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Dublin Opinion
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RNU New Year Statement 2014

category national | miscellaneous | press release author Tuesday December 31, 2013 17:48author by RNU PRO - Republican Network for Unityauthor email rnupro at gmail dot comauthor address www.RepublicanUnity.org Report this post to the editors

Through our endorsement of Revolutionary Republicanism, we stated without apology that the defence of Irish Sovereignty, the achievement of true Independence and the struggle for Socialism were mutually inclusive tasks and that negation of one signalled a dangerous rejection of the other. We stated clearly that the mobilisation of the masses is a task which cannot be bypassed and that key to that task is the presence of Republicanism within and alongside day to day struggles of workers, campaigning groups and communities.

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Republican Network for Unity sends new year greetings to members, supporters, activists and revolutionary prisoners, in Ireland and worldwide. In particular we send greetings to our imprisoned comrades in Portlaoise, Maghaberry & Hydebank wood.

2013 was a year of great change for our organisation, the adoption of our world-view document 'Revolutionary Republicanism' provided us with a clear program for progress, returning to the fundamental truths of Republicanism & Socialism.

Through our endorsement of Revolutionary Republicanism, we stated without apology that the defence of Irish Sovereignty, the achievement of true Independence and the struggle for Socialism were mutually inclusive tasks and that negation of one signalled a dangerous rejection of the other. We stated clearly that the mobilisation of the masses is a task which cannot be bypassed and that key to that task is the presence of Republicanism within and alongside day to day struggles of workers, campaigning groups and communities.

As such, we enter this new year armed with a solid ideological foundation previously lacking in our formative years. We enter 2014 in a stronger position than ever before.

It was with this confidence in mind that we felt able to announce our intention to participate in local elections in North & West Belfast. We are looking forward to this chance to engage with the people on a street level and ask all those who support our message to assist us in pushing forward with the election campaign.

In 2013 RNU played a full role in organising street level resistance to the right-wing political developments which our communities are facing. Below are but a few examples.

Our members were on the front line of opposing draconian Tory benefits cuts by entering Social Security offices in both 'Protestant and Catholic' districts of Belfast and lobbying workers to refuse to implement the 'Welfare Reform Bill'. This was followed by intensive distribution of our recently launched newsletter 'Republican Unity' which was aimed at raising public awareness of the impact of the bill and encourage a fight back.

In Louth and Dublin, comrades assisted fully in helping build Anti-austerity demonstrations, with Dundalk being particularly prominent in their efforts to confront corrupt Justice minister Dr James Reilly on a visit to the Louth hospital.

In May, Dublin RNU held a fantastic and well attended vigil in memory of the 1981 Hunger Strikers, an event which also sought to raise awareness of the ongoing oppression of Republican POWs in Maghaberry.

Dundalk RNU also received particular praise for the efforts they have made this year to physically block access to disused properties which were being used by drug addicts. These attempts followed direct requests from the community and were accompanied by statements demanding better rehabilitation programs for users forced into such dire conditions.

In May, RNU Armagh joined the Belfast Cumann and travelled to Hollywood barracks to highlight the central role which MI5 British military intelligence is now playing in the 'security' of the six county state. Activists brushed off a tirade of abuse from passing Loyalists and stood their ground for 40 minutes before returning home, their point made.

In June we led Belfast opposition to the G8 summit with several members being assaulted and arrested by British police in the city centre. The attack upon our members occurred as we attempted to get through the massive security cordon to voice our opposition to the presence of US war monger and Israeli apologist Barak Obama at the Waterfront hall.

More recently RNU in Wexford announced their arrival by setting up a successful town centre information stall aimed at raising awareness of Internment and the ongoing human rights abuses in Maghaberry prison. Our comrades in Glasgow also played a prominent part in the prison struggle by holding successful fundraising events to provide much needed PDF to families and dependents in Ireland, their efforts are greatly appreciated.

We welcome as a blue print for active Unity, the highly successful joint Anti-internment march through Belfast in August and stress that the potential momentum which existed in that event should be explored further.

We were particularly heartened by the formation of the RNU student society in December, members of which played a full role in the recent occupation of the Coleraine University campus, in protest at the privatisation of University services and in demand of Free Education.

We state now, that the class can and must be mobilised, both in the spirit of national and class resistance; around a hatred for the injustices we still face as a nation, be it the continued occupation of our six northern counties, the appalling enforced poverty of our most neglected brothers and sisters and the increasing abuse of judicial powers which seek to intern opponents of both corrupt states which preside over the misrule of our country.

In a spirit of comradeship, we urge caution to those Republicans who in 2014 will give political priority to border polls and referendums. Within the enthusiasm of such campaigns it is easy to loose sight of the political realities; Irish Sovereignty is already a fact, yet we are under occupation and Britain cares nothing for the electoral aspirations of the Irish people as a whole. Moreover Socialism - an accepted essential ingredient for freedom - will well and truly be left on the shelf if you encourage the country to agitate primarily by referenda. You know as we do that many would be more than happy for this to be the case, and that freedom cannot be achieved where capitalism goes unchallenged.

When we understand this, we see the minimal value in proposals for a referendum, indeed we recognise the real pitfalls involved in such an approach and urge advocates to re-channel their efforts into empowering the Irish working class as an alternative to canvassing the nationalist voter base.

At the end of 2013, several veteran combatants of stature choose to voice their opposition to a continuation of armed actions here. From a greater to a lesser extent, these calls had some merit, yet the fashion in which they were made places a question mark over their intent. All contributors had the ability to gain an alternative audience which would have given their opinions greater weight, yet none tried.

We would urge others with such opinions to express them in a fashion which strengthens the republican position, and not the position of the state.

Collectively, the biggest obstacle which Republicans will face in the coming year will be the seeming inability to co-operate, a fact which (alongside the emergence of nefarious counter gangs) has provided great comfort to our oppressors and which should not be allowed to continue indefinitely.

Experience has shown us that through united initiatives, real bonds of comradeship can be built and old mistrusts broken down. It is precisely these types of bonds which Britain and its Irish allies fear, as they make it harder to oppress, intern and torture our comrades with minimal condemnation.
Let us all in the coming year examine our own personal feelings and organisational priorities in an attempt to discover what is really best for our collective ideals.

In 2013, Provisional Sinn Féin announced their desire to enter dialogue with RNU, a proposal which (fully confident in our position) we had initially considered. We later watched on as they began to express frustration at the failure of our organisation to respond to both televised and written invitations to talk.

We have firm grounds to believe that in the same period, members of Sinn Féin in Belfast were responsible for handing the personal details of our membership to the lowest practicing hacks of the gutter press, along with a stream of misinformation and lies designed to destroy personal reputations and pave the way for future arrests.

Those who practice such underhanded Felon setting are not deserving of our explanation as regards subsequent reluctance to sit down with them. However it is accurate to say that due to a combination their character assassination campaign as well as a raft of political maneuvers which in our opinion are incompatible with the Republican position, little or no appetite exists within RNU for dialogue with the Provisionals.

We also take this opportunity to remind the SDLP that it is not enough for your leading members to simply admit that internment is being practiced in Ireland today, like your founding leaders you should take action against it.

Whereas John Hume marched on the British Army at Magilligan strand, Dolores Kelly today sits on the Policing board with those who implement Internment by remand, this is an immense contradiction.
We urge all who claim to be opposed to Internment by remand to make their opposition known by withdrawing from policing structures in the six counties.

At this time we also keep in mind the outcome of the much lauded Haass negotiations, and as we do RNU wish to make one particular point crystal clear. We oppose and will continue to oppose manifestations of sectarianism and bigotry wherever it raises its head, in particular we stand by host communities who do not wish to allow bigots to mach past their homes. This will be our continued position, whatever the outcome of the Haas negotiations.

The year ended with the passing of Nelson Mandela. An event which away from the false mourning of the heads of capitalist states world-wide, raised the emotions of all who stood by Mandela and the South African people when they needed it most, including those within the Irish Republican movement.

RNU in Dundalk held a particularly moving candle lit vigil for Mandela at the towns 1798 memorial.
The ceremony ended with a reminder that the removal of the oppressors flag does not necessarily signal the creation of Freedom for an oppressed people. We stand by those who continue to struggle for Freedom and justice in South Africa, doing so in the spirit of National Liberation, Socialism and International Solidarity, three principles which we ourselves intend to carry on into 2014.

We are confident that in the new year, with renewed effort and spirit we will continue to grow and as such play our full part in the struggle for true Irish Freedom.

Beirigi Bua.

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