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Statement by Socialist Democracy on ‘Andersonstown News’ Campaign of Censorship

16th July 2003

Socialist Democracy wishes to lend its voice to those opposing the campaign of intimidation being waged by the Andersonstown News against its critics, a campaign waged locally, across the Internet and in the Irish Press in the USA.

Any impartial observer would long ago have concluded that ideas of journalistic integrity in this journal play second fiddle to the need to massage news to justify the accelerating drift to the right by the Sinn Fein leadership.  This has now reached a level where the Andersonstown News represents a very serious obstacle to a genuine debate about the situation we find ourselves in – locked in a sectarian colony which now has the popular support of many of those it imprisons.

Much more serious than the manoeuvrings of the Andersonstown News editors is what these manoeuvrings tell us about Sinn Fein policy in relation to the Steaknife revelations.

The Steaknife story exposes the utter barbarism of British rule and the ruthless willingness to sacrifice the lives of civilians to terrorise the nationalist working class and also to place agents within the IRA. It quite clear from the Andersonstown News management of the story that the Sinn Fein leadership want to avoid any further investigation of the saga – not surprising when we consider that the implication was that the British were in a position to influence the direction of republican policy in the direction of the current partitionist settlement.

We utterly condemn the campaign of intimidation by Andersonstown News and the censorship of criticism of the role of the Sinn Fein leadership.

We intend to express our opposition to this censorship by publishing the initial offending article that led to legal threats by Andersonstown News on our own website and by contacting other socialist organisations worldwide urging that they also protest the intimidation.


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