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Easter Commemoration Speech

category national | miscellaneous | press release author Sunday April 11, 2004 11:19author by IRSP - Irish Republican Socialist Partyauthor email irsp at irsm dot org Report this post to the editors

on behalf of the Republican Socialist Movement

Easter Commemoration Speech on behalf of the Republican Socialist Movement,Milltown Cemetery Belfast 11th April 2004-04-10

Easter Commemoration Speech on behalf of the Republican Socialist Movement,Milltown Cemetery Belfast 11th April 2004-04-10



Once more we gather to pay homage to those who died in the struggle for an Irish Republic. We honour all those who since the emergence of Irish Republicanism at the end of the 18th century fought and died in the struggle for national independence and freedom. We remember also with pride the many thousands, nay hundreds of thousands of people who contributed in many small ways to aid the struggle.

We also remember that this Easter is the 88th since the 1916 Easter uprising, an uprising for national independence against an Imperialist power fighting an imperialist war. The failure of that uprising and the subsequent failure of the war of independence to achieve liberation led to, in the words of James Connolly, republican, socialist, Marxist and a leader of the 1916 uprising ² a carnival of reaction.²

Still today despite a heroic struggle over the past 35 years by Republicans we have still failed to realise the vision of Connolly- the socialist republic. And like in Connolly¹s time we have an imperialist war being waged by the USA/Brits coalition forces in Iraq. Imperialism is still the enemy.

Today as we stand here by the graves of those of our comrades from both the IRSP and the INLA who fell in the struggle we remember them not as heroes or martyrs but as ordinary men and women who lived in extraordinary times and rose to the challenge of those times.
Let us be clear about what the armed struggle was about from the perspective of this movement ­ it was neither to achieve equality nor to achieve civil rights. The INLA took up arms, and all the comrades who died on hunger strike, in action or by assassination, took up arms to achieve a Republic that cherished all the children of the nation equally. We rejected living under British and Unionist rule for that rule was unjust, discriminatory, arbitrary despotic and Imperialistic.

But times change and the strategy and tactics of republicans have to change as well. We in the Republican Socialist movement have accepted the need to modify our tactics to met the changed times we live. We have embarked on a process of politicisation both internally and externally to encourage people to take responsibility for their own community. We see that as part of the process of empowering the working class to begin to take control of the state and begin the task of building a socialist society.

Here is the challenge facing us. As political activists we must rethink strategically, debate strategically and decide what is best for our party, for the cause we represent and most importantly for the people we represent. We recognise that members of our movement have made mistakes and our organisation has made mistakes in the past. No doubt we will make mistakes in the future.


But our analysis of the peace process, or as some prefer to call it the pacification programme, and the Good Friday Agreement has been and continues to be spot on. Every thing that has happened since 1998 has justified our position. . Six years on from the GFA British soldiers are on the streets, the British intelligence services continue to cover up past killings, street clashes continue, loyalists continue to target Catholics and justice is denied. Dessie O¹Hare is still a political prisoner as the Free Staters renege on their own Good Friday Agreement. Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry are denied recognition of their political status. Something, which was won by the deaths of the ten republican hunger strikers, was negotiated away by other republicans for the price of seats in an internal Stormont Executive.

The gap between rich and poor widens. Working class communities disintegrate besieged by poor health, anti-social behaviour, debt and despair. Homelessness has reached crisis point. The education system is failing large sections of our youth. Attacks on minorities are on the increase. Did our comrades buried here today die for this?

Everyday around us we see the inequality, the poverty, the wrecked lives the disintegration of whole working class communities. Where there once was solidarity, collectivism, co-operation and community support now there is individualism, selfishness, greed and a widespread drug dependency culture. Consumerism is the new god and we now have a generation growing up inculcated with the worst values of capitalism.

The one hundred wealthiest Irish people¹s combined fortune is worth 23 billion Euros. The ten richest people in Ireland are each sitting on an average fortune of 800 million Euros. For most of us here it would take us at least 30,000 years to save that if we banked our complete wages every week.

The Flood and Moriarty Tribunals have shown the extent of the corruption of political life in the 26 counties. Not a week passes without some new revelation about the corrupting influence of money in Irish political life. Leinster House is in the words of Karl Marx
³nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.

In Britain New Labour grovels to big business. Blair and Brown no longer make any pretence to be socialist and rarely mention inequality while they socialise with the business classes. Lobbyists and pressure groups push their cases for reduced taxation, regulation or planning restrictions, while multinational firms hardly need to make the point that if they are not granted special terms they can take their money out of Britain and Ireland. Even our little local farce of a Stormont had its lobbyists cajoling influencing and corrupting our Assembly members when they had their little bit of power. The rich may not govern, but they still reign both in Ireland and Britain. The capitalist class owes its allegiance only to its money and self-interest.

Community workers and activists in working class communities north and south, are doing heroic work to try and empower local people, to resist the worst ravages of capitalism. But in order for the working class to be mobilised into struggle in support of its own class interests, class-consciousness must be raised and the shackles imposed by capitalist must be cast off.

It is our primary concern to mobilise the working class towards the revolutionary transformation of society and the sooner every one of us here today takes on responsibility to make a difference to our society the better. No one should stand idly by while racism injustice poverty exploitation and sectarianism predominate.

The Brits have lied, prevaricated and twisted and turned every which way but loose. Does anyone here today seriously believe one word of Blair¹s or indeed of Paul Murphy, his local Governor? Trimble has by his appalling comments on Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson bared naked the racist sectarian hatred of the unionist middle classes for nationalists. Attempts to reform the Northern state that are based on the continuation of British sovereignty are doomed to failure.

It always was and still is a failed political entity and we believe that the smashing of the Northern state will be in the interests of all of the northern people whether they describe themselves as unionist, nationalist or other. The conflict here was not one between two mutually hostile, sectarian communities, as the Brits like the world to think.

Those who would seek to challenge the continuation of sectarianism in the six counties need to challenge those guilty of sectarianism, not those of us, in the republican socialist tradition who recognise the existence of a British working class within Ireland with a distinct history and culture. We welcome with open arms members of any ethnic community who share our perspective that the class struggle and national liberation struggle are inseparable within the Irish context. And can we say to the ethnic minorities in Ireland that we utterly condemn and oppose the proposed referendum in the South of Ireland as a cynical racist ploy by unscrupulous politicians playing the race card.


Sometimes there is confusion of what constitutes ³the national liberation struggle² Our struggle for socialism is part of an international struggle. We support all those struggling against imperialism worldwide. We salute the freedom fighters of Iraq and call for the defeat of the British and American forces.

However unlike some of the so-called socialists gathered around the Eamon McCann European Election Machine, we are consistently anti-imperialists. We believe that there is an Imperialist presence in Ireland and as republicans our comrades, whom we honour here today, fought and died opposing that Imperialism They did not die for a nationalist Ireland. They died for the liberation of all the working class from reactionary ideologies and for the establishment of a Workers Republic.

It is within the context of the nation-state that the socialist revolution will start. To achieve that revolution we must win the support of the mass of the population. We as the Republican Socialist Movement cannot on our own create the Republic. It can only be done by the support participation and enthusiasm of the majority of people on the island. That comrades, is what the national struggle is about.

Last year in a statement the leadership of the INLA said,

³-We have encouraged our membership and supporters to become actively involved in the day-to-day struggles of ordinary people. Such political involvement is following the example of our founder Seamus Costello. A revolutionary army without a clear base of political understanding and activity is no longer a revolutionary Army.

Note that last sentence comrades-
No revolutionary movement can last without clear politics and based on a correct appreciation of the needs of the people. Ta Power used the phrase- the primacy of politics. That must be our watchword today- the primacy of politics. Our function as a movement is to give leadership and to empower the working class to achieve its own liberation. If that is not what we are about then we may as well pack up and support the Good Friday Agreement, join Sinn Fein or the Labour Party or some other party that accepts and works the status quo.

It is easy to be critical of others. But there is a responsibility on us to make ourselves relevant both to the short term and long term needs of the working class in Ireland. It is not enough to turn up once a year at a commemoration, salute dead comrades and think that is enough. It is not, nor is turning up for demonstrations, chant a few slogans shake clenched fists at the police and retire to the pub thinking you have struck a blow for the revolution. That, comrades, is frankly bullshit.

If that is what any of you gathered here today are about then walk away from the struggle now. You do neither yourselves nor the working class any good.

Serious followers of Connolly, Costello, Power and Gallagher are in this struggle for the long haul. They will be there on the picket lines, in the community halls, at trade union meetings, where ever there is a struggle for the rights of the ordinary man and women then that is where the serious followers of our founders will be. They will be at the barricade, they will be behind the word processor, they will like today commemorating but then the next day will be agitating, educating leafleting and liberating. Comrades there is no finer calling in this world than to stand shoulder to shoulder with the victims of oppression, with the marginalised and with the poor.

On to the Republic-on to Socialism!!

Related Link: http://www.irsm.org
author by Irish Republican political prisoners - Irish Republican political prisonerspublication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 17:56author address Maghaberry Gaol, Co. Antrim.author phone Report this post to the editors

POW Easter Message 2004 – Maghaberry Gaol
IRISH FREEDOM COMMITTEE® NEWSLIST
http://www.irishfreedomcommittee.net

Easter message from the Irish Republican political prisoners at Maghaberry Gaol, Co. Antrim.
POW EASTER MESSAGE 2004

“This Easter we take the opportunity to send greetings to all our
supporters, comrades and friends on the outside. Especially to
(*prisoners’ welfare and political pressure groups in Ireland and
England) for the tireless work and steadfast commitment you have shown
in support of the Republican prisoners in Maghaberry, Portlaoise and
English Gaols.

“We likewise commend our supporters both in America and across Europe
for their selfless activity in the face of continued restrictions
imposed upon their freedom of speech and _expression.

“We also send our best wishes and fraternal greetings to all our
imprisoned comrades and their loved ones.

“As Easter is a day set aside by Republicans to honour our Patriot
dead,
we would also like to remember our fallen comrades who gave their lives
in the cause of Irish Freedom. We extend our solidarity to their
families and pay tribute to the dignified manner in which they carry
their loss.

“Republican prisoners here in Maghaberry Gaol reaffirm our steadfast
commitment to our Republican objectives. We seek the establishment of
an
Irish Republic as outlined in the Proclamation of 1916.

“More and more people understand and embrace the Republican analysis.
Their raised voices and demands for the reunification of Ireland grows
stronger by the day. As Irish Republicans we believe that the unity of
our country and its people is the only way to secure justice and to
cherish all the children of the nation equally.

“We, the Republican prisoners, have borne witness not to the defeat of
Republicanism, but to the rise of a rejuvenated movement across the
island of Ireland. We remain fully confident of our eventual victory.

“The lies and distortions of the media, the press and politicians alike
have not been sufficient to hide the grim reality behind the facade of
peace in Ireland. The flawed analysis of those who proclaimed the
Stormont agreement as a stepping stone to Irish unity has been
comprehensively disproved. The Crown force occupation of the North
continues. In Derry, Fermanagh, Armagh, Down, Antrim and Tyrone there
are still large numbers of British occupation forces terrorizing the
local Republican and Nationalist people and their communities.

“While this continues there will always be Republican resistance to
this
occupation. In the words of Francis Hughes; ‘We have no prouder boast
than to say we are Irish and have been privileged to fight for the
Irish
people and for Ireland. We have a duty to perform to the full in the
unshakeable belief that we are a noble race and that chains and bonds
have no part in us. There is no white flag and there will be no
surrender’.

‘Victory to the All-Ireland Republic’
An phoblacht Abú”.

Officer Commanding, I.R.A Prisoners.
On behalf of the Republican prisoners
Maghaberry Gaol.

= ENDS =

author by Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) - Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP)publication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 18:02author email irsp at netwiz dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

FIRSCA Easter Message
FIRSCA Easter Message
FIRSCA Easter Message

Comrades and friends:

The members of the Federation of Irish Republican Socialist Committees
Abroad send greetings of solidarity to the comrades of the Irish Republican
Socialist Party, the volunteers of the Irish National Liberation Army, and
the prisoners of war of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement.

At Easter we are mindful of the martyrs who have fallen in pursuit of
national liberation and socialism in Ireland, and so we cannot avoid
sadness in reflecting on the loss suffered by our struggle through their
deaths and the sorrow of their comrades, families, friends, and loved ones.
However, we choose not to dwell on this loss, but instead to take renewed
inspiration from their example.

These are exciting times to be an Irish Republican Socialist. Our movement
has grown in size, strength, and influence. This growth is reflected in the
expanded support for the IRSM internationally, with new chapters
established in North America and Europe and new supporters continuously
being gathered in Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
It has also been reflected in the IRSP’s participation in the
Anti-Imperialist Summer Camp, a republican socialist event in Wales,
African Liberation Day events, and the Black Cross political prisoners
conference in the United States last year; as well as providing a speaker
at an event associated with the recent conference of the Scottish Socialist
Party just last month. It has also been reflected in the IRSP’s increased
participation in events opposing the use of Shannon airport by US military
aircraft, the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and through the expanding
of international relations with revolutionary socialist and
anti-imperialist organisations throughout the world.

We applaud the IRSP’s preparation for a series of new and vigorous
campaigns that will provide a model for revolutionary struggle for the
whole of the Irish working class. We are proud that the IRSP has reasserted
its commitment to a revolutionary course and rejected the siren song of
reformism that has caused the downfall of so many revolutionary
organisations in Ireland in the past. The members of FIRSCA, your comrades
abroad, renew our own commitment to supporting the IRSP in upholding a
revolutionary tradition in its struggle for national liberation and
socialism in Ireland.

Nothing less than a 32-county Irish workers’ republic will serve as a
fitting tribute to the sacrifice of our movement’s martyrs and to all those
who have died, suffered incarceration, and endured repression and abuse in
pursuit of the self-liberation of the working people of Ireland. It is our
pledge to continue our own efforts to make attaining this goal a reality.

It is the working class that has plowed the soil, built the cities, dug the
mines, erected the factories, laid the roads, navigated the seas­in short,
created all of the wealth of society today. It is we, the working class,
who enable every wheel to turn, every obstacle to be surmounted, every
advance to be made. It is long past due, that we should claim for our own
these things we ourselves have created. It is long past time that we should
be the authors of our own destiny.

Forward to the Workers’ Republic, comrades!

author by sampublication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 21:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

FAIR PLAY TO YOU

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

author by leninistpublication date Sun Apr 11, 2004 23:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How you gonna do that, blow some kids kneecaps away, tar and feather them until they commit suicide… good honest working class solidarity!

author by jimboxpublication date Mon Apr 12, 2004 23:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Connolly, Costello, Power and Gallagher...sure they were all fighting for the same cause, weren't they?

No, they weren't. Connolly died for his country and his class. The other three were slain in infighting connected to gangland, racketeering and drugs (at least Costello and Gallagher were-I have no idea who Power was). We're all aware that the INLA/IRSP long ago stopped even purporting to be anything other than just another criminal gang. Connolly, Costello, Power and Gallagher? As well say Connolly, Felloni, Gilligan, Ward.

And the IRSP were invited to speak at an SSP-related event? Does anyone have any extra info on this- links, articles etc?

author by P O'Dpublication date Tue Apr 13, 2004 00:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jimbox, you are seriously wrong about Costello. He was assassinated by the 'Official IRA' by the armed wing of 'Sinn Fein the Workers' Party', which became 'The Workers' Party'. It was straightforward political rivalry.
That happened in 1978, long before the deterioration of the INLA. If Costello had survived the history of the IRSP and INLA would probably have been much different.
I don't know anything about Gallagher and Power, but you are definitely wrong about Costello.

The 'Workers' Party eventually divided up into 'Democratic Left' and the 'Workers' Party'. 'Democratic Left' eventually became part of the Labour Party. So it is fair to say that there are people in the present Labour Party with blood on their hands.

author by IRSM - IRSMpublication date Tue Apr 13, 2004 01:17author email irsp at hotmail dot comauthor address 392 Falls Road, Belfastauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Images available
http://www.angelfire.com/space/derryirsp/easter2004belfast.htm

Related Link: http://irsm.org
author by Scum Watcher.publication date Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The INLA are scum who run around estates threating kids and selling drugs. To link yourself to Connoly is a disgrace.

author by Wallacepublication date Tue Apr 13, 2004 17:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to clarify, the IRSP member Terry Harkin spoke at a lunch time fringe meeting organised by the Scottish Socialist Republican Movement ( a small platform within the SSP), not at the SSP conferance itself.

The SSP is a multi-platfrom party which means different tendencies in the party can organise as long as they accept certain rules of democratic behaviour agreed by all the platforms. The majority of SSP members are not members of any platform. The largest platform is the International Socialist Movement, made up mainly of former members of Militant who broke with the CWI, The other main platforms are the CWI, SWP and Republican Communist Network.

The SRSM has long standing links with the IRSP and regards the question of the North as one of national liberation. It is a very small force within the SSP, having no more then a handful of members, but they are well regarded for their part in building the SSP.

Three motions on Ireland were proposed at the SSP conference reflecting the positions of the CWI (linked to the SP in Irealnd), RCN and SRSM platforms. All three were defeated, perhaps reflecting the inadeqacies of the motions.

The only other 'Irish connection' was that a speaker from the Irish Socialist Network, a small Dublin based group, spoke on the Bin Tax struggle at a fringe meeting organised by the ISM, the main platform in the SSP.

author by Derry IRSP - IRSPpublication date Tue Apr 13, 2004 23:02author email irsp at irsm dot orgauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Comrades,

the page below on the Derry site has some good photos of Sunday's Easter Commemoration in Belfast.

http://www.angelfire.com/space/derryirsp/easter2004belfast.htm

www.irsm.org

Related Link: http://www.angelfire.com/space/derryirsp/easter2004belfast.htm
author by Irp Supporterpublication date Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jimbox said "we're all aware that the INLA/IRSP long ago stopped even purporting to be anything other than just another criminal gang." Jimbox must be the one on drugs, as no part of the IRSM has "purported to be a criminal gang."

If Scum Watcher believes members of the IRSM are selling drugs, perhaps he should contact the IRSP leadership, which is on record that it will investigate such claims and take action against any members engaged in such things. Put up or shut up, Scum Watcher!

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