Shelve It – Treatment of Holocaust Denial Literature


People think the strangest things and there is often a spurious relationships between personal beliefs and the physical reality that people inhabit. We can think one thing and act otherwise – ask anyone who prides themselves as professional, part of which is the disconnect that judgements are not personal, subjectively-driven; we suspend personal-held values and judgements to do the job. This disconnect can be very creative and productive in terms of imagined work, the realm of fiction and entertainment. However in constructing a record of what has happened reliance on evidence to the nature of the event, subject to the corrective of new discovery and disclosure, remains the founding criteria for historical accuracy and understanding. Raising questions and interrogating the details of an event are all established avenues of advancing a more complete reconstruction of historical events and revising an understanding of why and what happened.

The term Holocaust Denial Literature (HDL) is a descriptive label that accurately characterises a genre of writing that raises some fundamental issues around freedom of expression, the nature of truth and enquiry in society and our presentation of history. It has ramifications for an understanding of the past, behaviour in the present and consequences for the future in making.

The preferred term “Holocaust Denial Literature” is used on the proposition that it is a misnomer to simply refer to “Holocaust revisionism” since its advocates do not seek to revise but to negate, as denial does not seek to reinterpret an event, but rather the intention is to disprove the historicity of an event that is thoroughly documented by testimonies and primary sources (including visual records) from the perpetrators, their allies and their victims. While historical records do contain inconsistencies and errors, these do not cast doubt on the culmination contingency of evidence of that event.

In questioning a perceived demonization of 20th Century Germany there are many approaches to advocate a contextual rehabilitation of its reputation, but to counterpoise that Germany acted in self-defence in WW2 against “the Jews”, that gas chambers never existed and industrial style murder did not take place but are believed because of “Zionist lies” shifts into the realm of delusional conspiracy and neo-Nazis partisanship.

HDL draws upon a relatively limited range of ideas and approaches as it doubts the scale of suffering, questions minutiae (e.g. presenting gas chamber as sites for delousing clothes not mass murder) and argues that disease not murder accounts for those who died, trying to cast doubt on the historic narrative.

Where is the written order they ask. The methodology of HDL becomes familiar with its reading: the snapshot focus, side-lining the lines of evidence converging on the reality of the Holocaust, singling out a historical document or their presented fact and stripping it of its historical context, all selects the story they want to tell. The murder of Jewish people was not a by-product, the collateral damage amidst a larger carnage, but a culmination of, even before Hitler came to power in 1933, attacks upon the Jewish people with a murderous fury and sense of vengeance. Jewish people were targeted for murder in the pits of Easter Europe as detailed in the Einsatezgruppen reports and in the work and death camps of the Final Solution.

Driven by an ideological stance HDL questions the historical legitimacy of the Holocaust in a range of material that employs techniques such as relativisation. Counterpoising other historical occurrences when others have been subject to genocidal treatment (e.g. American natives), the deniers argue that the Holocaust should not be accorded any specific attention – as in dedication day of January 27th – or specific consideration, after all, everyone suffers in war citing Hiroshima and Dresden. Somewhere in the mix a denier will employ a wrap logic that the victims should accept responsibility for their own victimisation as it rest on accepting the spurious racist premise that underlines the victimisation in the first place.

HDL draws on, and reinforces many of the myths and stereotypes attributed to Jewish people. In framing their arguments there is an intertwined objective to revise the past for present political and ideological purposes by influencing public consciousness and public opinion.

There is attempt to trivialise– the deaths “a mere footnote in the wider conflict” – or minimise the event of the Holocaust, as well as the memories and experiences of victims of the Holocaust so as to question their historical validity and relevance. So gas chambers are portray as de-lousing facilities accompanied by discussion concerning combustion rates of gases and mathematical formulae. The existence of concentration camps are acknowledge but not the mass murder in them; death explained as by disease and ill-health. Attempts to isolate and de-contextualise the entire experience by ignoring the practice of regime then assert – in the face of the policy records and the bureaucracy to enable it – there is no documentation of an official extermination order, linguistically challenging the use of Final Solution.

And this shades into allusions that the Holocaust was a complete historical fabrication, which involves not simply the details but the actual record of events as they happened. In labelling the Holocaust as a hoax it advances the belief that it was not a lived experience but a concocted narrative; that there was no attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe during World War Two.

The question is why acknowledge HDL and its arguments, even if just to refute them. It is fictitious literature posing as revisionist history. Holocaust denial is not based on evidence but is a position upheld because its adherents want it to be true. Theirs is a belief sustained by easily accessible lies that proliferate in print and on the internet.

There is abundant scholarly literature, documentation, court transcripts, witness testimonies and confessions, photographs and film, and the physicality of the institutions of mass extermination. The genocide of the Jews was a Nazi war aim, and German Jews had been subject to a degrading dehumanising onslaught from the very beginning of the Nazi party’s existence, and it culminated in the mass killing pursued domestically, and wherever they could reach throughout the demands of waging a world war.

The focus on the Jewish tragedy of the deliberate state-sponsored murder of around 5-6 million European Jews comes under the description of the Holocaust, although there was an equal number of other people who died. The detention started in Germany in 1933, the killings shortly afterwards: quarter of million physically and mentally disabled, driven by eugenic beliefs of racial purity three hundred thousand sterilized in medical experimentation, half a million Roma (Gypsies)killed, nearly two thousand Jehovah Witnesses, political opponents including communists, social democrats, dissenting clergy, homosexuals, one million and eight hundred thousand Polish and Slavic people, evangelical Lutherans, escaped British POWs, German resistance fighters and two million and three hundred thousand Russian prisoners of war.

In the dominant western intellectual tradition there is a trend that regard ideas as inviolable, that it is impossible to legalise ideas, only the expression of those ideas. So belief in something or anything exists but the expression of that belief or action consequential to those beliefs can have social sanctions applied. And this position has migrated throughout the ages to be applied regardless of the medium of expression hence action taken on the internet.

Libraries have a standard position that the service to the public, financed by the public, should support intellectual freedom, the social responsibility not to stock false information and provide access to material from all points of view, even if that involves access to unsettling ideas and distasteful views.

There is a basic commitment to the flow of all kinds of information without regard to its truth or falsehood – the texts are on the shelves so that readers can access them and make their own judgements. Librarians (in an argument appropriated by internet platforms) should not undertake the role of arbiters of truth. Professionally the librarian’s primary responsibility is access to a depositary of material. Inclusion and access to all material (legally obtainable), presenting all points of view on current and historical issues has been ingrained in library practice that accepts that American First Amendment right to free expression must be extended to those with unpopular or offensive ideas.

Libraries (financed by the public purse) as custodians and access to the fruit of human thought and communication (within a finite budget). Whilst having a professional duty not to mislead the people they serve and neither have a partisan approach, a philosophical stance (echoing post-modernist thought) is that libraries provide access:

“not to reality, but to multiple representation thereof. Truth and reality must fend for themselves.”

However this position that there are no taboo ideas is not honoured as an absolute, compromised (even where there are no legal restrictions) by “banned books” deemed unsuitable and subject to unconscious basis in the sourcing or procedures of acquisition. Those in an academic setting can argue that the proper function of education is to engrain critical thinking so the choice is with the reader.

Libraries operate in the real world of political consideration, and while burning books is associated with different regimes, in the past, local town libraries would often have a locked glass fronted cupboard, or area safely out the back away from public access, were the controversial or provocative material, explicit or disreputable books. Often a matter of historically-conditioned ‘taste’, books that contain profanity, explicit sexual passages, graphic violence, age-sensitive material have their literary value re-adjusted and moved to the main collection. An act implying a judgement on the merit of the text. So should institutions move HDL to a restricted area where one would have to ask to read them? Also consider if librarians have a professional duty not to mislead the people they serve, the exclusion of HDL – a substantial body of scholarly endeavour has established it as inaccurate, a deliberate falsehood uttered to deceive in that HDL denies the undeniable – this has greater implications than kooky flat-earth assertions. There is a question of degrees of error involved, and social consequences of acting upon those errors.

In the library HDL is shelved and given access and subject to the compromise- the tao of the mean – whereby a solution is found in classification via a subject heading for HDL that gives it a separate class number to differentiate itself from Holocaust history section. This technical approach can result in HDL material being shelved at the same location. HDL placed on the open shelves alongside other historical studies grants HDL a status as part of a body of scholarship, albeit a dissenting viewpoint. Whereas it is value is undermined when placed in the sub-category called ‘Errors and Inventions’. Where to shelve can be reduced to an occupational issue of involving the conflicting issues of intellectual freedom, collection balance and controversial materials however to include HDL in a library collection does not imply the library endorses such values and opinions, what it says is that they – in a professional capacity – make no value judgements in providing access to the ideas themselves.

Such work may be considered more appropriate for academic libraries involved in critical scholarly activity (rather than public institutions) and identified through cataloguing, classification or labelling guidance, given the trigger-warning –style treatment. Although it raise the concern of how such institutions are equipped to undertake such evaluation. For good reason there are no distinction about what to accept as truthful as such censorship through selection could make libraries gate-keepers for what society can and cannot read or think.

The guiding belief is that erroneous points of view can be challenged in open (non-censored) environment and the truth will emerge. The collar of this position being that Holocaust denial myths cannot be debunked if they are banned from the bookshelves.

The argument of last resort is that freedom to express hateful and dangerous lies may be the worst of policies – except for all the others that have been tried over time. Tolerance is given by advocates of free speech and expression as fundamental political rights, what they are not supporting is the validity of what is claimed. The uncomfortable position is that toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider morally detestable and factual empty. Thus libraries do facilitate HDL when is the right of individuals to hold and express these ideas. The consequences of the abstract principle involves supporting the right to material that lies and deceives. The consequences borne may be that the echo-chamber of self-referring publications and websites in the name of free speech benefits the lies that fester there.

The position assumes that reasonable, rational people will reject the malpractice of presenting provable lies as acceptable facts although an assumption sorely tested in distinguishing between truth and lies in contemporary political practice. To suppress expression of such ideas in HDL is regarded as the thin edge of a wedge that could aversively affect the ecology of the system of discourse. Whereas rebuttal of HDL is powerful testimony to the original crimes.

Underling the stance is an avoidance of criminalisation of dissent, a rejection of the concept of ‘thought crimes’:– in reality, libraries are full of factually questionable material i.e. horoscopes and alternative medicine, and controversial material on euthanasia and the existence of God, flat earthers, those who dispute the moon landings, accounts of alien abduction, explanations of reptilian elites and other conspiratorial histories. None of these are inconvenient truths, they may be simply wrong but intellectually we live with them. This stance avoids creating criteria to exclude others. False facts are too often accepted by many even when others have demonstrated otherwise. When confronted with deliberate fabrications of the historic record the decision in favour of intellectual freedom is the freedom to support the right to lie. There can be no guarantee that truth, justice or morality will prevail in some constructed marketplace of ideas.

In the attempt to make the Holocaust denial myth intellectually respectable, deniers mimics standard academic presentation and procedure. Questions of authenticity and authorative nature are camouflaged as conferences, journals, institutions, websites and books aim to build and construct an aura of academic respectability to HDL. The requisite notes and bibliography, the acknowledgement of archives and library collections, quoting from established authors in the field are all hallmarks of scholarly work that some authors employ in their work e.g. see the ‘Revisionist Bibliography’ compiled by Keith Stimley for the self-styled Institute of Historical Review.

Reinterpreting history is a practice that constantly occurs, but malicious falsehoods, in the guise of open debate seeking the imprimatur of credibility and free inquiry, presented as historical scholarship, remains a blatant distortion of the truth. Despite the scholarly veneer it mimics, HDL is far removed from being “the other side” of inquiry, an alternative or divergent view to reconcile with an existing orthodoxy. That respectability of intellectual enquiry sought in Thomas Dalton’s Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at both sides (2009) suggests an equal value to the revisionist argument when the book is clearly part of a revisionist propaganda wave seeking to shift historical interpretation. HDL is largely written by right-wing pro-nazi polemicists who ignore a substantial mass of evidence that runs counter to their pre-set conclusions. The collection of essay entitled, Dissecting the Holocaust: the growing critique of ‘Truth’ and ‘Memory’ gives the game away with a preface by grandfather of deniers, Robert Faurisson!

HDL tends to be published by a limited number of specialist publishers known for producing far right texts. As an idea it has no traction in mainstream commercial publishing. Whereas their critics are published by well-respected and established publishers with the occasional counter-propaganda producers (e.g. Hope Not Hate produced ‘Rewriting History: Lying, Denying & Revising the Holocaust’ (2018)).

Professor Richard Evans described Holocaust deniers as inhabitants of “an intellectual world that was far removed from the cautious rationality of academic historical scholarship”, who are motivated by “a strange mixture of prejudice and bitter personal experience”.

Their research “findings” do not go unchallenged. Recognised historians reject the so-called “scholarly works written by deniers, their use of tautological argument and selected evidence whereby contrasting documents are labelled forgeries, witnesses as liars and believers are dupes at best. Criticism of such propaganda raises awareness about the intentions and methods of deniers without legitimizing their arguments.

The demolition of the self-style pretentions of David Irving in a law court reinforced the belief that,

“As Irving’s demise revealed, it is only by analysing and deconstructing the malevolent myths informing Holocaust denial that its proponents can be rubbished and ridiculed. Spuriously-crafted claims will not be defeated by gathering dust at the back of a warehouse, but instead in the hands of a discerning mind. Publication, not restriction, is the best way to defeat abhorrent doctrines.”

Influential in HDL was The Leuchter Report – a forensic study of the gas chambers at Auschwitz, a book answered by Shapiro who edited a demolition of its case in Truth Prevails: Demolishing Holocaust Denial: the end of The Leuchter Report (1990). Deborah Lipstadt’s book Denying the Holocaust: the growing assault on Truth and Memory (1993) directly related with Richard Evans’ Lying About Hitler: History, holocaust and the David Irving Trial (2002) and Lipstadt’s own experience in the trial against Irving in History On Trial: My Day in court with a Holocaust denier (2006).

David Irving had objected to being labelled a Holocaust denier and sued for libel, however the judge concluded it was “incontrovertible that Irving qualifies as a Holocaust denier.” Irving was later imprisoned in Austria (in 2006) for precisely doing that. In his study Hitler’s War, Irving groundlessly asserted that the mass murder of Jews had been carried out behind Hitler’s back.


A focus on access through libraries seems quaint and old fashion, after all people are more likely to stumble across HDL readily available over the internet than in its print format. After all, commercial sites like Amazon lists self-published books promoting Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic texts ; coming across neo-Nazi literature is far more common in a digital world than when it was produced in print.

The core ideas of HDL have remained the same over the years in its transition from print literature to an internet existence. The arguments employed, and authors referenced, are drawn from, and considers of fellow self-reinforcing deniers. Their sites are not forums for inquiry and discussion into historic events: there are more exclamation marks than question marks. While not reflective of the views espoused by all Holocaust deniers, as variations exists in the degree and manner that this denial occurs, amalgamated these sites form a body of HDL that form the referring authority within the literature.

Websites provides access to multiple links giving the impression of a varied body of research work. The appeal to free speech and right to dissent is employed in such website as “The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust”. Here intellectual freedom with respect to the Holocaust camouflages the partisan and single-sided commitment to the deniers’ narrative. Here hate propaganda is treated as a legitimate contribution. Whilst not as crude to imitate the “Holocaust LOL” sections of other sites or signal political allegiances in its url (like nazigassing), it presents in the language of inquiry and educational endeavours. Even then not all sites clearly identity themselves, hiding behind anonymity. Well-designed websites like IHR mimics the scholarly but that is no indication of authorative context when, far from being disinterested, it has the intention and purpose of promoting the denial position as much as a more personal site like zundelsile run by Ernest Zundel. The provision of free download of HDL underlines that propaganda intention. Counterpoised to this propaganda are the numerous websites knowledgably and evidence-laden about the actual history of the Holocaust.

The continued existence of discredited and disproved Holocaust Denial Literature may seem the price borne for the right to think and freedom of expression but it stands also as the reoccurring importance of intellectual enquiry and methodology that tests the sources of information, can place them with a context of a wider confirming body of knowledge and critical interrogates the arguments and conclusions it presents. On these grounds HDL fails and the memory of the Holocaust reaffirmed.

The Irish Revolutionary Tradition: taking the war to England

An aspect of the Long War of Independence

In April 1921, armed IRA men raided Lyons’ Cafe in Manchester, firing shots in the air to disperse customers and staff, and dousing the premises in paraffin. Before setting the building alight, one Volunteer explained their actions: “We are doing what you are doing in Ireland.”

The mainland campaign had historical precedents. In the early 1880s, Irish Republicans called Fenians bombed several targets across Britain, including the Houses of Parliament. The Manchester Martyrs— William Philip Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O’Brien—were three men executed for the murder of a police officer in Manchester, England, in 1867 and followed by the Fenian dynamite campaign 1881-1885 led by Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

In reporting on the IRA campaigns in England the BBC got it wrong, stating that the first IRA attacks on England came in 1939. [BBC News , 4 March, 2001] The early 1920s had seen action taken in IRA campaigns throughout England. As the war in Ireland escalated in autumn 1920, operations in England were authorised (though not in Scotland or Wales, as their people were “more or less Gaelic”, as Liam Lynch put it in 1923).

The consequences of war are not going to be kept solely in Ireland.

When the War of Independence began in 1919, the growing number of Volunteers in Britain became a vital source of arms for the emergent IRA. They did business with Jewish gunsmiths in London, German arms dealers in Glasgow, criminal gangs in Sheffield and Birmingham, anyone who would take their money: “we found the Englishman always willing to do business”, remembered Liverpool Volunteer Paddy Daly. Irish men were sources, too: a Sgt Roche helped smuggle guns from Chelsea barracks, while Irish miners in Lancashire and Lanarkshire set aside portions of their daily explosives allocation to send home. By 1921 there were more than 2,500 Volunteers in Britain (Noonan 2017).

Kevin Davies details the activities of the Tyneside Brigade of the IRA.

It comprised ten companies established in the North East between the start of 1920 and March 1921. Its membership, some of whom were demobilised soldiers from the First World War, according to Tyneside IRA Brigade Quartermaster Gilbert F. Barrington, had 480 men of English birth enlisted from the Irish diaspora in the north-east. (Davies 2010)

To counteract potential attacks, a wide range of security arrangements at sites, including Dunston Power Station, seen as potential I.R.A targets were in place. These arrangements were composed of watchmen at workplaces, employers providing their own fire prevention services, and twenty four hour police cover. Train stations in urban and rural areas were under police surveillance. Subsequently soldiers from the Ninth Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry were posted at Dunston.

Still there were on March 5th 1921 incendiary attacks on a bonded warehouse in Hanover Street, an oil refinery in Forth Bank both in Newcastle. A timber yard at Tyne Dock, South Shields was also attacked. In the months that followed: Gosforth aerodrome was attacked, incendiary attacks were carried out on around thirty attacks on farms on both sides of the River Tyne. There was also the destruction of telegraph lines by chain saws which disrupted communications between London and Scotland for a week. The assessment of one participants was “the papers played up our little acts considerably”.

Davies noted the Tyneside Brigade’s participation in the procurement of arms and ammunition. “For the whole of 1920 the Tyneside Brigade supplied arms for Ireland via Liverpool”.

After the brutal Black and Tan burnings of Balbriggan and Trim, the Liverpool IRA sought “an eye for an eye”. On November 27th they launched more than 40 arson attacks around Merseyside, causing more than £500,000 damage; a civilian was shot dead in gun battles with police.

There was the assassination in June 1922 of the Unionist member for North Down, former Field Marshall Henry Wilson in London.

Tynesides’ anti – treaty IRA reconstituted brigade had one hundred volunteers but only a small percentage of this figure were deemed reliable for potential operations.


Hart, P. Operations Abroad: The IRA in Britain, 1919-23

The English Historical Review, Volume 115, Issue 460, February 2000, Pages 71–102

There were forty shades of green

The signing of the Anglo Irish Treaty of December 6th, 1921 did not create an Irish Republic but a state within the British Empire with Dominion status which was divided by partition creating Northern Ireland. That decision unleashed a civil war amongst the republican forces.

The Irish Free State under William Cosgrove began a ruthless campaign against the anti-treaty I.R.A which was in essence martial law enacted by a civilian government. While the new National Army co-operated with (illegal) mass arrests and deportation of anti-Treaty republicans in Britain. In March 1923 110 Irish republicans were deported to the Irish Free State by the British government. Within the United Kingdom, Irish Free State intelligence officers were operating within the Irish community. It was their intelligence reports that led to the deportation.

May 1923 Irish deportees boarding trains at London’s Waterloo
May 1923 Irish deportees boarding trains at London’s Waterloo


Nine months before the outbreak of the Second World War, and a month before the IRA’s own bombing campaign began in Britain, the unionist government had begun interning republicans in Belfast in 1938. Sporadic bomb attacks, mainly by unionists, on targets such as GAA club houses, had occurred almost every month in Belfast in 1937 and 1938. No unionists were arrested.

On 22nd December 1938, the RUC carried out a series of raids across Belfast, arresting 33 men (plus one in Ballymena). Among those arrested was the O/C of the Belfast IRA, Sean McArdle and many senior republicans, like Chris McLoughlin (the Belfast IRA delegate to the 1938 IRA Army Convention) and veterans like Jack McNally and Joe McGurk. The raids revealed the stark limitations of RUC intelligence. Most of the IRA staff, including the likes of Sean McCaughey and Albert Price, remained at large. Some republicans were to be held until 1945, without trial or charges.

In the 1930s a group of militant radicals gained control of the IRA Army Council. In January 1939 they issued a brief ultimatum to the British government, demanding the withdrawal of all British military personnel from Ireland. 15 January 1939, with no reply from the British Government, a proclamation was posted in public places throughout Ireland announcing the IRA’s declaration of war on Britain.

Their ultimatum was ignored and IRA leaders responded with a campaign in England. They initiated their S-Plan: an operation to sabotage English infrastructure with stolen and improvised explosives. Between January and December 1939, IRA cells planted a total of 290 bombs in England. The S-Plan sought to create disruption, panic and fear rather than deaths or casualties. The bombers targeted electricity stations, railway stations, communications infrastructure, roads, bridges and government buildings.

The campaign was wound back in August 1939 after an IRA bomb intended for an electricity station exploded in a Coventry shopping street, killing five civilians. This bombing caused widespread outrage and a growth in anti-Irish sentiment. A bomb, hidden on the handlebar basket of a bicycle, went off by accident outside Astley’s shop in the busy Broadgate area of Coventry. Two members  – Peter Barnes and James McCormack – also known as James Richards – would hang for the Broadgate blast, although neither planted the bomb.

Part of the S Plan campaign, attacking commercial premises in an effort to rid Ireland of British troops. The bomb was actually intended for an electricity generating plant on the outskirts of Coventry .On March 23, 1939, they struck four times, destroying underground telephone inspection chambers.

The S-Plan (sometimes referred to as the Sabotage Campaign) was a campaign against the civil, economic, and military infrastructure of the United Kingdom from 1939 to 1940, conducted by members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). At various moments in the twentieth century the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in its various incarnations have used the tactic of infrastructural bombing, notably in their 1939 attacks in England on electricity pylons and in the summer of 1971 in Northern Ireland on its electrical distribution network. In 1996 the British Security Service (MI5) foiled an attack by the IRA aimed at causing a total electrical blackout of the greater London area, a plan that would have seen major disruption in the capital for many weeks or months. The months of 1939 were punctuated with a variety of attacks and targets : electricity pylons, power stations, London underground, two bombs exploded at Kings Cross railway station, and at the aqueduct for the Grand Union Canal and Hammersmith Bridge. In June 1939 bombs exploded in thirty post offices and postboxes.

Coventry 1939

The five deaths during the Coventry bombing on 25 August effectively ended the campaign. By late 1940 the introduction of the Treason Act 1939 and the Offences Against the State Act in Éire, and the Prevention of Violence (Temporary Provisions) Act in Britain had seen many IRA members interned in Éire, arrested in Britain, or deported from Britain. The granting of extra powers to the Irish Justice Minister under the Emergency Powers Act in January 1940 led to 600 IRA volunteers being imprisoned and 500 interned during the course of World War II alone. (S-Plan from Wikipedia)

In the contemporary era any chronology of Provisional Irish Republican Army actions contain intervals when cease-fires were declared to facilitate political progress; the ceasefires of 1972 Cheyne Walk talks and 1974, 1975, the hopeful ceasefire of 1994–96 celebrated in Republican heartlands with Sinn Fein claiming the IRA was ‘undefeated’ but the word ‘victory’ was notably absent, and the final ceasefire of 19 July 1997. However as the war continued, the military campaign was employed in England, often to public revulsion, but regarded as an effective tactic to advance the political goals.

The PIRA modern-day maxim: “One bomb in London is worth 20 in Belfast.”

From 1970 to 2005, 19,000 IEDs – Improvised Explosive Devices – were exploded on British territory: that’s one every 17 hours. Not all were of Irish origin. In the parlance of the time, ‘spectaculars’ were milestones in the struggle. Irish republicans had been using training grounds in Counties Donegal and Armagh, to develop an unprecedented level of adapted technical IED expertise, evident in an attempt to blow up Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet at the 1984 Conservative Party conference at The Grand Hotel, Brighton. Targeting the Government again, on 7 February 1991, involved a multiple mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. Three bombs were launched from a firing position in a stationary van. They hit a tree and exploded 13 m short of target, forming a crater several metres wide and shattering the blast windows of the Cabinet room. Prime Minister John Major and his Cabinet dived under a table. As well as extensive damage to 11 and 12 Downing Street, two civil servants and two policemen were injured.

The first significant attack on English soil during, what was referred to as, ‘the Troubles’ was carried out by the Official IRA, acting in retaliation for Bloody Sunday. On February 22nd 1972, three weeks after the shootings in Derry, Official IRA volunteers drove an explosives-laden car into an army base in Aldershot.

In early 1973, the Provisional IRA sent 11 volunteers to operate undercover in London; there were attacks on the symbols of British state like the Old Bailey and Whitehall, Other attacks included the 1974 Woolwich, Guildford and Birmingham Pub bombings (November 1974), the M62 Coach Bombing, Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament and a bomb exploded at the Tower of London in an exhibition room.

In 1975, bombing Oxford Street (August 28th, seven injured), the London Hilton (September 5th, two killed and 63 injured) and Connaught Square (November 3rd, three injured).

Individual targets Ross McWhirter, Airey Neave, a Conservative MP and adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Lord Louis Mountbatten. On the same day Mountbatten was assassinated, the South Armagh division of the Provisional IRA ambushed a British Army platoon near Warrenpoint, County Down and killed 18.

Each decade saw a mainland campaign and varied targets.

October 1981 a bomb packed with six-inch nails exploded outside Chelsea Barracks; Wimpy’s, fastfood hamburger bar on Oxford Street was attacked.

July 20th 1982 when IRA targeted military parades in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.

December 17th 1983, detonating a car bomb outside the iconic department store Harrod’s in west London.


October 12th 1984 the Provisional IRA detonated a bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. The hotel was hosting a Conservative Party conference. Provisional IRA statement was succinct “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war.”

1989 the Provisional IRA revived the mainland campaign by bombing a Royal Marines music school in Deal, Kent. During the 1990s, there were attacks on military personnel in Wembley (May 1990) and Litchfield (June 1990) that killed two men. In July 1990 IRA volunteers assassinated Ian Gow, a Conservative MP who embraced a hard line on Northern Ireland, routinely attacking the Provisional IRA in parliament and the media. In February 1991 volunteers launched three mortars at 10 Downing Street.

Conservative leader, John Major won the British General Election of 9th April 1992.The Conservatives’ fourth election victory in a row.

April 10th 1992 at 9:20 pm, a huge bomb of homemade explosive inside a white Ford Transit van, detonated in front of the Baltic Exchange building at 24–28 St Mary Axe.   Three people died and 91 injured.

Following the attack on the world’s leading international shipping market, reports in the media that insurance claims from this single attack amounted to £800 million pounds more than the total damage caused by the 10,000 explosions that had occurred during the Troubles in Northern Ireland up to that point. [Some truth perhaps to the PIRA modern-day maxim: “One bomb in London is worth 20 in Belfast.”]

A few hours later another similarly large bomb went off in Staples Corner in north London, also causing major damage. The site, together with that of the Chamber of Shipping at 30–32 St Mary Axe, was eventually redeveloped, now home to the skyscraper commonly referred to as The Gherkin.

Feb 18th 1996 eleven people were hurt after a bomb in transit explodes on a double decker bus in the heart of London’s West End.  A few days earlier on  February 9th 1996 the IRA detonated a 3,000 pound bomb in London’s Docklands in South Quay. The blast devastated a wide area and caused an estimated £150 million worth of damage and wrecked the Midland Bank HQ. Although the IRA had sent warnings 90 minutes beforehand, the area was not fully evacuated. Two people were killed and more than 100 were injured, some permanently

The explosion marked the end of a seventeen month ceasefire, forcing the British government to re-table talks for peace in Northern Ireland. Did extensive damage caused to City of London office blocks by IRA bomb attack concentrate the minds? In the mainstream media this event has been read as the IRA successfully ‘bombing its way to the conference table’.

Thwarted attack on infrastructure

Over 30 mass-produced devices seized by Gardai from the IRA’s Clonaslee bomb factory in the Irish Republic in the mid-1990s were intended to take out 22 electrical substations – specifically, the transformer units – which channel almost all the electricity used in the London area. IRA researched their intended targets and reconnoitered at least five substations. The 100,000-V environment meant the power would have to be shut down before bombs could be found and rendered safe. Had up to five transformers been disrupted, large parts of London would have been without power for days or weeks.

The attacks in the north-west saw the IRA attempted to blow up the Navy and RAF recruitment office in Preston city centre, two separate bomb attacks took place during early 1993 in Warrington. The first attack happened on 26 February, when a bomb exploded at a gas storage facility. This caused extensive damage, but no injuries. The second attack on 20 March, when two smaller bombs exploded in litter bins outside shops and businesses on Bridge Street, killed two children and dozens of people were injured. Blackpool was targeted just six months later when the IRA planted a large number of incendiary devices in various shops and businesses. Manchester city centre modern developments were down to the IRA bomb of June 1996. A huge explosion near Arndale shopping centre rocks central Manchester injuring more than 200 people. The largest IRA bomb detonated in Great Britain and the largest bomb to explode in Great Britain since the Second World War, it causes more than £400m worth of damage.

A statement from the IRA leadership on 19 July 1997 confirmed the “unequivocal restoration of the ceasefire of August 1994”: peace talks were now being shaped without IRA arms decommissioning as a precondition; that formal declaration appeared in July 2005: “All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means.”

After the Belfast Agreement came into effect in December 1999, dissident republicans opposed to the Agreement, including the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA, continued to carry out sporadic armed activities, both in the six counties and England.


 Dr Darragh Gannon | ‘Irish Republicanism in Great Britain, 1917-21’ Doctoral thesis 2011

Gary McGladdery | The Provisional IRA in England: The Bombing Campaign 1973-1997. Irish Academic Press 2006

Gerard Noonan | The IRA in Britain, 1919-1923: “In The Heart of Enemy Lines” Liverpool University Press 2017

Joseph Mckenna | The IRA Bombing Campaign Against Britain 1939-1940. McFarland & Company 2016

Kevin Davies | The IRA Campaign in the North East and the State Response 1920-1923. north east history Volume 41 2010 78-100pp

Patrick Brennan | The IRA in Jarrow – 1920-1923

Peter Hart | “Operations abroad”: the IRA in Britain, 1919-23 (English Historical Review, 2000 115 (460), pp. 71-102,

Tony Craig | Sabotage! The Origins, Development and Impact of the IRA’s Infrastructural Bombing Campaigns 1939–1997 | 2010 Pages 309-326




101. The Soviet View: The Evils of Maoism

The criticism of anti-Sovietism was commonly attributed to China’s analysis of the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 70s. What was less publicised in the western world was the anti-Chinese diatribe that spew forth from the propaganda machinery at the behest of Moscow. What was addressed in the multitude of pamphlets and monographs was the ideological and institutional challenge presented by the analysis from principally China, but also Albania, and the propaganda offensive to undermine such support that it might attract.

The extensive library of the “evils of Maoism” publications utilised not only Russian academics but a network of sympathetic commentators and the writings of Wang Ming to oppose Mao’s alleged nationalist deviation, all forming part of a charge sheet of a wide variety of sins, from anti-Sovietism through disruption of leftist unity to interference in internal party affairs. Describing Chinese foreign policy as one of fomenting tensions and opposing détente, not only a source of disorientation and splitting of revolutionary forces, but a “factual ally of imperialism” (as described in the Czech party publication Rude Pravo in November 21st 1975). An argument opportunistically illustrated with Mao shaking hands with German politician Franz Joseph Strauss. Throughout the Seventies there was a wide and varied cast of conservative and right-wing visitors to China given a public welcome in Beijing from whom to select.

In framing the issues as a problem of China’s making, there is the attempt to side-step the criticisms raised and focus on the polemical assertions thereby characteristically describes Maoism sinocentric character, and as by Leningrad Propagandist VADIM VASILYEVICH CHUBINSKIY, an ‘expert on Chinese affairs’, habitually attacking Maoism as a non-Marxist ideology:

“A form of peasantism which is connected with Chinese nationalism and chauvinism, an old tradition in China which Maoism took over. In the final analysis, Maoist theories come down to Great Power chauvinism. Soviet scientists have determined that there is no substance to Maoism as an ideology.”

A staple explanation that the Cultural Revolution could be reduced to a single motive in that the “present power struggle between the various factions and groups has its essence in conflicts which Maoism has had since the very beginning.” However the party and state in China were more complex a phenomena than that presented in the propaganda: Chubinskiy argued in his lecture of April 18th 1976 that,

“There are two main groups: the one led by Mao’s wife, CHIANG CHING, together with the Shanghai leadership, which is the more adventurist, extreme grouping – Maoism in its pure form; the less extreme group of so-called pragmatists and realists, drawn from the military and party apparatus, formerly led by CHOU-ENLAI and then TENG HSIAO-PENG. However, it should be emphasised that both groups are identical in their hostility to Marxism-Leninism. It is just a question of the “tempo” of Maoism.”

“MAOISM UNMASKED” by L. KYUZADZHYAN, published in Izvesitya on October 15 1975, a lengthy commentary exposing the ideological dangers and propaganda difficulties posed by Maoism for “true socialism”.

He contended that “with the rise and development of Maoism bourgeois ideologies acquired what in their view is a priceless means of discrediting Marxism-Leninism in the eyes of unsophisticated people.” Not only that, wrote KYUZADZHYAN, but bourgeois propaganda plays on Maoism’s national tendencies to “urge on opportunist elements in Communist parties to make their own political deals.” He quoted from BREZHNEV’S 1971 24th Party Congress address, naming ROGER GARAUDY, ERNST FISCHER and the “Manifest Group” in Italy. KYUZADZHYAN opinion was that “a complex alliance of forces, from openly anti-communist to all kinds of revisionists, is being formed in which under the present ‘division of labour’ Maoism supplies the ‘theoretical’ argument against true socialism.”

KYUZADZHYAN pointed out to three other dangers said to be inherent in Maoism: referencing ISAAC DEUTSCHER for a supporting opinion, he claimed that “the arguments of Maoist theorists had much in common with those of Trotsky”; using FISCHER and GARAUDY as examples, he argued that Maoism spreads the idea “that there can be various models of socialism, with nationalist tendencies as the determining factor; and referring to American China watcher Michael Oksenberg, he argues Maoism is advocated as a developmental philosophy for the third world, although KYUZADZHYAN contends that Maoism’s subjugation of national interest to the interests of a “narrow group” distorts or even breaks off the development process.

Criticism of Chinese policies were an oblique warning to the other Moscow-orientated parties to curb such tendencies in its “client parties”, those opportunists who believed that the spectrum of socialism would incorporate Chinese communism and reach to embrace the social democracy of Western Europe and Venezuela. The anti-revisionist stance challenged the monopoly of Moscow wary of the perceived perils of encouraging Communist parties to explore independent or national approaches, thereby (as what happened) weakening the ability to guide them in their political stance. What ideally the ideologues of the CPSU wanted to establish was not so much that the enemy is within the walls of the socialist community, but rather that Maoism was outside the camp. In the early 1970s the Soviet leadership moved to a position that could not regard the Chinese leaders as Marxist-Leninists and various adjectives were used to establish them “petit bourgeois in nature”.

Polish commentator Stanislaw Glabinski had raised the thesis that Maoism was a self-serving native Chinese philosophy with roots in Chinese feudal traditions, relating to Buddhism and Taoism, rather than a Chinese form of Marxism” as discussed in Western scholarship. [Perspektywy, a Polish weekly, August 3rd 1973]

After this explanation of the non-Marxist nature of Maoism, he concludes that Maoist ideology in practice is directed against “our interests, against the interests of the Socialist community.” There was, in light of China’s relations with East Europe, a concerted Soviet effort to frustrate any notion of Chinese ‘wedge-driving’ in the geo-political alliance in Eastern Europe.

The Soviet Party theoretical journal, set out clearly the anti-Maoist line it sought to set a consensus around with which other parties could endorse at a future world communist conference. [Kommunist #12 August1975]

The article sustains an anti-China diatribe, stating Mao’s policies “discredit the ideas of socialism” portraying a power-hungry leadership devoted to militarism and repression, plagued by factionalism and scornful of its own people’s aspirations for a better life, instead through its mass criticism campaigns, such as to criticise Lin Piao and Confucius, sought “to build up the cult of violence and brutality in the country.”

Soviet commentators would cite a litany of grievances of supposed crimes and misdeeds undertaken by the Chinese authorities, somewhere near the top was Chinese ingratitude for the aid received from Russia before and since the revolution; Beijing’s anti-Soviet, anti-socialist, national-chauvinist policies, and how repeated Soviet efforts to normalise relations with the People’s Republic had founded on Chinese intransigence raising the question of “lost territories”.

In terms of damaging Soviet interests, China was seen as its active opponent to the Soviet foreign policy emphasis on détente. In doing so, “the Maoist leadership is preventing the establishment of a lasting peace in the world and is supporting the reactionary forces that want a resumption of the Cold War. The authorities in Beijing were said to be seeking to form an “anti-socialist, anti-Soviet alliance with all of the most rabid reactionary forces of the capitalist world.”

In an inflammatory paragraph, KOMMUNIST’s article emphasised the wider aspect that CPSU ideologues were attempting to establish as the benchmark for alignment amongst its allies and others. It argued,

“The dangerous and adventurist nature of the Maoist leadership’s policy lends special urgency to the Chinese problem. Maoism is a policy and an ideology has ceased to be merely a domestic problem of China, but also concerns the world socialist system and the international communist movement, turning into a factor which concerns all peace-loving states, irrespective of their social systems, and progressive forces, because it represents a growing threat to everyone. Maoism has now joined forces with anti-communism and comes out against détente, being actually an apologist for a new world war. The Chinese problem is increasingly become one of the most acute political issues of today.”

BREZHNEV’S 25th party congress speech in 1976 had alleged that the Chinese authorities sought to “warm its hands” over the flames of a world war. This thread was further untwisted in an article in the Soviet army newspaper KRASNAYA ZVEZDA (from May 1976) by YU. LUGOVSKOY which denounces Maoism as a threat to world peace.

The Soviet evidence was China supposed alliance with world reaction, its anti-Soviet propaganda (which never matched in quantity that which came out of the Soviet Union) and the belief that it was China’s interest to sit on the mountain and watch the (paper) tigers fight.

Dismissing the Chinese concept of “three worlds”- it has no “class basis” said Kommunist, lumping socialists with imperialists, and ignoring the support which socialism has given to developing countries- China’s efforts to identify with the Third World against “Superpower hegemony” were said to cover its real aim of expanding its own hegemony, especially along its southern flank indicating a threat to Vietnam and others.

In public they repeated what was spoken in private as Russian hostility towards China was publicised arguing that “Maoist policy increasingly coincided with the views of the world’s extreme reactionaries” and that “The Maoists’ aim was to use the wreckage of human civilization as a pedestal from which China could dominate the world” –

[‘Moscow criticizes West for appeasing Maoism’ The Times May 5 1976 p6]

Internal counsel from Moscow loyalists echoed the message: “We consider it necessary that our parties and countries make use of all the political and ideological means available to them for the fight against the current serious danger ‐ the creation of an “united front“ between Beijing and imperialism and the reaction ‐ and to mobilize for actions against the plot of the Chinese leadership with reactionary American forces. And we hope that the fraternal parties and the socialist countries will commit their potentials to this purpose.”

“Evaluation by the Soviet party CC of the normalization of US‐Chinese relations”. 30 August 1978 Confidential! [handwritten notes:] “Circulation Politburo, EH [Erich Honecker] 31.08.‘78 “filed. 10.10.‘78“Cold War International History Project . A

To push the point home to its unenthusiastic allies, the Kommunist article baldly stated that patient forbearance is not sufficient,

“Those who come out against the exposure of the harm done by Maoism, against criticism of the fundamental errors of the Peking leaders, against joint strategy and tactics in the struggle for the unity and cohesion of the socialist system and the international communist movement, those who try to present Maoism as some specifically Chinese ‘national model of socialism’, render help to Peking’s schimatics, whether they wish it or not.”

“A conciliatory attitude towards Maoism and Mao Tse-tung’s policies, whatever the form their manifestation takes, objectively promote the anti-Marxist, anti-socialist aims of the Chinese leadership…. Struggle against Maoism is a struggle for greater unity of the socialist countries and for the triumph of the cause of peace and security of peoples.”

So the lofty and noble aims of the anti-China article concludes with the standard prediction that “the Chinese people themselves will turn over a new leaf” and eventually rid themselves of the errors of Maoism.



✭ Source

100. Lal Salam! Red Salute!

In Memorial

JAGMOHAN JOSHI, General Secretary of the Indian Workers Association of Great Britain (IWA GB), died from a heart attack on June 3rd 1979 leading a 4,000 strong demonstration in London against state racism, discrimination, police brutality and immigration controls.

Born in Hoshiarpur in Punjabi, India, in 1958, at the age of 21 he came to Britain to find a livelihood. He continued to be deeply involved in community and communist politics. [See The IWA (GB), Indian Communists & the AIC] He upheld the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong as a great beacon of socialism, and fought for Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought against revisionist and Trotskyite distortions of Marxism. Former members of the Birmingham Communist Association in tribute to his contribution noted:

Joshi’s communism was quite clearly not of the Eurocentric type that has typified the white left for so many years. For some of us, he was instrumental in opening our eyes to the realities of oppression in the Third World and the significance of the national liberation struggles. He did not see racism as a diversion from the class struggle – as something that will simply be resolved with the socialist revolution, but stressed the importance of black struggles. [Remembering Comrade Joshi Class Struggle, June 1983]

He stood for building alliances of all people opposed to racism, however he never accepted that the struggle was only against open fascism and not against the system which breed and promote racism. The Times described Joshi as “uncompromising and thoughtful Maoist industriously working for broad-front multi-racial British militant organisation”. Partially true: the IWA was his prime focus, but he helped bring progressive campaigning organisations in Britain together in the 1960s Joshi initiated the formation of the Coordinating Committee Against Racial Discrimination (CCARD), a broad based campaigning committee of 26 organisations, fronted by Victor Yates, MP for Ladywood, who was the first president. Maurice Ludmer of the Jewish Ex Servicemen’s Association and editor of Searchlight anti-fascist magazine played a significant role, together with Jagmohan Joshi and academic, Shirley Fossick, who later married Joshi. In 1968 he led the Black Peoples Alliance and organised marches of up to 15,000 people, however such a heady mix of pro-Maoist and Black Power activists proved an unsustainable agenda in the absence of a unifying revolutionary party. In the 1970s the Joshi-led IWA continued to challenge through participation in the Campaign Against Racist Laws (CARL).

In innumerable struggles against racism, he and the IWA GB played a leading part. There were many struggles in the community, including the rights of Sikhs to wear turbans, and against discrimination in public places, e. g. the refusa1 of many pubs to serve black people. The IWA has always supported and fought to maintain the culture of their own people. This is shown in such things as support for Punjabi schools and the promotion of cultural activities at all IWA events. The Indian Workers Association led by Joshi campaigned against discrimination and social exclusion facing Indian and other black and Asian migrants in Britain through poor housing conditions, employment inequalities such as the segregation of facilities in factories where its members worked; the operation of a ‘colour bar’ in employment and education, as well as in shops, public houses, and other leisure facilities; and the restrictions of immigration legislation introduced during the 1960s and 1970s. The IWA supported industrial disputes involving black and Asian workers at a number of workplaces in the Midlands and expressed broad solidarity with the Trade Union movement – attending May Day rallies, encouraging members to join trade unions and supporting the miners strikes of the early 1970s and 1984-1985 – although it also campaigned against racial discrimination within trade unions. [See The Rise and Fall of Maoism: the English Experience]

He clearly saw the importance of the struggle against racism, and recognised the effects of racism and imperialism on the working class in this country:

“Racialism in white workers is class collaboration and fatal for the working class struggle.” and “Loya1ty to the British nation is loyalty to the class that controls it i.e. monopoly capitalism. The white worker must reject such loyalty. Loyalty to Britain is loyalty to British imperialism. The white workers owe loyalty only to proletarian internationalism.”

He argued very strongly against the idea that black workers must not expect white workers to support them in their fight against special oppression, but must themselves support the economic struggles of white workers under white leadership as the best means of indirectly achieving their economic and political emancipation.” He saw this as totally incorrect like that other argument” that workers and peasants in colonial and semi-colonial territories should wait patiently for the workers in the metropolitan countries to overthrow the imperialist power.” [Quoted in Remembering Comrade Joshi Class Struggle, June 1983]

At home and abroad, Joshi was involved: in campaigns to stop atrocities on India’s poorest people, the Dalits or so-called “Untouchables”, and in 1975, Indira Gandhi put India under a State of Emergency. The Alliance against Fascist Dictatorship in India was formed, in which Joshi and the IWA GB played a leading role, continued to campaign for the release of the 100,000 political prisoners still held by the new Indian Government after Mrs Gandhi’s downfall. He led the movement when Gandhi visited Britain in 1978, which prevented her speaking in Southall and Birmingham.

At a Memorial meeting 1,500 people packed Birmingham Town Hall on June 17th 1979 to hear speeches, poems and songs including the chorus of IWA (GB) youth and The Banner Theatre Group in Joshi’s honour.

“Comrade Jagmohan Joshi belonged to his community, but also to all people who fight racism, fascism and imperialism. The greatest contribution we can make to his memory will be to carry on the struggle”.

Words spoken by his widow Shirley Joshi but sentiments repeated throughout the day.

It is a tribute to comrade Joshi’s style of “uniting all who can be united” (noted a report in Class Struggle) that many different political and social trends were represented and Comrade Joshi’s history was recalled by many speakers: representatives of Bharatiya Dalit Mukthi, an organisation of Dalits, Bangladeshi, Kashmiri, Afro-Carribean and Azanian organisations spoke.

Maurice Ludmer, Chairman of the Birmingham Trades Council, and editor of Searchlight anti-fascist magazine, said “my association with comrade Joshi goes back 22 years. He used to discuss with me in a room above a hairdressers in Soho Road, Handsworth. Within a few years the IWA (GB) had built a membership of 28,000. Unlike many whom the press and the race relations industry claim as immigrant leaders, Joshi genuinely had a mass base”. He pointed out “The IWA (GB) played a major role in the trade union movement in Britain. Many of the sweatshops in the “Black Country” were organised for the first time by Indian workers. Comrade Joshi stood shoulder to shoulder with the whole working class in this country”.

Amrit Wilson spoke on behalf of AWAZ (Asian Women’s Group) and pointed out how Comrade Joshi fought against male chauvinism and was anxious for women to play a full part in political life.

A leader of the Sikh temple in Smethwick paid tribute. The “Friends of India”, an organisation whose basis is Hindu nationalism, but which united with the IWA (GB) in the fight against Indira Gandhi’s fascist rule, sent a message of support. A representative of the Wolverhampton Anti-Nazi League spoke of his devotion to the anti-racist and anti-fascist struggle.

From the Left in Britain, the Maoist RCLB and Communist Workers Movement praised comrade Joshi as a great communist and an outstanding fighter against imperialism. The CWM pointed out that Comrade Joshi had put into practice the Leninist line of uniting the struggle of the working class in the advanced capitalist countries with those of the oppressed nations and peoples. The CWM speaker spoke glowingly of Comrade Joshi’s work to build the IWA, unite the national minority communities and unite them with the rest of the working class, uphold Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought and build the revolutionary Communist party in Britain and stressed that Comrade Joshi had made, “important contributions to the struggles of the British and international working class.”. New Age, No. 14, June 1979

Political opponents, speakers from the “Communist” Party of Great Britain, Socialist Workers’ Party and International Marxist Group took the platform to acknowledge his great achievements.   Class Struggle June 28-July 11th 1979 Vol.3 No.13

An accomplished Urdu poet, writing under the pen-name of Asar Hoshiarpuri.his own words made a fitting epitaph:

“We are fighting for the light, and if I am sacrificed, it doesn’t matter;

For there will be others who will see the dawn”

Joshi (2nd left) Avtar Jouhl (far right)Avtar Singh Jouhl