Tuesday, 4 January 2011
éirígí New Year Statement
The last year has been a devastating one for working class communities across Ireland. The Dublin and London governments, aided and abetted by Britain’s puppet parliament at Stormont, have commenced unprecedented attacks upon public services, jobs and benefits that will condemn generations to come to a life of exploitation and poverty.
The budgets unveiled at Leinster House, Westminster and Stormont in recent weeks have deliberately ring-fenced the profits of the wealthy while driving the rest of the population into misery and despair. In this regard, the ruling class are simply accelerating the rate of implementation of the same neo-liberal policies which created the current economic crisis in the first place.
The last 12 months have also seen the first, welcome signs of mass resistance to the policies of the right-wing coalitions in Belfast, Dublin and London. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets demanding that working people are not made the sacrificial lambs for the failure of capitalism.
In 2011, workers and communities across Ireland need to come together in the building of a coordinated campaign of uncompromising opposition to the slash and burn agenda of those in power. If this fight back is to be successful it will need to move beyond occasional street protests and angry rhetoric.
éirígí firmly believes that a period of intense popular resistance in the form of mass street protests, general strikes and acts of civil disobedience has the potential to stop the cutback agenda of the ruling political parties in its tracks.
The organised labour movement, with its unequalled organic and financial resources, represents the most obvious vehicle for the organisation of such a campaign of resistance. If the current trade union leadership is incapable or unwilling to take the necessary actions, then it must be replaced by one that is.
Now is the time for actions that will force those administering the cuts to reflect upon their own anti-social actions. éirígí will not be found wanting in this regard. In the year ahead, éirígí will be stepping up its own socio-economic campaigns across the country, both independently and through working with other progressive individuals and organisations.
While recognising the importance of the politics of protest at this time, éirígí also recognises that protest alone will not deliver the type of society that the people of Ireland deserve. Opposition without a viable alternative will not address the underlying causes of injustice and inequality in our society. Those organisations which oppose the agenda of the right have an obligation to explain what they would do differently were they in power.
For its part, éirígí recently published its From Socialism Alone Can the Salvation of Ireland Come policy paper. This document sets out succinctly the malign role of capitalism and the need for a humane, socialist system to replace it. éirígí will be promoting the politics contained within From Socialism Alone Can the Salvation of Ireland Come throughout 2011.
As it has done since its foundation, éirígí will continue in 2011 to highlight the inter-related nature of the socio-economic struggle and the struggle for national independence.
éirígí has consistently taken the demand for a British withdrawal onto the streets and into the faces of the occupiers, the year ahead will be no different. The presence and activities of the British army, the PSNI and MI5 in Ireland, the mistreatment of republican prisoners and British royal visits to Ireland are but some of the issues which éirígí will be actively campaigning on in 2011.
In doing so, éirígí will also work within working class communities in the occupied Six Counties to unlock the great potential of people power in challenging the occupation.
The building of the cultural revival, the popularisation of the Irish language, the promotion of Gaelic sports, along with the emergence of alternative social and economic structures within working class communities can radically alter the nature of the relationship between Irish citizens and the British state.
Working people themselves can potentially destabilise Britain’s Irish colony and shake the occupation by moving their lives outside the remit of the state. By refusing to speak its language, interact with its police force, or recognise the state’s legitimacy, the people can advance the re-conquest of Ireland by the working people of Ireland.
The British government has invested a massive amount of energy and money into its normalisation agenda over the last two decades. However, normalisation has now peaked. It is time to roll back that agenda.
Through the coordinated use of national, social, economic and cultural struggle throughout 2011, major progress can be made towards the achievement of the socialist republic.
We must do this together as one class and one people. Ar aghaidh linn le chéile.