THE INLA is pissed off that eBay has banned its paraphernalia from the auction website. “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,” was the US company’s reply to a complaint from one republican socialist, who grandly accused eBay of being “part of an effort to demonize any organization prepared to defend the interests of working class people against the armed might of the imperialist powers of the world”!28 Ocotber 2005
E-Bay Bans the INLA
Despite the various badges, buttons, and pins having been sold on e-Bay for a number of years, six different listing of items related to the Irish National Liberation Army on e-Bay were recently removed, with the explanation that e-Bay 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 e-Bay protesting the suspensions and arguing tha, after seven years on cease-fire, it was absurd to claim that the INLA were advocates of violence.
The response to that protest from e-Bay 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 e-Bay, 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 e-Bay in the original letter of protest, e-Bay clearly allows the sale of a great many items related to military and paramilitary organizations, which include emblems that feature representations of weapons. E-Bay 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 e-Bay quoted. Clearly, this is nothing less than an act of political censorship and part of an effort to demonize any organization prepared to defend the interests of working class people against the armed might of the imperialist powers of the world.