17/04/2013 by socialistfight
In this the 15th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement we are proud to announce the establishment of the English section of the Socialist Republican organisation, Republican Network for Unity.
We take as our starting three basic principles of RNU as agreed at the 2012 Ard Fheis: National Liberation, Socialism and International Solidarity. We stand as Revolutionary Republicans and proclaim that although our demands for a British withdrawal from Ireland and an end to the partition of our country are and will always remain central to our thinking, we believe that it is not enough to call just for National Freedom and ignore the socio-economic factors which led to both the modern conquest of Ireland and the current material suffering of our people. We must also place the struggle for Socialism at the heart of our fight for Independence.
As Republican and Socialists we also understand that in a Colonised or Occupied society – such as Ireland – there are two aspects to our political situation; the ‘National Question’ and the ‘Class Question’, and we are concerned with both and in equal measure. We understand that our lives are controlled by the wishes of the capitalist class. Marx believed correctly that free people cannot live under such circumstances and so while capitalism exists ‘The Worker has no country’, Revolutionary Republicanism agrees with this analysis, and states that until Ireland is Socialist, true freedom cannot exist for anyone here but the rich. It also makes tactical and logistical sense for Republicans in Ireland to embrace Socialism.
We stand with James Connolly when he asserts:
“If you remove the English army to-morrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. England would still rule you to your ruin, even while your lips offered hypocritical homage at the shrine of that Freedom whose cause you had betrayed.” How many lips have offered this hypocritical homage from 1922 to the present day? Collins, de Valera, Adams and McGuinness, to name but a few.
As Revolutionary Republicans living in England we are entitled to demand of British socialists and workers leaders that they recognise the central importance of Irish solidarity work in defence of Republican Prisoners and the civil rights of all Republicans that continue to fight for British withdrawal from Ireland. This is because of the historic relationship between Britain and Ireland of oppressor and oppressed and the present occupation of the north of Ireland by British imperialism. The twelfth century invasions of Ireland by the Normans, the important position of Ireland in the British bourgeois revolution of the 17th century and the necessity to justify the current murderous oppression by the British army and their agents means that anti-Irish racial prejudices are more deep seated than other forms of racism, with the possible exception of Islamophobia today.
Because of this the British ruling class and its pliant mass media is able to portray this racism as more ‘respectable’ and more central to the maintenance of the ‘constitutional order’ than any other form. In Ireland this deep-rooted racism allows the British state forces to commit appalling acts of barbarism against Republicans and hold the likes of Marian Price, Martin Corey and Stephen Murney as political hostages without charge in a form of internment that would not be tolerated in Britain itself except against the Muslim community with the so-called ‘war on terror’ as the excuse. We pledge as Socialist Republicans to fight all forms of racism and discrimination wherever it rears its head.
We see out tasks here as complementing the tasks set by the RNU in Ireland in particular by: Campaigning for Republican Prisoner and against the interment of those held without charge. This means participating with other Irish Republicans and with those British socialists who understand the importance of fighting for Irish self-determination for raising the class consciousness of British workers to win socialism in Britain. We recognise that “a nation that oppressed another cannot itself be free” (Marx) and so we demand British socialist parties and the British labour movement in general that they join with us in defending the democratic rights of the oppressed nationalists in the six north eastern counties of Ireland.
RNU recognise that political conflict in Ireland is a legacy of British occupation and imposed political rule. Whatever the views of our individual members on physical force, we all hold that were it not for British occupation, exponents of Irish Freedom would not find themselves incarcerated and suffering imprisonment in Britain, Ireland and around the world. Cogús, our support organisation for prisoners and their relatives, are involved in a wide myriad of activities aimed at improving the lives of republican POWs and their dependents. Ranging from awareness rising of the daily struggle for human rights behind bars, to protesting against degrading practices such as strip searches and raising funds to support the dependents of republican prisoners.
Cógus help support the families of imprisoned Irish POWs. Anyone who would like to donate to Cógus to help aid us in easing the hardships of Cógus prisoners can do so directly to:
Ulster Bank, Antrim Road Belfast.
Account Number 10584365
Sort Code 98 – 00 – 11
Struggle against Austerity
In Britain we take on board the RNU orientation in Ireland:
“RNU hold that in order to strike up a relationship with the working class we must first support them in their daily struggles, and in the short term that means helping them to achieve reforms which would better their lives albeit temporarily. This is not a contradiction, our long term aim is the seizing of the national territory as well as actual wealth and resources from the wealthy classes, but in the here and now and for tactical reasons, we join with the working class in their struggle for short term reforms, all the while convincing them of the long term need to take resources and political power out of the hands of the rich.
As the struggle advances, we will continue to fight alongside the Irish people on a range of every day issues which concern them and are relevant to their social and national well being. We intend to organise on this basis with a view to becoming relevant to their lives, to help them improve their conditions and gain confidence, and as part of the process of building a strong, vibrant and unapologetic Revolutionary movement capable of taking back Ireland and all that Ireland holds, for the Irish people.”
So we know that defending the NHS, fighting welfare and benefit cuts, defending and fighting for decent housing is part of the struggle for the revolution we all want and here in Britain these are legitimate arenas to raise the question of British oppression of Ireland and make connections with Irish struggles whenever the opportunity arises.
“I am an ordinary republican socialist who is determined to strive for a free socialist Ireland. I am also an internationalist as all true Socialists are”. Dominic McGlinchey
Revolutionary Republicans oppose imperialism everywhere – the division of the globe based on the subjugation of weaker nations by stronger ones — we support the right of self – determination for all oppressed nations and offer whatever assistance we can, bearing in mind that the Irish struggle also received admiration and support from all corners of the globe. We recognise that Imperialism is actually an acceleration of International Capitalism; when the pursuit of ever increasing capital drives profit minded people in one country to invade another, in the pursuit of new markets and resources, ultimately in the defence of profits. All the world’s most notorious Imperial powers – France, Germany, Japan, Britain & USA – sought the appropriation of other countries resources, minerals and markets in their pursuit of profit for a few, this is the guiding force of Imperialism, despite claims that invading powers are in fact ‘civilizing’, ‘liberating’ ‘bringing faith & culture’ etc.
Today we must also consider how ‘Globalisation’ affects the lives and well being of workers in Ireland; with (amongst other aspects) firms packing up and moving to other countries in pursuit of profits from lower paid work forces. Unemployment and the down grading of local Irish economies quickly follow as the capitalist classes search the planet for opportunities to ever increase their yield of wealth. This process in conjunction with the so called ‘World – Wide recession’ and the rise in power of global bodies such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) make it essential that Irish Republicans recognise, that should they want to intervene politically here, they must begin to think in a global context.
We can learn from other struggles and examples, whether or not they are similar to our own, recognising that Imperialist powers everywhere do likewise. We learn lessons from other parts of the world to strengthen our own struggle and minimise potential for future shortcomings in our own strategy. Vitally we must also recognise that the resources of a small country like Ireland will simply not be sufficient to ensure availability of all the necessary products needed to bring about an improved way of life for the Irish people in the event of independence, for these reasons a future Revolutionary Ireland will need to strike up comradely relationships with likeminded international projects similar to our own, recognising that we have mutual needs and in the spirit of comradeship.
Take back Ireland. Join RNU!
In conclusion, Republican Network for Unity seeks to create positive Revolutionary change in Ireland as part of the international struggle for the liberation of mankind. Oblivious to hazard or obstacle, we aim to place the working class in control of our national territory, resources and decision making processes.
This is not a pipe dream, nor an exercise in sloganeering. It is a clear and positive declaration of intent to create for future generations a better, fairer and free Ireland. We do not ‘exist to resist’, we exist to win. To win back for our people the National territory of Ireland, our land, our resources, our industry and homes, our rivers and our seas and ultimately our destiny. Through grass roots struggle and revolutionary encounters we seek to establish full Irish Sovereignty and the overthrow of the financial elite
To this end we seek to organise an effective, coherent and determined political movement, capable and willing to play their part in taking back Ireland and establishing a true democracy. It is the duty of every right thinking Irish man and woman to play their part in this struggle and we strongly encourage them to do so. To learn more about our project or how you can play your part in the struggle for Irish Freedom and Socialism, contact Republican Network for Unity. firstname.lastname@example.org (Ireland)