New Year statement from RNU
Republican Network for Unity extends New Year greetings to members, supporters, activists and political prisoners, in Ireland and worldwide. In particular we send greetings to our imprisoned comrades in Portlaoise, Maghaberry & Hydebank. RNU would like to take this time to offer solidarity to all oppressed people involved in revolutionary struggle at home and abroad.
2014 was a year of transition for Republican Network for Unity, undergoing the necessary conversion from a pressure group to a revolutionary party, offering to represent the working class people of Ireland at all levels of struggle, which in hindsight was undoubtedly the correct decision.
In 2013 we took the decision to stand in local council elections with the view of giving the working class an alternative voice, in 2014 we carried out the wishes of our membership and support base and dipped our toes in the political arena. With this decision came challenges, challenges which our membership overcame with hard work and consistent activism regardless of the bias media, paramilitary police force and hostile state attempting to arrest progression.
The election campaign and it’s heartening results brought a new energy to the movement, a new dynamic swept across the membership and activists at all levels discovered new talents which they have since put to use in building a revolutionary movement capable of taking back every inch of Ireland and putting it in the hands of ordinary people.
This renewed energy has also brought growth, while small, it is undoubtedly progressive. At a time when Republicanism is, for the most part at an impasse, RNU has not only extended already existing Cumain, but we have established party structures in areas that were dormant for a number of years.
The continuous growth of RNU can largely be attributed to the selfless nature of our activists who consistently immerse themselves in the daily struggles of the working class, from small initiatives such as gritting roads and feeding the homeless to large national campaigns such as the anti-water tax protests in Dublin. The struggle for the Irish Republic is a peoples struggle, and RNU has responded to this, throughout Ireland, from Belfast to Cork.
It has been another year of struggle for Irish Republican Prisoners throughout the country, in particularly in Maghaberry where Cogús POWs have refused to allow a Thatcherite criminalisation policy to prevail without resistance. Throughout the last 12 months we have witnessed state thugs ramp up the pressure on Republican Prisoners and their families, using their limited arsenal of early lock-ups, cancelled visits, denying medical appointments and repressive visiting arrangements. All those efforts by the malevolent Prison Administration were quashed and treated with the contempt they deserved by Republican Prisoners and their families, who remain steadfast at the coalface of struggle.
Irish Republican Prisoners have time and again showed initiative, courage and resilience to create a conflict free environment within Roe House, they have offered the Prison Administration and the Justice Department the opportunity to replicate their courage and innovation and fully implement the 12th August 2010 agreement. This opportunity mustn’t be squandered. Republican Network for Unity reiterate the call for the unconditional and immediate release of the Craigavon Two who are currently suffering a major miscarriage of justice.
2014 also seen the continued internment of Portlaoise Republican POW Michael McKevitt. Once again Michael and his family have been denied any semblance of justice after the prejudice judicial system turned down a number of appeals for early release, which Michael should’ve been entitled to. This man is now entering his 14th year of imprisonment, he was convicted on the word of David Rupert an agent and convicted fraudster, in the pay of MI5, FBI and in all probability also in the employment of the 26 county intelligence services.
Michael McKevitt was tried and convicted in the media long before he appeared before the special criminal court, he was arrested on a warrant that has now been ruled unlawful but not in Michael’s case, even after all the long years of imprisonment these agencies still fear his principled unyielding Republicanism.
At this time we also keep in mind the capitulation of the puppet politicians in Stormont who recently agreed to punish the most vulnerable in our society for a crisis they didn’t create. The Stormont House agreement, as they call it, is nothing more than a neo-liberal orientated document set to increase the gap between rich and poor, making the rich richer and taking the last scraps from the tables of the poorest, manifesting in the form of devolved corporation tax and a commitment to implement the much dreaded ‘welfare reform’.
It is today we must organise, not tomorrow or next week. The struggle to abolish Tory driven welfare cuts must take place in every community and workplace, everyone must get involved. It cannot be left to one group, for that will ultimately mean failure, and failure on our part is simply not an option, for failure will pave the way for poor benefits, badly paid employment, homelessness, less hospital beds, poor education and widespread impoverishment. When stripped down to its core, this is what the Stormont House Agreement will bring to the working class people, so ultimately it is up to the working class people to struggle to abolish it.
Republican Network For Unity also continues to stand on the frontline with the communities in the 26 counties, who have stood firm in their opposition to water charges being imposed on them by a draconian 26 County Government masquerading as Daíl Éireann.
Water is a human right, it is a natural resource, water belongs to all the citizens of this island. RNU encourage the people of Ireland to stand up for what is rightfully yours, and organise by whatever means. Only community empowerment and the organisation of the working class can defeat the water charges. The Republican Network for Unity Cumain in the North used constant pressure and direct action to force Stormont to ban water meters, albeit temporarily, this process must be repeated on an all-Ireland basis.
While some political parties continue to pay lip service to the issue and use it for political mileage, Republican Network for Unity will continue to organise and stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ireland on this unjust measure being imposed by immoral, disingenuous, self-serving governments.
Almost 17 years on from the signing of the Belfast Agreement, there has been a process by constitutionalists to tame the radicalness of Republicanism. The revolutionary fervour of a progressive ideology has been diluted by those who currently claim its mantle and have resigned it to the board rooms of Stormont and Leinster House.
What is deemed as ‘mainstream Republicanism’ is seeing more and more administrators, rather than dedicated Republicans. More and more career politicians are replacing the revolutionaries, and instead of thinking about the next generation, they are simply thinking about the next election.
This is not surprising, as the whole history of the Irish national liberation movement proves that the capitalist class and those who sought to appease them have been disloyal to the national cause, bargained and made agreements with the British government at the expense of the interest of the working class, time and again they have betrayed the struggle for freedom.
The conflict between the oppressed nation and the oppressor nation was, mirrored by the conflict within Ireland between oppressed and oppressor classes. Thus the all-too-material question of combating capitalism and its defenders was at the very core of the Republican struggle, and must take its place once again.
RNU note that the current partitionist settlement is not a solution, nor a stepping stone to a solution. It is simply a copper-fastening of British Rule in Ireland. It stands contrary to the basic tenants of Republicanism and the ideals of those who fought to defend Irish sovereignty.
We believe we have mapped out the path for a solution in our Revolutionary Republicanism document. We are therefore entering into a new year in a spirit of determination and confidence, armed with the strong belief in our ideological position. RNU encourage all Republicans to revisit and help strengthen the Revolutionary position, and reject the lure of the reformist crave for a short cut by submitting Irish sovereignty to Britain.
Phoblachtáigh do Aontiú