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John Lennon in the News.

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Rick Fielding 20 Feb 00 - 01:42 PM
katlaughing 20 Feb 00 - 02:19 PM
thosp 20 Feb 00 - 03:39 PM
Little Neophyte 20 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Feb 00 - 10:31 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 Feb 00 - 12:42 AM
sophocleese 21 Feb 00 - 08:21 AM
catspaw49 21 Feb 00 - 12:24 PM
Áine 21 Feb 00 - 12:37 PM
catspaw49 21 Feb 00 - 12:51 PM
Hasek 21 Feb 00 - 02:08 PM
Wesley S 21 Feb 00 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Neil Comer 21 Feb 00 - 05:12 PM
Callie 21 Feb 00 - 05:16 PM
MAG (inactive) 22 Feb 00 - 12:09 AM
GUEST,Brendy - elsewhere 22 Feb 00 - 03:06 AM
Callie 22 Feb 00 - 09:17 AM
Hyperabid 22 Feb 00 - 11:36 AM
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Subject: John Lennon in the News.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 01:42 PM

Hi. The Canadian press are eagerly milking the story of John Lennon's contributions to the IRA, and the "Trots" this morning. I figure it's "music related" enough to throw out for some Mudcat opinions. It might get some parallel chat in the "Ireland" thread, but that seems to be mostly long disertations on which trigger pullers have "god on their side".(sorry for the cynicism, but that's how it strikes this "outsider")

Lennon and Yoko spent quite a bit of time in Canada, and if I remember correctly their message seemed to be "a plague on ALL your heads" if you used killing as an option, so I guess a few folks are a bit surprised that he "took sides" whether they agreed with his choices or not.

Rick


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 02:19 PM

I haven't seen this yet in the papers, Rick, so for anyone else who's missed this morning's top story, here's "da scoop" from Reuters:

Sunday February 20 7:29 AM ET
Pacifist Lennon Funded IRA, Reports Say
LONDON (Reuters) - Former Beatle John Lennon, famed for his bed-bound protests for peace, may have helped fund the Irish Republican Army's war against the British in the early 1970s, according to a former British intelligence agent.

The Observer newspaper on Sunday said it had seen a court statement by ex-spy David Shayler, which said he was shown MI5 files in 1993 that included references to Lennon giving money to the paramilitary group.

The files referred directly to Lennon's support for the Trotskyist Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP), whose members included actress Vanessa Redgrave.

The paper said Shayler's statement claimed an MI5 source within the WRP said the late pop star, who was shot dead in 1980, had contributed tens of thousands of pounds (dollars) to the group as well as funding the IRA.

``I believe Lennon's funding of the IRA is perfectly consistent with his support for the civil rights movement,'' Shayler, who is in exile in Paris after being threatened with arrest for breaking Britain's Official Secrets Act, told the Observer.

Lennon, who joined ``Troops Out'' marches and once held up a sign saying ``Victory for the IRA against British imperialism'' at a London rally against internment without trial, was known to support Irish independence.

``I wouldn't be at all surprised if he gave money to the IRA,'' Beatles biographer Hunter Davies said. ``John liked stirring it up. He was very generous and spontaneous.''

Shayler's claims came after a U.S. federal judge ruled that three letters about Lennon from an unidentified foreign government -- believed to be Britain -- be turned over to college professor Jon Wiener.

Wiener, a history professor at the University of California, wants to use the letters as part of his legal battle to obtain 10 classified documents remaining in Lennon's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) file in the United States.

The professor, who has written a book called ``Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files,'' is unconvinced by Shayler's claims and said it was possible MI5 had been misinformed about Lennon and the IRA.

``It was well known that he identified with, and spoke out in favor of, the Irish civil rights movement. But that doesn't mean that he provided financial support for the IRA,'' Wiener told the BBC.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: thosp
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 03:39 PM

sounds like disinformation to me ---- i believe it as much as i believe that "God" is marching to war on anybody's side

peace (Y)thosp


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM

Hi Rick, now I know this has absolutely nothing to do with John Lennon in the News but I can't seem to pull up your Steak & Kidney Pie thread.
Would it be possible for you to refresh the thread?
I want to ask Duckboots how she liked her Valentine dinner.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 10:31 PM

Little Neo. Just "refresh" for three or seven days, and any recent threads will come up.

I truly hope this thread can stay focused on any opinions folks may have about the John Lennon story.

Rick


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:42 AM

Lennon included his song Ireland for the Irish (I believe it was called) on one of his solo albums. That, along with his own Irish heritage, would make his support for the IRA unsurprising. I also believe that John, although a highly intelligent individual, was very much the romantic idealist. He often waded in with people and causes based on trust and faith, and was sometimes taken advantage of. I'm sure this was the case with the IRA. He may have been persuaded that his contributions would have a positive impact on the political process of revolution. I don't think John would knowingly have provided funds for guns and bombs.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: sophocleese
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 08:21 AM

I think you've hit it there LEJ.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:24 PM

I too agree with Leej. I think there's probably a comparison to be made to the thousands of folks who were members of the Communist Party in the 30's and later brought to task over those affiliations by "Tailgunner Joe." I would think that Lennon would have had strong feelings both about Irish freedom and non-violence, so if the money was used for "guns instead of butter" he would have been unaware of it. Just an opinion.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Áine
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:37 PM

John, although a highly intelligent individual, was very much the romantic idealist. He often waded in with people and causes based on trust and faith, and was sometimes taken advantage of. I'm sure this was the case with the IRA

Sorry, LEJ and 'Spaw -- I have to take exception with you on this one. I, too, believe that John was an intelligent man. I cannot, therefore, believe that he would contribute to any 'Army', whether it had the word 'Irish' in front of it or not. If, and to me it is a big 'If', he contributed to anything having to do the NI situation, it probably was the INAC, which could have been presented to him as an charitable 'aid' society, much more in holding with his own principles.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 12:51 PM

Actually Aine, that was the point I was trying (badly) to make with the analogy to the CP members in the thirties. What he may have supported or thought he was supporting, would have been pro Irish and non-violent. The fact that he would support the cause of NI is not surprising.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Hasek
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 02:08 PM

Hello ALL ! In the United States , our headlines blair with misinformation or better yet, info , which is used to criticize and ridicule people. It's our society's way of showing how superior We are , over every one else. Wouldn't it be great to see John Lennon's and/or Pete Seeger's name in the headlines regarding what they've done to promote world peace and/or the saving of our enviroment. Oh, how easy it is to cast blame ,yet, so much harder to provide praise ! Mike Strobel


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Wesley S
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 02:20 PM

McCartny was the Beatle that did "Give Ireland back to the Irish" . Reguardless who sang the song the concept is a good one. As far as the Lennon story goes I want to hear a lot more about it from several different sources before I make up my mind.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 05:12 PM

John Lennon may have thought that he was giving money to the IRA to buy guns to protect the Catholic community from Loyalist/Army pogroms. Although most people ignore that possiblity


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Callie
Date: 21 Feb 00 - 05:16 PM

Lennon sang "Luck of The Irish" on "Somewhere in New York City". Yes, I too find it hard to believe that the man who staged "bag-ins for peace" would supply arms anywhere. It's more likely that because he was such an active agent for peace that rumours about his supplying arms are put about to slur his name. -Callie


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 22 Feb 00 - 12:09 AM

I'm a lot more interested in new revelations that our beloved FBI blackmailed John Lennon out of appearing at peace rallies here, threatening him with deportation. They were successful.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: GUEST,Brendy - elsewhere
Date: 22 Feb 00 - 03:06 AM

What people think he did, or what he was capable of doing isn't the point here.
But it didn't strike me as anything strange when I heard it. Maybe Yoko will enlighten us in due course.
B.


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Callie
Date: 22 Feb 00 - 09:17 AM

I'm sure she will. We'll know when we've been spoken to! --Callie


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Subject: RE: John Lennon in the News.
From: Hyperabid
Date: 22 Feb 00 - 11:36 AM

Radio Four comment from poeple actually working with Lennon at the time suggest he had nothing to do with the WRP but did submit some work to "Red Mole".

"Red Mole's" phones were tapped during this perios and Lennon was thought to have given money to a paper that survived entirely on donation.

As for the IRA Lennon watched Bloody Sunday unfold first hand like most UK mailanders at the time he was probably hhorrified by the incompeternce of what we Brits bill as the most professional army in the world.

Whilst "Red Mole" wasn't exactly for mainstream British values, I think it might be hard to "hang" a man for promoting freedom of speech.

As for contibutions to a proscribed terrorist organisation - that's a tough one. Nonetheless tonight in various pubs around NW London collections will be taken for that particular cause. It's not as if the practice wasn't and doesn't remain widespread.

It is a sad comment on our colonial history thatthe one part of our history that effects us worst today stands on our doorstep.

Hyp


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