The Morning Star, Connolly Youth Movement and Smashing Tables

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05/12/2020 by socialistfight

Connolly Youth Movement Ard Fheis 16 March 2020

Letter to the Morning Star, Connolly Youth Movement Ard Fheis 16 March (unpublished)

Bryn Rowlands worries that “some of the CYM’s (Connolly Youth Movement) members have a tendency towards being dilettante revolutionists” (M Star March 16).

What have they done to be chided thus? They hit the headlines in October 2017 when they squatted a derelict building in Cork to protest homelessness. In May 2018 they occupied two further buildings and in July they were evicted from the latter under threat of immediate force by the armed Garda Emergency Response Unit acting on behalf of O’Dwyer Asset Management Company. They still occupy the first building, which they dub Connolly Barracks. They are also into direct actions, disrupting meetings by Tánaiste Simon Coveney in October 2018 and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on 1 May 2019.

One of those 2017 Cork squatters was General Secretary Alex Homis. His interview with Alexander Norton is inspiring; their recent Ard Fheis had members from every city and town in Ireland, apart from Tralee, when five years ago they had only 9; 4 in Dublin, 4 in Cork and one in Lurgan. “Anti-imperialism is the bedrock of Republicanism – this further assists in linking the social and national issues … Socialism will not and cannot be delivered through the ballot box”. Bryn advises them to read up on Lenin’s advice to Willie Gallacher and Stalin’s British Road to Socialism. We would recommend the former on the united front, but not the latter on the popular front. That proclaimed: “The restoration of British national independence, which has been given away by the leaders of the Tory, Liberal and Labour Parties, is the indispensable condition for Britain’s recovery and political, economic and social advance”.

And who among the Bolsheviks foolishly believed in the possibility of taking power peacefully in October 1917, as Bryn says? Not Lenin and Trotsky, at any rate.

Gerry Downing ▲

CYM Ard Feish 2020

Morning Star reporter Alexander Norton interview Alex Homis 4 March 2020

He has begun his third term as Gen. Sec. of the CYM after its Ard Fheis (congress). He remains a Stalinist, but is not quite on message on the British, or Irish Road to Socialism . Nor does he entirely concur with Irexit and seems closer to Trotsky than to Stalin in saying, “Anti-imperialism is the bedrock of Republicanism — this further assists in linking the social and national issues together as one”. Dangerously close to Permanent Revolution, Connolly and Seamus Costello there, despite the obligatory concession to good old Uncle Joe in the next sentence. He would have been shot as a ‘Trotskyite’ in Stalin’s Great Purges of the 1930s

AN: How would the CYM characterise the political situation in Ireland now, ?

AH: Never in the history of Ireland have so many developments that favour the growth of a communist youth organisation.

Catholicism and religion are in retreat. Big-house unionism is collapsing under its own contradictions by imposing austerity on its own population while trying to fall back on bigotry.

Consciousness and culture are at a place where they have never been before and the flourishing of alternative ideas is something that our growth is connected to.

Young people simply do not have faith in the old ways of doing things, and won’t passively sit by. They cannot afford homes or housing, work in precarious jobs and end up migrating for lack of alternatives.

In the absence of dogmatism and theocracy, political economy is being assessed and the question is being asked: why are things like this? The link to capitalism is really clear for everybody.

Ireland is unique in that it is not a country of the imperial core, it continues to be occupied by a direct military presence in the six counties, and the entire island is subject to European, British and American subjugation via finance capitalism and multinational corporations.

Anti-imperialism is the bedrock of Republicanism — this further assists in linking the social and national issues together as one. To build socialism we must struggle and achieve sovereignty, to be sovereign — we must be socialist.

The CYM inserts into this situation the scientific analysis of capitalism — presented by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Connolly and Stalin — as a frame for us to understand the world around us.

We use this analysis as a set of tools to understand the world and we fuse it with Republican ideas of a free, sovereign and independent Ireland. ▲

The Last Round, Smashing tables with false friends won’t stop fascism Tyler McNally July 26

This was arguing for “building a united, anti-sectarian campaign against fascism across the North – and go beyond just smashing tables in Belfast City Centre”. Chris O Prey informs me: “Tyler McNally in an advocate for International Socialist Alternative, a split from the Grantite/ Rob Sewell CWI. The politics, the tailing of the Union bureaucracy and kow-towing to Unionism seem to have remained completely unaltered.”

There is a strong pitch to the defence of the British empire in the McNally article. The writer denounces the very progressive united front action that drove the fascists off the streets of Belfast on this basis. The mobilisation included Saoradh, Lashair Dearag, the Irish Republican Socialist Party and the Connolly Youth Movement.

The supposed ‘false friends’ are Saoradh. This is just Daily Mail/Sun British imperialist propaganda. The shooting of Lyra McKee was an accident, the gun was fired at the British Army, but she was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. And they immediately apologised. Civilian casualties of imperialist actions are known in their mass media as “collateral damage” as if they were not dead human beings at all, with no apologies and no concern, often deliberately murdered as an exercise in terror control.

To use this complaint is to defend the fascists and the British empire by attempting to warn off the Connolly Youth Movement, now obviously radicalising. This is to defend the occupation of the north of Ireland. And to equate Loyalism with Republicanism in the Ted Grant tradition is just reactionary.

The Connolly Youth Movement pissed off many members of the CPB and readers of the Morning Star by saying socialism could not come through parliament; several wrote in to repudiate this at least semi revolutionary perspective and to proclaim the legitimacy of Stalinist class collaboration reformism. ▲

And the link to that appalling grovel to British Imperialism:

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