Easter Statement 2001
by Peter Urban
North American Coordinator, Irish Republican Socialist Committees
Irish Republican Socialist Party, International Department
Originally published on or about April 11, 2001
Once more republican socialists stand before these graves, as they have years gone by, to commemorate those who gave their lives for the freedom of Ireland and of the Irish working class. Again, your comrades in North America join with you in solidarity, rededicating ourselves before these graves to continue to do all that is within our power to advance support for the Irish Republican Socialist Movement within North America and throughout the world.
We are especially mindful that this year is the 20th anniversary of the1981 hunger strike, which claimed the lives of three of our comrades and the seven IRA volunteers with whom they had joined in struggle. INLA volunteers Patsy O Hara, Kevin Lynch, and Michael Devine, with their IRA allies, suffered what must be among the most horrible ways in which to die. In doing so, they declared to the world, in a manner no honest person could repudiate, that they were not criminals but soldiers of their people, dedicated to a battle against injustice and exploitation.
It is, therefore, all the more galling that we again have INLA volunteers, as well as members of the three IRA groupings, sitting in Maghaberry and Magilligan, stripped of their political status. That same political status the ten martyrs of 1981 gave their lives to secure and that so many women and men sacrificed for in 1980 and the years before. This is the bitter fruit born of that stunted bush known as the Good Friday Agreement. Those who claimed the right to speak for all the nationalist and republican people of the occupied six counties, when they had no such right, have brought Ireland peace . . . but it is the peace of the grave they have brought.
The war for national liberation may be over, but in its place stands the class war. None are better suited to fight this than the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. It is a war that must of necessity free the six counties from British occupation, just as it must free the 26 counties from the partitionist, neo-colonial regime which administer them in the service of the world's imperialists. In Ireland the national liberation struggle is an indivisible aspect of the fight for the liberation of working class. It is a war which can free the working class people of the Protestant community in the six counties from the reactionary ideology of loyalism as well, so that the entire working class of Ireland can stand together in demanding what is rightfully theirs. They will rightfully demand the collective ownership of all Ireland's wealth and the political power to administer that wealth in the interests of all working people.
The class war is also a war that must, of its very nature, free the working people of Ireland from exploitation, free the women of Ireland from the scourge of sexism, free ethnic and sexual minorities from continued abuse and inequality. In short, it will erase from Irish society all vestiges of oppression and injustice. It is not a fight that can be left to the volunteers of the INLA. Rather it must be undertaken by the broad masses of working people on the island of Ireland. It is a fight that must and will take place in the factories and offices, the fields and the fisheries, midst the forges and the forests, as well as in the hearts and minds of every member of the working class of Ireland.
We have already seen what negotiations with the British imperialists and Dublin lackeys brings. We have ample examples of what the outcome is when a revolutionary party turns to reformism, such as in the case of the Workers Party. We know the sort of "assistance" that can be lent by that leading imperialist entity, the United States of America, and we want no part of that. This movement must remain revolutionary or it will be nothing. There is no room for compromise in the class war; there is only victory or defeat, socialism, or barbarism.
We, your comrades in North America, continue to believe that the IRSP offers the best leadership possible for that struggle. Not because the party is poised to claim fantastic results in the upcoming elections, but because it is the organically arising party of the Irish working class.
Before these graves of our martyrs, we re-dedicate ourselves to the Irish class war and to the Irish Republican Socialist Movement. Though we are three, or even six thousand miles away, know that we are with you in solidarity and in comradeship. Our martyrs have died, but their memories will live on in the hearts of Irish working people.