28 October 2005
Protest eBay's ban of the INLA
**Posted by Peter Urban to Seven Stars Republican Socialist News
28 October 2005
Despite the various badges, buttons, and pins having been sold on eBay for a number of years, six different listing of items related to the Irish National Liberation Army on eBay were recently removed, with the explanation that eBay did not permit the posting of items that promoted hatred or violence. In response to this action, Peter Urban of the International Republican Socialist Committees wrote to eBay protesting the suspensions and arguing tha, after seven years on ceasefire, it was absurd to claim that the INLA were advocates of violence.
The response to that protest from eBay identified an 'agency of the government' as the party who had identified the INLA as advocates of hatred and violence. The message read:
Thanks for writing to us. I appreciate the chance to help you with your questions.
I have reviewed your listings and found that they were removed correctly. eBay does not allow the sale of items related to groups who promote violence, racial or religious intolerance, or glorify hatred. The INLA has been identified to us by a government agency as a group that fits into this category, and therefore will not be allowed on eBay.
This intervention of governmental agencies into the affairs of eBay, especially when the information they are providing appears to be inaccurate, arbitrary, and intended to censor shades of political perspective, must be condemned.
Peter Urban commented, "As was stated to eBay in the original letter of protest, eBay clearly allows the sale of a great many items related to military and paramilitary organizations, which include emblems that feature representations of weapons. eBay has not suspended these listings, accusing U.S. or other national military organizations as advocating hatred and violence, despite a good many such entities being active in the world
today, in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as elsewhere, wreaking death and destruction on innocent civilians; but the INLA, which has been on a cease-fire since August of 1998 is labled as advocates of hatred and violence."
"This ban of items bearing the emblem of the INLA," he concluded, "cannot be justified under the quidelines eBay quoted. Clearly, this is nothing less than an act of political censorship and part of an effort to demonise any organisation prepared to defend the interests of working class people against the armed might of the imperialist powers of the world.
Protest eBay's Ban of the INLA
Claiming that the Irish National Liberation Army was identified to them by an 'agency of the government' as a group "who promote violence, racial or religious intolerance, or glorify hatred", eBay suspended the listing of all items related to the Irish republican socialist organization.
One of the listings that was suspended did not even include the name of the INLA or any depiction of weapons, but was instead a badge in support of the Republican Socialist Prisoners of War fund, which included the group's traditional image of a prisoner clasping the bars of a cell.
The Irish Republican Socialist Committees, and independent republican socialist organization, is asking all those who share their concerns over this act of political censorship by the on-line auction giant and the troubling intervention of government agencies in determining the content of eBay's listings to send messages of protest to eBay's community feedback form, which can be accessed >>HERE.