At a meeting held in Dublin last Sunday, 24th October, involving the People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Party, the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Grou, and Cllr Declan Bree and his local group in Sligo, a historic decision was taken to establish a left alliance to contest the next general election and to take the first steps towards a new, left, anti capitalist formation to represent working people.
It is to be called the United Left Alliance. A strong, left wing, anti capitalist and anti coalition with right wing parties, programme has been agreed. This will be circulated as soon as a few small agreed amendments are made. The alliance will be open to anyone who accepts its basic programme and aims, but the aim is to attract as many workers and young people as possible.
A leaflet from the alliance will be circulated at the Claiming our Future event next Saturday. It will be officially launched at a major rally to be held in Dublin on the Friday evening of November 26th, preceded by press activity during that week. Rallies around the country and in the Dublin Constituencies will be held in the new year.
It will initially have a register of supporters, a steering committee, a website, a media group, and will hold open monthly meetings in all the constituencies where it is fielding candidates for the general election. At this stage 12/13 candidates are agreed, covering Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Wexford, Tipperary South and Sligo, with a number of other areas and candidates to be considered.
The aim is to get people elected to the next Dail, which is entirely possible in a number of areas. It is hoped that a group of left TDs, working together, and being the real opposition, probably to a FineGael/Labour coalition, will be the focus for a campaigning alliance and lay the basis over time for a move to a more formal structure, in reality, a new party for working people, union, community, feminist and environmental activists, students and anyone who wants to affect real change. In the situation now facing the country, such a party could grow rapidly, supplanting Labour and Sinn Fein, and providing a real alternative to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael