in Derry after having been beaten by the police some months earlier at the door of his house, when various youngsters who were being chased by the RUC had sought refuge.