For the last week of November , Anti Imperialist Action Ireland had the honour of hosting the internationally renowned Revolutionary Music Group, Grup Yorum for an Irish Tour.
While the primary purpose of the tour was to play two gigs organised by AIA in Belfast and Dublin, the trip also had important secondary purposes to rekindle solidarity links between Irish and Turkish revolutionaries, to highlight the ongoing Revolutionary struggle in Turkey against the Fascist Regime, to promote the International Artists Front against Imperialism and to highlight the campaign to Free the Turkish Revolutionary Prisoner Ali Osman Köse ( More Info: https://freealiosmankose.wordpress.com )
The first event of the Tour was a concert in Belfast of Wednesday November 24 in the Sunflower Bar attended by over 40 People. The intimate event saw three acts perform including Bobby Fields from Armagh and Séan Óg from Dublin who entertained those in attendance with the songs of Irish Resistance, followed by Grup Yorum, who through a mixture of songs and stories brought the Revolutionary Struggle in Turkey to life for the Audience. The event was followed by an engaging questions and answers session as Belfast Socialist Republicans were keen to learn more about the situation in Turkey.
On the evening Grup Yorum were presented with a framed picture of the 22 Republican Hungerstrikers by AIA and with a number of Prisoner crafts by Irish Republican Resistance/ E2 Prisoners Group.
On Thursday, Grup Yorum had a tour of Revolutionary sites in West Belfast, visiting the world famous murals that tell the story of Ireland’s Ongoing struggle for National Liberation And Socialist Revolution. That afternoon the band made what they felt was an extremely important journey to the grave of IRA Volunteer Bobby Sands at the Republican Plot in Miltown Cemetery, where in a poignant ceremony they laid flowers and performed a number of songs.
On Friday, the band was in Dublin for a series of meetings with Republicans, Socialists and Musicians facilitated by AIA to promote their work and build international solidarity connections before heading to the Teachers Club for the second concert of the week.
Early in the day it was clear that there was going to be a great crowd at the event as a steady stream of supporters of the band began to file into the venue well in advance of opening.
By 7.30 well above 100 Republicans, Socialists, and Anti Fascists mixed with a large crowd of Turkish Socialists living in Dublin who had turned out to show support for both Irish and Turkish Revolutionaries.
The first act of the evening was Dublin’s Séan Óg who again warmed up the crowd with rousing renditions of some of Ireland’s best known Resistance Songs. This was followed by veteran Revolutionary Socialist and Anti Imperialist campaigner, Diarmuid Breatnach, who sang a number of well known Irish Resistance Songs in the A Capella style that he is renowned for.
With the crowd now warming into a Revolutionary fervour, Group Yorum took to the stage to wild applause and cheering, playing a lively set peppered with the import political speeches that highlighted their Revolutionary work and mission. The backdrop to the stage was a banner from the Irish Campaign in support of the Turkish Hungerstrikers in 2001 along with An AIA flag and the Green Starry Plough of the Irish Citizen Army, demonstrating the length and continuity of Socialist Republican support for Revolutionaries in Turkey.
One of the highlights of the night was when Séan Óg returned to the stage to play Bobby Sands’ Back Home in Derry, much to the delight of the crowd in a clear demonstration that support for Irish National Liberation is strong amongst resident Turkish Socialists who took to their feet to join in, in what was an emotional display of International Revolutionary Solidarity.
This was followed by members of the Resistance Choir taking to the stage to join Grup Yorum in a rendition of Bella Ciao! before Diarmuid Breatnach returned to the stage to bring the evening to a close with Amhrán na bhFian.
The week was a massive success with bonds of Revolutionary International Solidarity deepened between Irish and Turkish Revolutionaries. Anti Imperialist Action Ireland would like to thank all those who made it possible, our cadre who put in massive effort to make a successful tour and all who attended the events or made time to meet with the Band.
Finally, we would like to thank Grup Yorum for coming to Ireland, playing to excellent gigs and providing a new insight and understanding to the Revolutionary situation in Turkey. We look forward to continuing to work with you into the future.